Category Archives: Fantasy

Heroes & Heroines Special Feature: Character Herod D’Argyl, Anti-hero from THE CYNN CRUORS BLOODLINE SERIES by Isobelle Cate

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. Recently, I asked authors to come to the blog with a little background into their characters. Exactly what is it about them that keeps a writer up at night, composing those romance novels we love? I wanted to dig deep into each of these characters. Today is the first post in this series.

So, without further ado, let’s turn the mic over to author Isobelle Cate, who has some things to say about her character.

Hi, Isobelle! Describe one of your main characters and why he or she impacts the story.

Who is Herod?


When I started writing my paranormal series, The Cynn Cruors Bloodline, Herod was just one of the secondary characters in my stories about vampire/werewolf hybrids. I really had no intention of truly developing him into someone that made my heart squeeze. It just came as a ‘eureka’ moment and since then, Herod became someone who had a deeper connection to the main characters of the series.

Just like my heroes, Herod was also infused with the same DNA as the Cynn Cruors. The difference was that he was batting for the other side. He was a Scatha Cruor. But the complexity of how he came to be the epitome of the evil the Cynn Cruors were battling against is deeper than what the first five books in the series have shown. In the 6th book, Midnight’s Paradox, Herod’s identity is revealed. Naturally, I made sure there was a foreshadowing of things to come from the very start.

Herod’s evolution did not come overnight. I spent several nights in the course of writing the series that I’d just be in bed, stare at the ceiling and see Herod’s life unfold before me. There were flashes of inspiration that I had to write down immediately lest the impact of the words disappeared from memory. And with every unfolding of Herod’s story, I couldn’t stop the sorrow I felt for him. I remember the time I wrote his dialogue and the scene with another character and I couldn’t stop crying. Using words to describe him, to give him form, he became a living, breathing character.

He became real.

Characters take time to develop. Sometimes, an author may have already given a character his/her attributes, then suddenly adds further traits to make the character multi-faceted or multi-dimensional. Herod was one such character. His actions affected everyone in the series. Directly or indirectly, he became part of their collective memories.

Collective memories…maybe I might just write a book about Herod and why he made the choices he did that led him down a slippery slope.

If you want to read about immortal highlanders with vampire/werewolf DNA, why not read the Cynn Cruors Bloodline series?

Yes, why not? 
Let’s find out more about the novel, shall we? 😉

This is the blurb for Midnight’s Paradox, book six of The Cynn Cruors Bloodline Series:


In Isobelle Cate’s SIXTH erotic paranormal romance, it’s been hundreds of years since immortal Cynn Cruor warrior Blake Strachen buried what little was left of his family. And it’s been three years since his last unsuccessful raid on his nemesis Dac Valerian. Enemies are still at large. Too much is left unfinished.

Restless, Blake is wandering through the deserted streets of Edinburgh in the early morning hours when he encounters the ghost of a woman, a witch hung centuries ago, who speaks cryptically of “the sins of the father”. But before he can ask her what she means, she disappears with the first light of dawn. Dawn means that Blake–a vampire-werewolf-human hybrid–must find shelter, and he stumbles into the Great Hall of Edinburgh Castle before visitor hours. But he’s not alone…

Phoebe Ruth has come into work early at the old castle when she notices the dark shadow of a man handling a relic sword with surprising ease. A powerful and disturbingly attractive man. Sparks ignite immediately, the two strangers wordlessly embracing with an uncontrollable passion neither of them understands… But just like that, Blake disappears.

All day, like a stereo needle skipping over a vinyl scratch, Phoebe replays the steamy sexual encounter of the early morning–the hunger that threatened to devour her. Was it just an arousing dream? But when Blake rescues Phoebe from an assault by thugs in the cemetery, each becomes enraptured by the other. Forever.

Phoebe has read of the Cynn Cruors in her father’s journal and believes they’re only the ravings of a grief-stricken man after losing his wife. But after several chance encounters, she begins to realize that the Cynn Cruors’ world is as real as the dark stranger’s bonfire of burning kisses. Both Phoebe and Blake have sordid pasts to sort through. And these chance encounters inexplicably link the two lovers together in more ways than one…

This haunting love story will appeal to romance readers who love a hot steamy erotica series with a paranormal element– supernatural shifters, werewolf romance, and vampire romance (it’s got all of that!) –and plenty of explicit sex.

***CONTENT WARNING: This story contains adult language and sexual situations and is intended for audiences 18+ ONLY. ***

And here is an excerpt.

Herod looked at himself in the mirror, his reflection blurry at best. It was as though the mirror had fogged after someone had taken a long hot shower. But there was no shower to blame since the mirror was in the corner of his room, in his own manor. The room was stone cold, with its vaulted ceiling and tall windows that overlooked the expanse of a dark loch intermittently covered with black ice. His bed had hardly been slept on, not for lack of want. He’d been at Dac’s beck and call nearly twenty-four seven. He hadn’t raped a woman in several days nor killed someone to feed the debauched, altered Kinaré gene inside him. It didn’t matter that Herod didn’t feel the cold or he hadn’t had a good fuck. What annoyed him was that he couldn’t bloody see clearly. Dac came in the night before and smashed the special mirror he had, and with everything that was going on, vanity wasn’t on Herod’s list of priorities for the time being.

He squinted, trying to catch a sharper glimpse of his wound but not even the Cruor’s razor sight could pierce the ordinary looking glass. The only thing Herod could do was to feel the flesh around his wound. A three inch slit where The Hamilton’s silver laced claymore gored him. Any other blade without silver wouldn’t have left a scar. Herod remembered the pain of the silver cutting through his bloodstream and the white hot influx of the adriserum The Hamilton jammed into him to alleviate the damage the metal inflicted on him.

Herod closed his eyes. For as long as he could remember, he thrived on pain. He loved receiving, giving it. Even in battle, he had a perverse pleasure of feeling the metal singe his skin though only to a point. He was still too obsessed with living for the pain to be the harbinger of his last breath. He loved to hear the tortured cries of Scatha victims and the mournful wails of the sex slaves as they were auctioned to the highest debauched bidder. He watched and joined in the hedonism when the winning bidder sampled the merchandise in front of a lascivious crowd. Sometimes he participated, sampling the quality paid for. The pain was different when it came to silver, not only since it was the bane of all Cruors – Cynn and Scatha. It was because the pain reminded him of what it was like to be human.

Weak and fallible.

Herod twisted his torso so he could try and see the exit wound. His brow furrowed in concentration as he felt his skin stretch taut against his back, the sensation around the healing wound similar to the tiny feet of ants crawling over and around it. He whipped around, his eyes narrowing when the door to his room opened and Dac sauntered in.

“Nasty wound,” he remarked.

Herod grunted, reaching out for his muscle shirt draped over the nearby wingback chair.

“It’s healing.” The shirt covered his body. A warning tingle skittered around in a circle on Herod’s nape. Dac was on to something and Herod wasn’t sure what it was. Instinctively, he brought his mind barrier up. He hardly had any need for it except when Dac had his over suspicious moods. He tracked his liege lord across the room as Dac perused his wide collection of music CDs that surrounded his state of the art audio system, an Infinite Grand. Herod loved listening to Chopin, the only composer who made him feel any semblance of peace. This was what was left of his immense collection when most of it had been razed to the ground in the Isle of Man’s siege. Centuries ago, he’d had the immense pleasure of listening to the virtuoso play several of his compositions when Chopin performed in one of the many grand salons of Europe.

Dac’s fingers ran across the roughly hewn stone wall blunted by time, his gaze taking in the huge four poster bed sans the overhead damask curtains which Herod abhorred because it made him claustrophobic. Instead, above the bed, framed on the wall was the D’Argyl tartan of forest green, black, and brown. It resembled a bedraggled and tattered piece of cloth that Herod had returned for after his confrontation with Deanna.

It was the only thing left to tie him to who he was, the only symbolic piece of humanity to tie himself to.

Herod sucked in a harsh breath.

Fucking conscience.

Why did he have to return to get it? He should have left it in the fortress to be a sacrifice to feed the fires. But no, he had to drag his sorry arse to rush like the wind to the fortress before the sun burned him alive. He hid in the tunnels and picked his way along the corridors that swarmed with Cynn Cruors, entered his room to take his birthright from the wall and leave through the forest. He knew all along Deanna would eventually find the hidden trapdoor in the forest that led to his room.

He kept this knowledge a secret.

Herod watched Dac peruse his clan’s colours and braced himself. As he suspected, Dac started to invade his mind and when the Scatha Cruor leader made a gesture to touch it, a small growl rose from his throat.

“Touchy,” Dac laughed, amused.

“You know I don’t like you or anyone touching what is mine.”

“We share women,” Dac feigned confusion. “You take her hole, I take her ass or mouth. We rape them together, kill, and share the spoils. And you don’t want me to touch a measly rag?”

Herod’s eyes heated and he knew his eyes were about to change. His hands fisted, and his jaw clenched to tamp down his fury.

“You don’t share my family history or my clan, Valerian. That alone is mine. You were Roman, I was Gaelic. I will not warn you again.”

“You forget yourself, D’Argyl.” Dac’s grin waned.

Herod expelled a breath and sat down on the chair, to put on his steel toed boots.

“So do you, my liege.” Herod’s muscles flexed and slid under his skin as he tied the laces. “You wouldn’t be the Scatha Cruor leader if I didn’t save your life.” He stood, a small smile shadowing his mouth at Dac’s annoyance.

“That’s about to change.” Dac glared.

Unprepared, Herod fell to his knees, grunting at the pain that exploded inside his head. It snaked through every nerve ending of his brain and to his horror, the Scatha Cruor leader suddenly flipped the lock of his memories. Racing against the onslaught, Herod allowed the pain to blind him, darkness clouding his vision while his mind galvanized every barrier and protection from the attack.

In a second, Dac withdrew, the agony that ripped through Herod disappearing like it never happened. Herod fell on all fours, his heart beating so loud in his chest it might as well have been the waves coming from a nuclear blast. Dac’s boots appeared in front of Herod before he crouched.

“What are you hiding, D’Argyl?” he asked, his voice soft hardly threatening. “I often sensed you hiding something from me soon after we escaped the Ancients.”

In retaliation, Herod slammed into Dac’s mind. Dac howled, staggering and falling on his ass. Herod pushed, straining against the powerful walls of Valerian’s brain. Hell, Dac had been there when Hadrian’s Wall had been built. He probably had a convo with Shih Wang Ti to build the Great Wall to hide his own memories.


He found something but his concentration broke when Dac roared once more before swiping his claw against Herod’s face. Herod reeled from the force of the attack when he felt the claws swipe through his skin and jaw bone. He catapulted into the air landing in a defensive growl, his lips pulling away from his teeth in a snarl. His vision turned green waiting for Dac to attack once more. Herod’s fangs elongated, his jaw breaking to accommodate the teeth that began to crowd inside his mouth.

Dac didn’t attack. He stood looking down at Herod whose green blood still trickled from his jaw on to the stone floor. His eyes, completely black, gradually turned to its normal color. Without a word, he stormed out of Herod’s room. The door crashed against the stone wall and when it did, a fissure ran through the wood causing slivers to fall softly to the floor. Herod leaned back, his chest heaving from the exertion of shielding his mind but it was enough for him to catch a glimpse of an image before Dac broke his concentration.

The key that could bring Dac Valerian’s downfall.

A sarcastic chuckle broke out from his still bleeding mouth.

After all this millennia, he could finally go home. A groundswell of emotion nearly drowned him.

“No,” he roared. He shut his eyes, forcing the emotions back. Sentiments had no room in his world anymore. Memories, no longer a part of his life.

It was already too late.

Herod stood, a bit unsteady on his feet after Dac’s attack and the needling of his persistent and awakening conscience. He left his room and made his way to his castle’s great hall when he stopped and sniffed. A rumble fizzed up his throat. What the fuck was a Cynn Cruor doing in his manor? Did they find out where he lived? Fuck! Frustration and fury formed a thunderous vee on his forehead. The Keep was the only thing he had left he could call his own and Dac had to bring complications to his doorstep.

Whizzing up to the gallery so he could determine his mode of attack, Herod eased himself above the great hall. He could feel his eyes transforming at the sight of the Cynn Cruor taking liberties with his extensive collection of cognac. His gut soured and his claws fisted until he drew blood that dripped to the floor. Shit, by the time Dac was through and he moved on to another abode, Herod would probably have baptised most of his castle in his own blood. He listened carefully, his sharp teeth starting to fill his jaw, eager to sink his claws into the Cynn Cruor. He didn’t know the immortal, wasn’t one of those he paid for betraying the Ancients’ trust.

Dac roared, his pupils dilating to a dark greenish black that held dark flecks so deep that any human would not be able to turn away. The last time Herod saw Dac transform was shortly after Dac’s attempt on the life of the Ancient Eald. Herod had also gone through the same transformation, the corruption of the Kinaré solidifying the more evil they perpetrated.

“Give me something I can use against the Cynn Cruors, traitor, or not only will you not get your money, I will have also have your head.”

The need to transform disappeared as Herod listened to what the traitor had to say.

“Here we go again,” he muttered before leaving the gallery and joining Dac in the Great Hall.

Intriguing! I hope you all get a chance to read this steamy paranormal romance! 🙂

Or discover the full series at the links below…

Rapture at Midnight   

Forever at Midnight    

Midnight’s Atonement 

Midnight’s Fate             

My Haven, My Midnight

Midnight’s Paradox     

Midnight’s Yule             

How exciting to learn about your erotic paranormal romance, Isobelle! I know I can’t wait to read it! 🙂

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Midnight’s Paradox!

Readers, don’t forget to check out the whole series! It looks fantastic!

Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Isobelle! Lovely to have you here! ♥

Guest Bio

Isobelle Cate is a woman who wears different masks. Mother-writer, wife-professional, scholar-novelist. Currently living in Manchester, she has been drawn to the little known, the secret stories, about the people and the nations:  the English, the Irish, the Scots, the Welsh, and those who are now part of these nations whatever their origins. Her vision and passion are fueled by her interest and background in history and paradoxically, shaped by growing up in a clan steeped in lore, loyalty, and legend. Isobelle is intrigued by forces that simmer beneath the surface of these cultures, the hidden passions, unsaid desires, and yearnings unfulfilled.

Author Links




Amazon Author Page:




Thanks again, Isobelle, for giving us a peek into the world of your characters. Exciting! 😀

Readers, stay tuned for our next special feature on this topic when author Sable Hunter visits us on September 28th! Yay! 🙂

Have a great rest of your week, everyone!


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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, characters, Dark Fantasy, Erotica, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Message, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Romance, Writers, Writing

63 FREE Romance Books!!

Hi, readers! I wanted to pop in here today to let you know about a very cool, mega giveaway going on over at the Writing in the Modern Age blog this week. Among other genres, 63 romance novels are available.All you have to do to enter the contest is comment on the thread with all your genre preferences as well as a contact email, and you’ll have 164 chances to win books! Awesome, right?

Here is a list of some of the books offered. They’re in no particular order, but I’ve included the subgenres so you know how varied the giveaway is.

Sports Romance

Paranormal Thriller with Romantic Elements


Mystery Romance with Horror

Multicultural Romance

Historical Romance

Paranormal Romance

Science Fiction Romance

Erotic Romance

Romantic Comedy

Holiday Romance


Romantic Suspense

Contemporary Romance

Romantic Thriller


Western Romance


LGBT Romance

Time Travel Romance

YA Romance

Inspirational Romance

Fantasy Romance

This contest is exciting! There are swag prizes too! 🙂 If you’d like to participate, please jump on Writing in the Modern Age to put in your entry (you can also email me directly at with the subject heading ‘Early Autumn Giveaway entry’, in case you’re a little shy about including your personal info).

The giveaway will run until Friday at midnight EST, but winners won’t be chosen until the weekend.

So, why not go for it? These are FREE books! You won’t be sorry! 😉

As always, happy reading, everyone! 😀

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Book Giveaways, Books, Contemporary, Erotica, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical, Historical Romance, inspirational romance, LGBT, Marie Lavender, Mystery, New Adult, Readers, Romance, romantic comedy, Romantic Suspense, sports romance, Thriller/Suspense, Time Travel, western, Writing, Young Adult

New Release Feature: Druid’s Portal: The First Journey by Cindy Tomamichel

I am pleased to announce a great book release by Cindy Tomamichel, an author I met during my journey! Her time travel romance, Druid’s Portal, officially released this week! Yay! That’s awesome! :)

Congrats on your new release! 😉

When a new book comes out, it’s always an exciting time for an author!

Cindy is giving us a look at her “timey wimey” (Yes, I’m a Doctor Who nerd) romance, Druid’s Portal: The First Journey, today.

Cool cover!

This is the blurb for Druid’s Portal:

A portal closed for 2,000 years.

An ancient religion twisted by modern greed.

A love that crosses the centuries.

An ancient druid pendant shows archaeologist Janet visions of Roman soldier Trajan. The visions are of danger, death, and love—but are they a promise or a curse?

Her fiancé Daman abandons her before the wedding, her beloved museum is ransacked, and a robed man vanishes before her eyes. Haunted by visions of a time she knows long gone, Janet teeters on the edge of a breakdown.

In the shadow of Hadrian’s Wall and 2,000 years back in time, Janet’s past and present collide. Daman has vowed to drive the invaders from the shores of Britain and march his barbarian hordes to Rome. Trajan swears vengeance against the man who threatens both his loves—Janet and the Empire.

Time is running out—for everyone.

And here is an excerpt from Druid’s Portal: The First Journey to tease you with.

“Sister, may I speak with you? I’ve been having dreams, visions of the past.”

“And these worry you, my dear?”

“Yes, I’m afraid . . .”

“That you’re losing your mind?” the gentle nun smiled. “Janet, my dear child, you’re perhaps too sane for your own good. What you have experienced has made you strong, but you ignore the truth of your heart. Perhaps these visions are your heart talking to you.”

“My heart?” stammered Janet, thinking of Trajan.

“There are many mysteries in these dark forests that science struggles to explain. People born here have the weight of history and the forest secrets in their bones. This is your heritage, too, to see things that may be hidden. But one mystery is hope. Your heart hopes and yearns for love, despite the pain inflicted by Daman. The human heart—your own heart—is a mystery.” She placed her hand gently on Janet’s shoulder. “Maybe it is time you listened to yours. Follow where it leads you.”

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:

Wow! Love the emotional struggle here. ♥♥♥

Thank you for telling us about your book, Cindy! I know I can’t wait to read this romance! 🙂

Readers, don’t forget to pick up a copy of this awesome book!

Author Bio

Cindy Tomamichel is a writer of action adventure romance novels, spanning time travel, sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal genres. They all have something in common – sword fights! The heroines don’t wait to be rescued, and the heroes earn that title the hard way.

Cindy’s recent published work includes winning a fractured fairy tale competition with a twist on the Rapunzel story. The fundraising event Madwomen Monologues has presented two of her monologues on stage. She also has poetry and short stories in two anthologies by Rhetoric Askew.

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Thanks again, Cindy! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Event, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical, Historical Romance, new release, Readers, Romance, Time Travel, Writing

Pre-order Release Feature: The Angel Alejandro by author Alistair Cross

I am pleased to announce a great new release by Alistair Cross, an author I met during my journey! His riveting dark fantasy/romance, The Angel Alejandro, officially went up for pre-order and will be released on January 25th!

That’s awesome, Alistair! Congrats on your new release!:)

When a new book comes out, it is always an exciting time for an author!


Alistair is giving us a look at his intriguing dark fantasy with a touch of romance, The Angel Alejandro, today.

Great cover!

This is the blurb for The Angel Alejandro:

A Man without a Past

After a near-fatal accident, Madison O’Riley is faced with an astonishing problem: What to do with the man who saved her life. Naive and heart-stoppingly handsome, he calls himself Alejandro … and he has no memory of his past. As they set out to recover his lost identity, Madison realizes he harbors deep – and otherworldly – secrets that will shatter her understanding of reality … secrets that may put her in grave danger.

The Devil in the Details

And now, there’s another stranger in town. Gremory Jones has something for everyone, and for a small price, he’s willing to make a deal. By day, he walks the streets of Prominence in top hat and trench coat, tempting the citizens with nefarious wares from his shiny black briefcase. By night, he and his legion of insatiable acolytes corrupt the locals at Club Mephistopheles, a den of unholy delights housed in an abandoned church.

The Battle has Begun …

The townspeople are changing in outrageous and appalling ways and it’s up to Madison – with the help of a psychic, a local priest, and the new chief of police – to help Alejandro unlock his forgotten powers before an unspeakable evil tears apart the fabric of existence … and costs them their very souls …

What people are saying about Alistair’s books:

“The Crimson Corset is a good read. There is a colorful cast of characters, a clever plot, and an intricate structure … there are surprises and jumps and starts, sex and death, beauty and gore, something for everyone … if you’re looking for set-up and payoff, this novel will not disappoint.”

Tamara Thorne, international bestselling author of HAUNTED and MOONFALL
“This drop-deadly tale of seduction and terror will leave you begging to be fanged … ”

Q.L. Pearce, bestselling author of SCARY STORIES FOR SLEEP-OVERS
“I couldn’t put this book down. It’s got more hooks than a day boat out of San Pedro Harbor!”

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, author of the SAINT-GERMAIN CYCLE
“Alistair Cross’ new novel THE CRIMSON CORSET … is taut and elegantly written taking us into the realms where the erotic and the horrific meet. Reminiscent of the work of Sheridan Le Fanu (CARMILLA, UNCLE SILAS) in its hothouse, almost Victorian intensity, it tells a multi-leveled story of misalliance and mixed motives. The language is darkly lyrical, and the tale is compelling. Read it; you’ll be glad you did.”

Jay Bonansinga, New York Times Bestselling author of THE WALKING DEAD: INVASION and LUCID
“Put Bram Stoker in a giant cocktail shaker, add a pinch of Laurell K. Hamilton, a shot of John Carpenter, and a healthy jigger of absinthe, and you’ll end up with Alistair Cross’s modern Gothic chiller, The Crimson Corset – a deliciously terrifying tale that will sink its teeth into you from page one.”

Sylvia Shults, author of Hunting Demons: A True Story of the Dark Side of the Supernatural
“Ghostly secrets abound. Tortured spirits wander the hallways. Star-crossed lovers walk the paths of time. Servants connive, and the heroine faces an uncertain future …Run, do not walk, to get The Ghosts of Ravencrest. Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross take the reader on a delicious journey of twisted family secrets, troubled dreams, and barely-concealed passions. Wrap yourself in the silken robe of this story and escape to Ravencrest.”


And here is a teaser plus a short excerpt to entice you with.


A mouth covered hers, blew, and Madison’s lungs expanded with borrowed breath. As if the man were blowing on dying coals, warmth glowed inside her, spreading and swelling through her solar plexus, expanding, reaching her limbs, bringing heat to her skin and clarity to her mind. She could breathe, she could see, and what she saw was the stranger’s face.

Handsome. Full lips, strong cheekbones, eyes she couldn’t yet fathom. Close-cropped, golden hair backlit by a near-blinding halo of light. Yes, she knew him from somewhere – but where?

The warm buzz swam through her. Her fingers and toes tingled. She was losing consciousness again, but she didn’t care; the panic was gone. As the world pulsed in and out, the man leaned over and blinked black-lashed silver eyes at her. Not gray, but silver. Bright and shining, like disks of polished steel. The light behind him swelled and brightened just before the world relapsed into black and nothingness wrapped itself warm around her.

-Excerpt from The Angel Alejandro, by Alistair Cross
Copyright © Glass Apple Press 2016.

Whoa! What a thrilling excerpt!  🙂

Book Info:

Genre:  Dark Fantasy, Romance

Release Date:  January 25, 2017

Pre-order Purchase Link:

Universal Amazon link:

What an interesting story! ♥♥♥ This looks like quite a ride!

Thank you for telling us about your book, Alistair! I know I can’t wait to read this new dark fantasy/romance! 🙂

Readers, don’t forget to pick up a copy of this awesome book!


Author Bio


Alistair Cross’ debut novel, The Crimson Corset, a vampiric tale of terror and seduction, was an immediate bestseller earning praise from veteran vampire-lit author, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and New York Times bestseller, Jay Bonansinga, author of The Walking Dead series. In 2012, Alistair joined forces with international bestseller, Tamara Thorne, and as Thorne & Cross, they write – among other things – the successful Gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their debut collaboration, The Cliffhouse Haunting, reached the bestseller’s list in its first week of release. They are currently at work on their next solo novels and a new collaborative project.

In 2014, Alistair and Tamara began the radio show, Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!, which has featured such guests as Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of HELLRAISER 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore.

Visit Alistair @

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Thanks again, Alistair! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Dark Fantasy, dark romance, Event, Fantasy, Fiction, new release, Readers, Romance, Writing

Paranormal Romance Review: Magick and Moonlight (Marie Lavender)

If you liked Practical Magic with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman, one-click Magick & Moonlight by Marie Lavender. Both Jessie and Ethan are hiding in small-town Oregon from something in the p…

Source: Paranormal Romance Review: Magick and Moonlight (Marie Lavender)

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Filed under Authors, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fantasy, Fiction, Love, Marie Lavender, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Romance, short stories, Stories, Writing

A to Z Reflections

As some of you may already know, I put myself to the A to Z Challenge for blogging during the month of April.


Basically, it required participating bloggers to do a post every day focusing on each letter of the alphabet. Sundays were the only excluded days. As you can imagine, this was a lot of work.

So, what really compelled me to take on this challenge? Well, I have to give my talented author friend, Devika Fernando, some credit here. Last year, she took on the challenge with her blog and absolutely nailed it. Check out one of her posts here!

Therefore, this year it was with courage and a bit of fear that I said, sure, what the hell…I’ll try it too. I decided to use a rating system for each book I covered, almost like a book review but not quite the same.


To make a long story short, the experience was actually fun! 🙂 I not only got to revisit some titles on my shelf I hadn’t looked at for awhile, I also found some new books I wanted to try.

I hope you found some interesting reads as well. If you missed my A to Z Challenge posts, here they are in order:


–  Awakening the Fire by Ally Shields

Blood Brothers by Nora Roberts

– Courting the Countess by Barbara Pierce

Devil’s Embrace and Devil’s Daughter by Catherine Coulter

– Elsewhere by Linda Lee Williams

Face the Fire by Nora Roberts

Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare

Heart of Gold by J.R. Ward

Identity by Cleo Scornavacca

Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts

The Key Trilogy by Nora Roberts

Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward

Martha’s Way Series by Mika Jolie

No Longer A Stranger by Joan Johnston

One Illicit Night by Sophia James

– Playing with Fire by Devika Fernando

Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot

Raising Landry by Andee Michelle

Sisters of the Night by Linda Lee Williams

To Tempt A Scotsman by Victoria Dahl

Unhallowed Ground by Heather Graham

Victory Lane by Shelly Davis

Weather the Storm by Jean Ferris

X-Treme Dating by Cathy McDavid

You Make Me Feel Brand New by Chicki Brown

Zenith Rising by Marilyn Campbell


Perhaps you’ll find some interesting romance books in there, ranging from contemporary to historical, paranormal to fantasy, comedy to multicultural, even a time travel/science fiction. It was so much fun to participate in the A to Z Blogging Challenge, to see your comments and interact with you (many thanks for the shares and reblogging!), and to check out other bloggers’ sites who were part of the challenge. Here is a full list of the 1,348 participants this year. And to do my part, here are some links to a few other blogs from the April A to Z Challenge:


Thanks again for sticking it out with me during the challenge. I’m always happy to see some friendly faces around here. Please stay tuned for future posts on any random thoughts about love, articles or advice on romantic relationships…

Unsplash, Pixabay, 2016.


and, as always – our favorite topic – learning about new romance authors and their book releases!

Have a wonderful May, everyone! 😀


Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Erotica, Event, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical, Historical Romance, Love, Message, Multicultural/Interracial, Mystery, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Reviews, Romance, romantic comedy, Science Fiction, Time Travel, western, Young Adult

A to Z Challenge: Key Trilogy by Nora Roberts

As you know, I’m putting myself to the A to Z Challenge for blogging for the month of April.


For these posts, I’ll be giving an I Love Romance Blog score, not an official review, for books currently on my shelf at home (I know readers must wonder what books inspires us as authors) or ones that are on my TBR list (what I want to read so bad I can’t stand it!). For each book, I will give the blurb, a few lines from the text, then why I liked the book or why I’d want to read it. And for fun, I’ll give a heart rating! ♥

This is my scoring system:

I hope these A to Z Challenge suggestions will help you find a new favorite author, or further cement your love for one, if that’s the case.

Let’s jump into our next book, shall we?

The Key Trilogy by Nora Roberts


Genre: Paranormal Romance/Fantasy

Blurb for Key of Light:


An invitation to unlock your dreams…Three women. Three keys. A unique series with a twist—Nora Roberts opens the door to one woman’s search for truth and passion in the first Key Trilogy novel.

A few choice lines from the book:

Key of Light -excerpt1

key of light-excerpt2

key of light -excerpt3

key of light-excerpt4

Blurb for Key of Knowledge:


In the second installment of Nora Roberts’ thrilling Key series, Dana Steele is forced to face her past with the handsome Jordan Hawke when he writes a book that connects him to her quest for the Key of Knowledge. Now, Dana must seek out the truth from among deception and lies––or succumb to her worst nightmares.

A few choice lines from the book:

Oh, God, not him. Not now.
“What do you want?” she snapped. “Go away. I’m busy.”
Before she could slam the door, he slapped a hand on it.
“I want to talk to you about … What is it?”
She was white as a ghost, her dark eyes enormous, and glassy with shock.
“What’s wrong?”
“Nothing. I’m fine.”
The shakes started up again, harder this time. “I don’t want to … oh, the hell with it. You’re better than nothing.”
She simply fell against him. “I’m so cold. I’m so goddamn cold.”
He scooped her right off her feet, then booted the door shut behind him. “Couch or bed?”
“Couch. I’ve got the shakes. I can’t stop.”
“Okay. It’s okay.” He sat, kept her cradled in his lap as he tugged the throw off the back of the couch. “You’ll warm up in a minute,” he comforted, and tucked the
throw around her. “Just hold on to me.”
He rubbed her back, her arms, then just wrapped his own arms around her and banked on body heat to do the rest. “Why are you wet?”
“I was in the tub. Then I wasn’t. I don’t know how it works.” Her hand was fisted in his jacket, kneading there as she fought to steady herself. “The son of a bitch
got inside my head. You don’t even know it’s happening, it just does. I’m not going to make any sense for a couple more minutes.”
“It’s okay. I think I’m following you.”
His stroking hands bumped the band that tied her hair up. Without thinking, he slipped it off, combed his fingers through. “It was Kane? He was here?”
“I don’t know.”
Exhausted, she laid her head against his chest. She had her breath back at least. It no longer felt as if a hand was squeezing her racing heart. “Like I
said, I don’t know how it works. I wanted to take a bath, relax.”
To give her something else to think about, he deliberately sniffed her neck. “You smell terrific.Tasty. What is that?”
“Mango. Cut it out.” But she made no attempt to get off his lap.

Blurb for Key of Valor:


A woman’s quest for courage opens her heart to love in the third Key Trilogy novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts.

Join Zoe in the ultimate quest for courage.

A few choice lines from the book:

excerpt - Key of Valor

My Score:

In this series, three women who’ve never met before receive a bizarre invitation to a fine mansion and an offer to participate in an unusual endeavor, locating rare, mystical keys for a large sum of money. Oh, and it’s all to free a trio of goddesses.

The first book is Malory’s story. She just got fired from her job and now feels obligated to play this game she’s not so sure is real. She meets Flynn in the process of attempting to locate the key, except she doesn’t realize he’s directly tied to one of the members of the group.

This series is really interesting! Lots of romance, sexy tension, intrigue and some mystical forces to complicate things further. Dana and Zoe have some pretty great tales as well. Check out these interesting books!


I give the series four hearts!  🙂

four hearts




Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Event, Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Reviews, Romance, Writing

A to Z Challenge: Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts

As you know, I’m putting myself to the A to Z Challenge for blogging for the month of April.


For these posts, I’ll be giving an I Love Romance Blog score, not an official review, for books currently on my shelf at home (I know readers must wonder what books inspires us as authors) or ones that are on my TBR list (what I want to read so bad I can’t stand it!). For each book, I will give the blurb, a few lines from the text, then why I liked the book or why I’d want to read it. And for fun, I’ll give a heart rating! ♥

This is my scoring system:

I hope these A to Z Challenge suggestions will help you find a new favorite author, or further cement your love for one, if that’s the case.

Let’s jump into our next book, shall we?

Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts

Genre: Fantasy Romance


Book One of the Gallaghers of Ardmore Trilogy

In Gallagher’s Pub, where the fire is burning low and the pints are waiting, #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts has a story to tell…

Determined to reevaluate her life, Jude Murray flees America to take refuge in Faerie Hill Cottage, immersing herself in the study of Irish folklore and discovering hope for the future of the magical past.

Finally back home in Ireland after years of traveling, Aidan Gallagher possesses an uncommon understanding of his country’s haunting myths. Although he’s devoted to managing the family pub, a hint of wildness still glints in his eyes—and in Jude, he sees a woman who can both soothe his heart and stir his blood. And he begins to share the legends of the land with her—while they create a passionate history of their own.

Also in the Gallaghers of Ardmore trilogy:
Tears of the Moon
Heart of the Sea


A few choice lines from the book:

For himself, Aidan was content in where he was, and what he did. He’d learned a great deal of himself and of life during his rambles. The itchy feet were said to come from the Fitzgerald side, as his mother had, before she married, traveled a good bit of the world, with her voice paying the fare.

He’d strapped on a knapsack when he was barely eighteen and traveled throughout his country, then over into England and France and Italy and even Spain. he’d spent a year in America, being dazzled by the mountains and plains of the West, sweltering in the heat of the South, and freezing through a northern winter.

He and his siblings were as musical as their mother, so he’d sung for his supper or tended bar, whichever suited his purposes at the time. When he’d seen all he longed to see, he came home again, a well-traveled man of twenty-five.

For the last six years, he’d tended the pub and lived in the rooms above it.

But he was waiting. He didn’t know for what, only that he was.

Even now, as he built a pint of Guinness, drew a glass of Harp, and tuned in with one ear to the conversation in case he was obliged to comment, part of him sat back, patient and watchful.

Those who looked close enough might see that watchfulness in his eyes, eyes blue as a lightning bolt under brows with the same dark richness as the prize bar where he worked.

He had the rawboned face of the Celts, with the wild good looks that the fine genes of his parents had blended, with a long, straight nose, a mouth full and shamelessly sensual, a tough, take-a-punch chin with just a hint of a cleft.

He was built like a brawler – wide of shoulder, long of arm, and narrow of hip. And indeed, he had spent a good portion of his youth planting his fists in faces or taking them in his own. As much, he wasn’t shamed to admit, for the fun of it as for temper.

It was a matter of pride that unlike his brother, Shawn, Aidan had never had his nose broken in battle.

Still, he’d stopped looking for trouble as he’d grown from boy to man. He was just looking, and trusted that he’d know what it was when he found it.

When Jude walked in, he noticed – first as a publican, and second as a man. She looked so tidy, with her trim jacket and bound-back hair, so lost with her big eyes scanning the room as a doe might consider a new path in the forest.

A pretty thing, he thought, as most men do when they see an attractive female face and form. And being one who saw many faces in his career, he noted the nerves as well that kept her rooted to the spot just inside the door as if she might turn and flee at any moment.

The look of her, the manner of her, captured his interest and a low and pleasant hum warmed his blood.

She squared her shoulders, a deliberate move that amused him, and walked to the bar.

“Good evening to you,” he said as he slid his rag down the bar to wipe up spills. “What’s your pleasure?”

She started to speak, to ask politely for a glass of white wine. Then he smiled, a slow, lazy curving of lips that inexplicably set her insides a fluttering and turned her mind into a buzzing mess of static.

Yes, she thought dimly, everyone was gorgeous here.

He seemed in no particular hurry for her answer, only leaned comfortably on the bar, bringing that truly wonderful face closer to hers, cocking his head and his brow at the same time.

“Are you lost, then, darling?”

She imagined herself melting, just sliding onto the floor in a puddle of hormones and liquid lust. The sheer embarrassment of the image snapped her back to herself. “No, I’m not lost. Could I have a glass of white wine? Chardonnay if it’s available.”

“I can help you with that.” But he made no move to, just then. “You’re a Yank, then. Would you be Old Maude’s young American cousin come to stay in her cottage awhile?”

“Yes. I’m Jude, Jude Murray.” Automatically she offered her hand and a careful smile that allowed her dimples a brief appearance in her cheeks.

Aidan had always had a soft spot for dimples in a pretty face.

He took her hand, but didn’t shake it. He only held it as he continued to stare at her until – she swore she felt it – her bones began to sizzle. “Welcome to Ardmore, Miss Murray, and to Gallagher’s. I’m Aidan, and this is my place. Tim, give the lady your seat. Where are your manners?”

“Oh, no, that’s-”

But Tim, a burly man with a mass of hair the color and texture of steel wool, slid off his stool. “Beg your pardon.” He shifted his gaze from the sports event on the television over the end of the bar and gave her a quick, charming wink.

“Unless you’d rather a table,” Aidan added as she continued to stand and look mildly distressed.

“No, no, this is fine. Thank you.” She climbed onto the stool, trying not to tense up as she became the center of attention.

My Score:

I love Nora Roberts’ books, and to make things sweeter, this is part of an Irish trilogy. Ireland is a place that calls to me like no other. I guess it must be my Irish heritage.

This is such a great series! I fully recommend it!

Irish Series

Jude goes to Ireland to get in touch with her roots, and to satisfy her restlessness back at home. She doesn’t expect to find the handsome Aidan Gallagher or a mysterious ghost in her cottage.

This is a lovely romance, rich with Irish culture and a touch of the paranormal. A perfect five hearts, in my opinion!

five hearts

And I’d say the same for the sequels as well! 😀

Irish Series-1


Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Event, Fantasy, Fiction, Reviews, Romance, Writing

A to Z Challenge: Face the Fire by Nora Roberts

As you know, I’m putting myself to the A to Z Challenge for blogging for the month of April.


For these posts, I’ll be giving an I Love Romance Blog score, not an official review, for books currently on my shelf at home (I know readers must wonder what books inspires us as authors) or ones that are on my TBR list (what I want to read so bad I can’t stand it!). For each book, I will give the blurb, a few lines from the text, then why I liked the book or why I’d want to read it. And for fun, I’ll give a heart rating! ♥

This is my scoring system:

I hope these A to Z Challenge suggestions will help you find a new favorite author, or further cement your love for one, if that’s the case.

Let’s jump into our next book, shall we?

Face the Fire by Nora Roberts


Genre: Fantasy Romance


In the conclusion to her acclaimed Three Sisters Island trilogy, #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts masterfully evokes the quaint charm of New England, weaving a spellbinding tale of true love—and sheer magic…

Mia Devlin knows what it’s like to love with your whole heart—and then watch your love walk away. Years ago, she and Sam Logan shared an incredible bond built on passion, legend, and fate. But then one day he fled Three Sisters Island, leaving her lost in memories of the magic they shared—and determined to live on her own…

As the new owner of the island’s only hotel, Sam has returned to Three Sisters with hopes of winning back Mia’s affections. He is puzzled when she greets him with icy indifference—for the chemistry between them is still sizzling and true. Angry, hurt, and deeply confused, Mia refuses to admit that a desire for Sam still burns in her heart. But she’ll need his help—and his powers—to face her greatest, most terrifying challenge. And as the deadline for breaking a centuries-old curse draws near, they must take the first step toward destiny—and come together to turn back the dark…

Don’t miss the other books in the #1 New York Times bestselling Three Sisters Island trilogy…
Dance Upon the Air
Heaven and Earth

A few choice lines from the book:
From across the street, he studied Café Book. He should have known Mia would have taken what had been a neglected building and turned it into something lovely, elegant, and productive. The front window held a display of books and potted spring flowers scattered around a lawn chair. Two of her deepest loves, he mused. Books and flowers. She’d used them both in a way that suggested it was time to take a break from the yard work, sit down and enjoy the fruits of the labor with a ride in a story. He stood where he was, hands in his pockets, until he realized he was procrastinating. There was little more turbulent than Mia Devlin in full temper. He expected her to lash out at him in blistering fury the minute she laid eyes on him again. And who could blame her? Then again, he thought with a grin, there was little more arousing than Mia Devlin in full temper. It would be…entertaining to strike words with her again. Just as it would be satisfying to soothe that temper away.

He crossed the street and opened the door to Café Book. Lulu was behind the counter. He’d have recognized her anywhere. The tiny woman with a gnome’s face almost swallowed up by silver-framed glasses had, essentially, raised Mia.
Because Lulu was ringing up a customer’s purchases, he had a moment to look around the store. The ceiling was pricked with lights for a starry effect and made the prospect of browsing through books a festive one. A cozy seating area was arranged in front of a fireplace with a hearth, scrubbed and polished, used as a haven for more spring flowers.Glossy blue shelves held books—an impressive array, he reflected as he wandered through, and as eclectic as he would have expected of the proprietor. No one would ever accuse Mia of having a one-track mind. His lips quirked as he saw that other shelves held ritual candles, Tarot cards, runes, statues of faeries, wizards, dragons. An attractive arrangement of another of Mia’s interests, he thought. He’d have expected nothing else there, either. He plucked a tumbling stone of rose quartz from a bowl, rubbed it between his fingers for good luck. Though he knew better. Before he could replace it, he felt a blast of frigid air.

Smiling easily, he turned to face Lulu.

“Always knew you’d come back. Bad pennies always turn up.”

This was his first barrier, the dragon at the gate. “Hello, Lu.”

“Don’t you hello-Lu me, Sam Logan.” She sniffed, skimmed her gaze over him. Sniffed a second time. “You buying that or do I call the sheriff and have you hauled in for shoplifting?”

He laid the stone back in the bowl. “How is Zack?”

“Ask him yourself, I don’t have time to waste on you.” Though he had her by a foot in height, she stepped forward, jabbed her finger at him, and made him feel twelve years old again. “What the hell do you want?”

“To see home. To see Mia.”

“Why don’t you do everybody a favor and go back to where you’ve been gallivanting these past years? New York City, Paris, and oo-la-la. We’ve all done fine without you taking up space on the Sisters.”

“Apparently.” He gave the store another casual look. He wasn’t offended. A dragon, in his mind, was meant to be devoted to its princess.

In his memory, Lulu had always been up to the job. “Nice place. I hear the café’s particularly good. And that Zack’s new wife runs it.”

“Your hearing’s just fine. So listen up. Go on and get.”

Not offended, no, but his eyes turned edgy, the green in them deepening. “I came to see Mia.”

“She’s busy. I’ll tell her you stopped by.”

“No, you won’t,” he said quietly. “But she’ll know in any case.”

Even as he spoke, he heard the sound of heels on wood. It could have been a dozen women, descending the curving steps in high heels. But he knew. As his heart stumbled in his chest, he stepped around the bookshelves and saw her just as she made the last turn. And the look, that one look at her, sliced him into a thousand pieces.The princess, he thought, had become the queen.

My Score:

This novel is part of the Three Sisters Island Trilogy. It’s actually the third book in the series, and I have all of them on my shelf at home. I just adore Nora Roberts’ style. She tells it like it is, no holds barred.

Mia and Sam have a troubled romantic history, and when Sam returns to the island, they are both in for some big surprises. There is so much tension between these two, and the sparks literally fly. I love a good second chance romance. Add to that a trio of powerful witches, and you’ve named my weakness! I love witch stories. I would seriously recommend the whole series!

Threesisters island trilogy

I give this one five hearts, for creativity, lots of passion and heart-stopping supernatural danger to keep things really interesting. Grab a copy if you can! I doubt you’ll regret it! 🙂

five hearts


Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Event, Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Reviews, Romance, Writing

A Character Interview with Victor Titus from KINDRED SACRIFICE plus a conversation with author Eryn Black!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Ginger Ring’s character on November 17th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Eryn Black, the author of Kindred Sacrifice, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Victor Titus, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Eryn in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Victor!



Marie Lavender:  Hello, Eryn.  Please have a seat.

Character Victor Titus: Thank you for having me. Typically I try to avoid the public spotlight for obvious reasons, but I felt this was something I could sink my teeth into.

To begin with, I am Victor Titus, born 742 Bavaria, son of King Taviouse.

Marie:  It’s such a pleasure to have you here!

We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?

Victor: Yes.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Victor:  In this generation I am owner and CEO of The Bavarian Interests Trust Enterprise, or BITE as my friends and associates like to call it. Along with several charity foundations we are well invested in real estate, Investment banking, medical research and the relocation and protection of Vampires seeking a new life and identity.

My skills are not necessary as I have the assistance of my partner, Donovan Pastor who oversees much of the paper work while I smile, wave while avoiding pictures and conversations.

Marie:  I see.

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Victor:  My Brother Alexander and I were raised to ride and fight with the hopes that we would carry on for our father, a Warlord king.


When I ruled in his place, my brother was the politician who remained home with his questionable choice of a wife. It is just my brother and I now, and despite the bad blood between us, I remain here for him if he should ever call. Although there have been times where I have been tempted to hoist him in the air, impaled on a spear.

Marie:  (Clears her throat.) Well, all families have their issues…

Let’s try something else, shall we?

What did your childhood home look like?

Victor: A cold, dark castle in the Bavarian Mountains is not one I would call a home, but the fires were always lit to direct our father home from a hunt and our bellies were never empty.

Marie:  All right.

Do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

Victor:  Poetry, swords, whips and tanning the hide of an eager and bound submissive would best describe my off time. I have enjoyed planning and hosting an exclusive erotic costume ball for Club Odyssey for the last three years. There is much to be said for the free pleasure in sharing your sexual desires with others of a similar mind.

Kindred Sacrifice

Marie:  Ah. 

So…what is your greatest dream, Victor?

Victor:  She died long ago on our wedding night. I would not call myself broken, but there has been a part of me missing since that day. The opportunity to be reunited with a lost love in the great beyond is not something permitted for a vampire. The fallen souls of the good and innocent are out of our reach, but I still dream that one day I will find a way to be with my dear Sophia one day, but as my good friend Donovan tells me, “The universe is too vast and the undead life is too long not to believe in finding a second love.”

Marie:  A wise man, for sure!  😉

So, what kind of person do you wish you could be?  What is stopping you?

Victor:  Sophia was taken from me in an act of revenge. I have since strived to not only be the man that she saw in me, but also fight for and protect the interests of her mother that she left behind.

Marie:  That’s certainly admirable!

All right, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

Victor: Sophia was a young mortal virgin when I met her in my 1100th year and I have not loved another wholeheartedly since, but I feel that there is still a part of her somewhere in the world.

Marie:  And you’re probably right. I’m a sucker for true love, and I do believe in reincarnation…

So, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you, Victor?

Victor:  The night I held her dying in my arms was not only our wedding night, but also the night I was betrayed by my brother. Death and pain is linked with immortality as the passing of a century, but finding oneself alone in the world in one night leaves a person broken.

Marie:  Oh, no! How terrible! I’m so sorry for your loss. 😦

Let’s move on to something a bit lighter now, shall we?

[Victor nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Victor: To be king of my father’s land, and a warrior brave and true.

Marie:  All right.

So, tell us…who is your role model, Victor?

Victor:  An ancient by the name of Remus. He is my comrade, brother in arms and creator who turned me in the 8th century.

Marie:  Okay.

Let’s try something else. Well, you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Victor:  Deadly and gutless, Skeal is a vampire assassin who hides behind the power of his master. Willing to kill whom or whatever he is commanded to by his master has left a long list of names to avenge, but in killing the right hand man of one so powerful as his master Azazel, I am left to spare him and turn my back at every opportunity.

Marie:  How unfortunate!

Let me ask you a different question.

What is your deepest desire?

Victor:  To rediscover the thrill and excitement in life. I simply live an existence with no hope of anything new as I have lived it all.


Welsh actor Ioan Griffudd, Eryn’s muse for Victor

Marie:  Such cynicism. I hope you find what you’re looking for…

So, what is your greatest fear, Victor?

Victor:  To lose my heart to a frail mortal again.

Marie: I  can certainly understand that worry, but you know, we can’t truly feel until we truly love.

Well, we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Victor. It was so interesting getting to know you! 🙂

(Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Marie:  Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have author Eryn Black on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to meet you! Hello, Eryn!


Author Eryn Black:  Hello! Thank you for having me!

Marie:  My pleasure!

We just got to talk to the hero of your story, Victor. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about him?

Eryn: He was a complex creation. A broken man whose personal demons  left him with little hope of ever finding love again. Creating a visualization of his handsome face and dynamically perfect physique was a lot of fun. Despite a dark scar on one side of his face, to look at him is a sexual stimulation of any woman’s fantasy.

And it’s no wonder! (Fans herself.) Woo! Not to mention I have a weakness for those with fangs…well, the good ones, anyway.

So…what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Eryn:  Despite centuries of battle and blood-sucking, he has a good heart (that has been dead for 1,300 years) and ready to fight for those in need.

Marie:  That’s certainly admirable!

Now, let’s take the opposition on that. What, do you feel, are Victor’s greatest weaknesses?

Eryn:  Silver, sunlight, wooden stakes, crosses, holy water and dead blood can weaken or kill most vampires, but his greatest weakness is his need to love and protect his traitorous brother.

Marie:  Familial relations are often complicated.

So, let’s try something else.

What are some of his favorite foods?

Eryn:  Food is not deadly or impossible for a vampire to enjoy, but all vampires live off of the oxygen-filled blood of a living victim/donor, or a vampire filled from a fresh feeding. Victor lives from a liquid diet of blood or his favorite brandy or whiskey.

Marie:  I see.

What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Eryn:  Linked by a supernatural and celestial element, he is eternally connected to an ancient family line that will one day defeat the darkest evil.

Marie:  Fascinating!

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Eryn:  Handsome, brave and willing to sacrifice anything for the woman he loves, Victor is a woman’s dream hero. His story is one that you will want to enjoy while curled up in bed with a glass of your favorite wine and some luxurious chocolates.

Marie:  Yes to the chocolates, for sure!  And hopefully the dark variety…;)

So, now that we have a real taste of Victor, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Kindred Sacrifice?

Eryn: Born from a novella I wrote, The Perfect Bite, which was inspired from a Valentine’s erotic mask ball I attended years ago. After releasing The Perfect Bite, I felt that Anna and Victor deserved more of a story and that has turned into the beginning of a series that I have fallen in love with.

Marie:  Isn’t it interesting how the muse works?  🙂

Let’s try something else.

What is your writing style like, Eryn? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Eryn:  I love to organize my thoughts, but no matter how much time I spend sitting and outlining a story, the plot unfolds to me as I am driving. A note pad ready to take down notes or plan out my daily writing goal is always at my side, but once I have a visualization –normally inspired by music- I am ready to type away and see where the story takes me.

Marie:  Great!

Now, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Kindred Sacrifice or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Eryn:  Creating a new vampire/ werewolf universe has several challenges. Not only do I need to keep in mind the opinions of fans from this genre, I also need to define the rules of my monsters and stay true to them. History as well as my Christian and Jewish roots has had a dominating role in my life. Researching this project, I adopted several aspects of ancient worlds as well as the history of angels. This may be fiction, but I like the fantasy connection to men and women who lived.

When it comes to fantasy, you never want to deviate from your own rules or laws in your world. Readers are depending on you to introduce them to your world, whether it be supernatural in contemporary LA, California, or an unknown planet in another galaxy or dimension. And if you contradict yourself, you will not only confuse your readers, you might deprive them the pleasure of reading your story.

Marie:  All good points!

Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog!  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Kindred Sacrifice appears to be.

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Eryn Black, a very talented author! 🙂

Kindred Sacrifice

Here is the blurb for Kindred Sacrifice:

The creation of man was written in theology long ago, creating a structure of a world where men and women bathe in the sunlight and feast in all the glories of the world. But what of the fallen, those who have once lived above the world and now are left to exist in the darkness of night feeding off the blood of mortal life? Journey forth in legend and discover what became of the angels that defied the laws of Heaven.

Finding her way in a world she never truly belonged in, Anna is about to learn the truth about all the dark myths told to her as a child and find herself the heroine of her own horror story. Living alone in Southern California, she’s a modern girl who recently learned she has a healthy appetite for adventure, sex, and her new mysterious stranger, Victor, a 7th century Bavarian Prince turned vampire.

Mourning the loss of his fallen bride for the last two hundred years, he is a modern stud who has traded his warhorse and broadsword for a UV protected sports car and cell phone and is ready to take on steel and battle to protect Anna from the dark forces stalking her every move. This story contains erotic sexual fantasies and the ongoing war between angels, vampires, and werewolves.

**CONTENT WARNING: Contains adult language and sexual situations. This book is intended for adult audiences 18+ ONLY**

Eryn is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!

“Release her.” A familiar voice broke the spell and Anna turned her head to see Victor’s dark, dead stare. “She is not for you,” he threatened.

“I see no mark on her, brother,” Alex defended. “If you wish to have her, then here.” Pushing Anna at Victor, Alex dared him to do what he knew his brother would not in public.

“You forget your place, brother.” Victor pulled Anna out of Alex’s reach and leaned, threatening him eye to eye. “You are not in a position to threaten me. Whether or not I choose to take her, she is out of your reach, as you well know.” His upper lip curled up over his exposed fangs.

They were locked in engaging eyes, neither ready to break the stalemate. Safely detained by one strong arm, he kept Anna safe from Alex’s reach. She was his to protect from any immortal to claim, especially Alex, but he could not bring himself to claim her as his own. The feel of her quick shallow breaths pushing her breasts into his back was hammering a need into him, and Victor struggled to keep his focus away from his growing carnal needs.

“She is off limits to you, me and any other, hungry for a bite.” His eyes burned with fire and his voice dropped to a guttural vibration that shook the floor under them. “Heed my warning.”

No one in the club took notice of the exchange going on over the exotic Persian drums being played from a small stage and the bodies writhing on the dance floor, and Victor preferred it that way. This was their own personal battle and he did not wish to exhaust his power tonight by clearing the club of any remembrance of his presence. For now, he was focused on getting Anna to safety and as far away from him and his sexual desires as possible.

Smiling brightly up at Victor, Alex flicked his tongue out for a quick intentional prick and a wink.

“I wish nothing between us at this moment and no doubt you see in her what you always have in their kind.” Sucking the trickle of blood that had beaded on his tongue, Alex turned and reached over to a nearby chair, plucking up a black leather coat he had no doubt deposited when he approached Anna. “She is safe from me for now, brother.” Reaching out, he grabbed ahold of Anna’s right hand. Despite the tension in Victor’s arm separating the two of them, he did not stop Alex from kissing the back of Anna’s hand before he tossed his coat over his shoulder and strutted out of the club.

“Was any of that meant to make sense?” she whispered over Victor’s shoulder.

For the first time since arriving at the club Victor turned to look Anna in the eye. She was pure and sweet with a soft glow in her cheeks picked up by the soft lighting. Struggling to control his temper, Victor dropped his protective arm and instantly missed her warmth on his back. Her clothes were simple and comfortable, but fitting for her. Pulling the shoulders of her sweater from side to side, she dislodged the neckline of her sweater. Looking down, her jeans were black, but her heels were cute and stylish black with a red polka dot ribbon trimming the edge of her shoe that peaked out from under the cuff of her jeans.

“It would be logical if you knew my brother as I do.” Annoyance built as he watched her fidget again with her sweater. Was it his presence that made her act with insecurity or was the sweater too scratchy? Whatever the reason, he wanted to rip it from her body, but bit back his need with the reminder of the danger he would put her in should she cross over into his path.

“Brothers?” she asked, unaware that she had figured out their relation on her own less than a week ago. A twinge of guilt pricked at him for wiping away memories that were hers to keep, but he had to act for her own safety, which meant she had to forget that night.

“I am still not certain what just happened.” Again, she pulled at the neck of the sweater, forcing a strap of her practical tan bra to show. “I never freeze in my own shoes like that,” she defended herself, but Victor could see nothing but that annoying bra strap.

Looking down at her shoes once again, he smiled at the cuteness in her choice and appreciated that among all this erotic sin surrounding them, she still managed to look pure despite his familiarity with her body. Restraining himself was more of a torture to him than he had anticipated.

“You should have better judgment in the future in who you choose to converse with here,” he warned her and hated himself for the sternness in his voice, though he knew it served a purpose. “How is it you managed to gain admission here? This is a private club and I know you are not a member.”

Rolling her shoulders back defensively, he bit his tongue when the neckline of her sweater fell off one shoulder, looking like an ‘80s pop star minus the big hair and plastic jewelry. This was getting bad and he really needed to keep his focus off her clothes and off her body.

“It’s a free country,” she defended.

“But the club is not,” he retorted, stopping her silent. “You obviously came here with someone and I would suggest that whoever the lucky bastard is, keeps you on a shorter leash next time.” Jealousy was a foreign accent to his voice and he hated it, but he was finding it a natural response where she was concerned.

“Excuse me!” Her exposed shoulder was burning red to match the patches on her face. She had a temper on her that entertained Victor. “What is it to you who I choose to come here with? I am not your employee nor would I ever want to be. Our relationship goes no farther than my event and I understand that you are not affiliated with that branch of the company anyway.”

Unable to resist any longer, he ignored the shock on her face and straightened the neckline on her sweater, pulling it over her shoulder and guiding it to fall properly down her chest, closing in a “V” at the base of her cleavage. He could not avoid accidental brushes of the top of her breasts and Victor screamed at his inner anal-retentive self to keep his hands to himself. Victor was now sporting a raging erection and for a vampire, no mortal was safe when he was aroused.

Clearing his throat, he struggled to hold back his animalistic needs.

“You are wrong. There is nothing in my company that I do not have complete control of and your relations—no matter how professional—are included.” Dropping his hands from her, he shoved them into the pockets of his slacks. “You’d better remember that when we meet again. Donovan does nothing without checking with me first and I will know your goings on with this event of yours.” The music was building in the room and it had begun to be difficult to keep their conversation in soft tones.

Looking up into his eyes, she studied him closer than he was comfortable. His powers of manipulation were never foolproof and he recognized that knowing look in her eyes. Hoping she would write whatever clarification off as a dream, he took in two deep false breaths for her benefit. He did not wish to tempt disaster. Relaxing his shoulders, he tried a different approach.

“You are clearly not comfortable here. So would you like me to find whoever it was you arrived with and inform him that you are ready to leave?” Keeping his tone as kind and understanding as a man in his condition could accomplish, he was pleased to see that it worked and immediately he watched her relax in front of him. She stopped with the aggressive study on him and nervously backed away.

“No, thank you. She is looking for her friend who works here now to let her know that we can’t stay.”

Victor was happily surprised at her use of the word ‘she,’ having already come to the obvious conclusion of how she had come to be here.

“Well.” He cleared his throat, struggling to find the correct words. “If you can give me her description, I can have you on your way home in no time.”

“No thank you. I think it’s best if I stay here and wait.” Her eyes suddenly avoided contact and she started to shift her weight in her heels. Annoyance was building, knowing that she was so disconnected from him this night after what they had shared only a week ago, but he was the only one to blame.

“If you’re determined to play it safe, could I buy you a drink?” Victor knew that it would be in her best interest if he walked away now before he slaked his hunger for her body and her blood, but where she was concerned he was weak and could not so easily walk away. Biting her lower lip, she looked back and forth from the bar and the hallway she had seen Jen vanish through. “Please,” putting a hand to his chest, he gave her a half bow, “it would be my honor.”

The wheels in her head could have been heard a block away from how hard she was thinking over this. This was all too difficult and he had a solution to her reluctance, but he felt a twinge of guilt for already manipulating her recent memories. Luckily, just as he was able to turn away, her brown eyes met his and a nervous smile worked its way from her lips and up to her eyes.

“I think that would be okay,” she finally agreed. “But I won’t have to do anything if I stay, will I?” A crinkle in her brow betrayed her fears.

“No,” he happily responded with a chuckle. The novelty of her innocence had not worn off from the party and it made him smile involuntarily. “But if you should see something you like I would be happy to help you.” Victor knew that engaging with this woman again was not only against his plans, but also not the safest choice for her. She may look just like his beloved Sophia, but their personalities were worlds apart and he did not want to put her in the same danger that Sophia willingly followed him into.

Escorting her to the bar, Victor ordered red wine and Anna ordered white wine. There were other refreshments he preferred after going without for so many days, but this was take two in their introductions and no matter how desperately he wanted to taste her again he dared not risk the fallout. It was better to appear as civilized as possible. They took their glasses to a small bistro table with three chairs. After pulling Anna’s chair out for her he kicked the unused chair away from the table to avoid any interruptions and took his seat beside her.

“To the dark days that come. May they pass by as sweetly as the good.” He toasted, clinking his glass with hers before they both took a sip. It was a cheap wine and bitter to the taste. Victor appreciated fine wines and this was most definitely not one. Forcing down the bitter taste, he thought of how sweet and delicious she would taste in exchange. His days of forgoing nourishment out of sentimentality were catching up with him.

“Tell me,” he tried to distract his hunger with meaningless chitchat, “what is it you do with your time when you are not organizing charity events at someone else’s expense?” He knew that his question sounded a little harsh, but he was hungry.

Her mouth fell open in surprise and managed to not catch any flies before she closed it and thought of a reply. Stunned by his directness, she was not armed with a witty comeback that Victor had hoped for.

“I actually was released from my temp job last week and luckily have time on my hands to focus on this event with my full attention.”

“Fired? What for?” He was prying and he didn’t care; it kept his mouth off her neck.

“Yes, I was sick recently and missed too much work.” Pausing to think for a moment, she chewed her bottom lip and averted her eyes. “Maybe that wasn’t the best way to describe it, but that will not happen with this event. You should have no worries where I’m concerned.” Straightening in her chair and rolling back her shoulders, she took on her professional pose, but the snap of a cat-o-nine tails striking a woman’s back nearby distracted her. Each strike was a warm distraction that ran right to the heat between her legs. Failure or not, she didn’t care. So much of this place seemed like it had been plucked from the delete folder of her brain, but she suddenly didn’t care.

Looking over her shoulder at the musicians on the stage, she gasped when she saw the four bodies engaged in an erotic tangle of a dance. Their bodies were stripped naked and they moved with elegance, holding, stroking and grasping with each other as the music built. People sat around in overstuffed chairs watching. Some were plainly aroused from the sexual display and others were observers, like an art critique studying a piece for the first time. Across the floor sat a man in dark business dress. His hair was feathered; his collar unbuttoned and tie absent, like he had been engaging in his own carnal dance. Standing at his side was a woman dressed in a patent leather maid outfit, balancing on neck-breaking high heel boots with a heel so high she was balancing on her tip-toes like a ballet dancer. Bound in her clothing, Anna noticed a sensuality in the curves of the woman’s body.

Looking straightforward, the maid did not break her concentration, never focusing on anything particular in the room. Her hair was pulled tight and piled on top of her head and her makeup was perfect. The woman stood there at attention beside the man, with her arms bound behind her back, laced up in a shiny black patent leather sleeve. Instinctively, Anna thought of this as a window into punishment and degradation, but looking at the man’s face and how he looked up at her, Anna could only see a glow of love shared in their eyes. This all confused her.

“They make quite a pair.” Victor broke her concentration, and Anna quickly looked back at the erotic dancers, hoping he was not referring to the maid she had been watching. “At first glance most people would find the two of them as an abomination and perhaps declare them mentally disturbed, but I look around this room and see people finding peace with themselves being displayed in complete honesty.”

“That frightens me,” she defended.

“Look at her,” he instructed and Anna’s eyelids fluttered, fighting against her will to get a good long look. “Look at her face.” He moved his chair till he sat behind her, spreading his legs to fit her chair between them. Reaching up, he brushed a couple stray hairs off her neck. “Look at her neck and shoulders.” Running circles over her neck and trailing down to her shoulders, he could feel gooseflesh rise up under his touch and heard her breath catch. “She is perfectly relaxed and at peace.” He ran his finger down her arms and then along the underside till he lined the outside of her right breast. Anna did not move, completely entranced by his voice and what she saw.

Following his instructions with her eyes, she found his touch and draw from the woman all the sensations she felt, linking them together in that instant. Suddenly his voice and touch brought out the beauty in what the woman displayed in her costume and presence. Anna did not flinch when his fingers boldly touched her breasts and she was surprised to find that she longed for him to take a much bolder move on her body. Soon his words became a melodic background when she suddenly could not remove her eyes from the couple. Every glance they made to each other showed an exchange of love and passion. This was not just a display of dominance, but an interaction and display of love.

“What is she to him?” she asked, licking her dry lips and struggling to breathe under his touch. She watched as the man reached around the woman’s waist, pulling her down on his lap. He turned around, safely guiding her to assist where she needed balance with her arms still laced behind her back. She sat straight on his lap, not fighting or flinching and gave out one brief flicker of her lips when he leaned over to kiss the tops of her breasts.

“You mean, is she a plaything or employee?” he asked. His voice had dropped and was a deep guttural sound. Anna couldn’t manage a word, pressing her thighs together, focusing on trying to keep her sexual needs hidden. She could smell her own wet sex and fought to contain her own arousal. “They have been both, but now they are lovers. They own this place and are very good friends of mine.” His hand moved under her breast, sensually rubbing her upper rib cage, pulling her back in her chair. Warmth rushed under her skin from the erotic feeling of his possessive touch, knowing that any passerby could plainly see she was claimed. This was all moving so fast and she didn’t understand it all.

Anna looked over her shoulder, stretching her torso and opening herself up to more of his touch. “Do you mean you—” She felt a rise of jealousy and shame for her inability to compare to the sexual pair of lovers across the room with her meager experience.

“No!” He quickly pulled his arm back from her and Anna bit back a plea for him to return to her. “We are nothing more than friends.”

“Then do you have your own…plaything?” she asked with a broken brow.

“I did until recently, but I had to release her when I saw a beautiful woman enter a ballroom dressed like sin and still glowing from her own innocence.” Holding her focus with his eyes, he raised his hand to gently cradle the side of her face.

“Is your innocent seductress here now?” She hoped that she would not see a bondage slave of his own walk up.

“Yes.” Anna choked on her breath. “And she is sitting right in front of me.”

Shaking her head, she rubbed her cheek in his hand and was warmed by the friction of her warm cheek against his cold hand.

“I should not be doing this.” His protest was lost to her; she could no longer hear anything beyond her own heartbeat and felt only his touch. “You are not safe with me and if I were wise I would send you home now.”

“I don’t understand.” She purred into his palm and his body stiffened.

“I was there.” He struggled to confess, and Anna was even more confused. “At the masquerade last week. I was there and saw you.”

The confession was not what she had expected and Anna froze in her seat. Their eyes locked and fire passed between their stares, locking them in a sensual vortex. A knowing light sparked in her mind and she was hit with a flash of an erotic scene beyond anything she should be capable of imagining. Anna witnessed in an instant her humiliation of being abandoned at the bar by the man earlier and a half naked cheerleader. She watched herself getting washed away in a green wave of absinthe sinking down its sweet licorice taste and getting pulled out by this man. So much rushed through her head that she was growing dizzy and unable to tell if her vision was real or not until she felt the floor fall out from under her and a man embrace her in the most empowering, dominating sexual kiss she had ever known.

His burning stare overpowered her and Anna felt her body burn up in the rush of desire and need. Grabbing hold of the back of her chair, he picked it up with inhuman strength and tilted it to pour her into his lap. She was encased in two strong arms and before she could comprehend any protest, his lips claimed her. Attacking her with a kiss that left them both clinging and pulling at each other. They were an inferno that was soon to burn out of control. Writhing on his lap, she could feel his erection reaching for her.

“Please,” she moaned out of control and did not take notice to observe who had shifted their focus from the dance floor to the two of them. “Please,” she pleaded again and was answered by him standing with her secured in his arms. Anna did not understand what was happening and felt overwhelmed by it all. She could not tell what was real or fantasy, but she did not wish for any of it to end.

Pulling away from her, he looked dead into her eyes with warning.

“You will regret this,” he warned her. “And so will I,” he confessed.

“I don’t care,” she panted.

Ooh…very sexy! 😉

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About Eryn Black


A California girl to her core, Eryn was born in East L.A. and raised by her inspirational and talented mother in Sierra Madre, California (hidden above the rosy city of Pasadena). There she indulged herself in reading Anne of Green Gables, The Scarlet Pimpernel and Ivanhoe under the California sun, but she never had any interest in the romance genre beyond the classics. Then one long, lonely night a few years ago, she came across a friend’s discarded paperback romance and she has been hooked ever since. A lover of reading and a lover of… well… just a lover, Eryn has taken on this new adventure in her life putting pen to paper and digging deep to reveal all of the delightful and erotic stories that have tormented her dreams. Eryn hopes that you will enjoy reading her adventures as much as she has enjoyed writing them.

Eryn’s Books:

Kindred Sacrifice










And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Eryn Black, here are some of her author links:



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Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Victor Titus, the male main character of Kindred Sacrifice, and Eryn Black, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so much fun to have you here! 🙂



Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Contemporary, Erotica, Event, Fantasy, Fiction, Interview, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Romance, Uncategorized, Writing


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