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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.

Wednesday 28 May 2014

A Bite Of... Scorched

Hello everyone, this fortnight I'd like to welcome back the lovely Erica Hayes with A Bite Of... Scorched.

 Can you, in less than five words describe your book Scorched?
Action, magic, cool, dark, secrets. Oh, and superhero crime-fighters. That's six. Live with it :)

Who is your favourite character in this book?
I love all my children equally, of course. Erm… well, it's not true, really is it? We do have favourites, even in our own writing. My heroine, Verity, is loads of fun because she doesn't understand subtlety. She tends to blurt out whatever's on her mind, and sometimes it's tastelessly inappropriate. So yeah. Kind of like me :)

But I also love her lads. There's her big brother, Adonis, who acts like an arrogant playboy but has this squishy heart of gold underneath… or is that all part of the act, too? And Verity's new friend, Glimmer. Glimmer is a mysterious masked man. Oyy.

What inspired you to write it?
I love crime-fighting superheroes! We actually have a lot of these in urban fantasy – plenty of investigators and enforcers and kick-ass ladies – but they're just not called that. The ones in my book are a bit more open about it. Possibly, there are masks and costumes and secret identities involved. You were warned… (But no capes. I draw the line at capes.)

And I've always wanted to write a conspiracy story – one where nothing it what it seems and the truth is hard to unearth and harder to swallow. I hope I've succeeded!

And here's the excerpt!

Here's a scene from Scorched, where Verity, who's just escaped from a lunatic asylum and is on the run from villains who are trying to put her back there, wakes up trapped in a strange secret lair…

A double row of screens gleamed—websites, television channels, CCTV—above a long desk covered in a mess of paper and photographs six inches deep. In a high-backed chair hunched a long lean figure, his shadow looming huge and monstrous on the wall.

He didn't stop typing. Didn't look up. Just jerked his head towards the corner of the room. "Door's that way."

So much for stealth. I cleared my throat, and stepped out where he could see me. But I still clasped my hands tightly behind my back, ready. "Excuse me?"

"You can leave whenever you want. I won't stop you. No need to break things." His voice was rough and rich, like old bourbon. His battered leather coat hung over the back of his wheeled chair. He finished whatever he was doing, and swung his chair around, skidding into the light.

Strong, lean, the same tight black T-shirt and jeans he'd worn before. A few days of beard shadowed his chin, dark against his olive skin, and his wild black hair had a single albino splash at the front. He wore a leather band buckled around one wrist, and a silver ring on his right ring finger.

Intriguing. Younger than I'd expected, for a guy who'd sent a gang of haters screaming. Warmer, somehow. I wanted to see the rest of his face.

But I couldn't. He wore a mask. A black one, like mine, tied at the back of his head and cut around sharp cheekbones that made him look feral or crazy. All I could see were his eyes, deep and starlit black.

Uh-huh. I wanted to fidget. Handsome devil, to be sure. The crazies often are, in that offbeat, intriguing sort of way. It's a rule of the universe, or something. Sick equals sexy.

But suddenly I was conscious of my scarred cheek, my bruises, the fact that I was wearing his shirt and nothing else.

I dragged in a fistful of power and swept a pile of books off his desk. "That's close enough."

Paper drifted in dust, and settled. He didn't move. Just glanced at the mess I'd made, and then back at me. His black-and-white hair stuck up in odd directions, like a skunk who'd partied too hard. He reminded me of my little brother Chance, only Chance was cheerful and careless. This guy looked neither. "Threat taken," he said calmly. "You done?"

I studied him, wary. No reaction. No move to retaliate. Whatever his augment was, he was keeping it holstered for now. Was that stripe in his hair real? He didn't seem the type to make like a skunk. "For the moment," I said at last. "But you'll talk, or maybe I will start breaking stuff. Starting with you. Who are you?"

"You can call me Glimmer."

I recalled my assailants, clawing for their eyeballs though nothing was there. Glimmer. A hypnosis trick, maybe? "Is that what your friends call you?"

"I don't have any friends." He folded his arms, and muscles bulged in the sleeves of his T-shirt.

"Figures. You always wear your mask in the house, Glimmer?"

"I have a guest. It's only polite… oh, wait." He stuffed a hand into his back pocket and offered me a little black bundle. "This was in your jeans. I kept it for you."

My mask. I snatched it, careful not to touch him, and unrolled it, enjoying the warm softness in my fingers. It smelled of him, vanilla and danger.

Okay. So he knew I was augmented. I knew the same about him. Not a recipe for friendship.

Glimmer smiled, bittersweet. "Don't mention it."

Thanks for sharing Erica and BTW, I don't mind a good cape. :p

If you want to find out more about Erica and what she's up to, or want to buy a copy of Scorched Check out the links below!



  1. Hey, what's wrong with the cape? I like the cape. The cape can be a very beneficial piece of equipment. Lol.

    Looking forward to reading Scorched.


  2. I'm with you Effie, capes can be used to clothe someone who's lost their clothes, be a make-shift blanket, a bandage, a pillow... hmmm. Maybe I should start wearing a cape.

    1. Lol Nicola, I was thinking the same thing. Not wrong...we need a cape!

  3. Replies
    1. Oh come on! So are you telling me you hated Superman's cape and Batman's cape? I hated Robin's, that whole half a cape just doesn't do it for me.

      (you know I'm stirring you here, it wouldn't be right otherwise.)

  4. I love superhero stories. This sounds like a great book, loved the excerpt. I've added it to my Goodreads. Thanks for sharing :)

  5. Looking forward to reading your latest release, Erica. It sounds awesome. Plus that cover is fabulous.


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