There are times when the best introduction is to get the heck of out the way. As you will soon see, this is one of those times. Ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor to give you K.B. Cutter.
I’d like to thank Sarah for hosting me today. I’ll try not to embarrass her. Operative word being try. Hey, with me, you never know where I’ll veer off and take the road less traveled.
I’ve got the keys and I’m drivin’.
Buckle up, kiddies.
Sorry Mr. Williams, I love your standard to the yuletide season, however, autumn is the most wonderful time of year.
I groove on things that go bump in the night.
Under the baleful moon, undying love yearns for the warmth of vulnerable flesh. The shadows have teeth.
Dark love bites pebble the skin, heat blossoms; passion ignites, whimpering susurrations mix with the gentle voice of the starry evening.
Did the last few words conjure up sensual images for you? For some, perhaps not, for others, a whole LOT of others, the answer is a resounding yes.
The paranormal romance genre, over the years, has grown exponentially. I remember a time when vampires and werewolves were scary, fearsome, often-reviled creatures in fiction and cinema. Now, they are moody, complex, conflicted Alpha heroes/heroines readers and viewers can’t get enough of them.
Don’t get me wrong, I like how the genre has evolved, although I do sometimes pine for the days when Dracula and the Wolfman were outright terrifying!
Sorry, the horror geek in me took over. My muse, Esmeralda, has him tied up, securely locked in a steamer trunk. She’ll let unite him and let him out on Halloween.
Frankly, as much as I groove on all things paranormal, I found many of the narratives becoming a tad repetitive. I set out, not to reinvent the genre, but perhaps to tweak it a bit, add my own take to the mix. I attempted to introduce a new species of Vampire, one that not only sought vitality from the sanguine and the sexual, but from other aspects of the human condition.
I subbed a partial. Few weeks later, I received a rejection; my masterwork declared ‘over-written’! C’est La vie. I shelved the project, promising to revisit it later. Few months go by and I work up the nerve to resubmit. My editor liked the idea; however, excessive characters had to get the axe.
Curses! How is my paranormal magnum opus ever going to come to fruition?
Jill Noble, the head honcho at Noble Romance publishing posted a story idea on the Author Yahoo loop, suggesting a setting that centers on a remote, rugged location, harboring a community of humans, vampires, shifters, witches, and angels trying to coexist.
Aha! This was my moment to paint my paranormal tale upon a larger canvass. Thus, the Darker side of Heaven born.
I took archetypal characters, Vampires, Shifters, and witches, conventional mythology concerning said characters, added a dash of religious iconography, peppered it with my own kinky seasoning and the resulting mix, I hope, will resonate with the discerning palate!
This story also gave me an opportunity to utilize angels, fallen and rogue, and demons, which allowed me more freedom to concoct my own brand of dark fantasy.
It is a decidedly adult tale, derivative, yet familiar, edgy, without being caustically pretentious and dark as Lucifer’s shadow, but revealing a glimmer of hope in the redemptive light of dawn.
I would like to thank Sarah for giving me the opportunity to blog-o-rama, and I’d also like to include a book blurb and an unusual excerpt. The snippet I offer gives a little glimpse into the background to the conflicted, tortured avenger heroine Chalice Noire. Also, the excerpts I planned to include woulda got Sarah banned from WordPress.
(Sarah: LMAO! I dare say it would have been worth it. *Grin*)
THE DARKER SIDE OF HEAVEN
Shadows lengthen over the world. Turmoil rages.
Something evil this way comes . . . .
Emotionally conflicted avenger Chalice Noire, product of an unholy union between demon and angel, is a slayer to the forces of darkness. Employed by shadowy benefactors in Rome, her sect is commanded by fallen angel Nikolai Voss, whose allegiance is not to the church but to the flame of vengeance that burns within.
But Chalice possesses a holy relic, a Weapon of the Mass, Nikolai desperately craves, and he will stop at nothing to retrieve it, destroying anything or anyone, including his own soul.
Renegade vampire Adam Blake is a recluse, attempting to bury his troubled past and the tortured memory of his former lover, Chalice Noire, in America’s last frontier: the Alaskan wilderness.
Armageddon looms, the agents of light and darkness gather forces. The battle to be fought not on the sands of prophecy, but in the rugged beauty of Alaska, where Chalice and Adam once again cross paths. Can they reconcile their past to save humanity’s future?
The Darker Side of Heaven – “Unusual” Excerpt
Her thoughts drifted, despite her efforts to rein them in. Chalice recalled her mentor, an ex-con turned storefront preacher who found God while face down in the gutter. He taught her how to purge herself both mentally and physically of the toxins of earthly sin. She grunted as she performed the complex actions. She could see her father’s eyes in the fading light reflecting on the blade of the dagger; gray, with flecks of red and black, like a volcano belching fire and ash into an overcast sky. Chalice remembered how his gaze bored into her, cigarette smoke wreathing his sharp, angular features in the seedy bar in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City. She sat at a battered table, watching the ice melt in her glass of Coke, avoiding his stare.
She was eleven, scared her father was abandoning her.
“Listen, sweetheart. You, Daddy and Mommy, we’re different. Very different people. I know you have questions, baby, but Daddy doesn’t have the answers. Or your mother. This is all new to us. Your mother and I, we weren’t built for kids. I’m surprised we lasted this long.”
“Daddy, I have that funny feeling in my stomach again.”
Her father’s head jerked toward the door. Two men entered the bar; lightning lacerated the sky behind them as rain sluiced off their black silhouettes.
Her father muttered a curse, his hands clenching into fists. “Goddamn it, I . . . I thought . . . we had more time.”
Chalice found her small hands curling into fists. “Who are those men, Daddy?” She could feel a sense of dread emanating from the two as they scanned the bar. Her father’s features grew darker, the noble aristocratic lines of his face blurred into shadow.
“They are dark men with long knives, sweetheart.”
“What do they want?”
Her father briefly turned to her, stroking her cheek. “They want me, us, darlin’. I can’t outrun them any longer.”
Her eyes misted as a cold fist seemed to open and close in the pit of her stomach. “Did . . . Mommy send them?”
Her father grunted, but it sound more like a laugh. “Maybe, I don’t know. All I know is this: Chalice, you will survive. You are different, special, unlike any other in this world. I hope one day that you can come to terms with it, understand who and what you are. I’m sorry I couldn’t explain everything that has happened to you, what you have seen, felt and heard. Please know that I tried to love you as best as one like me could. Now, darlin’, you have to go, out the back door. Run, sweetheart, and never look back!”
One of the dark men screeched, drawing a cruelly long blade from under his coat. Chalice ran, never looking back but the screams of her father never left her ears.