Tag Archives: demon

Fun Friday – Why Romance? with Christine Ashworth

We are continuing with the month long Birthday Bash with the wonderful Christine Ashworth! Christine is here to tell us a little bit about why she writes romance and her DEBUT novel, DEMON SOUL. Congrats, Christine. It is so exciting to see your first book come out.

Christine is also being kind enough to offer a giveaway of a copy of DEMON SOUL to one person who leaves a comment on this blog. Just post the comment by midnight EST tonight.

Why Romance?

First off, thanks so much to uber-talented Caridad Pineiro for hosting me on her blog! As a 2011 debut author, this is such a thrill for me to be here (more about my book later, lol).

When I tell people I write romance, most of them are polite, but some not so much. One guy actually asked me why I chose to write about romance when there were “so many more important things in the world to write about”.

We were sitting in my favorite coffee shop at the time. So I made him get me a refill before I explained my reasoning. I’ll cut the chatter, and get down to the nitty gritty for you all.

Why romance? Because I firmly believe that love, or lack of it, drives the world. That everyone, deep down inside, is looking for love and a place to belong, especially in the deepest dark of night when the world looks its bleakest and you just can’t get to sleep. As I write paranormal romance, even the “bad guys” are in search of love. And guess what? This need doesn’t go away as you age.

There is a certain power inherent in love both given and received that enhances each person, human or otherwise. That power can raise us to the heights, or cause us to take desperate measures. Love and the power it wields is far greater than any other force in the universe. Love shapes destinies and kingdoms and can destroy as easily as it builds. Its dark side is as dark as it gets; it’s light side, the lightest. Love is the greatest power in the world. The question shouldn’t be why do I write romance; it should be why WOULDN’T I write romance?

My debut release, DEMON SOUL, should be out from Crescent Moon Press by the end of March and I am SO excited!

…to retrieve his soul, she’ll become fire…Gabriel Caine stands on the edge of the abyss. A vampire has stolen his soul and if he doesn’t get it back soon, his next step will be into Hell.

Rose Walters has been sent back from the dead to complete one task – save Gabriel Caine. She’s drawn to Gabriel on the most basic level, but restoring his soul may cost Rose her life.

Rose has touched the whole of Gabriel, making him yearn for a love he believes he can never have. Her willingness to put her human life on the line for him forces him to bring all three parts of himself – demon, human, and Fae bloodlines, and the traps and strengths of each – into harmony, and into the fight that will decide their fate.

For more on upcoming books, check out my website at http://christine-ashworth.com, or follow me on Twitter @CCAshworth.

Happy reading!

Wicked Wednesday – Sexy Excerpt from AZTEC GOLD

AZTEC GOLD paranormal romanceIt’s wicked cold here in the Northeast, so I figured it’s time to offer up a sexy hot excerpt from AZTEC GOLD, my new release from Carina Press. I love that I had the opportunity to create a different kind of story, kind of like Indiana Jones meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer if I had to give you the two second elevator pitch. I hope you’ll like it as well.

The reviews are starting to come in for this novella and I’ve included them in this excerpt as well for you! If you can’t see the excerpt below, you can click on this link to read it.

AZTEC GOLD Paranormal Romance Excerpt

Aztec Gold – A Paranormal Romance Novella

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ll have an e-novella paranormal romance from Carina Press – AZTEC GOLD – out in the Fall of 2010.

AZTEC GOLD is a story about two archaelogists – Cynthia Guerrero and Rafael Santiago – who are radically different people. Rafael, or Rafe as he is known to friends and Cynthia, is an adventurer in the line of Indiana Jones. Totally alpha and unafraid.

Cynthia, on the other hand, prefers to stay in the safety and quiet of her job in the museum where her expertise is used to review and document ancient discoveries. Cynthia has reason to like security — as a child her famous anthropoligist parents dragged her all around the world until their untimely deaths.

But when Rafe disappears on an expedition to find an ancient Aztec temple in the Mexican jungle, Cynthia will have to face her fears – and an Aztec vampire demi-goddess – in order to discover what happened to her lover.

The inspiration for the story came from a trip that I took to Mexico as part of my day job. I was attending a conference in Mexico City and on one of the days of the conference we were able to visit Teotihuacan, a pre-Colombian city about 40 kilometers outside of Mexico City.

During its peak, Teotihuacan was thought to have held as many as 200,000 residents, although the ethnicity of those inhabitants is up for grabs. However the name Teotihuacan was given to the city by the Nahuatl-speaking Aztec centuries after the city had fallen to attacks from an assortment of invaders.

It’s an amazing place with its two pyramids – one to the sun and the other to the moon – and its long central avenue – the Avenue of the Dead – which is lined by smaller structures which the Aztecs believed to be tombs, resulting in the name of the avenue.

This is a view of the avenue and the Pyramid of the Sun from the Pyramid of the Moon.

Mexican Pyramid of the Sun and Avenue of the Dead

This is a view of the avenue and the Pyramid of the Moon from the Pyramid of the Sun.

Mexican Pyramid of the Moon and Avenue of the Dead

Despite my fear of heights, I am happy to say that I overcame that fear – much like Cynthia will fight to overcome hers – and climbed to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun. It was quite a view from there and I’ll be scanning some photos for you so you can get some first hand views of the area and the culture.

I hope you liked that Behind the Scenes info and now . . . an excerpt from AZTEC GOLD which will be available in the Fall 2010.

*****
Chapter 1

The feel of old papers called to Cynthia Guerrera the way a lover’s skin might.

Even with the gloves she wore to protect the fragile documents from the oils on her fingers, she sensed the raspy texture of the heavy parchment beneath them. Smelled the mustiness that hinted at the fact that it had been some time since these papers had seen the light of day.

At first she had been skeptical of the provenance of the documents — Missouri cornfields were not the place one expected to find a trunk filled with nearly five hundred year old Spanish papers and journals. But a Missouri cornfield was just where the trunk containing the papers and maps had been discovered when a developer had begun excavations for a new strip mall.

Setting aside the missive — one from Coronado himself to one of his seconds in command — she turned her attention to the leather bound journal of one Juan Domingo Cordero. Gingerly opening the cover, she traced her fingers over the scrawling script. The first entries in the journal had provided her with the identity of the author and the date of the documents thanks to Cordero’s meticulous notations.

With that information, she had been able to check a number of other sources to confirm that Cordero had indeed been one of Coronado’s lieutenants. When Coronado had left Mexico City in 1540 in search of the fabled Cities of Gold, Cordero had been at his side. Coronado had eventually separated from Cordero and his contingent, ordering them to search in one direction while he went in another.

Cordero’s entries in the journal carefully detailed their travels throughout the south central portion of Mexico, before his band had turned northward until they crossed the Rio Grande. Eventually the group had turned eastward and reached the Mississippi, hugging the banks of the river until it landed them in what would one day become Missouri.

Tired of their journeys and with their group decimated by a number of incidents, the Spanish conquistadors had built a small settlement a short distance from the sluggish and fertile waters of the Mississippi.

The notations in Cordero’s journal gradually diminished after that, with the conquistador’s adventures giving way to the routine of farming and family life. Eventually Cordero had stopped writing and Cynthia supposed that was when he had tucked the journals into the small wood and leather trunk together with his other papers. The trunk in turn had been put in the cellar and over time, the floods that often occurred in the area had covered Cordero’s home and the surrounding settlement with mud. Further flooding and natural events had added to the layers over the former community, hiding it from sight until the developer’s bulldozers had dug up the first hints of the earlier civilization and the trunk.

Cynthia picked up the laboratory results that had arrived that morning and which just further confirmed the age of the documents.

With that endorsement came proof of one thing, while serious doubt remained about another.

She rose and walked over to the climate-controlled locker in her office, removed a handwrought leather tube from within. Returning to her work table, she untied one end of the cylinder and removed a pliant sheet of leather from inside the tube. On the soft leather was a crudely drawn map identifying the sometimes circuitous route Cordero and his men had taken from Mexico City.

In the middle of the map, more carefully detailed than anything else, were the geographical features and path to what Cordero had believed to be one of the fabled Cities of Gold. A city supposedly inhabited by a demon who had taken away and killed nearly half a dozen of his men before Cordero had decided that no amount of lucre was worth their lives.

A hard tale to believe and yet everything else about the documents was genuine.

Worse yet, something about the map had troubled her from the moment she unrolled it onto her work station. As she had compared the various features on the map to a copy of another she had seen six months earlier, she realized there was too much coincidence to ignore.

Six months ago her lover, Dr. Rafael Santiago, had detailed to her the plans for his latest archaeological expedition — a trip to a previously unknown and unexplored Aztec temple. While on that trip with his younger brother and a team of about a dozen men, Rafe and his team had disappeared into the Mexican jungle.

For months she had been hoping for word of them, keeping faith in the belief that they were still alive. But with each month that passed, that hope was fading along with the prospect of discovering anything about her lover’s disappearance . . . until now.