This is another busy week and another lovely lady to entertain you! Today the wonderful and talented Siobhan Muir is my guest and she’s brought her latest release, The Beltane Witch, to share, along with some thoughts on Romance genres.
Warning: this post contains thinky thoughts that’ll get you pondering, and some hot het lovin’ (but trust me, this is nothin’ compared to what follows *fans self*).
The Art of Writing a Damn Good Story
Thank you so much for having me here today, Charley.
Charley and I write very different story types. She writes contemporary male/male romance and I write paranormal male/female romance. What makes readers appreciate our stories isn’t necessarily the sex of the characters (although that is one criteria), it’s the ability to tell a damn good story.
I’m sure there have been times where you’ve picked up a book because the subject seemed interesting, and just couldn’t get into it, even if it was written in your favorite genre. And then you’ve picked up a book written in a genre you’d never considered, and couldn’t put it down. It has happened to me several times, and the major difference between them is the art of writing a damn good story.
When I first started reading romance, I stuck with M/F romance. I’m a straight woman and at the time, there wasn’t much M/M romance out there. It never occurred to me to look. But as the M/M genre has exploded, so did the number of people writing. I picked up a few to see what they were about and some of the storylines intrigued me.
What I found is this: no matter the genre, no matter the sex of the characters, I only liked the books if there was a good storyline. Let me clarify. The author had to make me care about the characters, make the situations real enough for me to dread the hero(es)’s defeat, and cheer the conflict’s resolution, and make me want to know that everything would work out.
Also, there had to be a connection between the characters, and I’m not talking about sex. Human interaction, the spark of emotion and connection, is the heart of romance. The characters have to show positive emotion toward each other in a realistic way with which the reader can identify, even in paranormal romance. And the characters have to grow from the beginning to the end. No growth, no real story.
In my latest release, The Beltane Witch, the second book in the Cloudburst Colorado series, Sabrina Foxglove is just existing and doesn’t trust men any further than she can throw one. Men leave and ignore their responsibilities, and as a single mother of two, she doesn’t have time for them. Darius Winterbourne is the ultimate playboy and has had quick liaisons with numerous women to avoid responsibility. But when he meets Sabrina, his motivations and needs change, and he grows as a character, trying to convince her he’s worthy of her trust. And she has to grow beyond her fears to see the value in Darius’s addition to her life.
What genre surprised you by becoming a favorite?
[Charley here–I love this cover so much I’m using it twice! :)]
The Beltane Witch, by Siobhan Muir
Magic, mayhem, and motherhood… a witch’s work is never done, but Sabrina draws the line at the Fae.
After almost two decades as a practicing witch in Cloudburst, Colorado, Sabrina Foxglove is done with men, magic, and the fertility rituals of High Beltane. She’s dealt with all three before and ended up with a young daughter and no partner. Twice. She’s looking forward to a magic-free May Day, with nothing more exciting than making brownies for a kindergarten class and decorating a May Pole. She definitely doesn’t have time for a handsome, Fae-touched man.
After almost two centuries as the human chamberlain to the Fae’s Summer Court, Darius Winterbourne is a man accustomed to getting his way. So when the Summer Queen tasks him with finding a witch to perform the annual rituals and strengthen the ancient warding magicks, he figures it should be easy. He doesn’t expect Sabrina’s hardheaded refusal, her untrained abilities, or his attraction to her. With less than a week to Beltane, he must gain Sabrina’s trust before he loses his home, his position…and his heart.
Emotional connection and character growth makes a story great, in any genre, and makes them memorable for years to come. That’s what makes a damn good story.
Thanks again for having me here today, Charley. 🙂
What? That’s it? Nope, here’s a little excerpt to put some wiggle in your walk on this lovely Thursday. If you can still see straight (haha) keep reading for more about Siobhan and the secret to finding her on the web.
He hadn’t expected her power to be so strong or so pleasurable. He’d never communed with anyone outside his family before, but her magic had slid over him like a tailored glove, meshing with his own abilities perfectly. He’d only wanted more. His suggestion to try again had been made more from desire than from encouragement.
Even now his cock rose in response to the sensation memory of her glorious energy.
Quiet, you. Go to bed.
He resettled his body against the cushions and closed his eyes, but the arousal followed him down into his dreams. He found himself standing in Sabrina’s room beside her bed as she slept. She’d thrown off the covers and lay on her back in nothing more than a gossamer silk nightgown. The finely woven fabric cupped her breasts, offering the barest hints of dark areolas and taut nipples. Another dark smudge marred the cloth at the juncture of her thighs and his cock flexed happily against his trousers.
“Holy Goddess,” he whispered. He could no more stop himself from bending to kiss her than he could stop the rain.
Sabrina smiled sleepily and opened her eyes. “Darius.”
“Shh. Let me pleasure you, acushla.” He traced her neck and shoulder with kisses as he slowly pulled aside her nightgown.
When he exposed one full, plump breast to his lips, he sucked the nipple into his mouth, laving it with his tongue. Sabrina moaned and writhed beneath him with sensual, sleep-slowed motions.
“Oh, yes, Darius. Please.”
The pleasure in her voice sent blood rushing to his cock, impossibly hardening it more. Her rich taste against his tongue took his breath away and he couldn’t get enough of her. He thrust his hand under her gown and stroked the other breast, reveling in the taut nipple against his palm as she gasped.
“Oh, Goddess, that feels wonderful.”
Siobhan Muir lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her husband, two daughters, and a vegetarian cat she swears is a shape-shifter, though he’s never shifted when she can see him. When not writing, she can be found looking down a microscope at fossil fox teeth, pursuing her other love, paleontology. An avid reader of science fiction/fantasy, her husband gave her a paranormal romance for Christmas one year, and she was hooked for good.
In previous lives, Siobhan has been an actor at the Colorado Renaissance Festival, a field geologist in the Aleutian Islands, and restored inter-planetary imagery at the USGS. She’s hiked to the top of Mount St. Helens and to the bottom of Meteor Crater.
Siobhan writes kick-ass adventure with hot sex for men and women to enjoy. She believes in happily ever after, redemption, and communication, all of which you will find in her paranormal romance stories.
Siobhan’s recent release, The Beltane Witch, is the second book in the Cloudburst Colorado series, and she has also published Not a Dragon’s Standard Virgin and Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack through Siren Publishing, and Her Devoted Vampire through Evernight Publishing. Her free read entitled A Hell Hound’s Fire introduces her Cloudburst, Colorado series.
If you’d also like to get to know The Beltane Witch a little better, click on either book cover or find it on Smashwords.