Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Guest Post & Giveaway with Sharon Kay

Guest Post by Sharon Kay
Standing up for Insta-Love

Hello and thank you for having me as a guest on your blog!

Insta-love is a topic that I see mentioned frequently on book review blogs and social media (especially Facebook and Goodreads). This concept seems to inspire a rather intense reaction in readers. Some of you HATE insta-love! So I ask, why?

I am not an insta-love hater (ha, try saying that one ten times fast). So I would guess the dislike comes from the fact that real life is messy. We stumble through relationships good and bad. We second-guess ourselves. We wonder if a perceived over-reaction is an exception or a red flag. And we want to see our book heroines going through the same struggles we are. It helps us relate to her and love the book even more. We wait with baited breath to see which choices she makes, and the tangled path of internal thoughts that got her there. Then, once her decision is made, we want to see if she’s happy.

We want to see a kindred spirit in a book heroine. Maybe she had to kiss a whole boatload of frogs before she got her prince (or vampire or demon). Maybe what she was searching for was right in front of her, yet it took a revelation for her to see it.

On the other hand, I could argue that life’s messiness is all the more reason to dive into a novel of insta-love! At the end of the day, when you have a sliver of time to read, why not pop into a blissful place where the hero cuddles, does dishes AND diapers, and has, ahem, lots of stamina? We have enough mess in real life. Our favorite books are FICTION, after all.

I’ve completed two novels, the first of which (Wicked Wind) has characters who like each other right away, while the couple in the second book can’t stand each other when the story begins. I can honestly say that I had a blast writing both! In each one, my characters were yelling their feelings in my head. They determined the course of their relationships. *Sharon peeks through her fingers* Yes, my characters made me do it!

Whether you start with insta-love or not, each type of relationship involves a different writing challenge. With insta-love, I needed to pull the conflict from somewhere other than my main couple (cue brilliant-yet-deranged villain). In the not-insta-love novel, I had to build a believable progression from dislike to grudging trust to (*waves pom-poms*) the HEA. I need you, my dear readers, to be cheering for these two to get together!

To love insta-love, or hate insta-love? I have a feeling the world of romance readers will remain divided on this one. As for me, I say bring on the insta-love (sorry, insta-love haters)! Then bring on the big, bad villains and let’s see our hero and heroine kick some ass!

With the uncanny ability to control the wind, Nicole Bonham spends her life hiding her gift. Deciding to take control of her power, she dispenses her own brand of vigilante justice in Chicago’s worst neighborhoods. One night, she runs into a gorgeous demon.
Lash demon Gunnar prowls Earth and several supernatural realms to help maintain peace among the immortal species. His chance encounter with Nicole creates a hurricane of sparks between them, and he can’t let her out of his sight until he discovers her true identity. In his two hundred years, he has never seen a creature like her.
Nicole is frightened by Gunnar’s awareness that she isn’t human, but her thirst for knowledge outweighs her fear of the new world that he reveals to her. With his help, she uncovers her origin while strengthening her ability and surviving a crash course in all things demonic.
As the fire that forged their bond explodes into white-hot passion, she and Gunnar work to discover who – or what – is stabbing the city’s most destitute residents and stealing their blood. Haunted by memories of childhood tragedy, Gunnar wants her to stay away from the very demons she was born to fight. Losing the woman who has entwined her soul with his could destroy him, and his fiercely protective instincts conflict with her desire to bloom into her full potential. As they track the mastermind behind the attacks, will Nicole’s unique talent unwittingly send her straight into his lair?

Excerpt 1:

The aftershocks coursing through Nicole’s sated body were the only things keeping her from turning into a puddle of goo. She couldn’t have lifted her head if she wanted to. The smooth wood at her back dimly registered. But her front…mmm, yes. Her front was all wrapped up in Gunnar’s heat.

“Now will you let me take you to bed?” he murmured in her ear. 
“Sure,” she sighed, as Gunnar shifted their positions to cradle her against his chest. As if she weighed nothing, he carried her across the room to the huge tree-poster bed. He lowered himself down on top of her, leaning his weight on his strong arms, gazing at her. 
“I think… ” His grin radiated sex. “That I should take you to nymph shows more often.” 
“You’ll kill me.” She smiled in lazy satisfaction. 
“It’ll take a lot more than this to kill you.”  
“Then I guess we’ll have to watch another one.”
Excerpt 2:
She looked up and felt her jaw drop in wonder. The most exquisite flowers she had ever seen covered the ground. Small and delicate like pansies, the petals held the lustrous tints of pink, purple, and yellow, and they glowed with a soft inner light. There had to be hundreds of them climbing up the trees that surrounded the tiny open space. It was like being surrounded by tiny, botanical Christmas lights.
“What are these?”

“Phos-blooms. Their flowers naturally contain high amounts of phosphorous.” He set her down on the carpet of soft, downy grass.

“They're exquisite.” She couldn't tear her eyes from the softly glowing petals that surrounded them. Not wanting to step on a single one, she picked her way carefully to one edge of the clearing. “This looks like a dream.”

“Hopefully it's a good dream and not a nightmare like this morning.” He moved closer to her, crowding her against the nearest tree.

“This morning wasn't a nightmare. It was a lesson. One which the Vipers failed miserably.” She reached up to link her hands behind his neck.

“You did well,” he whispered. “But that won't be the last battle you see.”

“I'll be ready. I know you want to keep me safe, but you can't put me in a bubble. We both know I'm here for a reason.” She caressed his nape and stood on tiptoe so that her lips gently brushed his. “Did you bring me out here to talk?”

“No. But if there was a bubble that could hold you, I'd find it,” he growled, and with one tug of his hand, her leafy dress ripped open and fell to the flower-covered ground. Like last night's almost-sheer dress, there was no way to wear panties under this garment without looking ridiculous. A couple of days with the scantily-clad nymphs had made underwear seem unnecessary, anyway. She ran her fingers through his silky black hair and circled her naked hips against him.

His lips covered hers tenderly, gently shaping her mouth with sweet kisses. She opened to let him in, feeling the rush of adrenaline from this morning surge back into her. She didn't want him tender right now. She wanted the warrior she had seen out on the field, easily cutting down the enemy as if he could do it in his sleep.

Sharon Kay was bitten early by the writing bug. At age twelve she wrote a short story, about a magic ring,that won a statewide Young Authors contest. With her nose always in a book, she read the most novels for her age group in her local library’s summer reading program.
In her teens, writing took a back seat to fashion, as she was determined to find clothes different from
what everyone else bought at the mall. And what she couldn’t find, she created. She learned to sew, worked in a fabric store after school, and spent her spare time with a needle in hand. Her black and orange prom dress is still one of her favorite creations.
Sharon lives in the Chicago area with her husband and son, and didn’t expect to write again. But Wicked Wind and the Solsti series formed in her head one weekend and refused to stay quiet until she put pen to paper. Her characters tend to keep her up at night, as they banter, fall in love, and slay endless varieties of power-hungry demons.
Sharon loves to hear from readers! You can find her at: Sharonkay.novels@gmail.com
Facebook Twitter: @sharonkaynovels

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  1. Loved the excerpts. Both were great. This book looks awesome and definitely adding to my must read/buy list. Sharon is a new author for me. I love to read and always looking for new authors to check out. Thanks for the giveaway.

  2. I'm a big fan of Instalove (adore that word). I mean romance lit is all about fantasy and to escape reality for a little while. If I can have vampires or zombies why can't I have a protagonist who just knows "this is it"?