Thursday, February 25, 2010

Guest Blogger: Arianna Skye

Welcome to our Guest Blogger Arianna (one of my February co-new release authors from Eternal Press)! Take a gander at her great post and then see how you can win a copy of her book!

Arianna...take it away...

I Might Not Write Historical Romance Anymore…

But I’ve noticed I tend to incorporate a lot of historical facts in my books. As many of you may or may not know, I started my writing career with a Regency-Set historical. A Most Unlikely Match (Which started out as Lord Andrew’s Match) has done pretty well on the contest circuit, winning and placing in several contests. However, as I continued writing this project I noticed my characters were no longer speaking to me. Other characters were talking, and much to my chagrin, they weren’t historical characters. Faeries, demons and angels oh my! What was going on?

With reluctance, I shoved poor Lord Andrew—erm—Lord Traeton and Miss Rebecca Ashton under the bed (Probably because after 65,000 words, I still could not get them in the bed. Perhaps when the faeries and demons bid their adieus I will return to dust them off. So now, I’m writing more contemporary pieces. My first published work, Wings of Desire, is a fun and flirty romp into a magical world of Faeries. However, despite the fantastic element, the heroine, an earthbound faerie princess has a sarcastic snark that just doesn’t work in a historical piece. Matter of fact, most my voice lately has a contemporary snark to it. Also, durning my new writing ventures, I’ve discovered I’m rather addicted to pop culture. Pop culture and historical romance do not mix!

But then I noticed something. This story may have a contemporary setting, but it still includes bits and pieces of history in it. Take this scene, for example (One of my favorites, I’ll add):

Cerne appeared in the doorway, dimples furrowing deep in his cheeks. “I’m thirsty for you, Rhiannon. There’s so much I want to show you … teach you.”

Rolling her eyes, she dragged out two glasses from the top cupboard and sat them on the counter with an unceremonious clank. She traced her finger along the wine rack and perused her meager selection.

“Well, I hate to let you down, but I’m not on tap tonight. You’ll have to settle for wine instead.”

Aha! She’d found the perfect choice. Rhiannon pulled out the bottle of Arbor Mist Blackberry Merlot and poured two tall glasses. She didn’t need to impress anyone. After all, he was imaginary, right?

“Okay.” she thrust the glass into Cerne’s hand. “Let’s go in here.” She led him through the tiny dining area, past the hallway to the living room. Noticing the breeze whipping the drapes, Rhiannon shut the large bay windows and drew the curtains closed.

“Have a seat.” Rhiannon pointed toward the couch sitting directly across from the window. She sipped her wine and waited for Cerne to sit.

Cerne roved around the room, examining her furnishings. He traced a finger along the burgundy end table and picked up the ceramic unicorn she’d painted in eighth grade. “Unicorns, although beautiful to look at, are rather vile beasts.” He set the figurine back down and took a seat. “Comfortable, but not as much as the palace.”

“So you’re telling me you’ve seen a unicorn?” Rhiannon fumbled with her cell phone and sat on the opposite end of the sofa.

“I’ve seen a few.” He continued to peruse the living room. “How did you happen upon such a lovely home?”

“My parents left it to me when they died.”

Cerne turned to face her, his jade eyes glowing even in the dimness of the room. “Your parents are still alive.”

“Okay, that does it. I’ve had enough of this baloney.” He has his nerve! Rhiannon dug into her pocket and grabbed her phone. She flipped the earpiece up and prepared to dial 9-1-1.

Cerne plucked the phone from her hand. “My ten minutes are not up yet.” He flipped it shut and placed it on the back of the couch.

“Fine.” The sooner he finished, the sooner she could call 9-1-1 and have herself committed. “Go ahead and talk.”
“I’ve come to retrieve you and bring you back.” Cerne took a sip of wine. He scrunched his nose and spat out the liquid. “Blech! What sort of vile concoction is this? I’ve tasted better swill from an ogre.”

“The best you can get for four dollars a bottle.” Rhiannon narrowed her eyes. “As you can see, I’m already home. So your job here is done.”

“This,” Cerne said, raising his arms and motioning around the room, “isn’t your home. The White Plains is your home.”

“White Plains? If you think I’m moving back to New York, you’re sorely mistaken.” Rhiannon wrinkled her nose. God, how she hated New York. The years she spent at school were horrid. She had very few friends. No one took her work seriously, and she felt like an outsider. Well, she’d shown those pompous assholes. She graduated magna cum laude from NYU, took the first awesome-paying job offer that came her way and promptly moved to Phoenix. Her parents had followed shortly after. Then theywere killed in a car accident. Hobart and Johnson was now her life, her dream. She’d finally found a way to put her artistic ability to good use, as one of their top-level graphic designers. New York was her past. Hobart and Johnson was her present and, hopefully, her future.

“No, the White Plains isn’t in New York, wherever that may be. It’s here.” Cerne opened his hand and produced a giant blue globe. His fingers danced across it, activating a soft glow. He held the sphere out to Rhiannon.

She hesitated, then took the warm object into her hand. Peering into the glassy ball, she watched the scene unfold. Faeries danced and floated around. Vibrant flowers of many colors sprinkled the valleys and white poppies dotted the plains. Bright rays of sunshine mingled with fluffy white clouds across the sky. Never had she witnessed a more beautiful place. Not even the butterfly exhibit at the Desert Botanical Gardens could compare to the magnificence displayed in the glowing orb.

Cerne reached for the globe and clasped it in his hand. It shrank to the size of a small marble, and he placed it in the pocket of his strange pants.

“Wow, that’s awesome. I want one. Where’d you get it? Faeries ‘R’ Us?”

“They aren’t found on Earth.” Cerne huffed. “Only in the White Plains, in the Land of Fey—your true home.” He grabbed Rhiannon by the shoulders. “You’re Princess Rhiannon Nightwind, and it’s time for you to return. Your mother needs you—your people need you.”

This guy is nuts. “Let go of me. I’m calling the cops. I’ve had enough time to decide—you’re the one who’s crazy.” She fought against his hold and punched his chest.

“You’re Princess of the White Faerie folk.” His jade eyes searched hers. “Just hear me out.”

“Why do you keep saying I’m a faerie?” Rhiannon burst out in peals of laughter. “Okay, I get it. I’m on Candid Camera and it’s all a big practical joke. Did Lara put you up to this?”

“It’s no joke, leannan. I’m your chosen consort and will be your lifemate. We are destined to be together, but you must return before Lilith and her minions take over.”

This man, despite his strange outfit, didn’t look one bit like a faerie. Heck, she didn’t look like one either. “If we’re faeries, where the hell are our wings?”

Cerne pointed toward the seat. “Sit down. I still have five minutes left to explain. Faeries are not born with wings. We gain our wings when we are joined by faerie magic. The royal faerie joining occurs at Beltane— May First on the human calendar. Please just sit and read.” He pulled out a folded piece of crinkled paper and placed it in her hand.

With a reluctant breath, she took it and sat back down. Perusing the yellowed, faded parchment, she recognized the weird language she was strangely becoming accustomed to.

My Dearest Daughter Rhiannon,

If you are reading this, then we have found you. It is of utmost importance
that you return to your people. My health is fading fast. Without a queen, the
kingdom will be thrown into chaos and the Dark Faeries will take over. Death
and destruction will ensue. Without you, The White Plains is in danger. Please
return home.

Your loving mother always, Titania

Rhiannon laughed harder. Did he truly expect her to buy into this ridiculous story? “Queen Titania? Can you get any more cliché? I suppose King Oberon is her husband?” She handed the fake letter back to Cerne, if that was even his real name.

His green eyes lit up. “You’ve heard of them?”

Rhiannon rolled her eyes. “Who hasn’t? William Shakespeare immortalized them. But why I’m explaining this to you is beyond me.”

Cerne grinned. “Oh, that’s right. Mr. Shakespeare caught Queen Titania and Prince Oberon on their honeymoon. He was one of the most influential humans the White Faerie folk have known. A wonderful person, or so I’ve been told.”

“Okay, where are the hidden cameras? This is getting old really fast.” Rhiannon tapped her foot. “I know you expect me to believe you because you’re some super-hot sex-god, but I think you’d better go—before I call the police.” Reaching across the sofa, she grabbed her cell phone.

Cerne caught her hand in his and gave her a heated gaze. “I didn’t want to resort to this,” he said, his voice thick and heady. “But I’ve run out of options.” He pulled her against his hard-muscled body. With his thumb and forefinger, he lifted her chin.

I chalked this up to a coincidence. I mean, Rhiannon’s parents are two of the major players in William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream, right? How could I not mention him? Then there’s the Demons. I started writing a snark-fest of a humorous paranormal romance (Which will be released by Sourcebooks in 2011 under the pen name Sidney Ayers). The heroine is a half-succubus hairstylist. There was no way history will be an element in this book. (or so I thought.) I failed to realize that my hero is a five hundred year old demon. Lots of history there, I assure you. Unfortunately, I’m still finalizing the details of that book, so I don’t have a history laden excerpt to show you. If you’d like more information about this book, there is a short excerpt on the Sidney Ayers website.

To celebrate my newfound embracement of historical tidbits in my novels, I’ve decided to give away an eBook copy of Wings of Desire to one lucky commenter.

If you don’t win and still want to read the book, you can purchase the eBook copy at the Eternal Press, or the print copy at Amazon.



Maggie Dove said...

Congratulations on your release, Arianna. It sounds like a wonderful read.


Arianna Skye said...

Thanks Maggie! Remember my earlier post about lettters? There it is. LOL

Andrea I said...

Congratulations on the release. It sounds like a fascinating book.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful excert, Arianna. You're writing has a delightful flow. Wishing you every success with you career at Sourcebooks and great sales with Wings of Desire.

Anne Marsh said...

I loved the excerpt-- and congratulations on the release! I've been following the RWA contest circuit, rooting for this book and looking forward to the day when it was released (hopefully, that doesn't count as stalking!)

Arianna Skye said...

Anne, that kind of stalking is very much welcome. LOL.

Mary, thanks so much! I really appreciate all your support and encouragement.


Arianna Skye said...

Andrea, thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed what you read. :-)

SiNn said...

sorry im so late this book sounds awesome deff be adding it to my wish list ty for telling us more about your work your a new to me author so ill deff be looking in to you more

Arianna Skye said...

Andrea, you won the free copy of Wings of Desire. Congrats!!


Arianna Skye said...

Sinn, better late than never. This is actually my first published novel, so I'm new to everyone. LOL.

If you're interested, I do have a free read on my website. It's a short story, but it highlights my bizarre sense of humor (Wing of Desire isn't quite so irreverent, though). Feel free to check it out. There's a link to it on my website: http//