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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 20 December 2014

Enchanted Orb with Dani Kristoff


Our Enchanted Orb post today is with Dani Kristoff, reader and writer of paranormal romance and who is sharing the magic of inspiration behind her writing.

Dani Kristoff: The magic of inspiration

There are elements to inspiration that are not easy to corral when you want them. 

There is an idea, the spark of something that can evolve into a story (or an artwork, poem, designer cake, hat, dress…you name it).

Then there is the time and the energy and the skill. Magically these all have to work together to make inspiration work, to give an idea form.

The best part of the magic of inspiration is when all these come together. There’s an idea, there’s the time, energy and skill and you hum along and get a buzz.

It’s not only with writing do I get this inspirational feeling. I make hats, or try to. And it creates a high, I think, when it comes together as you imagine it.

I’ve dabbled in cake decorating too. I really needed to have an idea, some inspiration to create a design. I find that comes from the same place as story ideas, or maybe it’s the time factor. I really haven’t had much inspiration to decorate cakes lately. Not since I’ve been published. I do have the inspiration to eat them though. (the evidence is hard to disguise!)

I believe my problem with cakes though is skill. I want to take more classes and haven’t been able to because the teacher I want to teach me has been ill. So stay tuned on the cake front.

Sometimes inspiration comes is waves and there’s too much write. It can be distracting to have too many ideas and not enough time. Perhaps this is a type of hyperactivity I need to take medication for. Mmmm. Anyway, this is where note taking can work very well. Gone are the days when I remembered everything and carried it around in my head for years! Now I’m diving to a notebook or my iPhone to jot that thought down before it skitters away into the darkness. It’s scary how quickly those fab ideas disappear- like seconds. Fleeting inspiration perhaps.

But when all the elements come together there is something magical in that. I’m currently drafting a novel and it’s very much a discovery for me. I sort of know in my head how the story goes, but it’s the act of writing, the act of discovery that’s awe inspiring. I seem to be writing so I know what happens next, so I can see and feel how my characters react. It’s like the process is external to me.

Ah that it! It’s the magic of writing inspires me.

Dani's latest release is: The Sorcerer's Spell.


A sexy, body-switching urban fantasy. Annwyn goes to bed dreaming of making love with her dead husband and wakes up in the body of another woman, a woman who is having hot sex with Dane, a powerful sorcerer. Her body has been stolen by Nira, a sorceress, who feeds her magical power through sex, the kinkier the better. The curse she laid on Dane turns him into a werewolf every full moon. To complicate matters Dane's werewolf friend Rolf, succumbs to Nira when she temporarily repossess her body, causing jealously and confusion. Time is running out, as soon Dane will be a werewolf forever unless he can break the curse. Rafael from the Collegium of Sorcerers is the only one Dane trusts to help them, but when a wider conspiracy is revealed, it's up to Annwyn and her developing magical powers to save Dane before it's too late. But can she seduce an unwilling werewolf to lure the sorceress into a final confrontation?
Buy Links for The Sorcerer's Spell:

Amazon AU | iBookstore | Nook
Where to connect with Dani:

Thursday 11 December 2014

Magic Thursday with Delwyn Jenkins - The Watchtower Chronicles

I’m really excited to be sharing Magic Thursday with you. Thanks so much for having me on board. My second book Claimed By Earth comes out today, and to celebrate my first book Called By Fire is going to be free for a limited time. Woohoo.

This series is about four modern women who also happen to be witches. Each one has a facility with an element – fire, earth, water and air – and their personalities match the source of their magic. Mostly.

It got me thinking about my own temperament and those of my friends and family. 
I have friends who are honest, down to earth, reliable and eminently practical – those would be the folks who lean more towards Earth. 
I have another friend who is ditsy, funny, and sharp as a whip – and who’s inner child is never far from the surface. Air.
We all know people who claim Fire for their element. Passionate, energetic, sometimes quick tempered, but always exciting to be around.And the compassionate, caring, nurturing souls are all about Water.

Consider your friends and where they might sit on the elemental scale. Some, like me, might straddle two elements (earth and fire, if you were wondering) but others will very obviously be strong in a single element. Try it out and see how you go, you might be surprised what you find out.


Mycah Dunleavy has two goals in life: to protect her friends and to defend the World Below. In order to take her fight to the enemy she must become the most powerful witch she can be. But that power comes at a price.
In fulfilling her first goal, she committed the cardinal sin of using her magic to harm others. And to attain the second, she must combine in a ritual with a Watchtower Knight … despite the fact she can't bear to be touched.
Despite Mycah’s defensive armor, Sebastian wants to claim her as his own and he intends to woo her long and slow. Then Mycah comes up with a crazy plan to gain more power and he becomes nothing more than a means to an end—a role he has no intention of accepting without a fight.
But there are bigger threats to deal with in the World Between. Mycah's life is threatened, four Witches are kidnapped, and once again the enemy is knocking at the door. Time is running out, and if Sebastian and Mycah don't find a way to work together, both of their worlds could be lost.

Thursday 4 December 2014

Magic Thursday with Nicole Hurley-Moore ~ Dark & Twisty Magic & Myths

I adore myths, legends, fairytales and magic. I suppose it all started when I was a child and I read every fairy tale I could get my hands on. I especially liked the dark and twisty ones. From there I graduated onto myths, legends and fabulous books such as The Wizard of Earth by Ursula Le Guin and The Owl Service by Alan Garner. Added to that I watched ever cheesy sword and sorcery movie I could find. Hands up if anyone can cast their minds back into inky blackness to these long forgotten little offerings from the 1980’s? Gems like, Conan, Hearts & Armour, the Sword & the Sorcerer or the tragic (script & acting) Beastmaster.
As the half naked, breathy heroine says as she confronts the equally half naked hero...

“I am Kiri, slave to the priests of the temple of Ar – what would you have me do?”

That’s as mouthy as she gets and he spends the rest of the movie rescuing her. Ah, they don’t make them like that anymore... and there’s a good reason for that. :-)

Bad movies aside, I guess I grew up with my head spinning with quests of valour, romance and of course magic. 

I love writing historical and contemporary romance but there’s something inside that keeps me circling back to fantasy. So far, I’ve written three magically inspired stories.

 Until the Stars Burn Cold is a time slip story beginning in ancient Persia and ending up in rural Australia. It’s what happens when you fall for the wrong girl and get cursed into a ring for centuries. 

 Rain is a fantasy set against a medieval backdrop. Nuri falls in love with an elemental being who follows the storms. She believes Maras is an angel but when the Church brands him a demon she must choose between her love or her life. 

Black is the Colour is my latest fantasy which again is inspired by the medieval period. Ciana’s lover has been cursed into the form of a raven and she’ll do anything to get him back. Black is the Colour is the first book in the Tales from the Hearthfire series. 

Fairy tales and myths are a part of me and I love delving into and being inspired by the old stories which were filled with superstition, enchantment, heroic deeds and terrifying monsters. To be able to journey to dark forests, hidden paths or lofty castles and to watch good triumph over evil as true love prevails.
I suppose, even after all these years I still believe that if you wish hard enough, magic can happen. 

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