Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Why I Decided to Combine Historical and Fantasy

I decided to combine historical and fantasy because I love both of the genres. I love the pageantry of history and the opportunity to write scenarios that fall within the era: arranged marriages, alpha heroes, damsels in distress (even though my damsels usually do their own rescuing), court intrigue, etc. And I love fantasy, and the opportunity to create a magical world that alters the boundaries of the historical backdrop.

And the ability to add magic to my romance inspires my imagination.

I’d like to share an excerpt from book one of THE ELVEN LORDS series, THE FIRE LORD’S LOVER, to show how the historical, fantasy and romantic elements combine for me. In the scene, Lady Cassandra Bridges has just completed the ceremony for her arranged marriage to Dominic Raikes, the elven lord’s half-breed son. Trained as an assassin to murder his father, Cass has no intention of even liking her husband, and is shocked by the way she reacts to his kiss, which is also reflected in the magical ring Dominic gifts her with.

Cass now stood facing her… new husband. She

supposed she’d have to get used to that idea. Although

she didn’t think she could ever get used to the coldness

of his beautiful eyes. She’d hoped she could use

the general to gather information about the elven, but

right now he did not look like a man who could be

used. Indeed, when his eyes met hers for a moment,

a shiver of dread went through her.

The few times she’d visited him, he had treated

her with a disinterest bordering on contempt. She’d

foolishly thought that when she became his wife that

might change, but it appeared the ceremony affected

him not at all. Faith, how would she manage to share

his bed tonight? Best not to think of that.

She blanched as her new husband slid a ring on

her finger. A band of gold with a rose carved atop it.

But the rose looked so real, the edges of the petals

as delicate as the true flower. Cass couldn’t resist the

impulse to bring it closer to her face, then nearly

jumped when the petals curled closed, changing the

carving to a tight bud.

He’d given her a ring crafted with elven magic.

Her eyes flew up to his in alarm.

General Raikes lowered his head. “It won’t harm

you,” he muttered, a note of exasperation in his

velvety voice. And then he lowered his head and

kissed her, signaling an end to the ceremony.

Cass’s heart flipped over. She stood quite frozen,

unsure of what had come over her. The general

had done nothing more than press his lips to hers.

And her entire body had shivered. From that one

dispassionate touch.

As the onlookers broke into polite applause,

Mor’ded leaned close to his son and said, “Surely the

champion can do better than that.”

She watched her husband glance at his father. Saw

his face harden with challenge. Then the general

wrapped his arms around her and roughly pulled her

against his chest, and Cass could only pray.

Her new husband kissed her again. But this time he

kissed her like Thomas had, bending her backward in

his arms, moving his mouth over hers as if he sought

to eat her alive. But the experience was totally unlike

the one she’d shared with Thomas.

The world seemed to fall away. Cass became aware

of nothing and no one but the man holding her in his

arms. The heat of his mouth, the fire that ran through

her body, the sheer exhilaration of the taste of him.

Her senses heightened. She felt her breasts tighten

and strain toward him. Felt a wetness between her

legs that frightened and excited her all at the same

time. His tongue pressed against her lips, and lacking

any experience of what to do, she opened her mouth

and he invaded it, stroking and tasting until she just

forgot to breathe.

Her new husband abruptly let her go and set her

away from him. Cass swayed. The applause in the

room had risen in volume, and she blushed again to

realize she’d behaved in such a manner in front of

an archbishop, half the country, and in the house of

the Lord, no less. She couldn’t account for what had

come over her.

General Raikes gave his father a heated look. “Will

that do?”

Mor’ded chuckled.

When Dominic took her hand and led her back

down the nave, Cass could do nothing but weakly

follow. But she noticed the rose in her ring had come

unfurled, spreading out into a glorious open blossom.

With the opportunity to work with so many elements that I love, it was natural for me to combine history with fantasy and romance. And I think what it comes down to for the writer is to write what you love because it will be reflected in every line of the story and will truly become the book of your heart.

All My Magical Best,


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