Embrace Your Dark Side
So, I like my books dark and twisted. Yes, there's a little sweet there, the happy ever after, but I like blood, a scintillating storyline, and that touch of darkness. This year, I've learned the meaning of a new acronym when it comes to describing my writing.
It's been used to describe two books:
What classifies a book as OTT? Let me see.
Boy Meets Reviews said of Broken Pieces:
"I loved this farcical bit of unreality. Luuuurrved it. It was over the top. It was an over the top paranormal romance mate situation. Did I say it was over the top? Well, it was. There were some beastly aspects of this that were just kind of ... skeery. Yep."
So, yes, Broken Pieces was OTT according to the reviewer. Well, let me tell you, I took that as a compliment because OTT was exactly what the reviewer was looking for. Loved reading this one.
Me? Give me monsters, wings, and creepy things. Give me men taking an alpha role by surprise or totally going beyond the curve. Give me something different. Give me the fantastical and the amazing and lace within it the power of love. That's what I enjoy, and it's what I write.
In fact, this is where I'm going next.
Something a little more humanoid and a lot more sexy. You get the idea.
The other OTT?
Hearts on Fire Reviews for Getting There:
"While Ira was a little OTT, I didn’t find the story to be and I found it interesting. I ended up really liking Creed and I love Anthony. Recommended."
Okay, Hearts on Fire. Getting There did have an end that was a bit of a shocker. I get it. Not for everyone.
Now, the reviewer rated the book a four, and if I wasn't already thinking of giving Anthony his own happy ever after, I certainly am now.
So, all of that to say what? Well, I had one of those doubting myself moments. You know. We all have them. But, when I asked my editor if I should try to write sweet stories, Debbie Nygaard had this to say:
"I think if you wrote a "sweet" story I wouldn't recognize it - LOL.
Embrace your dark side. It's what your muse inspires, and you do it well."
So, I'm listening. I'm going to embrace my darkness.
If you find yourself wanting to read Broken Pieces or Getting There, click on the photos. They will take you right there.
Want to read an excerpt first?
Peter paused before his booted foot touched the floor of the car.
“Korol’ Krovi,” Caleb growled, fire gleaming from his blue eyes. “We don’t have time for this.”
Korol’ Krovi, a title he no longer wanted, one Caleb used in its entirety as some type of admonishment. Given a chance, he would forget it entirely. It didn’t matter that he was King of the Blood, successor to his father. He didn’t have a coven to rule, people of the blood to follow. He was merely the leader of a pack of wolves, with Caleb at his side. But, if Peter waited, his Second had no choice but to do so as well.
“Silence, Caleb.” Immediately, Caleb submitted. It was there in the arch of his graceful tanned neck, the downward shift of his massive shoulders, the appealing scent that wafted from him, tangy and sweet. “He said I was pretty. How can I resist?”
And, how could he? The man whose flesh he craved to sink his fingers into had complimented him.
Why not at least hear what he has to say?
Peter watched as his pursuer closed in, his size formidable. He wanted to go to him, to stand close and inhale him. Who was this stranger that in moments made him want things he’d given up on ever having?
An awareness rose within him, slid along his psyche with curiosity while another uncurled as if awakening from sleep.
Peter enjoyed the silkiness of Remi’s voice, the way the sounds and undulations teased along his cock. This was new for him, these feelings, helpless against the desire within.
His wolf listened more carefully, more hungrily, whimpering for more. His nelapsi, the vampire side of him, push to the foreground. His eye teeth lowered, eager to take a bite, a nibble, a sip. It wouldn’t be the first time he was aware of its presence, the darkness that floated just below the surface. Nelapsi were feared among all vampires, brutal, deadly and without mercy. But, Peter’s differences did not stop the powerful need from rising to the forefront.
The feeling played along the nerve endings of his flesh, the pulse of his blood causing his veins to quiver in anticipation. Peter’s breath quickened as both entities within gathered strength.
Kristoff’s warnings from the past echoed in the background, but he chose to ignore them more in favor of savoring Remi’s racing heartbeat, immersing himself in the heady scent of arousal that rose in the air. He wouldn’t force another to become his balance, place on their shoulders responsibilities no person should carry. The tuning fork for his soul, there was no telling how his power would affect his Supruga, or if they would survive the energy that would course through them.
It was too much to think of right now when all he wanted, all he needed was to be closer to Remi.
“Peter,” Caleb whispered, loud enough for only Peter to hear.
How long had he and Remi been staring at each other?
“Stand down, Caleb,” Peter commanded softly. Stepping away from his Second, he drew closer to Remi. He was delightful, this one. The color of his skin was dark and creamy, holding an appeal that Peter wouldn’t—couldn’t—resist.
He pulsed with an energy that Peter imagined sampling. His blood. Would it be spicy? Would all that spirit, that vitality flavor it, make him ache for more?
Remi had his attention, those beautiful eyes on him alone.
“You take my breath away. You’re beautiful, but it’s so much more than that.” Remi moved closer. “And,” he continued roughly, “I need to know why I feel like you’re a part of my soul.”
Peter sighed and shook his head. “I don’t know.” Was this a smart, testing boundaries that only he was aware existed? Too dazzled by the man, he’d been drawn to him like an eager two-year-old to a lightning bug, but neither of them was innocent, especially him. He turned back to the car.
Ira’s side of the bed was cold when Lucas awoke early that morning, the day of their third anniversary. Lucas rose, brushed his teeth after showering and mulled over how unfortunate it was his lover probably slept at the office. It wasn’t the first time. Somehow, over the years, they’d moved from the passionate couple who traveled together, enjoying the adventures and laughter two men in love should have, to two men who simply shared a house. They used to wake in the morning wrapped in each other’s arms. Now? They were lucky to pass each other in the night.
Lucas was going to change that.
The meal he’d been preparing, along with the tickets he’d purchased for Ira’s favorite production, would go a long way to making his man happy, and hopefully, help bridge the distance that had grown between them.
Lucas missed their closeness, but they didn’t seem to want the same things anymore. He wanted someone to settle down with, to take care of. Ira wanted Lucas out and about, dressed to impress. The passion they’d once shared, the moans and sighs late into the night, quieted, too. Lately, Lucas found satisfaction at the end of his wrist rather than beneath his lover. That wasn’t how he’d envisioned them three years ago when they’d moved in together. He’d planned to take care of Ira, show him how to be loved and to provide for his needs.
When did I lose track of my own needs?
Today, he was going to talk to Ira and fix what was broken.
He was startled when he heard the door open and slam against the wall. He rushed from the kitchen to welcome Ira and stood frozen in disbelief as he watched his own teacher’s assistant, Tommy, laugh into his lover’s mouth.
The smell of sauce burning wafted in the air. Ira, his lips curling in disgust, looked over at Lucas and his eyes flashed with distaste.
“Lucas, what the fuck are you burning in the kitchen?” Ira stepped away from a breathless Tommy and headed for the kitchen.
Tommy, who gently wiped his lips, grinned widely as he took in his former professor’s face.
“Oh, Lucas. You’re home. Sorry. We were hoping to pop in and out.” The sound of pots and pans tossed about rang in the background as Tommy got himself together. He ran one hand over his tight blue dress shirt. Then he pulled at his impossibly tight jeans, the obvious intent to make the bulge in his pants more comfortable. “Don’t mind us. We won’t be long.”
“What—,” Lucas began. He couldn’t fathom it. No way had his TA been there in front of him with his lover’s tongue down his throat, practically dry humping him. Lucas turned toward the kitchen and back to Tommy.
“Oh, Professor Masterson. Don’t be so surprised. You didn’t think Ira was still interested in you, did you? Surely, even you are able to add up the facts.” Tommy pushed his blond hair away from his face as he shook his head. His startling blue eyes looking up at Lucas in pity. Shouting loud enough to be heard in the other room, he said, “Darling, do hurry. We have a flight to catch.”
“Yes, love,” Ira called back from the kitchen. “Don’t want the kitchen to burn down. What is this anyway, Lucas?”
Lucas heard himself answer, “Butternut squash and hazelnut lasagna.”
He’d driven the day before to Ira’s family home to learn how to make the meal from Rosaline, the family cook, who’d been only too pleased to share the experience with him, even whipping together homemade bread for him to prepare along with it.
His heart raced, the pulse loud in his own ears. Tommy, his TA, and Ira, the man he thought of as his partner for the last three years were what? Lovers? He thought back over the past few weeks and the months. When Ira was busy and unattainable. The days when Tommy couldn’t work because he needed to visit family. When Ira was busy, was he with Tommy?
“Oh, my favorite. Pity, Rosaline loves to make this for me. Do you remember trying it, Tommy?”
“Yes, sweetheart. We ordered it yesterday.” He turned to Lucas before adding, “Don’t really care for it myself, but we all have to make sacrifices, don’t we?”
“Right, at Marco’s,” Ira said while he still bussed about in the kitchen.
Yesterday. When Lucas repeatedly tried to call Ira. Last night when Ira didn’t come home.
“Finally getting it, are you?” Tommy whispered. Lucas drew his hands into tight fists, muscles tense as he faced someone he’d trusted, someone he’d invited into his home. “All night, I rode his cock. Not once did he consider answering your calls even after he screamed my name.” To Ira, he called, “Ira, honey. Please hurry. I’ll continue chatting with Professor Masterson while you gather your things. Remember…flight?”
“Oh, yes, Tommy, love. Hurrying.” Lucas heard Ira’s heavy footfalls move down the hallway toward the bedroom.
“We won’t be out of town long, but Ira mentioned some items he couldn’t live without this time.” Tommy moved to the leather sofa, sat down with the same ease he’d always displayed in Lucas’s home. “Why don’t you have a seat, Professor? Let’s chat, shall we?” No longer able to stand—rather than Tommy’s invitation—Lucas sat down in the love seat across from him, numb and shaking.
With graduation right around the corner, Lucas hadn’t seen Tommy in a while. Tommy was so busy with family—or so he said—he’d had little time to help Lucas finalize grades. Yet, there he sat, his pouty lips swollen from Ira’s kisses, and whisker burns from Ira’s five o’clock shadow evident on his pale skin.
Are you thinking of how to write a dark story? I found two articles that might help with that.
So You Want To / Write a Dark Fantasy
Pretty interesting read here with bullet points that might just lead you in the right direction. It includes tropes and details that are very specific. There are one or two ideas there you might object to, but give it a read.
Darkness in Fiction: 7 Tips for Writing Dark Stories
Hannah Heath is back with some awesome tips on writing dark stories. It's short and to the point. Definitely worth taking a look. I love this woman. Great articles every time. Now, every story I write will have a happy ending, but all of the others? There!
In Other News
My little girl's doing better in school. If you didn't know, she's dyslexic which makes it difficult. She has great support at school and I'd like to say at home. This year was the best report card she's ever had. Was it all A's? Nope. But it was all passing, and there was praise and growth. That's what made it for us. That's what made it for her. She was so proud of herself which means everything. No tears. No anger. No frustration. Just smiles and happiness. She got all the hugs and all the love and encouragement she normally gets, but her smile was a win.
I'm smiling because of it.
Remember, no matter what. Find what makes you smile and cherish it.