The Road to Hell is Paved With Bad Intentions
I’m new to blogging (thanks Pamela, for inviting me!) and have been wondering how to fit in—a topic that’s been on my mind since the recent debut of my Urban Fantasy/Romance/Funny/But-with-Dark-Sexual-Themes crossover “Keys to the Coven.”
Fitting in is not something I’m used to thinking about. I was a mixed-genre kid. I loved Barbie but you’d never have caught me dead in high heels. I loved outdoorsy clothes but never did anything more rugged in them than sit on the grass with a book. I read whatever dropped into my lap, from Daphne du Maurier to Alexander Dumas, Arthur C. Clark to Eric Segal. And let me assert this for the record: Love means always being ready to say you’re sorry. Anyone who tells you different is…let’s face it…a guy.
Some years back, I joined the (fabulous) Tucson chapter of RWA and decided my first professional novel would be a romance. Since my voice is, one might say, unsentimental, I picked erotic romance, and because I wanted to be free to make stuff up, crack jokes, and not be bothered with a lot of petty concerns about reality, I chose Urban Fantasy.
My premise? The hero, Max, is a demon who has to earn karma to stay in the living world. There are two ways to get karma: by purchasing and enslaving human souls—which he’s too moral to do—or by having glorious life affirming sex with women. Lots of women. Lots of sex.
My heroine, Felicity, is a witch who’s inherited a combination witches coven and bowling alley from her mother, but would rather stay home and train dogs. She’s immune to Max’s demonic charms, so rather than hop in his bed, she forces Max to interact with her as an individual.
My villain, Roksashael, is an arch-demon who’s seduces women, collects their souls, and stuffs them in an evil magic artifact called the Minsk Homunculus. He needs a (witch) consort to hold this artifact, and
Felicity’s family has been serving as Rocky’s chattel for 600 years.
Although I enjoy writing them, there didn’t turn out to be a lot of sex scenes in this story, so somewhere along the line the “erotic” fell out and I was left with an urban fantasy with strongly sexual themes, a lot of jokes, and the grim reality that there are some fates so inevitable, so cruel, love can’t possibly conquer all.
Except it does of course. I’m enough of a romance writer to believe in that.
So where does my urban-fantasy-romance, witty-but-dark, sexual-but-not-erotic, unsentimental-but-sort-of-goofy novel fit into the rough and tumble world of publishing? Darned if I know. I’ve had a heck of a good time bringing it into the world!
To become a demon, you must die in complete and utter despair. Three hundred years ago, Max passed that test with flying colors and joined the afterlife resolving never again to have innocent blood on his hands. Now a successful Demonic Intervention Agent, Max has been given the job of breaking Felicity Woodsen's family curse. But what she doesn't know, what Max can't bring himself to tell her, is that completing his mission almost certainly means her death.
When Felicity inherits her mother's coven, she learns each firstborn Woodsen daughter must become the consort of an evil-arch demon. Felicity's only hope is to ally with the mysteriously charming Max. But is saving her body from one demon worth the price of risking her soul with another?
Arch-Demon Roxashael landed in Hell when his Roman captors sent his family, one by one to be devoured by lions. The lesson was clear: power is good; lots of power is better. Two-thousand years later, Rocky has power. He's purchased hundreds of souls, and he's created the Minsk Homunculus, a magic artifact that, by binding a human witch as his consort, places him above the goody-two-shoes laws of karma.
But Rocky made a mistake. He fell in love with Felicity's mother and in a moment of weakness promised to give up his demon-consort charm. Now Felicity's mother is dead, the Minsk Homunculus is slated for destruction, and Rocky's power as an arch-demon is about to end.
No demon can break a promise. If Rocky refuses to give up the Minsk Homunculus, he'll become the lowest, most abject slave in Hell.
But then, why break promises when they're so easy to corrupt?
CAUTION: This book contains violence, strong sexual themes, moderately explicit sex between consenting adults, (unfulfilled) threats against children, and one completely gratuitous reference to unicorns.
Vicky Loebel is the author of award-winning amateur fiction and an avid reader of anything written with panache. She lives in the human world on the slopes of Mt. Lemmon, Arizona with two dogs and a rotating cadre of four men, and on the internet at www.vickyloebel.com. Vicky’s quasi-fitness blog 5x10x15 Refit! muses on health and dieting for the terminally misfit.
Note: Vicky will be arranging free downloads and promotional giveaways as she gets a better handle on the publishing side of the business. If you’d like to join her (very rarely issued) email list, drop Vicky a note.
Vicky, your first guest blog is a great success! You have described your book beautifully!