I am thrilled to welcome Jennifer to my blog today - Jennifer is one of the very first US writer friends I made (many moons ago!) and we have stayed in contact since, which is great!
I love hearing what she is up to and following her continuing success, so please give her a warm (or hot!) welcome. Take it away, Jen!
"It's almost Halloween and the season is perfect for writing. I love to have the day to write when the rain pours from threatening clouds and the wind blows through trees making a soft, mysterious sound.
I always think of Mary Shelley's story of how "Frankenstein" was written one dismal summer when winter never went away. That classic was produced because of the menacing face of Mother Nature. And its gothic quality is evidence of the oppressive weather that gave rise to a monster.
Right now, the rain, the moon, the fog all help to inspire me in my current work in progress. Joshua Atticus Arundale, Earl of Arundale and absentee husband is a man at war with himself. When his emotions overwhelm him, when passion takes him, he becomes a beast, more wolf than man, more instinctual than intellectual. The two sides of him fight for dominance and the man wins through control and cunning.
Out of fear of the damage the darker side of himself could do, he ran from his home, his wife, his responsibilities, leaving wreckage of a different kind behind him. For ten years, he stayed away, isolated, arrogant and miserable. It isn't until his wife and home are threatened by a killer that he faces his own fears and comes home,
Arundale Hall is a crumbling Norman fortress, buttressed occasionally by rabid building by optimistic heirs. Ultimately, however, it's the fitting home of an agonized monster, complete with familial betrayal and mysterious murders.
The hardest thing for me to do in this story is stay in the gothic historical mode. It's so easy to slip into a lighter place, wanting to alleviate the dark angst that torments the main characters. The desire to push the romance forward, to make it all okay so the darkness backs away is so strong, I've found scenes popping up where they don't belong.
Joshua isn't finished yet, but I do have a new release coming soon from Liquid Silver Books called "Commanded To Mate". Speaking of "monsters", this story features an alien with four eyes and four arms with scales enough to scare anyone. And Sierra has to marry one of them.
Bound Among the Stars by Jennifer Leeland and Mima
In the future, a man’s name is still the key to freedom and a beast can still be set free by love.
Some things never change. Fairy tales reach forward into the stars with this duo of heroes trapped in desperate circumstances. Incredible sex isn’t a magical answer, and there aren’t any magic wands. It’s up to a brave princess and a sweet baker to discover happy endings must be earned.
“Commanded to Mate” by Jennifer Leeland
The proud lovely colonist is bound to marry an alien beast.
Terrified Sierra Pasquel agrees to an arranged marriage to the monstrous Dormrelian ambassador. To save her family and her colony, she’ll do whatever it takes, including a four-eyed, four-armed beast of an alien. Terek Majii is the holder of a centuries-old secret cursing his race. His people are on the edge of extinction and Sierra holds the key. As he teaches her about passion through touch, not sight, he prays he’ll be able to win her trust. Not because two colonies depend on them, but because his love for her is everything.
“Bitter Gold” by Mima
An innocent woman is bound to an alien slave.
Stillskin lives for the day he can rid himself of the slave clamp around his heart and leave this den of powerful addicts. Then his foul masters drag Liese to the enclave. The kind baker is the one spot of pleasure in his life, and he will risk much to help her.
He is the most exotic thing she’s ever seen, dark and stoic. If only there was a way she could help free him. When she is kidnapped and taken to the disgusting enclave, she believes it means her death. But Stillskin convinces her to fight back. Now two friends are trapped in a dire race for freedom.
I was lucky enough to do this anthology with Mima, (http://www.mimawithin.com/) one of the best erotic writers I know.
Be sure to check out some of my other books too at http://www.jenniferleeland.com/
Thank you, Rachel, for letting me guest blog!
One thing. Let me know what dark, gothic books are your favorite? Shelley's "Frankenstein"? Or "Jane Eyre"? Or something else?
I'm always looking for new gothic inspirations. Tell me your favorite!
These new stories sound amazing, Jen! Can't wait to read them - over to you for questions and comments, fair readers!!