One of my all-time favorite movies is The Wizard of Oz. There’s just something about that whimsical world, more like alternate reality, that always spoke to me. Maybe it was because regardless of what the character’s outward appearance was—a scarecrow, tinman, lion or fake wizard—inside they were the same as when they looked just like Dorothy. Let’s not forget the songs were catchy and addictive and that Oz was beautiful to look at. Of course, our reality looks nothing like that, but isn’t it wonderful to lose yourself in a world that’s the same, but different, and kinda cool? I’ve always thought so, which is why I’ve always been a huge paranormal romance fan. My latest release, Claim the Dragon, is set in a fictional futuristic city in Pennsylvania, called Burgess. Like Oz, it’s a colorful place—both in its landscape and characters. My hero, Steele, is a dragon shifter with the magical power to predict death in his dreams. Ironically, Steele, the man, has a hard time dealing with the death of a loved one. Now, Steele wants to save a woman he saw in his dream, Ravyn, but Ravyn’s used to saving herself. A victim of Burgess’ corrupt government, Ravyn has created a safe place for others like her so when Steele comes around talking about cursed Egyptian daggers and vicious vampires, she’s reasonably skeptical. How can two people so obviously at odds in this world end up on a supernatural journey to save everyone they care about…oh, and fall in love too?
There’s a variety of different worlds featured in the paranormal neighborhood of Romancelandia, just waiting to be explored. Here are a few of my favorites.
L. A. Banks’ Vampire Huntress Series. Minion immediately sucks (pun intended, lol) readers into the world of Damali Richards and her Guardian team of vampire hunters. The backdrop of rival music companies and drug-trafficking sets a very realistic stage, while the myth of illusive vampires hell-bent on destruction immediately casts an otherworldly shadow. The dark lure of the vampire world twisted around Damali’s path to becoming a powerful huntress is addictive, but it’s the interwoven themes of faith and redemption that pack a practical punch.
There are never too many vampires in Romancelandia. J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood. Lover Awakened waves all the flags of emotional and physical scars that are relatable to so many in today’s world, as Zsadist struggles with reconciling his past and becoming fully functional in the present. The cast of the Brotherhood of vampires lends a boys’ club sort of vibe that Zsadist thrives in because of the danger they encounter fighting the Lessening Society. This book really shines in the conflict department as Zsadist and his brother fall for the tragic in her own right, vampire, Bella.
My heart always circles back to shifters. Lora Leigh’s Breeds. Tanner’s Scheme is a sexy story of revenge. Of course, revenge in the world of genetically altered Breeds is on a totally different scale than in the real world, but oh how intriguing it still is! Kidnapping Scheme is Tanner’s way of getting back at a member of the Genetics Council, but his plan goes awry when he (1) realizes how attractive to Scheme he really is and (2) uncovers the fact that Scheme is also a target to her father’s ruthless nature. Another unlikely pair, battling their past in an effort to have a decent future, a common thread throughout the paranormal and real world.
Lastly, I cannot forget one of the first shape shifter series I fell for was Christine Feehan’s Leopards. In Wild Rain, Rachel and Rio are each harboring their own secrets until danger brings them together in Rio’s forest. Physical attraction drives them to a connection they couldn’t have predicted, while a faceless assassin threatens to end their newfound solace.
About the book
Book Description: To save her, he’ll sacrifice everything.
Born a dream reaper, Steele Ezo, a powerful half dragon, half human, is struggling to find his place in the Drakon hierarchy. He is ready to accept his fate until he realizes the next victim on the Reaper’s hit list is the sexy thief who’s caught his eye.
She’s supposed to die.
He’s forbidden to stop it.
But their inexplicable connection makes it impossible to step aside.
Abandoned by her family and abused by local enforcers, Ravyn Walsh lives life on her own terms. She’s created an underground sanctuary for the oppressed citizens of Burgess, and she needs funds to keep it running. When a lucrative job—stealing an ancient dagger—lands in her lap, she doesn’t hesitate, not even when a smoldering tattooed stranger attempts to stop her.
A dagger that can raise the dead is a powerful tool—one that could change the course of history. As they fight to keep the dagger out of the wrong hands, Ravyn will be forced to embrace the truth of her heritage, while Steele will find himself torn between saving a life that isn’t meant to be saved and denouncing the power he was born to wield.
A.C. Arthur was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland where she currently lives with her husband and three children. An active imagination and a love for reading encouraged her to begin writing in high school and she hasn’t stopped since. Her debut novel Object of His Desire was written when a picture of an Italian villa sparked the idea of an African-American/Italian hero. Determined to bring a new edge to romance, she continues to develop intriguing plots, sensual love scenes, racy characters, and fresh dialogue—thus keeping the readers on their toes!
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