Friday, April 7, 2017

Night Writer - Rebecca Rivard

I want to introduce you to USA Today bestselling author Rebecca Rivard. I invited her to join me today to share her deliciously dark romance novels and impart some of her writerly wisdom.

USA Today bestselling author Rebecca Rivard read way too many romances as a teenager, little realizing she was actually preparing for a career. She now spends her days with dark shifters, sexy fae and alpha vampires—which has to be the best job ever.

SEDUCING THE SUN FAE (#1, the Fada Shapeshifters series) was a 2016 EPIC Awards Finalist for Best Fantasy/Paranormal Romance, and her novella ENSNARED: A VAMPIRE BLOOD COURTESANS ROMANCE was a Night Owl Reviews Top Pick (5 stars).

Her latest release is STEALING ULA (#0.5, the Fada Shapeshifters series).

The Dark Side of Romance

First, I want to thank Shadow for having me on her blog today. She’s awesome, and I’m honored she invited me.

I have books in two series, both of which are romance on the dark side. I have my own Fada Shapeshifters series which features dark shifters and beautiful but dangerous fae, and I also have a novella Ensnared: A Vampire Blood Courtesans Romance, that part of Michelle Fox’s bestselling Vampire Blood Courtesans series.

Shifters with a touch of darkness…

For the Fada Shapeshifters series, I actually didn’t set out to write dark books, and yet the books have Goth elements—particularly, the dark, complicated hero. In my world, shapeshifters are called fada, and they’re a mix of fae, animal and human genes. They were born in Dionysus’s bacchanalia—wild, orgiastic rites that have become so dark that some clans have banned them.

Seducing the Sun Fae (#1, Fada Shapeshifters) begins as a fada alpha is observing a sun fae queen from a stream. He finds her incredibly sexy, but she’s been stealing energy from his clan—and he intends to stop her, whatever it takes. In the very first scene, he’s debating whether to kill her or not. He decides to kidnap her instead—and the plot is launched.

And in Claiming Valeria (#2, Fada Shapeshifters), Valeria is kidnapped by Petros, a rogue Greek fada who still follows the old ways, including the banned bacchanalia...

Here’s an excerpt:

The path led to a clearing at the center of the island presided over by a tall, slim oak. Petros tapped on the trunk as he spoke some words in ancient Greek, and a magical doorway opened, which by some three-dimensional sleight-of-hand expanded until its width was greater than the actual tree trunk. Stairs led into the shadowy depths below.

Valeria’s spine iced. She knew, with a deep, inner certainty, that dark souls waited at the bottom of those stairs. Her knees locked and she forgot all about waiting for a chance to escape. She just wanted to stay above ground. ~Claiming Valeria, ©2015 Rebecca Rivard

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Then there are the fae in my Fada Shapeshifter series. I have three main types: sun fae, ice fae and night fae. The night fae are the darkest, and I absolutely picture them as Goth. They are tall and black-haired with chalk-white skin—and mesmerizingly beautiful (as all fae are). They’re night walkers, the vampires of the fae world who feed on dark energy—fear, anger, jealousy…

Dark, Sexy Vampires…

Which leads me to vampires… I’ve been fascinated by night walkers since I first read Bram Stoker’s Dracula as a sixteen-year-old, followed quickly by Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire.

I had so much fun writing the dark French vampire Remy in my book Ensnared: A Vampire Blood Courtesans Romance. In the Blood Courtesans world, the vampires are out—and they’re rich and powerful. They hire blood courtesans to provide them with the two things they want most—sex and blood.

Remy is a dark, sexy vampire who is used to getting whatever he wants—and he wants a struggling young artist named Star. He engineers things so that Star has no choice but to be his blood courtesan. But his old, cold heart is about to be cracked open by love.

Here’s where Star first sees Remy. She’s sitting on her stoop one early morning, when:

Suddenly the robin went silent as if it had been choked in mid-note. The squirrel froze and then whisked itself into the tree branches.

Every hair on my body stood straight up.

I looked around. There. A dark swirl at the end of the block…and then a man emerged from the shadows like a grim, powerful magician.

My breath hitched. The man was gorgeous: broad shoulders, black hair that curled over his collar and a face too beautiful to be real. He and his sleek charcoal suit stood out in my working-class neighborhood like a Ferrari in a sea of Fords.

Wariness skittered up my spine. He was too out of place. Rich, gorgeous men didn’t walk down our street. Ever.

And they didn’t stare as if they knew me…or wanted to.

~Ensnared: A Vampire Blood Courtesans Romance, ©2016 Rebecca Rivard and Michelle Fox

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The appeal of the dark side…

So why do my books have a touch of darkness? Blackness, evil, warring desires, dangerous secrets—all create conflict. They suck you into the story by raising the stakes for all the characters.

My favorite Gothic element would have to be the bad-boy Byronic hero—the beautiful, wounded man hiding a dark Gift or a secret wound. The heroes of Claiming Valeria and Tempting the Dryad especially fit that template.

I’ve read everything Edgar Allan Poe ever wrote—two or three times. I also fell in love with Charles Baudelaire’s poetry, especially Les Fleurs du Mal (Flowers of Evil). And I have a dog-eared copy of The Annotated Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (introduction and notes by Leonard Wolf).

The fair lady/dark lady theme is also fascinating. I like to mix it up and have elements of both types in the same woman, as I did with the sun fae queen Cleia in Seducing the Sun Fae. She’s both a seductress and a healer; the ruler of all the sun fae and yet a woman who craves a bit of domination in the bedroom.

My books draw on a variety of mythology around the world—the rites of Dionysus, Celtic mythology, sun goddesses (did you know there’s a Japanese sun goddess known as Amaterasu?), as well as elements of Wicca. But mostly, I make it up as I go along—and I make sure to keep a detailed series bible so I don’t forget some aspect as the world grows more intricate.

For the Blood Courtesans books, the authors borrowed some of the standard vampire mythology, and some we made up. For instance:

- The vampires drink wine, but they don't eat.

- Drinking some of the vamp's blood creates a blood bond that the vampire can then use to link telepathically or to control a human.

-Some vampires, especially the older ones, can take sunlight and they have reflections.

- Sex improves the taste of their “food.” Hence, the desire for a blood courtesan…

- The vampires are super-fast and can leap out of tall buildings without hurting themselves. Supervamp!

- They can't be killed even by a bullet to a heart, although it slows them down. But ripping off a vampire’s head kills them for good.

So What’s a Series Bible?

One of the smartest things any author can do is keep a series bible, especially if you’re writing in a fantasy/paranormal world. My bible lists the Fada and Fae by type (water fada, earth fada, sun fae, ice fae, etc.), and also what’s unique about each race. I then list each character under the appropriate type, including a description, any photos and the character’s Gift. If the character is a shifter, I list what animal(s) he or she changes into to.

I also keep simple maps and descriptions of each clan’s territory.

If you’re writing a series and you haven’t started a series bible yet, do it—today. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Hugs, and enjoy the read!

Thank you so much for sharing, Rebecca! 

Where to find her:


Definitely follow, like, and subscribe! And be sure to check out her books. You won't regret it!

☙ Shadow ❧

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