Monday, October 11, 2010
Special Guest Cassie Ryan
This week I have a fantastic multi-published author visiting Happily Ever After Thoughts and she has agreed to give away a personally signed copy of her most recent book, so be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win! And don't forget to check out the excerpt below from Seducing the Succubus. You'll be very happy you did :-)
Alexis: Hi Cassie. Welcome to Happily Ever After Thoughts. Thank you so much for coming. Can you start by telling us what you like and don’t like about writing erotic romance?
Cassie: I absolutely love exploring the relationship between two characters and the blossoming romance and sexual relationship is all part of that. And I don’t have a problem writing hot, so that’s not an issue. I guess the only downside is that writing erotic romance is kind of the red-headed step child of the romance world and readers and even other writers sometimes mock my work as less-than-worthy. And let’s face it – no one wants their work to be belittled like that. I’m proud of what I write and I’m very glad so many readers enjoy reading it!
Alexis: You should be proud. You write great books! So what is your new release Seducing the Succubus about?
Cassie: Seducing the Succubus is about four succubi sisters in Hell’s Version of the Witness relocation program. There’s political intrigue among the supernaturals, there’s steamy heat and seduction, there’s action and even the beginning of the road to Armageddon :-)
Alexis: Okay, I’ll bite. What exactly is a succubus?
Cassie: A succubus is a creature who has to have sexual energy to survive. They prey on mortal men (and women) to tempt the mortal soul one way or another, which helps the humans shift their balance toward good or evil. There are varying myths out there about succubi and incubi—I took all those, layered in some of my own twists and my own brand of succubi were born!
Alexis: I'm guessing you couldn't exactly interview a succubi, so what kind of research did you do for this novel?
Cassie: I did a lot of mythology research on succubi/incubi, Lilith the succubus queen, Archangels and even some locales such as Greece. :-) I took all the facts and layered the supernatural over that to create the world in the series.
Alexis: This is quite a unique world. What prompted that first germ of an idea for you to write this story?
Cassie: I was actually watching a History Channel show on demons and they mentioned how Lilith was believed to be kicked out of the Garden of Eden along with Adam and Eve—and she’s often considered the first succubus. That made me wonder what it was like to be the “bad girl” from the beginning of time, and what kind of life she would end up leading for all of time. The world built itself out from there.
Alexis: I absolutely loved your last trio of erotic romances. How is this book different from that series?
Cassie: The Sisters of Darkness series is still very hot, but a little more mainstream than the Seduction Series. Also, this series is a bit more complex and fast paced than the last one. I had a lot of fun with my witches, and I’m having a great time with all the succubi as well!
Alexis: What are your favorite character traits of Jezebeth and Noah?
Cassie: I love that Jezebeth is both very secure in who she is, and just a little insecure—probably like most of us. She’s ancient and thinks she knows how the world works, but then Noah comes along and surprises her—which she thinks is a refreshing change. Noah is a writer, and sort of stumbled into the whole supernatural realm when he accidentally summoned Lilith. Now he’s escorting Jezebeth to pay the debt to Lilith. Even when confronted with tons of supernatural beasties and dangers, he’s still a writer and throughout the book finds himself wanting to take notes, interview the people he meets for future books and noodle over story ideas. I think there’s a little bit of every writer inside Noah, so I have a special soft spot for him.
Alexis: Hmm, I think I already have a soft spot for Noah, too. Obviously, there will be three more Succubus stories. When will the next one be out and what can we expect from Jez’s sisters?
Cassie: The Demon & The Succubus releases on April 5, 2011. In each book we’ll meet another of the sisters and the overall story arc will take us to Armageddon and beyond—with the existence of the human world at stake. :-) I hope everyone enjoys this journey through the world of the succubi!
Alexis: I know I can't wait! And if anyone has any doubts take a look at these reviews:
"Cassie Ryan's stories have it all: Smart heroines, sizzling heroes,
page-turning action, cool world-building, and best of all,near-volcanic
heat!"- Jennifer Ashley, USA Today bestselling author
"Very heart warming and entertaining. This is a great start to a new series!" Night Owl Reviews - Top Pick
"Seducing the Succubus is a promising new series with some heavy erotica overtones... If ultimate romance is your cup of tea, it will provide you with a terrific and sensual read." The Romance Studio
As Jezebeth glanced up and realized what Noah had suggested, she couldn’t help but giggle. A truck stop could very well be a Succubus Smorgasbord.
The sound of her amusement came out weaker than she’d like, but the fact that she still had enough energy to laugh gave her the freedom to wait and choose who she took sustenance from.
Noah had already made his disgust of her and her survival needs very clear back in the parking lot¾even though she could smell the musky scent of his arousal that wafted through the cab of the truck. Her skin ached with longing in response to the scent. It was too bad he felt that way because the glowing aura of nearly white energy that surrounded him like a pulsing mist looked as if it could totally heal her even with minimal contact like a deep kiss.
He was attracted, but also repulsed.
Interesting, but definitely irrelevant.
Jez had never been ashamed of what she was and what she had to do to survive. That would just be a waste of time since there was nothing she could do to change it. But for some reason, Noah’s distaste as he’d looked at the two men lying in the truck had stung. He’d risked his life to help her, and for that she found she wasn’t willing to broach the subject of taking Noah’s energy unless she was near death and didn’t have any other choice.
She was used to seeing men only as a means to an end¾survival. For the most part they were predictable, easy to manipulate and totally uninteresting. But so far Noah was a puzzle that intrigued her.
She mentally shrugged and concentrated on conserving her energy for the task ahead.
“What’s so funny?”
Even in the near darkness, she could make out his small scowl of confusion.
“You said the truck stop is a Succubus Smorgasbord if I’m willing. There’s no ‘willing’ to it. I’ll take whatever we can find at this point.” Her words were still weak, but she was glad to hear an underlying thread of strength that hadn’t been there before. Pure stubbornness might help her hold out long enough to find more energy.
When the next exit loomed, Noah took it and drove toward the large truck stop that sat on the side of the freeway--a halfway point between nowhere and nothing.
Jez tipped down the visor and checked her appearance in the tiny mirror. Dark circles rode under her hazel eyes, which looked too big for her pale face. She looked like she’d had a hard night of partying and hadn’t recovered yet.
A large sigh escaped. She’d been in worse forms and still found those willing to offer her their sustenance. She combed her fingers through her hair and used most of the rest of her energy to remove the blood from her arm and clothes until she slumped back against the seat, wishing she could just close her eyes and sleep.
Noah pulled around to the back parking lot and parked among the large semitrucks scattered in the extra-long parking spaces. He turned off the ignition and pulled out the keys before glancing toward Jezebeth. “So, how should we do this?”
“We?” She gave him her best sardonic smile. “You’ve already made it quite clear how you see my need for energy.” Her words came out more cutting than she’d intended, but she was surprised when Noah winced. But when she glanced again, his expression was haughty and unforgiving, convincing her she’d only imagined it.
“Yes, we. I promised I’d take care of you and get you back to Lilith safe and sound. You’re nearly out of energy, so the least I can do is help you . . . find some.”
Jez huffed out a breath of sarcastic amusement. “Don’t go all noble on me. I’m sure the night of hot sex with Lilith was well worth everything you’ll have to go through to pay for it.” She reached for the door handle. That was usually Lilith’s side of the equation, and got the succubus queen whatever she wanted in return.
“I didn’t have a night of hot sex with Lilith.” Noah’s words were defensive and low.
Jez popped open the door and glanced back at him. “Don’t worry, when Lilith gives her word or makes a deal, she keeps it. You’ll get your night when this is done.”
Noah frowned as he studied her. “Why would I want to be just another fuck among billions? This is my payment for not spending the night with Lilith.”
Jez frowned trying to understand the meaning behind his cryptic words. She was tempted to ask him for clarification, but she was already light-headed and needed to find energy fast. Besides, the distaste in his voice was obvious, and his words echoed through Jez’s mind like an accusation.
Why would I want to be just another fuck among billions?
She winced as anger burned through her. Who the hell was this guy to judge her and her kind? He was a mere human, and while his aura was distractingly clean and white, she was sure he hadn’t taken any vows of celibacy or morality. “Then you’ll be relieved to know that I’m a bit more discerning than my mistress. You’ll never get any type of offer from me.”
Noah snapped his mouth shut as if she’d surprised him, and she enjoyed a small surge of satisfaction as she slid out of the truck and closed the door behind her.
The cold night air hit her from all sides, stealing her breath and slowly leaching her low reserves of energy. She leaned heavily against the truck as she gathered her strength for the walk into the truck stop.
Noah cursed as he jogged around to her side. She thought she caught the words “stubborn fricking woman” within his mumbles as he stopped in front of her. “Let me help you get inside. You’re still weak.” He took her arm in his and pulled her close against his side.
His body was warm and firm, the muscles of his torso flexing against her as he moved.
Why would I want to be just another fuck among billions?
She stiffened and pulled away from him. “I’m fine. It’s time for me to go look for one billion and one, so if you’ll excuse me.”
Noah recoiled as if she’d slapped him, an expression of surprise flashing across his features.
“Miss? Do you need any help?”
Jez turned to find a tall, lanky man in his mid-forties wearing a thick flannel shirt, jeans, and boots approaching them, his keys jangled in his right hand. He had dark hair, piercing blue eyes, and a kind expression. But even more important, the hazy mist surrounding him was thick enough to call to her like a dark promise, and yet dark enough to show her that he might not take too much convincing to give her the sustenance she needed right here in the parking lot.
She didn’t look back at Noah, but instead willed her legs to hold her weight as she walked carefully forward toward the newcomer. “Actually, I could really use some help, if you don’t mind.” Jezebeth smiled up at him. “Maybe a ride?” She let her meaning show clearly in her gaze as it traveled down his body to center on the growing bulge just behind the fly of his jeans.
“Jezebeth . . .” Noah’s voice was a low warning behind her, and she ignored it, hoping he took the hint and shut up.
The man’s gaze flicked past her to Noah, and she could sense his primal protective instincts kicking into high gear. Humans were very territorial--especially about women. “Don’t worry about him,” she soothed the newcomer. “He just can’t accept that I’m not interested.”
Jezebeth could’ve sworn she felt a blast of cold air coming from Noah’s direction--an outward sign that her mark had hit home. But she knew that was only her own fancy at work. After all, he was only human.
The man held Noah’s angry gaze for a long moment before he said, “Of course, darlin’. My truck is right this way.”
“Actually, the lady is just fine.” Noah stepped forward placing his body between Jezebeth and the newcomer, wrapping a possessive arm around her waist.
Her mind sent a signal to her body to object and pull away, but her body refused to respond. Noah was warm and pulsing with energy, and before she could do anything further, he’d pulled her close, cupped her cheek in his large, warm hand and lowered his head to kiss her.
Alexis: Remember Cassie is giving away a signed copy of Seducing the Succubus to one lucky commenter, so be sure to leave a comment :-) And to find out more about Cassie and her many books, you can go to www.cassieryan.com