Welcome to the Weird, the Wild, & the Wicked for the Lovestruck Giveaway Hop. I think I get the every time I come up with a new story idea because there's a hero (and a heroine) who I love, and want to know more about, and ultimately, want to torture until they get their HEA. Authors are an odd breed because we LOVE our characters, but we push and torture and beat them up so by the time they get what they deserve, they've been put through the ringer. But we love them all the same.
Many of my heroes come to me in dreams and give me a whole backstory with which to work. Darius Winterbourne, the hero of The Beltane Witch, did that to me. He came with laughing eyes edged with crow's feet, great broad shoulders wide enough to carry a large sword, and an arrogant confidence which made me want to alternately smack him or snuggle with him. He also came with a recognizable face.
|Sean Bean as Boromir from LoTR|
Here's an excerpt of The Beltane Witch from Darius's POV.
Skating turned out to be a comedy of errors and Darius found it easiest to watch Sabrina and her children from the edges of the rink. He took pleasure in exchanging the hideous skates for his comfortable boots. Bloody awful things. Holly and Tansy were masters at the sport and Darius grudgingly admitted admiration for their coordination. Sabrina floated like an angel across the wooden floor and he caught himself gaping like a fool.
Sabrina’s mahogany brown hair waved behind her in a silken tail, a few wisps escaping the band holding it at the nape of her neck. He knew the softness of those tresses and his fingers ached to trail through them again. When had she become more beautiful than most of the Fae lasses with whom he’d dallied? She didn’t have their willowy physique, her beauty more grounded in an earthy solidity he preferred. He liked her strength and resourcefulness as well as her unwillingness to bow to every one of his wishes. She represented a challenge and it interested him far more than a biddable female.
Watching her laugh with her children struck a chord in his chest and he rubbed a hand over his heart with a groan. An odd mixture of yearning and hope bloomed inside, followed swiftly by fear and despair. When had he started wanting a family? Why did this little witch affect him so strongly? Her very humanity made it impossible for them to be together. He’d outlive her by centuries—he already had—and he had his duty to the Sidhe Summer Court. He couldn’t set it all aside for one human witch.
But the yearning refused to abate when Sabrina and her daughters rolled off the rink’s floor, laughing and chattering about how fast they could go. Sabrina’s eyes sparkled with love and joy for her children, and Darius wished she’d look at him with such emotions.
Like she did in my dream. He kept strong control over his wayward cock and hoped his expression remained relaxed and pleasant.
“Mom, can we get some hot cocoa and cinnamon buns afterwards?” Tansy looked up hopefully as she worked on removing her skates.
“I don’t know.”
“Pleeeese?” Holly piped up. She tried to jump up and down, but her skates shot her feet out from under her and she toppled backwards with a frightened squeak.
“Steady, Miss Holly.” Darius caught her and cradled her in his arms. A sudden protective instinct gripped him and he squeezed her gently. “It seems wiser to take your skates off first then you may jump.”
“Okay. Thank you.” Holly’s politeness always surprised him. He’d never encountered such good-natured children.
We were never so polite until after Father left.
The old anger tried to rise again, but he stuffed it away. Holly’s and Tansy’s father had run out on them as well and he’d be damned before he left them in the lurch.
What am I thinking? I won’t be here past Beltane. But he wanted to stay for more than just their mother’s hot body. He wanted to stay to teach them about… What? What do you know more than Courtly intrigue and manipulation? He shoved the snarky voice away. He wanted to stay with Sabrina and help her raise her children. He had no idea where the certainty came from, but it left a warm spot in his chest and he smiled as he helped Holly sit down. “Would you like some help with your laces?”
See? So strong, and yet so vulnerable and lovable. Sigh...
So, want to read more? Now you have the opportunity. I'm offering a $15 Amazon giftcard to one lucky commenter who answers this question: Which hero from which book got you smitten the first time, and why?
You must leave a valid email address or Twitter handle in your comments to be entered in the drawing. If you can't wait that long read more of the story, you can find The Beltane Witch at All Romance Ebooks, Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, and Kobo Books.
The giveaway runs from August 14 2013 to 11:59 pm August 20 2013 Pacific time. You must be 18 or older to win and the giveaway is open internationally. Please void where prohibited. I will announce the winner here on the blog after randomly choosing a comment. And don't forget to visit all the blogs on the linky list. Over 130 chances to win great goodies.
Good luck, thanks for stopping by, and happy reading! :)