October 27th, 2010
Book of the Day: Witch Blood

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.

The winner of yesterday’s book, an autographed copy of Wicked Enchantment, is Jen B., who said, “I want to trust and believe in people so I forgive a lot of stuff. BUT, once you’ve crossed that line with me, I am not forgiving. In my whole life, I’ve only ever allowed a couple of people back into my life after they have crossed that line. And, I don’t trust them or their actions.” Congrats! Please drop me an email within two weeks of this post date to collect your prize. anyabast(at)gmail.com


A water witch, Isabelle Novak has always led a chaotic, nomadic existence. But her life spins out of control when her sister—her only friend and emotional anchor—is killed by a demon. Driven by grief and a desire for revenge, she turns her back on the Coven and the rede they hold sacred: Harm thee none…

When Isabelle first encounters Thomas Monahan, she’s running on pure rage and sorrow, channeling her pain into power—and trying to freeze the life out of a warlock she holds responsible for her sister’s death. Together, they form an uneasy alliance to hunt and destroy a demon of tremendous power. As head of the Coven, earth witch Thomas must thwart Isabelle’s dark impulses, but his very presence stirs deeper desires she never knew she had…

How to Catch a Warlock 101. Isabelle could teach that class.

Club music thrummed through Isabelle’s body. Eyes closed, she swayed her hips, dancing more to the ebb and flow of the subtle emotions around her than to the beat. Intoxicated by the sea of euphoria and lust, she allowed the seductive, primal weave to free her for a few blessed moments.

The trap she’d set for the warlock also trapped her.

A man’s hands grasped her waist. A lean, muscular body pressed against hers from behind. She knew that touch, those hands and the subtle, woody scent of his expensive cologne. It was the warlock she hunted. The one who thought she was a woman just like any other. Her eyes came open, moment of serenity vanquished by his presence.

Anyone able to see her face would’ve glimpsed revulsion pass over her features before her lips curved in a coy smile. She snuggled back into Stefan Faucheux’s arms. He rocked her back and forth, changing the sway of her body to the beat of the music instead of the soft waves of emotion. Stefan had no empathy.

Somewhere nearby a camera flashed, then another. Paparazzi. The media fawned over Stefan, an ultra-rich playboy.

Any woman he dated was a source of particular interest. Isabelle had managed to stay on Stefan’s arm longer than most. She was the mysterious red-haired, green-eyed woman on whom no reporter could find much information. Isabelle had paid a lot of money to ensure that was so. She’d worked hard to make certain she interested Faucheux for a while too. A lot of planning had brought her to this night.

Of course, the photographers didn’t know she was a witch and Stefan a warlock. Those were secrets best kept from the non-magickal population. That was the only thing the Coven and the warlock-controlled Duskoff Cabal could agree on. The non-magickals greatly outnumbered the magickals and, historically, showed a lot of bloodthirstiness for those perceived to be different.

Stefan moved his body with hers in a teasing semblance of sex that made her stomach roil. Soon, this would all be over. That was the only positive about having to suffer his closeness.

Isabelle pasted a smile on her lips and closed her eyes again. She thought of deep, rushing streams furrowing their way through the earth, the recesses of the ocean, where the water lay still and silent, the gentle eddies and ripples at the edge of a lake. Her power rose in response to the mental stimulus, just a little. It bled off a bit her stress, blunted the sharp edge.

Stefan’s arms tightened around her and he nuzzled her throat. More cameras flashed. They’d be on the front page of every tabloid in the country by tomorrow. She’d probably be touted as pregnant and making plans for a wedding. The Lady only knew what stupidity they’d come up with.

And then the other story would break. The darker one. The far more violent one.

Soon, she assured herself. Tonight. Because she was not a woman like any other and today was no ordinary day. It was time Stefan Faucheux paid for his sins.

Emotion welled in her throat for a moment. She’d barely had time to grieve. These days she was running on rage, sorrow and little else.

Use it. Don’t let it use you.

Immediately, the sudden swell of vulnerability faded into cold resolve. It was a lesson she’d learned long ago and learned well.
She’d had lots of practice stuffing away her pain, transforming it into a far more effective force. Her emotion had become a well-honed weapon.

He leaned into her, spoke into her ear loud enough for her to hear over the pounding music. “Time to leave, ma cheri.

It was, indeed, time.

Anticipation coursed through her, leaving a tingle of sweetness that warmed her more surely than Stefan’s skill with fire could ever do. Stefan was a fire witch, one of the more powerful she’d encountered. Though he couldn’t claim the title witch anymore, not technically. He’d betrayed the Coven, broken the rede too many times to count. Now he was a lowdown, dirty warlock.

Her own ability resided in the realm of water. That meant she and Stefan were direct opposites magickically. It had complicated her plans somewhat. Normally fire and water had a natural repulsion, whereas fire and air had a built-in attraction. Isabelle had had to work double time to snare her quarry because of that, especially since she couldn’t hide her abilities from a warlock like Stefan. He had a nose like a bloodhound for different types of magick.

He took her hand and led her through the crowd toward the door. The photographers detached themselves from the partying throng and followed. She could see them scuttling like crabs out of the corner of her eye. Stefan’s bodyguards flanked them, not allowing anyone to get too close. Earth charms helped. He’d had several created that compelled people to keep their distance.

They made their way out of the club and the heavy doors closed behind them, not quite blocking the bass of the music within that seemingly made the entire club throb on its foundation. Early morning chill raised goose bumps on her bare arms and legs.

She took a moment to inhale the fresh, not quite clean, air of the city, ignoring the surprised whispers and gasps of those in line to enter the club.

“Come, darling,” Stefan said, placing a proprietary hand at the small of her back and guiding her toward the limo. “La limousine attend.

She flashed him a ditzy smile. “I love it when you speak French, Stefan. It’s so sexy.”

Stefan didn’t know it, but she understood every foreign word he spoke to impress her. She’d been a child of the world, growing up the temporary resident of many countries, and spoke both French and Italian fluently.

He stopped her in front of the limo, tucked her hair behind her ear and leaned in to whisper, “I will speak it to you until the sun comes up, if you allow me, ma cheri.”

She moved her head and placed a lingering kiss to his neck. “Then send your bodyguards away.” Isabelle dragged his earlobe between her teeth and he responded with a shiver. Cameras flashed in abandon.

He spoke a few words to the warlock muscle near him while the driver opened the door for her and ushered her within. Regulating her breath, as she always had to do when entering a small area, she climbed into the cool interior of the limo and sank down onto one of the leather seats. Isabelle had a moment of unease at the dark closing around like a velvet fist. Close spaces weren’t her thing.

Stefan sat down next to her. As soon as the door was closed, he was on her. But not coarsely, or clumsily. That was not Stefan. He was a perfect gentleman until he decided not to be.

He slid his hand to her waist, tilted her chin toward his face and pressed his lips to hers. Suave, undemanding, seductive. His fresh breath invaded her mouth as his tongue sought entry.

She suppressed a shudder and placed her hands on his broad shoulders, the fabric of his suit cool against her palms. She hesitated, unwilling to allow him a deeper kiss. He pressed the issue and she yielded, using every ounce of her willpower to not push him away.

Outwardly to the non-magickal world, Stefan was a benevolent social icon, known for his goodwill and his generosity. In reality, as head of the Duskoff Cabal, the violent little club warlocks kept, he pillaged and plundered his way through witches as though in his personal stockyard, slaughtering here and there when he felt like it.

Like any sociopath worth his salt, Stefan was a charming, handsome monster. The world should thank her for what she was about to do, even though she’d had to turn her back on the Coven Rede to accomplish it.

He leaned in toward her, burying his nose in the curve of her neck and sliding a hand past the hem of her short, black Versace. “We’re finally alone,” he whispered, “as you requested.” The car pulled forward, rocking her against his body.

She tilted his face to hers and kissed him, pressing herself into the curve of his body. She cupped his groin through his black pants and felt his hardness. “So we are.”

“Then why so shy? Tonight you will not escape me, Isabelle,” he breathed against her skin with his smooth French accent.

Part of her plan had been to tease him sexually. It had been a little like taunting a starving tiger with a slab of meat, but she’d been successful. It had hooked him, made him want her more…and allowed her limited intimate contact with him. A definite plus.

She raised an eyebrow. “I think it’s you who won’t escape me, Stefan.” If only he knew. She unbuttoned his pants. “Take them off.”

He grasped the hem of her skirt. “You first,” he purred.

“Noooo, you,” she shot back coyly.

He shook his head. “Take off your dress for me, Isabelle.” His voice held a thread of steel and his eyes had a brutally cold glint in them.

Her sly, sexy smile faltered. Damn it! This was not going the way she’d envisioned it. In her head, she’d been fully clothed when she brought him down. Having no choice unless she wanted to raise suspicion, she allowed him to draw her dress over her head, leaving her in only a lacy red bra and panty set and her shoes.

“Mmm,” he murmured in appreciation right before he pressed his lips to the swell of her breast. Oh, yeech. Yeech, yeech, yeech!

She yanked him forward by the waistband of his pants and kissed him roughly, biting his lower lip hard. He jerked a little and she tasted blood. “Off now,” she commanded.

“I adore a woman who likes it a little rough.”

Then he’d love her.

He slipped his shoes and pants off. She glanced down and lifted a brow as if in sexual speculation. He gave her cocky smile, the smile of a man who’s sure he’s about to get laid. How wrong could he be? He was about to find out. She reached out and took him her hand.

And she squeezed. Hard.


So, we talked about heroes, now how about heroines? Isabella is a little chaotic and kind of kick ass, yet she has a thread of vulnerability apparent in her personality as well. I really enjoyed writing this character. Tell me a little about some of the qualities you like best in the heroines you read. One commentor will win an autographed copy of Witch Blood, but make sure to check back tomorrow to see if you’ve won!

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.

47 comments to “Book of the Day: Witch Blood”

  1. I heroines with grit. One that doesn’t fall apart at the first sign of trouble or distress. I have no time or patience for such people in real life and have found I don’t particularily enjoy reading about weak types either.


  2. I’d have to say Xena like.


  3. The main characteristic that I look for in a heroine is intelligence. I don’t want a TSTL heroine. Those are very annoying. I, also, want the heroine to be independent and able to look after herself.


  4. I like them to be confident, Funny, and outgoing.


  5. I look for characterisitics in a heroine that I have or wish I had in myself – guts in tough situations, intelligence, dry and witty sense of humor and the ablity to see humor and the light at the end of the tunnel. A real strong women with a kick ass attitude and love of family.


  6. I like heroines when they’re intelligent, have their own flaws, and have a sense of humor. But I can’t stand it when she’s a Mary Sue – absolutely perfect at everything.


  7. I like heroines feminine, intelligent and down-to-earth, and also selfconfident.


  8. I like the heroines to be independent, confident, have a sense of humor, and don’t let their man walk all over them.


  9. I like strong heroines, But they can be vulnerable too. As long as they are strong in the most critic situations everythings fine ;-)


  10. I like heroines that are intelligent, strong willed, but they can show a soft side too.


  11. I like smart, kick-ass heroines; can be sarcastic but not bitchy or whiny – that’s not likeable!


  12. I like it when the heroine is tough but still a little girly. Someone that I can relate to on some level. She has to have a sense of humor. I love it when the heroine is that type that will tell a person how it is no matter if it hurts their feelings or not.


  13. I like heroines who are tough and smart but not perfect. I like to see that they have made mistakes and learned from them.


  14. I like heroines that are smart, not just book smart but also street smart. I also like when they have a take charge attitude. There’s nothing worse then when the heroine is a push over


  15. I like heroines who kick-ass and have a sense of humor but are also make mistakes! Because let’s face it! Noone is perfect!


  16. I like it when our girl is compassionate, and yet she stands up for what she believes in, she can take care of herself without the help of her man, she has a great sense of humor, and she doesnt take crap from anyone!


  17. I love kickass and tough heroines who are vulnerable on the inside and has the ability to fall in love passionately.


  18. I like strong heroines. I don’t like it when they whine, even if it’s just to themselves. My favorite ones know that while their lives would be better with their hero in them, they can survive without him.


  19. I like a smart ass trickster heroine, one who’s got the blend of dry humor, a tough facade, and the knowledge to tell when she’s starting to hit her limit. I’ll put up with some whining, because people do that, especially if she’s the narrator of the series. But she’s got to be able to think on her feet and adapt to the situation.


  20. they have to be strong and confident, with a big heart and the abillity to rely on a man too…


  21. I have noticed alot more heroines in books lately. I like that!!

    They need to be strong, self-confident, intelligent, but they also need to show a soft side at times.


  22. I like the variety out there… qualities that make each one unique… see how she fits in with the hero and storyline… she can be strong and have a great sense of humor… she can be a nerdy woman with a passionate side…


  23. I like heroines who are intelligent, kick-ass, sassy but most of all, feminine.

    Valerie
    in Germany


  24. I love a independent kick-butt heroine as much as the next girl, but I admit to having a soft spot for the quiet ones. Maybe it’s because I’m so shy myself, but a woman who has trouble being outgoing and boisterous draws me in completely.


  25. I want her to stand up for herself. I hate selfishness in a heroine. But she has to definitely have a soft side too.


  26. i love the heroines who are quiet and meek on the outside but we learn different as she is tested and pushed outside her comfort zone we discover the power she always had inside.


  27. I like heroines that can take care of themselves, independent, loves men but doesn’t have to have one around.


  28. I like heroines the way you described Isabella: kick ass yet vulnerable. Perfect mix :-)


  29. The heroines I most enjoy reading about are ones who are confident/independent, but still have a vulnerable side to them. Intelligence is a must have – they don’t have to be totally brainy though.


  30. I like heroines to be brave, smart, have a sense of humor and hand handle a weapon, like a knife, sword, or bow and arrow.


  31. I like a heroine who is smart and can be snarky.She can take care of herself, but when needed isn’t ashamed to ask for help.


  32. I love a strong sassy heroine that kicks butt. I want a woman who doesn’t “need” a man but does want one to share the load and help steady her. A small dose of neurotic craziness to add some humor is never a bad thing either. One of my fave heroines is Shelly Laurenston’s crazy wolf dog Blayne.


  33. The heroines that I adore are the independent, self assured, a good sense of humor, believing in what their instincts and driven with purpose women! Handy with self defense, the women does not let on that secretely she wants a protector instead of always doing everything on their own.
    – Laura P.


  34. The first thing is intellegent. The second is sulf-sufficient. Then the list is really dependent on the story and the character. I mean some people need to be funny, some snarky, some somber. I just love it when an author creates a whole person with all of the puzzle pieces fitting together into a believable package!


  35. I like heroines who are intelligent, independent and know how to take care of themselves and handle most things that come her way.


  36. I like when the heroine is independent and can/does fight with her man (i.e. battle) instead of just staying home. I love it when the heroine is strong.


  37. I like different kinds of heroines. They can be any number of things; independent, fighters, caring, intelligent sarcastic and so on. But I think they need to have more than one side to their personality. That way they feel more like a real person.


  38. I like the tough and fiesty ones the best. I don’t like it when they whine all the time and can’t do anything for themselves. I was my chick strong but lovable. :)

    Kelly
    kittykelly28 at hotmail.com


  39. I love a heroine who is can be strong and tough and yet feminine depending on the situation. She is comfortable with herself and knows her strengths and weaknesses. A heroine who can be sexy and dangerous when needed to be.


  40. I like a heroine who knows what she wants, but is willing to look at things from other perspectives. One that can take care of herself and others, but will also let others take care of her. And mostly, one that believes in herself and doesn’t judge herself harshly.


  41. I love my heroines to be strong and able to take care of themselves but know when they need to ask for help.


  42. I love my heroines to be smart, sassy, sexy, and kick-ass. Hmmm…couldn’t think of another S. :)


  43. I like a strong, capable herione. But one who isn’t afraid to ask for help. Esp is she has a bastfriend or a sidekick (that why everyone has someone to relate to when reading the book. Yes, really get into my reading as escape from real world). Do not like the dumb ones! Not even as a sidekick (why would she be the bff?) Real women, real world!
    vickykerr@sbcglobal.net


  44. Hmm. Definitely intelligent, a little sarcastic, but with a soft, sweet, vulnerable side. I like heroines who become better when they fall in love with the right guy, who in turn becomes a better person for loving her. What can I say? I’m a romantic! I also like it when she has to overcome challenges, whether from her past, or having to do with the relationship that develops between her and the man. Confident and independent too; but it all depends on the story, what made her who she is now. What I don’t like is whiny, wimpy women who need a man to be complete. A woman who can’t stand on her own two feet is just annoying.


  45. I like all kinds of heroines as long as they aren’t ditzy or TSTL. I have no patience for them in real life and I don’t enjoy reading about them. My heroine doesn’t have to be perfect, strong, and self-confident, she just has to be realistic and reasonable.


  46. My favorite heroine is Sigorny Weaver in Alians. That pretty much sums it up.


  47. Intelligence, caring and full of passion. I want to know why she make the choices she does.