Please welcome one of my favorite erotica authors. Her characters, mermaid, vampire, witch and human struggle with the same things we do , love fiercely and are always super hot!
In every book I write, I explore the meaning of love, and how it’s expressed. That applies to my paranormal stories as well as my contemporary ones. When I started my writing career, I was told that readers absolutely didn’t want cross-genre fantasy/romance. Now it’s called paranormal romance, and it dominates the shelves, to the point my husband complains it’s hard to find a classic fantasy of the Piers Anthony or Raymond Feist vein.
Ah well. Be that as it may, the paranormal romance genre is just as capable of delving into the meaning of love as any other. Over the years, due to my passion for movies and books that explore love, there’ve been a lot of lines and scenes that resonated with me, moments that made me think: “Yes, that’s it.” I know you know what I mean. Here are a few examples…
I wished for you, too. That’s from the movie Practical Magic. Sally, who’s a witch, tells Gary, a Texas lawman, that he’s only come across the country to find her because she cast a spell when she was young, wishing for a man who couldn’t possibly exist, to avoid falling in love. She tells him he can’t stay with her, because he’d never know if it was because of the spell or not, even though she’s falling in love with him. As he walks away, digesting that, he turns and looks at her and says, “You know what? I wished for you, too.” And she starts to cry. Never fails to make me cry as well.
As you wish. Who can forget Wesley’s remarkable words in The Princess Bride? We all understood how significant those three words were. When he spoke them, they meant “Anything and everything, I will give all that I am to you. I love you.”
“It was not Truth. And I have come to Thee… Thou art my husband, and I am thy wife—helpmeet, with no rule but love between us.” - Flowers in the Storm by the incomparable Laura Kinsale, when Maddy, a strong young Quaker woman, commits herself to a powerful but troubled nobleman. Yeah, this is not a paranormal example, but the book was so darn perfect it was magical, so I’m including it (laughter).
I’d be terribly amiss if I didn’t mention JR Ward’s BDB series for a post on the meaning of love. Starting with Lover Awakened and going forward from there, I think she has done some incredible explorations of love among the difficult personalities of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And finally, I’ve been reading the Sharing Knife series by Lois McMaster Bujold, and the love story of Dag and Fawn is one of the best I’ve read in fantasy fiction. But then there’s Tiger and Del in Jennifer Roberson’s Sword Dancer series, Joscelin and Phedre of Kushiel’s Dart…etc. Okay, if I’m going to sneak in some quotes from my own books and not make this the longest blog ever, I better quit.
As I noted above, the exploration of love—the sacrifices, the vulnerabilities and the many unexpected treasures that come from loving someone—is a big focus of my work. Though I won’t reveal any spoilers, there’s an exchange I like very much in my upcoming May 2013 book Taken by a Vampire. In this snippet, Evan, my vampire, is being addressed by Niall, his Scottish servant of over three hundred years.
Reaching out, Niall touched his face, startling him with the gentle possessiveness and authority in the touch. “It’s not about wanting someone to love you the way you love them. It’s about knowing in your soul when they’re loving ye with all their ability to love and more, pushing themselves further than they thought they could go, whatever shape or form that is, and realizing what a gift that is. Though it’s a guid long life, it’s never long enough for any of us to refuse love when offered. Sic as ye gie, sic wull ye get.”
Then there’s love revealed by great sacrifice, in the midst of perilous times. This is from A Mermaid’s Kiss, when the mermaid Anna is trying to reclaim her Jonah’s soul from the Dark Ones (Jonah is an angel):
Ignoring the shuddering in her limbs, the throb of her broken arm, the fact that she could hear her organs pumping, desperately working as the weight grew upon them, Anna moved forward a step. Then another, struggling against that building energy, tears of effort mixing with the hemorrhaging to hold Jonah’s gaze.
His fingers tightened on the blade, the angel fire surging blue and strong along it, though laced with that terrible blackness. But then she was there before him, looking up into his face, so temptingly close. That firm, sensuous mouth and sloping cheekbones, the hair like silk fluttering around his face. Her arms felt too heavy to lift, but she lifted the unbroken one anyway.
Perhaps the world around them had burst into flame, for now, this close to him, she seemed to be surrounded by conflagration. There were no details beyond the two of them, two beings trapped in a cyclone of Hell. When she touched his skin, it was like poison, black death rushing through her skin and into her veins, making her jerk, her fingers clutch.
“You are death and destruction,” she said fiercely. “In order to bring mercy. To those who know only evil, you bring them oblivion. You keep things safe so that good can survive, so that evil can never fully take over. You protect me, and everyone like me.
“Put your hope and faith inside of my heart, and I’ll make sure it’s always there for you. After every fight it will be here, inside me, even if it’s just inside the memory of me.”
Yep, the two of them have a pretty intense relationship (lol). Now for a little bit lighter, this is a scene from Something About Witches, when the sorcerer Derek Stormwind remembers his first time with Ruby Divine, a witch he’s loved from the moment he met her:
In today’s modern world where the decision to have sex was treated as casually as the choice of candy in a vending machine, he’d been surprised and humbled to find she was still a virgin at twenty-two. When he realized that, he’d made sure it was special. He’d taken her to one of his favorite places, a small private cabin perched on a breathtaking overlook in the Smoky Mountains. The bedroom had a wall of windows to watch the sunset, and an oversized king bed that could accommodate his frame and give him plenty of room to show her all sorts of wonderful things. Maybe he did that; he couldn’t really remember that part. What he most remembered was how many wonderful things she showed him, things he hadn’t really ever felt for another human being before. He’d been in love here and there, but never this all-consuming need to bond he felt with her.
She’d been tense, anxious. But then he’d realized it was not because of the act, but because she was afraid she’d disappoint him. The absurdity of that had broken his heart wide-open.
He’d been gentle, patient, overwhelmed by her trust in him, the wonder in her eyes after the initial pain was out of the way. He’d told her beforehand he could keep her from feeling it, but she’d taken him to task.
“You’re just being silly, Derek Stormwind.” Those gray-green eyes glistened with passion and more poignant emotions at once. “It’s just a moment, but it’s a really important moment. I want to have it to hold, to remember. The pain as well as the good stuff.”
To have and to hold, until death do us part . . . He should have married her that very weekend. Marriage had never crossed his mind until he met her. Mainly because he had no idea how long he would live, and she was mortal. In all his centuries, he’d never aged past the appearance of a rugged forty-something. But looking down at her now, he knew, despite the craziness of the idea, he wanted to marry her. Hell, he’d probably known it then. He wanted that sacred bond, wanted to put a ring on her finger, give her another baby.
He did a Rejuvenation Ritual every hundred years, an essential step to keep his mind and heart from getting jaded, an unfortunate side effect of his kind of immortality. However, even with that, he’d never felt the urge to make that kind of commitment. He’d thought it was because it was unrealistic, unfair, whatever. But with Ruby, even when her bones were dust and the world had left her memory far behind, he wanted to be wearing the ring that said she’d been his wife. And he’d been her husband.
Maybe in terms of his life span, he’d have her for only a moment, but it was as she said. It’s a really important moment. I want to have it to hold, to remember. The pain as well as the good stuff. Because that was what made life so damn precious.
* * * * *
So…hmm. One more example, and it should be a hot one, right? I write erotic romance, after all, and I see no reason that such strong emotions can’t be combined with intense physical desire. In fact, the best sex is propelled by intense emotion. So I’m going to finish with a hotter excerpt exploring the meaning of love.
Lyssa and Jacob are one of my favorite paranormal couples. So much so, I’ve actually written three books with them as the protagonists in the nine-book Vampire Queen series. But this is from the first one, Vampire Queen’s Servant, and it’s about when Lyssa gives Jacob the second mark, which will allow her into his mind:
It had not been this way with her former servant, Thomas. Giving him the second mark had been quiet, almost gentle. She’d been amused by her monk’s scholarly attempts to mark every transition as she pushed through the shields of his mind. He’d acted almost as if he was going to prepare a paper on it for a science periodical.
This was pure possession. She obliterated Jacob’s shields, bludgeoned them into tiny pieces that became a part of the blood she took into her body. From here forward, she could plunge into this jungle whenever she chose to do so. She knew it would test her. His thoughts would make her feel things she’d never felt before.
She made it brutal. He was right. She reveled in the war between his desire to submit and his need to challenge her invasion. She felt his primitive urge to take back control by invading her mind as she was invading his. While she knew he couldn’t do that without her permission, she found she didn’t know where her mind ended and his began at the moment.
When she raised her head, he clamped his mouth over hers, sucking his blood off her lips, using his teeth to score her as she brought him to violent climax. His hot seed jetted over her wrist and arm, even the front of her shirt, the warmth contrasting with the cold shower of water.
She savored the insistent rock of his body against her as she drained him and he came to a jerky halt. Against her lips, he cursed her for not letting him fuck her. But even as he did so, his hands gentled and he raised his head to let his gaze sweep her face. There was a wonder there, a reverent awe mixed with an expression that made her feel he was seeing something in herself she’d never seen. Raising his thumb, he brushed blood off her lip and held it there. Slowly, she licked at his fingers with the tip of her tongue, feeling like she’d gone from raging lioness to wary kitten in a blink. These moments, which should be inequitable matches of physical prowess, kept ending up on a playing field where she wasn’t so certain she was the victor. Or if it was a playing field at all.
* * * * *
Hot and passionate, quiet and intense, soft and gentle, funny and joyous, angry or sad, disappointment and frustration… As we grow and evolve, our understanding of love deepens and expands. I’ve been married over 23 years, and I continue to learn things about love every day, so I’m never quite sure how people can say that loving the same person can get old. There’s a whole universe in each of us, and that’s a lot of territory to explore. Being bound together gives us the privilege and opportunity to take that journey into one another together.
USE THE RAFFLECOPTER FORM AND LEAVE A COMMENT telling us about the love scene or snippet from book or movie that exemplified the meaning of love to you, and one person will win the book-of-your-choice from my existing titles. Giveaway is open to all, including international. Thanks for coming to spend time with me on this lovely topic!
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