October 23rd, 2010
Book of the Day: Witch Heart

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

The winner of yesterday book–an autographed copy of JEWELED is Addie A., who said, “I’ve not read much historical fiction, but I have read a boatload of sci fi/fantasy. One series that encompasses both that I really love is George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire; although I’m still waiting for the fifth book to come out (over a year late), the HBO series based on it will be here next year.” I love that series, too, Addie! Congrats and please email me at anyabast@gmail.com

JEWELED isn’t out officially yet, but B&N is shipping it already. So if you want an early copy, you can get one there.

With the immense powers of an earth witch, Claire isn’t destined to be a demon’s handmaiden. Yet this has been her fate since she was six, when her warlock mother brought her to Eudae. Now as an adult, she’s about to discover her true power—and how far others are willing to go to take it away…

As part of a mission with the Coven, Adam Tyrell rescues Claire from her enslavement—and finds himself immediately taken with the beautiful witch. But this charming playboy soon learns that it’s easier to steal Claire from demons than win her heart, for her life as a servant has ravaged her spirit. But with Adam determined to protect her from the warlocks who want to harness her magick for evil, Claire’s resistance starts to give way—and they find themselves in the heat of danger, surrendering to the lure of their deepest desires…

Adam let his gaze trace the curve of her cheek. She was brave. Pretty too, in an unconventional way. She wore no makeup to speak of and, by the looks of her creamy, clear complexion, probably never had. Her dark hair hung to her narrow shoulders in a tangle of natural curl. Her face was heart-shaped, chin coming to a sharp little point. A long–nearly too long for attractiveness–nose sat atop a nicely shaped mouth, bottom lip much fuller than the top.

He noticed women. All the time.

Even when he’d been deeply and insanely in love with his wife, he’d noticed them. He’d never been unfaithful in his life, but no woman escaped his eye. Claire was very attractive in a pixie-like way. She was small, which made him instantly want to protect her.

His stomach tightened. He wondered what she’d had to endure in her life. It couldn’t have been easy to survive as the only elemental witch on Eudae.

Her eyes popped open to find his in the rearview mirror. Their gazes caught, locked. Adam almost fell into the power of her blue eyes. Oh, there was a lot to this woman…much more than he’d seen so far.

“They’re near,” she whispered. Her voice in the quiet sent a shiver up his spine.

Theo straightened and Adam snapped to attention, glimpsing the slow moving headlights of a car on the road behind them, just barely visible through the foliage.

“Fuck,” he murmured. They were trolling for them. The demons knew they’d gone to ground. The car rolled slowly past them and he let out the breath of air he’d been holding.

Then the car stopped.

Claire turned in her seat to watch through the leaves. They could see nothing but swatches of light, but the low idle of the SUV’s engine reached their ears.

The vehicle backed up a little and stopped on the road parallel to their position.

“Out,” said Theo in his low, gravelly voice. “We need to get out now.”

He was right, there was nowhere for Adam to move the car. He’d gone all in for this poker game, tried for a bluff. Apparently he’d lost. “Yeah.”

Quietly, they opened the doors and slid out. Claire grabbed their sword sheaths and handed them over to Adam and Theo once they were clear of the car. Behind them, the SUV’s engine stopped.

Leaves and dead plant matter crunching under their feet, they made their way into the darkening gloom. The chill in the air kissed their skin and showed their breath white in the early spring air.

More footsteps on the winter dead Wisconsin ground. Demon footsteps. Growing nearer and nearer.

Motionless, they watched through the brush as the demons approached the car. One had his hand on the trunk. The other one, the tall blond one, was nearing the driver’s side.

Adam stood and shot a fire bolt in the direction of the car’s gas tank. It hit in a white hot explosion. Thomas’s ninety thousand dollar car blew up, the demons along with it.

“Oh, Houses,” Claire breathed, shooting up to stand beside him.

He didn’t know what houses had to do with anything.

Theo’s lips curved in a rare smile. “Nice shot. Don’t know how the bossman will feel about it, but nice shot all the same.”

“Thanks. Let’s just hope those bozos left the keys in the SUV. Otherwise, we’ve got a long walk.”

Theo’s grin deepened. “No. I can hot wire it.”

He cast him a sidelong look and mocked, “Why Theodosius Winters, I declare! You shock me!”

Apparently Theo’s short stint of verbosity had come to an end. He simply strode forward, toward the crispy demons.

Adam and Claire followed. They had to get out of here before the fire was noticed.

As they skirted the vehicle, Adam increased the heat of the fire. He wanted no trace of that car left to lead back to Thomas Monahan or the Coven.

“God, demon magick is putrid,” said Theo. “I had hoped to never again have that stink in my nose.”

“You’re not the only one,” Adam answered.

Theo raised his hand, also expending magick to clear a ring around the sedan with his earth abilities. It ensured the fire couldn’t jump to the nearby trees and bushes. True, this area had received a lot of moisture recently, but better safe than sorry.

The authorities would no doubt wonder about the strange ring, but humans were notorious for finding plausible answers for implausible occurrences.

The two demons had been thrown back in the explosion and now lay burned and smoking not far from the vehicle. Damn it. Adam had been sure they’d been mostly incinerated in the initial blast. One of the demon’s legs was on fire. Both lay at unnatural angles, eyes open.

Maybe this whole thing would be over before it had even begun and they could get back to the Coven. Although they needed to do something with the bodies. Humans found answers for the implausible, sure, but if they decided to do an autopsy on these guys…. There wasn’t any explaining away acidic blood.

“They’re not dead, Adam. Even though they look it,” said Claire. “They’ve gone into a type of coma that happens when their kind sustains a bad injury. They’re regenerating right now and they’ll probably recover.”

Adam stopped short, remembering Thomas and Isabelle telling him of the motorcycle crash that Isabelle had initiated in an attempt to kill the last Atrika. Erasmus Boyle had lain prone on the road for a time too–thought dead before he’d woken up and poofed Isabelle right out of Thomas’s arms.

“Really? Fuck.” He pushed a hand through his hair and tried to mask his disappointment. “That sucks. I guess thinking this could be over quick was too optimistic. The Terminator has nothing on these guys.”

Claire just frowned at him and he realized that pop culture references were a little lost on her.

He drew his sword from the sheath he carried. “Then let’s make sure we give them a wound they can’t recover from.” He grinned. “These fuckers might be immortal, but I want to see one try to re-grow its head. Theo, take Claire to the SUV. I’ll be right there.”

Theo guided Claire away and he turned toward the prone demons. This wouldn’t take long. Just a little chop here and one over there, heads would roll, and he would duck the spraying acidic blood. Then he would puke, and they could all go back to Chicago. It was a great plan.

Simple. Clean. Efficient. Perfect.

Sword grip clenched in his hand he approached the one whose leg was doing its best to burn to ash and tried not to gag from the stench of baked demon. Ironically, according Micah’s sources, they would love the aroma of cooking aeamon. Probably serve it up with chutney and a nice white wine.

He stood near Demon One’s head, feet spread, and readied his sword for a death blow. The thing’s blue eyes stared blankly up at him. He sure as fuck looked deceased. Adam raised his sword.

The thing blinked and his eyes focused on him. A hand snaked out and grabbed his leg.

Damn it! He’d betrayed a cardinal rule of horror movies and now he paid for it! Never go near the monster, even if it looked dead.

Adam is a bad boy. He’s got a trail of broken hearts behind him a mile long, drinks, has a biting wit, and jokes around with everyone. There’s little in Adam (though are hints) that he’s hiding a dark and painful secret, one that could keep him from finding true love. Along with a dark, brooding hero, this kind of wounded male character is my favorite to write. I like Adam’s complexity and find him fascinating. What are some of the qualities in a hero that you like best?

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

53 comments to “Book of the Day: Witch Heart”

  1. I like the qualities you have mention above very much! Another quality that I like is when the character is mysterious! When he reveals aspects of his character that you can’t imagine they exist!


  2. I like a strong, loyal, protective hero with a snarky sense of humor.


  3. For me the character needs to be mysterious. They need to have a sense of humor but at the same time makes it hard for people to get to know them and let them in.


  4. I enjoy characters like you said above as well. I also like them not to be to full of themselves but able to laugh and make jokes.


  5. I like my heroes to have a tough exterior. They never let anyone see the real them (except the heroine – eventually). I also like when a tough guy has one weakness. Usually it is a younger sibling or someone that he cannot live without. Those relationships allow the reader to get to know the real character under the facade.


  6. I like a hero who has a sense of humor and he has to be willing to do anything for the heroine.


  7. I like when the heroes are playing it tough on the outside, but they’re really so tough. Kind of like Wolverine or the vampire, Angel.

    Thanks for the chance!


  8. I like all of the qualities that you mentioned. I also like a man that knows his own mind, is loyal, and fights for what he knows is right and what he loves.


  9. I also like the kind of hero Adam is.

    I also like a hero that is really tough outside, but the author shows us a little vuneralbility in the beginning and as the story progresses, we see the heroine slowly getting inbetween the chinks to his soft inside….sigh!!!!

    Valerie
    in Germany


  10. I like when the hero thinks that he is all rough and tough only to find out that he is just a big softy when it comes to falling in love…

    :mrgreen:

    Thank you,
    Kelly


  11. I love all the things you have mentioned, but add strength and humor and I am a total goner.


  12. of course he has to be tall, dark and handsome but he also has to be compelling, intense and with have a take charge attitude that’s not pushy or annoying


  13. Great Question!
    I like it when the hero is tough, loyal, and his one weakness is the heroine and of course he has to have a sense of humor

    Thanks,
    Sandy B.


  14. I like heroes who are trustworthy, intelligent and says what he means.


  15. I like a hero to be tough but sensitive, loyal, funny and to trustworthy!


  16. Ever since I read Nancy Gideon’s Moonlight series, I love her character Max Savoie. He has a mysterious past with power that he trying to figure out. He’s dark and brooding. He has the weight of the world on his shoulder and he still tries to do the right thing. He is one character I wish he is real.


  17. Other than hotness? Hehe. I like a sarcastic sense of humor and an awareness of his own faults… and others! A hero who thinks he is just all that is so annoying. :mrgreen:


  18. Love a tough guy with a big heart… mix in a little bit of hot & sexy too! :wink:


  19. I like my heroes to be a bit flawed, either emotionally or physically. I also like heroes who are smarty-pants with a quick wit and humor.


  20. I like my heroes with heart and secrets :grin:


  21. I like all the things you mentioned. I like a hero to have a quirky and fun sense of humor.


  22. I liek when the hero has a tough outside and thatbad boy attitude where hes the boss and he makes sure eveyrone knows it i love when they r relatable and seem real i dont want a hero who is tough and then 2 chapters in hes a whiney baby i want one who is real with the emotional issues that cant be cleared up that soon in


  23. I love all of the qualities you mention, but I also like it when a hero can finally break down and confess his love to his lady! Nothing more romantic! That is why I looooooooooooved Aeric!


  24. I like it when they are multifaceted. When there is more than one side to them, that seems to conflict, but manage to co-exist. It makes them more realistic and relatable.


  25. Yes, strong, stands on his own, admits love to his woman…all good. The thing that I love in a hero is that he ends up realizing and admitting he needs others. I figure the story is a journey and all of the other things spring from the realization that he needs other people.


  26. I like my heroes to have a tough, almost bruising exterior, until you get to know them better and find that little crack right before the shell falls apart to reveal a caring, sensitive man who’s just been hurt too many times.


  27. Love heros who are tough and able to get things done but soft and tender with their sweetheart.


  28. I love alpha males that are willing to do anything for the ones they love even if that means going against everything that they are and ask for help if that is what it takes.


  29. Loyality, a sense of humor and compassion.


  30. A sense of humor is a must..loyalty,compassion,protective.A rough and tough exterior but a sensitive side as well.


  31. I love Alpha males – strong, confident, take-charge heroes!


  32. I like them dark and dangerous. I also like them to be strong enough to stand up to whatever headstrong stubborn woman my fave authors have matched them against…But under it all I want him to be soft enough to make me fall in love with him a little bit too.


  33. I love it when a hero comes off as the alpha male tough guy type to start with but then starts to show a softer side as the story goes and his character gets developed more. I also like the Indiana Jones kind of action book worm hero who cant think his way out of as many situations as he winds up fighting or “dumb lucking” his way out of.


  34. We all love our alpha males, don’t we! :mrgreen:
    My favorite is the bad boy who is protective of the heroine, esp if she is strong enough to stand on her own and drive him crazy at the same time…hehe.
    It doesn’t hurt it he learns to laugh at himself along the way, but sometimes that is asking too much.


  35. A sense of humor is a definite plus and sexy has all get out! In addtion, I think a man has to have a “code”, something that they live for and would die by. It could be as simple as “will break for animals” but it lends an air of chivalry and honor to a character-SEXY!


  36. A sense of humor is a definite plus and sexy as all get out! In addtion, I find when who have a “code” are some of my favorites–, something that they live for and would die by. It could be as simple as “will break for animals” but it lends an air of chivalry and honor to a character-SEXY!


  37. A sense of humor is a definite plus and sexy as all get out! I also find men who have a “code” are some of my favorites–, something that they live for and would die by. It could be as simple as “will break for animals” but it lends an air of chivalry and honor to a character-SEXY!


  38. I like heroes that are willing to sacrifice everything for the right reasons, a little unapproachable, mysterious, sarcastic and protective.


  39. I like my hero to be very masculine, have a soft spot when it is needed, and take charge whenever the need arises.


  40. My hero has to be smart, has sense of humor, strong, and caring :wink:


  41. For the most part I like Alpha heros. One’s that can take charge and take care of themselves and the heroine, even if the heroine doesn’t need it.


  42. My heroes need to be confident and strong, plus also have a hidden soft spot to show they are capable of love.


  43. I love heroes who are tough, but sweet to their heroine. Who are deep, loyal and protective. Sigh…. :wink:


  44. Above all else I love the idea that the hero is willing to fight to the death for his love!


  45. I love heros who are willing to admit that they love the heroine. There’s something very attractive to me about that kind of devotion.


  46. I like a strong alpha hero with a sense of humor. But that sense of humor takes a backseat when things get tough but never completely disappears. I like my hero to have hidden depths that just peak out from time to time and of course he has to be completely devoted to his lady love :grin:


  47. Anya – loved your book that I recently read – look forward to reading many more!


  48. I like them strong and tough, someone who is rough around the edges but shows softness with they find the woman they love. I like me a real bad boy!!!

    brandybooks@yahoo.com


  49. I love a combination of the rough and ready exterior, sense of humor, and soft marshmellow heart. Both hot and adorable!


  50. Reposting the last bit of my post of the day with one really important edit. I meant to say “can” rather than “cant”.

    I also like the Indiana Jones kind of action book worm hero who can think his way out of as many situations as he winds up fighting or “dumb lucking” his way out of.


  51. I love the bad boys. They may be bad but they always have a code that keeps them good on the inside. :) I love it when they are strong and tough but also loving and tender when their woman or women :wink: are involved.

    Kelly
    kittykelly28 at hotmail.com


  52. I love it when the hero’s strong, but sensitive, protective, but totally lets the heroine stand on her own two feet (there to support her), loyal, and sarcastic without being too mean. Gotta love the quips/sarcasm. :)


  53. I love their tough alpha exteriors that hide the loving and sometimes damaged interiors.