Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Bite Of... The Sorcerer's Spell

This week it is my pleasure to welcome Dani Kristoff with A Bite Of... The Sorcerer's Spell

Can you, in less than five words describe your book?
Very sexy, body-swapping paranormal romance.

Who is your favourite character?
My favourite character would be Rolf as he’s a sexy, mysterious werewolf who finds it hard to say no.

What inspired you to write it?
 That would be a Valerie Parv romance writing class. The idea popped into my head about a woman dreaming of her dead husband and then waking up in bed with another man while being thoroughly rogered.

And here's the excerpt.

It seemed to Annwyn as she tossed and turned that the dream was becoming more and more real. The texture of fantasy and patched-together moments, which had been the flavour of her previous dreams, was absent. This one was more coherent and directed. Thomas’s hands were running up her thighs, cupping her buttocks, moving her sinuously up against his body. There was a scent, so male, surrounding her. She responded to it instinctively, groaning her pleasure. As her arousal grew to a peak and her breathing grew hoarse she could hear Thomas calling her, calling her name and asking to be let in. She began to respond, seeking him in her dream. ‘Thomas?’

Then his presence grew, strong, spicy and overpowering. ‘Annwyn?’ Was that his voice? It didn’t sound familiar.

She could not conjure the image of his face, though his presence was there in her mind. Why was he hiding from her? ‘Thomas? Is that you? Why can’t I see you?’

The voice echoed again, loudly in her mind. ‘Listen, Annwyn, you need to let me in. Let me in. Then you can see me, see all of me again. Let me in. Say you will let me in.’ Again his voice sounded strange to her ears. It had an urgent, pleading note that she had never heard before. Thomas had always spoken to her gently, caressingly.

His hands on her skin distracted her. He was slipping inside, hot and eager. God, she thought, this is intense. She let out a moan. Her dreams had never felt so alive, so real. She was moving with him as he pushed inside her then eased away, only to thrust harder. She found it hard to concentrate. It had been so long since she had been intimate with anyone. ‘Let you in?’ she panted, feeling her body press against the mattress with the weight of her phantom lover. ‘Where? Let you in where?’

His kisses were hard and urgent, kindling a fire deep within her belly. ‘Let me into you. It’s the only way we can be together again.’

Annwyn thought he was already inside her. How much deeper could he go? But he needed her, needed her to open to him on every level.

In the haze of her dream she caved in, surrendered so deeply as she reached out to him that her body shook from the force of it. ‘Come to me. Come in to me.’

The face materialised as the haze of dream lifted, the smile vicious and victorious. In her confusion, Annwyn did not realise until it was too late that it was a woman’s face, with piercing green eyes, alive with a power she could not fathom. It was not Thomas at all.

Annwyn was ripped away. Her consciousness spun into darkness, all the while the man in her dream was making love to her, thrusting into her as her body responded.

Annwyn was tied to this action, linked inexorably to each thrust, each caress, each tantalising kiss. It was as if she was caught and held by a spell and there was no way she could break out of it. Her body was owned by that man, that touch. She had no will to stop him. She was being taken high in the sky where the clouds flowed and drifted, leaving her with barely a sense of the world she inhabited.

For what seemed like a long time she floated, tumbling free with no bed, no room, no house around her. Burning in her ears, stomach heaving, and skin screaming, the sensations overwhelmed her. The only constant was those large strong hands, lifting her hips, angling them for the next thrust, hot mouth on her throat, biting without wounding.

Down, down to earth Annwyn plunged. She cried out with the force of the movement, the abrupt arrival. The crease of the sheets stuck into her back. An orange-tinged hue haloed the bed and beyond light and dark waltzed in the corner of the room.

Screwing her eyes shut, she avoided looking. There was something very wrong in what was happening to her. This was not Thomas’s body on her, in her. She jerked once, sucking in a breath. Then, opening her eyes, she screamed. Screamed like the devil.

‘What the—’ said a deep voice beside her. She heard him but kept on screaming. He disengaged from her, moved away from her yet remained on the bed. The mattress shifted beneath her as the springs adjusted to the change in weight. She screamed again.

‘Stop that,’ the man said, without a hint of sympathy. ‘You knew the consequences of your actions. You knew where this would lead. You will lift the curse now.’

He grabbed her foot. Annwyn kicked out at him, then curled her body into a ball. Through her light blonde hair, she scanned the room. The sound of paws scratching on wood drew her attention to dogs entering from further down the hall to pace around the bed. Some of them moved to huddle together in the corner. All with yellow eyes, watching her. Maybe not dogs. They were too large for dogs.

A sob escaped her, a terrified, visceral sob. Then her eyes flicked from one shadow to another. She could not look at the man sitting next to her on the bed. Her gaze leapt to the wall-sized mirror and to the image there. On a king-size bed, with pure white sheets sagging to the ground on one side, was the man, a sheen of sweat glistening between the shoulder blades and down the vee of his spine, his chest rising and falling noticeably after his exertions. Tall, with short-cut blond hair and wide shoulders tapering to a shapely behind, he sat staring at a woman with light-brown skin.

Annwyn stared at the reflection of the woman huddled near the bed head. It was her, and it was the woman in her dream— she had the same green eyes.

Thank you so much for sharing today.
If you'd like to find out more about Dani's writing, or buy this book, check out the links below. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Good News Day

Welcome to this week's good news

brought to you this week by Cassandra L Shaw

Adina West is celebrating the digital release of the fourth episode of Covens Rising, the next title in her serialized Dark Child series on July 24th.

Links to retailers here:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Magic Thursday - A Ghost Story with Special Guest Alison Stuart + Giveaway!

It's my pleasure today to welcome the completely wonderful Alison Stuart to the Dark Side Down Under blog! Alison writes fabulous historical romances set during the 17th century, the Regency and the Great War, and she has also woven in ghosts and time traveling in some of her books :-)

Alison is here today to tell us about some ghostly encounters... 

Nothing like a good ghost story…

As far as I know, I have never actually seen a ghost but I’ve always had a fascination with ghost stories. This began with my mother’s tale of a ghostly encounter in a Youth Hostel in Wales. My mother is an extremely sensible woman and not one given to histrionics or flights of fancy. The story, as she tells it, is that she and a friend on a cycling tour of Wales in the early 1950s stayed the night in a converted castle that was now used as a Youth Hostel. She woke during the night to the sensation of a woman’s fingers brushing her cheek. She could clearly see a woman bending over her and as she watched the figure dissolved into the wall.
My own paranormal experiences have been far less impressive and really take the form of an emotional response to a place rather than ghostly figures. The most powerful occurred when I visited Warwick Castle in my early 20s (before it became the theme park it is today) and like all tourists went down to the cells below the castle. The feeling of misery was so overwhelming I felt as if I would suffocate. On subsequent visits to the castle nothing and nobody has been able to induce me to go down to those cells again.
In the course of my career I worked in at least two haunted buildings. Both of them were former nineteenth century mansions and both had been used by the Australian Army for many, many years. 

The first, “Netherby” in Queens Road Melbourne was the Headquarters of the 3rd Training Group during my time but had been, reputedly, used by ASIO in the 1950s. There were stories of soundproofed cellars and secret tunnels but no evidence has ever been found of either, even during Netherby’s more recent conversion to a wing of a grand hotel. Nothing untoward happened to me in all the years I worked at Netherby but I did start to pick up the stories of “Albert” reputedly the lonely ghost of a Rumanian spy. I collected quite a few eye witness reports on Albert and It started me on a quest to track down more ghost stories from Army establishments. I figured soldiers made fairly reliable witnesses. 

The other haunted mansion in Queens Road is Grosvenor which was Headquarters 4th Brigade when I first went there. Like Netherby it has long since been sold and is now a rather depressed facade to some particularly ghastly apartments. Grosvenor was far grander than Netherby and was reputedly haunted by “Esmerelda”, a young maid servant who had been found drowned in the swamp that is now Albert Park Lake. Esmerelda and I did have some firsthand contact and like Albert she is well chronicled.
You can find the stories of “Albert” and “Esmerelda” on my own blog (just click the hyperlink).
Over the years, wherever an opportunity has presented, I have gone on ghost tours some hokey and some downright spooky. You will have found me trailing lantern bearing guides in York, New Orleans, Edinburgh, Port Arthur (now there is a spooky place!), Sydney Quarantine Station to name a few. Even my own home town, the historical port of Williamstown, runs a ghost tour, although with a huge modern development going ahead which is ripping the heart out of the old town, I fear its days are numbered. Good one… planning authorities!
It was natural at some point in my writing career ghosts would creep in and you will find a couple of ghostly short stories in my collected short stories, TOWER OF TALES (Lost Souls and The Promise).  The unsettling antics of the ghosts in my World War One story, GATHER THE BONES are gleaned from the many stories I have gathered over the years. For example, the evil, ghostly hand clasping the wrist, comes from New Orleans and relates to the story of slaves waiting to be sold (New Orleans does a particularly scary line in ghosts – it was one ghost tour I was glad to do in daylight!). It was fun to write but a challenge to present my ghostly characters as credible.
I would love to hear about any ghostly encounters you may have had and there is an e-copy of TOWER OF TALES on offer for a randomly drawn commenter.


Alison on a ghost tour in Edinburgh

Alison Stuart is an award winning Australian writer of cross genre historical romances.  She is a digital first published author, whose 6th published book, LORD SOMERTON’S HEIR has just been released by Harlequin Australia. If your taste is for duelling cavaliers, wayward ghosts, time travel and murder mysteries – sometimes all in the same book – Alison’s stories are for you.
Alison is a lapsed lawyer who has worked in the military and fire service, with an obvious obsession for men in uniform, which may explain a predisposition to soldier heroes.  She lives in Williamstown with her own personal hero (and yes, he was wearing a uniform when they met!) and two cats and subsists on a diet of gin and tonic.

Alison can be found at her website, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

In the shadow of the Great War, grieving widow, Helen Morrow and her husband’s cousin, the wounded and reclusive Paul, are haunted not only by the horrors of the trenches but ghosts from another time and another conflict. 

 As the desperate voice of the young woman reaches out to them from the pages of a coded diary, Paul and Helen are bound together in their search for answers, not only to the old mystery but also the circumstances surrounding the death of Helen’s husband at Passchandaele in  1917.
As the two stories become entwined, Paul and Helen will not find peace until the mysteries are solved.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Good News Weeks

Welcome to this week's good news

brought to you this week by Cassandra L Shaw
Adina West is celebrating the July 17 digital release of the third episode of

Covens Rising, the next title in her serialized Dark Child series.

 Links to retailers here.

Christina Phillips has two of her books nominated in the Ellora's Cave Golden Ankh awards. Voting is open from now until 23rd July - please see details and link to vote below.

Twilight (other)
Bloodlust Denied by Christina Phillips
Tainted by Christina Phillips



 Ellora's Cave is introducing the Golden Ankh awards at this year's RomantiCon. Readers (and authors are readers too!) get to vote in categories for their favorite ebooks of the year.

Ebooks released July 2013 through June 2014 were eligible, and there are three to six nominations per category.

Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Saturday night at RomantiCon!

Voting for the Golden Ankh Awards is now LIVE.

Head over to Survey Monkey ( and vote for your favorite book in each category today! The survey will be live until July 23rd.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Enchanted Orb with Nicole Murphy

Writers find inspiration in the strangest and most interesting ways. Today we have multi-genre writing author, Nicole Murphy sharing with us the inspiration behind her latest flood of books.

Over to Nicole...

I’m in the middle of a busy twelve months. Four books coming out. FOUR! Since one of them is a collection of four novellas, that’s actually a total of seven stories. And while the novellas and the three other books are linked, they’re also all very different. So what’s my inspiration for them all?

Release is the title of the collection of paranormal erotic novellas. Not only is it a great name for a collection of erotica, it also in one word sums up the overarching story. Four spirits, trying to find release from the eternal punishment they’ve been given for their earthly sins. The idea to link them all together came during the writing process. The first novella was written a couple of years ago, and I was having problems selling it. Then came the idea for a second novella, that would also be about a spirit. From there, I developed all four spirits – the spirit of the house, the spirit of the beach, the spirit of the field and the spirit of the office – and started to write the other three stories. As they developed, it was the last story – the spirit of the office – that made me realise how linked the four stories were.

The final story is really different to the other three, in that this time it isn’t the spirit who needs to help and heal a woman, but the woman who needs to help and heal the spirit. I had to think about why the spirit was in this situation, who he was, and why it had to happen. From that came the link that I think took the collection from four erotica stories to something really open and honest and heartfelt.

The other three books are a science fiction romance trilogy, called the Jorda series. The inspiration for the first book, Loving the Prince, goes back 30 years. Yep, count em – thirty. I was in Year 9 at high school when I first conceived of Cassandra, her family, her love interest and her world. The inspiration – one Princess Leia Organa, from Star Wars. I wanted to write a kick-arse space princess too.

Cassandra’s changed a lot over the years, and so has the story. The big issue I had was finding the right story for her – I started and discarded a lot over the year. She started out almost Luke Skywalker-ish in her desire to dash in and have an adventure. She still has that tendency, but now it’s the aspect that gets her into trouble and it’s up to her lover, Kernan, to try and keep her chilled, before she destroys everything.

I’d always thought that Cassandra’s twin sister, Diana, would be the heroine of her own story, but the real moment Diana came to life was when I was at some markets at the end of last year, and someone was selling this beautiful hand-made jewelry. They’d learnt to smelt and mould silver and the works were unique and fascinating and it came to me – that’s what Diana needed. A passion that would drive her as much as Cassandra’s dedication to work and family drove her, and that passion would be jewelry making.

The third book in the trilogy will conclude the storyline begun in Cassandra’s book, and made horrible and heinous in Diana’s. It features a heroine that up until January 6 this year was never going to be the heroine of a book. But then I was talking to my publisher, and she said ‘You know whose book would be great? Plissa’s…’ and I said ‘Ooooh, interesting’ and my fate was sealed.

Plissa Waltric was supposed to be nothing but Cassandra’s nemesis. In fact, originally she was a he – Grant Waltric. Honestly I just changed the name, the ‘he’s to ‘she’s, polished a few things and Grant became Plissa. But my publisher was right – she was fascinating, and I loved the challenge of making someone like her, who comes across in the first book as just awful, as the heroine in a romance.

So that was my inspiration for the last book – the challenge of making it work. And it’s turning out to be a hard book to write, but an interesting one and I’m having a ball.

So there you have it – inspiration can come from all directions. It can come from your writing itself. It can come from your favourite movie. It can come from a visit to the markets (which also gives you the PERFECT excuse to go shopping often – it’s for research, darling) and it can come from a challenge. You never know when inspiration will strike, and that’s what makes this job so much fun!

Buy links – Release

Kobo | Kindle | iTunes

About the author: Nicole Murphy

Nicole Murphy is the author of the Dream of Asarlai trilogy, published by HarperCollins (re-launched as an electronic omnibus in April), and a couple dozen speculative fiction shorts. Her science fiction romance trilogy, the Jorda series, is being published by Escape Publishing. The first book, Loving the Prince, releases August 1. As Elizabeth Dunk she’s published contemporary romance with Escape Publishing and in July released a collection of paranormal erotic novellas, Release, also with Escape.

Find out more: website | Twitter | Facebook.

Note: Author pic credited to Cat Sparks.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Good News Day

Welcome to this week's good news

brought to you this week by Cassandra L Shaw

 Adina West is celebrating the July 10 digital release Covens Rising
the second episode of Covens Rising, the next title in her serialized Dark Child series.
You can find it here
Mel Teshco had Scratch published with Ellora's Cave
Scratch is a 22K Shape shifter Erotic novella.
You can find Scratch here

D.J. Michaels has Enforcer's Craving

released on 9th July with for Ellora’s Cave.
Dragon Alliance, Book One

Chelsea is kidnapped from her Melbourne home and taken to an alien planet to be sold at auction. Luckily, she a gets a last-minute reprieve and is rescued by Tarkan and Ari, two sexy male dragon riders. Tarkan and Ari have long resigned themselves to the fact that they will never have a woman of their own. But when Tarkan lays eyes on Chelsea he concocts a plan to ensure she not only commits to them, but will fight for their right to be together.

Chelsea has many challenges in her new world but her biggest and most immediate concern is finding her best friend. Alone and without support, she turns to the only two people who have offered to help.

If Chelsea accepts the bargain, the Enforcers will do whatever it takes to rescue her best friend. Chelsea is attracted to them, but can she risk herself and her heart with two men she barely knows?

A Romantica® futuristic ménage erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave can be found here.

Nicole Hurley-Moore has had Seizing Heaven a medieval novella released.

To celebrate it's release Nicole's also running a competition for a $20 Amazon Gift Card (5th-12th July).
you can check that out Here:

Does the Reynard family betrothal ring really have the ability to choose the true bride? Lord Savaric Reynard is about to find out.

Amazon link -
You can find Nicole here.

Magic Thursday with @melteshco Dipping my Toe Back into Self-Publishing

Although paranormal romance seems to be a genre that rode the gigantic wave before toppling over the other side (until the next wave) I still love reading and writing about shape shifters, vampires and werewolves (not to mention gargoyles, dragons and aliens…but they’re a whole other book.) 

My first attempt at a fully written, full length story, had so many edits, so many critiques, and so many near misses with publishers, it might well have gathered dust at the far back of my computer’s memory. But it won/finaled in some great comps and I knew I could save it with some TLC. So I dusted it off, reread it (again) with fresh eyes and made some much needed changes. Having a great CP was a godsend too =)

Now seven years or so later, Shadow Hunter is finally out there, self-published. I decided long ago I wouldn’t put all my eggs into one basket. I intend to build my self-published titles right alongside my traditionally published books. I have my rights back to three more titles, which I will release early September. One thing I love about self-publishing is the freedom to try different prices, creating different blurbs (until the right one resonates with the readers) and choosing your own cover. Also being able to see exactly how many sales are being made is pretty cool too.

In the meantime Shadow Hunter is my first ‘baby’ out there—well aside from another paranormal story I released as Identity Shift and which is now with Ellora’s Cave and retitled, Scratch. 

So if you enjoy paranormal stories set in Australia and featuring secret societies of vampires, werewolves (and their hybrids) as well as shape shifters, then this story might be your cup of tea =)


When Altair, king of the vampires, leaves behind his queen Kyra to become a despised vampire-werewolf hybrid, his shadow hunter wife becomes his biggest enemy.

But what Kyra doesn’t count on is the attraction still burning hot between them and on Altair’s final act of betrayal. To save her life, he forces her to drink his blood…and turns her into his own kind. A hated hybrid.
Shadow hunters now too become her enemy. But she soon learns Altair isn't the only man willing to protect her from her once vampire comrades.

When the time comes to choose between her two fierce protectors will she follow her head … or her heart?

Connect with Mel: 

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