2024 covers

Welcome to the Dark Side!

We are writers mainly from Australia and New Zealand who write speculative fiction with romantic elements. Be it fantasy, paranormal, dark urban fantasy, futuristic and everything in between.

Saturday 28 September 2013

Enchanted Orb - Supernatural Secret Agents by C.T. Green

Inspiration from  paranormal romance author C.T. Green. Here's an insight into where C.T.'s stories come from and what she loves about them. Take it away, C.T.!

Supernatural Secret Agents by C.T. Green

What does Jason Bourne have to do with
paranormal creatures? Well, scenes from the movie trilogy inspired, The S.E.R.A. Files.

As with most of my work the first story in this anthology developed from a vision that popped into my head and I just knew it involved supernatural secret agents.

Picture this…A young woman sits at a table sipping a latte and watching a gorgeous guy walk past. Except my heroine, Callie, is an agent with The Supernatural Entity Recovery Agency and not just any agent, but a Fairy Godmother, tasked with handing out wishes and deporting paranormal creatures.

And the hot guy? An angel called Gabriel, on the loose and causing problems – mainly for Callie!

S.E.R.A. is a big place and it wasn’t long before more agents were lining up to tell me their stories. Each short piece had to have steamy sex and a happily ever after, but what’s a good love story without obstacles? The second work, ‘Handling Mercury’ promised lots of snags. 

In case you didn’t know mercury is the only metal that is liquid at room temperature and it’s not safe to touch. Mercury absorbs instantly into skin, it sticks to clothing and is absorbed by hair and nails, so you don't want to poke it with a finger or wipe it up with a cloth. Among the nasty things it can do to your internal organs you can end up with permanent neurological damage.

What would happen when a vampire called Mercury was about to become dangerously unstable—how would his Fairy Godmother partner, Elizabeth deal with the new side revealed by a seemingly harmless wish?

As I finished Handling Mercury other paranormal creatures emerged, all with fascinating tails…er tales. My next couple were werewolves; Navarre is the director of S.E.R.A. and determined not to fall in love again. I relished the challenge of changing his mind and writing about a paranormal creature I’d never worked with before and my first m/m. Absinthe was next and found herself caught between two sexy, irresistible men, one of whom she hates. Love triangle and a half? You bet! 

The final story is about Sin. The only male Fairy Godmother, who’s in deep trouble for his short temper. Jane is his polar opposite…how would these two ever get together? I loved how they resolved their differences and the embarrassing wish that led to their happily ever after. There are more stories to come from the S.E.R.A. Files, with Vol. II and III in the works. So I’d like to say thank you Mr Bourne and secret agents everywhere!

Angels are trouble. But a Fairy Godmother is The Law.
Can Callie find the courage to be the one to grant Gabriel’s deepest wish? What will happen when she finds out his secret?

Vampires go for the throat. But a Fairy Godmother aims lower....
Can Mercury and Elizabeth’s perfect partnership stay that way when a wish granting turns up the heat between them?

A lone wolf is about to find out old dogs can learn new tricks.
Navarre isn’t willing to take another chance on love. Can Tor convince the stubborn wolf that two is always better than one?
Two’s company, will three prove too much of a crowd?
Absinthe hates werewolves. Bryce loves Absinthe. But he also loves a werewolf. What will it take to turn hate into love?
A good SERA Agent knows there’s only one Sin that matters.
Jane must make sure Sin sticks to SERA’s rulebook. But what happens when these two opposites stare attraction in the face?
Available at Amazon

About C.T. Green

Before becoming a writer C.T. Green worked in advertising for ten years. She also completed a Bachelor of Arts with majors in communication and literature.

C.T. Green now lives in regional Australia with her husband, children and extensive collection of animals - amongst which are the world's bossiest two goldfish.

In between writing, i.e. arguing with her characters and occasionally posting to her blog, she reads, drinks vanilla coffee, kid wrangles, enters writing contests and avoids the goldfish.

Thursday 26 September 2013

A Bite Of... The S.E.R.A Files

This fortnight I am pleased to present C. T. Green with A Bite Of... The S.E.R.A Files

Can you in less than five words describe your book?
Short, sexy happily ever afters!

What inspired you to write it?
I mentioned this in my Enchanted Orb post – as odd as it sounds Jason Bourne was part of the inspiration for The S.E.R.A. Files. I was captured by the idea of paranormal secret agents who deported supernatural creatures after granting them a wish.

Though, this doesn’t happen all the time… Some of the bad ones get their asses handed to them by S.E.R.A. agents who are teamed with a Fairy Godmother (who are more than capable of non-Disney violence too! : D ). Each story in this anthology is about these men and women finding love, sometimes in the most unexpected ways.
And here are the snippets!

Recovering Gabriel
Gabriel dragged her up against his broad chest, and Callie melted into him. She coated him like chocolate, unable to pull back from the sexy scent, hard muscles, and slow sway of his body.

She knew she shouldn’t be dancing with him. She should be focused on making sure she fulfilled Gabriel’s wish.
Handling Mercury
Elizabeth blinked. Most creatures asked for money, extended life expectancy, mercy. Watching a vampire feed wasn’t one she’d have picked. Any old vamp movie would provide a prime example without wasting a wish.

She turned to check out Mercury’s reaction.
He’s probably a wee bit pissed off.

Finding Navarre
 Dragging himself from the golden werewolf’s embrace, Navarre stood and stumbled backward. No way would he get attached to anyone ever again! He would not put himself through the grief of losing another mate.

Tasting Absinthe

 “Abs, have you had a stroke or something? You look like you’re trying to solve a complex algebra equation. Are you getting enough fiber in your diet?” Bryce’s wide-eyed enquiry almost fooled her before her brain caught up.

She threw him a flamethrower glare. “Are you inferring I’m constipated?”

Chasing Sin

The rich plum shade of his eyes, so much more fascinating in reality than the picture in his file, stunned her for a moment. His musky citrus cologne hit her nose like a sensually loaded freight train and her carefully planned speech vanished into incoherence.

 “Hello, I’m Jane Pilkins. I’m going to evaluate your performance.”

Thank you so much for sharing!
If you'd like to find out more, or buy the book check out the links below...

Magic Thursday...Genies & Djinn

Genies or Djinn...

When you hear those words, you could be imagining a few things... You might think of Disney's blue Genie from Aladdin, or perhaps, the lady actress with the very flat tummy from I dream of Jeannie. Or you might be like me and visualise the genie from Arnott's TimTam advert.

(Forget the Timtam's lady, take the genie!)

I am very happy to note that Genies and Djinn are beginning to crop up with greater frequency in paranormal fiction (yay!) but what is the difference the difference between Djinn and Genie? Is there a difference?

Why yes, there is... allow me to elaborate.


You may (or may not) be surprised to learn that the term Djinn (sometimes Jinn or Djinni) hails from Islam.
According to Verses in the Qur'an and the Hadiths (traditional collection of the actions and sayings of Muhammad the Prophet), the Djinn are a mythical race of creatures who roamed the earth before humanity began.

 In this tradition, it is stated that the djinn were created of fire without smoke, men were created of clay, and angels created from light. Additionally the djinn are not visible to humans, but may be perceived in the movement of air and the sensation of an electrical current.

The djinn are also shape shifters. According to Islamic belief, they may take on a human or animal form (cow, scorpion, bird). Interestingly, for those of you who read my Hell Hound post last year, the djinn may also choose to appear in the form of a black dog.

When in a corporeal form, the djinn is obviously forced to obey the laws of nature and physics,  it is therefore possible to destroy a djinn in a corporeal body, unlike when they are in their natural form and invisible.

Interestingly, within traditional beliefs, djinn are considered a complete race of beings, and may be found as male and female. They are able to procreate with one another to produce child-djinn.
Djinn tend to occupy places usually not inhabited by humanity, often deserts and wastelands. Some djinn may develop a preference for living in rubbish bins, or on a much more sinister note - cemeteries.

Like humans, the djinn appear to be capable of free will, making their decisions according to their own preferences. They also maybe of a religious nature, in that they follow a major religion, not necessarily Islam, but Buddhism or Christianity if they prefer.

Some djinn choose to be malevolent and aggressive towards humans. In  Malaysia for example, if you are having a problem with a troublesome djinn, you may call a Bomoh (witch-doctor) to come and capture it for you. There are reports in Malaysia of Bomoh's capturing as many as nine djinn in a single house. They apparently captured them and placed them in bottles... (if you'd like to read an article about it, click here.)

(alleged captured djinn in bottles)

Hmmm, wait, did I just say captured in a bottle? Is this sounding a bit familiar?

Yes, you're correct... the more westernised fantasy notion of the Genie, stems from myths about captured djinn.
We are all familiar with the tales of "Aladdin", "The Fisherman and Djinni," "Sinbad the Sailor", and "The Book of One Thousand and One Nights" - all of which have captured djinni in them. It is these tales that have formed the basis of the westernised genie. The djinn in the stories mentioned above all had the ability to give their masters wishes - and it is from these tales that the genie as we know it evolved.

The term Genie is clearly derived from the word djinn.
According to the Online Etymology Dictionary (awesome resource!) the noun "genie" was first referred to in the 1650s, "tutelary spirit," from French génie, from Latin genius (see genius); used in French translation of "Arabian Nights" to render Arabic jinni, singular of jinn, which it accidentally resembled, and attested in English with this sense from 1748.

However, in more recent fictional works (including my own) the word genie has taken a shift from the mythical race of beings found in the Qur'an, to being an individual person (usually a sorcerer or magician), who has been cursed by another magician / sorcerer and placed in a lamp and or bottle as punishment for some crime. Once released the genie must bestow three wishes upon their new master.

Of course, in fiction, the author has a great deal of literary license over this subject, and so you may well find the distinction between Djinn and Genie not so clear cut as I have laid out here. This is, of course, a natural part in the evolution of myths. Myths and the beasts they encompass are in a constant state of movement; they ebb, they flow, they shift and change constantly, according to different authors, cultures and beliefs - which is why mythology is so fascinating in the first place!

And on that note, I bid you a Magic Thursday!

PS... if you want to read more about Genies and Djinn in paranormal romance, a number of our Darksiders have books about them.

Nicola E. Sheridan - Magic Series
Erica Hayes - Demon Chained
Jenny Schwartz - Out of the Bottle Series
Shona Husk - Boyfriend in a Bottle

If there is anyone I've forgotten add your Genie book to the comments!

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Good News Day!

Welcome to this week's good news...


Imogene Nix has sold The Illuminated Witch to Total E Bound. No release date yet. It is the sequel to The Blood Bride (Bk#2 in Blood Secrets Trilogy)
After years of struggling alone, Celina – a witchling of immense power – must find her place in the world of vampires.
But while Javed is building a new nest – the first new one in a century – and struggling to overcome his own demons, an ancient evil stirs.
Now with Celina in danger, time running out and the demands of a fledgling nest, can their love possibly overcome every obstacle?


Nicola E.Sheridan's A Warlord's Lady is coming November 1st, released through Escape Publishing.

Magic, murder and mayhem collide when an ordinary woman meets a powerful warlord — and writes a bestselling, tell-all book...
It's got to be Stockholm Syndrome...
Eighteen fateful months ago, Sabra was kidnapped by the infamous magician warlord Cain Dath, and her body just won't let her forget. Hidden in the humid depths of the Laos jungle, she shared everything with him, but he never shared his heart.
In his position of power, Cain cannot show weakness. He must lead his people to freedom and no one — not even the woman he's fast becoming obsessed with — can stand in his way.
Then Sabra sells her story of love slavery in a tell-all exposé and brings fame, fortune, and every one of his enemies down upon them both. Now, she is open to attack on all fronts, and he can no longer stay away. The man who enslaved her may well be the only man who can save her.


Christina Phillips received a 4 Star review from You Gotta Read Reviews for Bloodlust Denied:
"Sultry and seductive, Bloodlust Denied is both intriguing and romantic. The characters are strong and stubborn, the setting is interesting, and the sex scenes are arousing."


Rowena Cory Daniells' book cover for Besieged, designed by Clint Langley, has made the Gemmell shortlist Ravenheart Award (for fantasy artwork). Congratulations, Rowena & Clint! You can find it here.

Clint's work
Final cover

Friday 20 September 2013

What We Are Reading

Welcome to What We Are Reading for September. This month there is everything from crime to romantic comedy with some erotic romance mixed in for good measure. Enjoy:)

Colleen Simpson
Come to Grief by Dick Francis
This week I'm reading Come to Grief by Dick Francis. It's one of his best books (although, I tend to have trouble deciding which I like most). This one draws on character motivations to commit a heinous crime, and the moral courage of one person to turn in ('betray') a friend who is causing grief to innocent people. I have always loved and admired the way Dick Francis draws the most believable characters and makes them all - good, bad, minor, major - quite real. Take a look at the way he draws Jonathan (the delinquent with hope of redemption teenager), Archie (powerful civil servant), Ellis Quint (villain, but loved-by-all television host), Rachel (child with leukemia who steals Sid Halley's heart), Jonathan's aunt, and Sid Halley (jockey-come-detective) himself. These are all memorable, as are those mentioned in passing. He is amazing.

Jenny Schwartz
I discovered Shelly Laurenston's shifter romances. They're funny and sexy and really re-readable. There's a bundle deal on Amazon that's pretty good, although it's not the first four in the series, but a mixed bunch.

Jayne Castle (Jayne Ann Krentz writing science fiction romance) has just released her latest Rainshadow Island novel, Deception Cove. For those who haven't discovered the joys of dust bunnies -- you are so missing out! This is light science fiction with a paranormal element and a strong romance.

Juliet Madison's I Dream of Johnny is magical romantic comedy with an Australian flavour. Damn typos! Mandy wants a Greek god, but gets a GEEK one instead. Mayhem in the nicest way ensues.

Shona Husk
Assassins in Love by Kris DeLake
This is a sci-fi romance about two assassins. I really enjoyed the world building (which wasn’t heavy on explaining the tech it just was—which is how I like it) and the characters were great. It was one of those reads that left me smiling and wishing I had book two in the series on my TBR pile already (so I could jump straight in).

Hold’em (Vegas Top Guns) by Katie Porter
Fighter pilots and BDSM. I don’t think I need to say more :) Oh, except maybe it’s the woman holding the cane and she is also a pilot. This is the third book in the series. I’ve enjoyed them all so far.

Happy reading

Thursday 19 September 2013

Magic Thursday ~ TAINTED ~ Enemies to Lovers + Giveaway!

Four years ago a tough Roman centurion marched into my mind and heart and took over my muse (not that I heard her complaining too hard...) He was searching for his Druid princess and that story became my first published full length book, Forbidden.

Today I'm delighted that the fourth book set in my mystical Roman/Druid world, Tainted, has been released. In the first three books the heroines were natives of Cymru, fighting against the Roman invaders (and losing their hearts to them too!) In Tainted I mixed things up a bit, and the heroine, Antonia, is a Roman with patrician blood in her veins. And she falls for a man determined to eliminate all trace of the Eagle from his beloved land.

To celebrate the release of Tainted I'm participating in a fabulous Cover Reveal Blog Tour. Enter the contest below to be in with the chance of winning the Grand Prize :-)


A dangerous love that Rome will never allow…

Driven by the knowledge he failed to protect his king and embittered at losing the woman he loves, Celtic warrior Gawain despises the lust he feels for the beautiful Roman patrician, Antonia. She is everything he’s never wanted in a woman, yet she ignites his passion like no other. Despite the danger of discovery he embarks on an illicit liaison with her, determined to uncover the reason for the infinite sorrow that haunts her eyes.

Newly arrived in Britannia from Rome, Antonia is inexplicably drawn to the cold, tough Celt whose touch stirs a desire she long thought died at the hands of her brutal former husband. With Gawain she learns the pleasure of sex and his unexpected tenderness thaws her frozen heart. But she hides a deadly secret that could be her undoing, and knows her growing feelings for him can lead nowhere. Yet when a shadow from her past threatens her future Antonia is torn between the Empire of her birth and betraying Gawain, the man she’s grown to love.

Inside Scoop: This medieval romance dabbles a wee bit in the paranormal.

A Romantica® historical erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Ellora’s Cave Publishing     Amazon     Amazon UK     ARe     Kobo

Connect with Christina:

Website    Facebook    Twitter    Goodreads    Blog  

Tour Wide Giveaway Details

One Prize (International):
E-copy of the previous book set in this world, Betrayed
$10 Amazon Gift Card
Swag – Bookmarks, Postcards and Fridge Magnets

Enter the Rafflecopter Contest below


Christina loves writing dark tales of tough, sexy warriors who are brought to their knees by their heroines. A mystical touch of fantasy or paranormal usually weaves its way through her stories, although strangely enough this wasn’t her intention when she first starting writing her Roman/Druid romances. But when ancient gods and goddesses get involved, it’s best just to go with the flow :-)

She is published by Ellora’s Cave and Berkley Heat and has dipped her toe in the indie pub waters. She is a member of the Romance Writers of Australia, Romance Writers of America, the DarkSide Down Under Group Blog and Historical Hearts Group Blog.

Christina is an ex-pat Brit who now lives in sunny Western Australia with her family. She is also owned by three gorgeous cats who are convinced the universe revolves around their needs. They are not wrong.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Good News Day!

Welcome to this week's good news...


Kim Cleary's Path Unchosen was published on September 8th for Kindle. The POD version will be available in a few weeks. It's the first in an urban fantasy series.
When eighteen-year-old Judy Hudson discovers she’s a necromancer and sees first-hand the pain her powers can cause the dead, she just wants to deny who she is. The zombie plague is long over. She wants to find a more normal life, but that's a challenge when a beautiful otherworldly man, who claims to be her guardian, saves her life.
Judy tries to set right the harm she inflicted on a spirit she raised, but new zombies attack—zombies raised from among the long-time dead. Someone else just like her is out there, and he's not trying to set anything right. To save her own life, and protect the innocent inhabitants of the nearby town who’ve become her friends, Judy has to figure out who’s raising the dead and why. She must also learn to control the darkness inside her—a seductive darkness that promises her power beyond her wildest dreams.

A Bar In Paris from Beachwalk Press is Imogene Nix's 18th November, 2013 release.

Ever considered a naughty weekend?  A "Hook-Up" with no strings? What does a woman do when she's turning thirty? She takes a sexy weekend trip to Paris looking for commitment-free sex. Or, that's what Davina Chalmers does, anyway.Enter Johnathon a tall charming Englishman. How can she possibly resist his charm and that dimple?
But what starts out as a lark quickly becomes so much more. How does one weekend become a lifetime? And how does a lie of omission bring everything into jeopardy?

A Stranger's Embrace, the sequel to Blame The Wine, by Imogene Nix will come out on January 17th, 2014 from Total-E-Bound. 

Jane has been living a lie, with her daughter Frannie while on the run from her abusive husband.
Davis Formosa, world famous science fiction author has been intrigued by the quiet and unassuming waitress at the diner he has taken to frequenting.
But Cupid in the guise of Jake has his work cut out helping these two to find their happy ending, especially in the face of increasing danger.


Publishers Weekly has reviewed My Lady Quicksilver by Bec McMaster.
"The third trip to McMaster’s vampiric steampunk world (after Kiss of Steel and Heart of Iron) is rich, dramatic, romantic, and dangerous. ... Sensuous memories and unfulfilled desires help build tension between the leads, and fans will enjoy the expansion of McMaster’s detailed setting."
Full review here.

It also received a 5 star review from Tome Tender.
"Bec McMaster weaves a fabulous tale, with each twist and turn you get pulled deeper into her storytelling web. The characters are genuine with detailed backgrounds that envelop you into their plights. Insurmountable odds, an epic romance, facing the ultimate sacrifice, McMaster's writing genius brilliantly shines through."
Full review here.

Christina Phillips received a 4 star review from Romantic Times BOOK Reviews for Bloodlust Denied:
"Phillips takes on a tricky trope in this steamy paranormal novella but navigates it with skill, keeping her characters and readers in the dark for as long as possible and captivating them with the heady sensuality and visceral desire of each scene. The dangerous, addictive passion that singes the main characters is all-encompassing and surprisingly revealing."

Full review can be read here.

Christina Phillips has received a Thumbs-Up Thursday and 5 star review for Tainted from Love, Lust & Lipstick Stains:
"What starts out as an extremely erotic, yet thoroughly sensual and beautiful relationship between Gawain and Antonia, soon turns into what I could quite easily class as epic love. It's the kind of story where everyone is against them and you can't see how they could possibly be together yet you yearn for it so much your heart aches. They come together very quickly but the chemistry is so intense and Antonia's reasonings so logical that is doesn't seem rushed and it's easy to see why they fall for each other. Both are strong characters in their own way, balancing out one another and both are able to laugh and love generously."
Full review can be read here.


The first 3 novellas in The Protectors series - Diplomat's Daughter, The Scientist & The Actress - by Carolyn Wren are being combined and released by Secret Cravings Publishing as a print anthology.

Diplomat's Daughter
Jared Knight – Cool, calm, dangerous.  Five years ago Jared saw Cecelia Benedict in a crowded ballroom in Monaco and vowed to keep his dangerous world away from hers.
Now she is threatened by a stalker and he can stay away no longer.

The Scientist
Simon Winters - thrill seeker, danger magnet.  After an adrenaline filled desert assignment, Simon asks for a quieter mission, preferably involving a beautiful woman and a fast car.
Scientist Dr. Elizabeth Barrett needs protection after an attempt on her life.  Now she has to contend with a charismatic, cheeky bodyguard living in her house, driving her crazy.

The Actress
Bryce Black - The technical wizard of the agency.  Bryce is offered an assignment to protect a fortune of diamonds featured in the finale of a top rating television show.
He finds himself falling for the lead actress, Katrina Abbott.  Neither of them realizes an obsessed fan doesn’t want the show to end.

The Hostage (Bk#4 in The Protectors series & 2012 Emerald Category Award winner) by Carolyn Wren is now available in print. The Undercover Agent (Bk#6 in The Protectors series), is also now available as a e-book.  This too will go to print in a couple of months time.

The Undercover Agent
Two covert operatives, adversaries, forced to unite to prevent a heinous crime...
Lucien St John, has been deep-undercover for two years working to expose corrupt businessman, Karl Chekno. Playing a role long-term has consequences. Lucien is prepared to do anything for the mission, including sacrificing his real identity. With success almost in his grasp, he must produce a fictitious fiancé, or jeopardize his cover.
Jade Walker, ex-covert operative, is re-enlisted to act as the demure future bride of the one man in the agency she detests. A week spent living together at Karl’s country estate, could it get any worse?
Unfortunately, yes. Discovering their suite is under audio/video surveillance, the agents must give an award-winning performance in and out of the bedroom.
Jade attracts Karl’s personal interest, putting her in danger. With suspicions aroused, events turn sinister. Refusing to fail, Lucien and Jade risk everything, including their lives…

The Hostage
A covert operative so secretive, she’s known only as Omega…
Kidnapped, held in chains, beaten and without hope. Wealthy businessman James ‘North’ Northam believes he’s a dead man. Until a daring rescue by a woman who disappears before he can thank her.
North is compelled by a powerful need to track down his mysterious saviour. The truth he discovers about her is both surprising and intriguing. Omega has always kept her covert identity separate from her real life. Until James Northam invades her world, and her privacy.
This determined, impossibly distracting man is getting under her skin. Her plan is to deny everything until he gives up and goes home. The plan doesn't seem to be working. And so begins a battle of wits between two very strong willed people. Neither of them realise someone else from Omega’s past has tracked her down, for much more sinister reasons.

Astrid Cooper's latest release (m/m paranormal romance) is Love at First Lick (Bk#7 in the Monsters "inK" series), debuted (and remained) at no. 4 in the publisher's best-seller list. Her other Monsters back titles also featured as best-sellers, too.

When a cat invades a vampire’s kitchen, there’s bound to be hubble, bubble, boil and trouble. 
Zefran is a witch-vampire, a duality of blood that dangerously complicates his life. He’s hired as the Monsters inK chef—on one condition that in exchange for his work, he is granted sanctuary. Zef believes that it will protect him from all trouble. How wrong can a guy be?
Trouble enters his life in the form of the snow leopard shifter, Shandor, whose sexy smile and emerald eyes are firmly set on Zef. The damn cat won’t take no for an answer and Zef and Shan play a game of catch me if you can. More than whiskers twitch in the game of chasey between the two men. But just when Zef thinks he can trust a cat, Shan discovers the truth about Zef and that sets the cat among the vampires…

Saturday 14 September 2013

Darklight On....Cheryse Durrant

Today's Darklight On... is with Darklight On's very own Cheryse Durrant
So I've stepped in to Welcome, Cheryse! 

How did you come to write speculative fiction? What attracted you to the genre?
I remember brewing up witchy and fae games as a child and penning magical fairy tales. I LOVED spec fic in all its forms, especially John Christopher novels, Dr Who and the Ron Perlman/Linda Hamilton Beauty & the Beast TV series. As a teenager, I scoured my high school library for my specific tastes, but I read a book a night so I ran out of titles after a short time (it was a small bush school). I started writing my own stories about teenagers in spec fic worlds, but as I entered university, I branched out into high fantasy – Tolkien, Feist, Eddings – and was so overwhelmed by their plots that I stopped writing spec fic. It was only a decade or so ago that I took the plunge back into penning stories in this genre. I’m still just dipping my toes in, hoping I can do it :)

Your debut novel, The Blood She Betrayed, was released last week. Tell us a little about it.
Shahkara is a half-human/half-Taloner princess who travels to Earth via the Twilight Mists to find the ancient Elnara death lantern, her homeworld’s last chance of survival against the heart-devouring Taloners. In modern-day Brisbane, she is forced to rely on Max McCalden but he has his own problems – a manipulative billionaire father, a murdered brother. Still, nothing prepares him for her razor-sharp talons and half-Taloner blood, a blood that demands what she knows she can’t have – a human heart. Shahkara longs for love, but as deadly enemies attack at every turn, will her lust for Max destroy them both? Or will she find the strength to free both worlds from a threat more horrific than the demons that share her blood?

How did you celebrate its launch?
The paperback’s not launching until October so there will be a physical event then, but my friends and I celebrated last week’s eBook release with a Facebook party and a little champagne. Now, I’m immersed in a Hearts & Talons virtual book tour to promote The Blood She Betrayed. Tour prizes include books, gift vouchers and a 9ct gold heart-shaped crystal pendant. There’s more info about that at my website, www.cherysedurrant.com

Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in-between?
I’m a pantser, I love the thrill (and the chase), but it does mean a lot of rewrites. I’m learning to become a better plotter with the view of improving my output J

Do you have a favourite of your characters?
Shahkara – because of the sacrifices she’s made and is willing to make. She gave up so much, was disadvantaged in so many ways, but was still willing to sacrifice her own life for the good of her kingdom. Heroes are forged under pressure. It’s when we face our demons, that we show (and find) our true steel. She’s a hero under pressure, but also learns it’s okay to show her vulnerable side – and to find true love.

What sorts of characters or themes do you like to write about?

Strong women who face impossible goals. They also tend to struggle with a disease or handicap (or what they perceive as a weakness) that eventually becomes key to their happiness or success. In The Blood She Betrayed, Shahkara hates her half-demon self, but it’s her talons, healing abilities and super strength that enables her to save her world and people. Even when I started writing paranormal romances at 14, my heroines were flawed, but that ‘weakness’ ultimately became their ‘power’, once they overcame their fears and insecurities. Stories do parallel real life. The greatest demon that most of us will ever face is ourselves.

What are you currently working on?
The Ghost She Killed, the second book in my Heart Hunters series. It’s a wild ride and I’m loving every minute of it. I get to see my characters tested and further developed, and Carly plays an integral role in this plot. Wait until you find out what she gets up to! Like The Blood She Betrayed, this story also features some fabulous settings, including a huge casino/hotel complex in the heart of Brisbane, inspired by a stay at Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, a few years ago. I just had to bring a little bit of Vegas-style Roman empire Down Under. This is also where my Heart Hunters series evolves from Young Adult to New Adult, and there are lots of twists and turns. Every. Single. Page.

What is your favourite part of the process of writing?
When I’ve nailed a scene. It’s incredibly satisfying (probably because it takes me so long to nail one!)

What can we expect from Cheryse Durrant in the future?
There are a lot of new ideas spinning around inside my head but I’m trying to shelve them so I don’t get distracted. I’m contracted to write another two Heart Hunters books, but if they’re successful, I already have more ideas for future books in the series. I also want to rewrite at least two of my older spec fic manuscripts. I want to turn one into a children’s trilogy and the other into a Young Adult trilogy.

Who are your favourite spec fic authors?
There’s too many to list! I adore LJ Smith, Marianne de Pierres, Kylie Griffin, Rowena Cory Daniels, Jason Nahrung and Allison Goodman, to name a few. Yes, almost all of these are Aussie authors so either I need to get out more or Down Uner grows fabulous talent J

What are you currently reading?
I’ve just finished Lisa Swallow’s Soul Ties (a fab read) and I’m about to read Dean J Andersons’ UnNaturals.

Do you have a favourite spec fic movie or TV series?
Heaps. I’m a Whoovian and a Wheedon. My all-time faves are Dr Who and Buffy, but I’m loving Once Upon a Time right now.

Do you have advice for emerging writers?
Don't let your fears, especially your sub-conscious, hold you back. If you want to be a writer – or anything else – prioritise it and make it happen. The greatest demon you will ever face is your own fears and attitude. Shape and master them until you are a dynamic force in the universe, bringing joy and inspiration to others. There’s still going to be tough and bad days, but you’re so much happier when you’ve put your dearest dreams into action (Oh, and PS: Walk lots and do yoga or pilates to strengthen your back – sitting at an office chair all day is a killer)

Check out fab prizes here

Thanks, Cheryse!

To buy The Blood She Betrayed:

As an eBook is available from Clan Destine Press Amazon, iTunes and Kobo.

The paperback can be pre-ordered via Clan Destine Press or Booktopia, but will be available in all good bookstores from next month (October).

To find Cheryse:



Twitter @CheryseDurrant



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