Friday, March 5, 2010

Delicious Tease Day #20: Sophie Renwick

One of the best things about this contest is the fact that I get to introduce so many of my friends to you. Today's guest, Sophie Renwick, is a dear, dear friend of mine and a wonderful writer. Today she is talking about Velvet Haven, the first book of her Immortals of Annwyn Chronicles, and can I just say that it's terrific. I've read it a couple times already (as it was going through the writing/editing stages) and it's one of the most intriguing paranormal concepts I've read in a long time. Her hero, Bram, is to die for-- you all know I'm a sucker for a bad boy-- and her heroine, Mairi is pretty awesome too. So comment away for a chance to win Velvet Haven!

I remember looking around in fascinated horror. The rookery where my brothers and I and all the other town kids played looked like something out of a fairy tale—a dark, disturbed tale, but a fairy tale none the less.
Even at eight I knew I wanted to be a writer, and that day, as I looked around me, at the ice and trees, listening to the wind howl through the woods, I knew what I would one day want to write about.
So when my editor approached me about doing a paranormal series that was ‘fresh’, I looked out my kitchen window and thought, ‘hmmmm, what can I write about?’ Then, the strangest thing began to happen. It began to snow. Soft at first, but then the November sky darkened, and the snow began to come down, and the wind started its low moan through the field at the back of our house. And in the middle of the field is a crown forest, and above the trees which were naked, a few ravens circled the tops, and inspiration struck.
Instantly I was transported back to that rookery of my childhood. To not only that winter’s day where the woods were ice covered, but to the springs and summers when we would run and play and pretend that we were hiding from the faeries that lived amongst the trees. I recall one summer day, crouched down between two big maples, my little brother beside me, breathing heavy from running. “Do you believe?” he asked. And I remember looking down into his little freckled face (mine was even more so) and said, ‘yes. I believe in faeries. And I believe they live in these woods.”
That memory, combined with the snowstorm outside my own window was the inspiration for my paranormal world of Annwyn. Bran, the hero of Velvet Haven (Book One of the Immortals of Annwyn) is a Night Sidhe and a King. He is a fairy. And he shifts into a raven. And his home is the woods, and his magic comes from the elements and the stars, and he’s everything that my eight year old heart would have loved to come across all those long days ago, in that rookery.
Do you believe? And if you no longer do, what creatures, real or imagined captured your imagination in your childhood?

Hidden from mortals for eternity, Annwyn, the Otherworld, is home to shapeshifters, wraiths and dragons. On the border with the mortal realm stands a nightclub called Velvet Haven. The shapeshifter king of Sidhe, Bran, comes there searching for his brother, Carden, who's ensnared in a centuries-old curse. He looks to Mairi, a mortal woman with an unusual aura, for help. He usually just uses humans for sexual pleasure in order to restore his magic energy, but Mairi's lush curves and teasing caresses inflame him like no Sidhe ever has. He has no idea that the woman he's falling for holds the key to his destruction-or his salvation.

Jumping, the two of them whirled around, only to find themselves looking up at a giant. A beautiful, golden giant with eyes that shimmered in the strobe lights. His beauty was beyond anything Mairi had ever seen. And his body…her gaze slid over the tight black T-shirt that showcased his pecs and arms, she’d never seen a body like his.
There was something inhuman about him, he was that drop-dead gorgeous.
He smiled, a slow sensual grin that was almost hypnotic. “Welcome to Velvet Haven. We’ve been expecting you.”
“We’ve?” Mairi glanced back at the DJ who was still playing music.
The man grinned and moved to the left, revealing the most dangerous, sexiest man Mairi had ever laid eyes on. When he looked at her, her entire body jolted and images flooded her brain as he walked—no, stalked—slowly towards her. He was dark, brooding, intense; reminding Mairi of a black thundercloud. Menacing, yet strangely fascinating. Capable of a powerful storm, yet hauntingly beautiful.
There was a fierce tempest brewing inside him. Mairi could feel it, a strange energy radiating off of him. Her body lit up like a nuclear power plant and her breasts suddenly grew heavy as she studied his self-assured steps. She was aroused, and her arm tingled where the feather had landed on her. Blinking, she fought the visuals that suddenly clouded her thoughts, but they were all she could see now as they slammed into her as her dream from only a few hours before came back to haunt her.
A drop, in the shape of a tear, trickled between the shoulders of a tattooed back. Sweat. She inhaled the scent of man as she watched the crystal fluid run between the rippling muscles that quivered and strained.
He was naked, back ripped and sculpted; arms thick and defined, spread out at his sides. His face was covered by black hair that was long and damp, clinging to his brow. His ass was hard—sculpted—the smooth skin stretched taut over contoured muscles. His thighs were thick, powerful, possessing stamina and sheer strength.
His was a body made to master a woman’s.
Straddling his hips, she licked away the rivulet of sweat, tasting salt and arousal as she traced the sword tattooed along his spine with the tip of her tongue. A blast of heat wrapped around her despite the dampness between them. He arched, trying to connect once again with her tongue. Beneath her, she felt his ass flex, rising up hard between her thighs to nestle between the folds of her sex.
He moaned as the heat from her core swamped his skin, coating him with her own arousal.
Tormenting him more, she dragged her nipples along his back, scraping the pointed tips over his skin as her tongue flicked up his spine in teasing, insinuating lashes. He was shackled, his wrists in black manacles, his fingers curled into fists. On his left hand he wore a ring that bore an oval stone, the color of fire. With her lips and teeth she pulled it from his finger, allowing him to feel her mouth wrapped around his finger. She sucked it, teasing him, giving him a glimpse of what she could do with her lips and tongue.
“I am your slave,” he said in a voice intoxicated with lust.
Never more did she realize the truth of his words than now. Never had she seen him so aroused, so eager for her. But she wanted him hotter. Harder. She wanted him begging.
Sitting up, she placed his ring on her index finger and admired the glow of the stone. It felt warm on her finger, the remnants of his heat, the hint of power contained within the gem.
Reminding her that she had left him aching, he strained beneath her, rocking against her sex. She was wet. She let him feel that wetness before she reached behind her—between his thighs. He groaned and shifted, the manacles straining with his immense strength.
“You are too impatient,” she whispered in his ear.
“I would feel you now,” he growled, a sound that made her shiver in desire, and the slightest bit of fear.
“All right.” Reaching between his thighs, she teased him until he lifted his hips from the bed. He wanted her to reach for his cock. Instead, she reached for something just as hard.
Lifting the sword in the air, she brought it down, but he turned his head and looked up at her, his strange, haunting eyes glaring at her through strands of damp, black hair.
“After all this?” he murmured, “after everything we’ve done, you would betray me now?”
“Mairi?” Rowan whispered, pulling her out of the memory as the man stalked closer and closer to them.
“What is it?”
“I…I,” she turned to her friend. Biting her lip, she tried to stay strong, tried to tell herself it was just some stupid dream. She was overtired that was all there was to it. “I had the dream again. This afternoon.”
“Was it like all the others?”
Mairi shook her head. No, this one had been different.
“Was it the same guy?”
“Was it…” Rowan glanced up the man with the long hair. “Is it him? Is that why you’re remembering the dream now?”
“No, I don’t think so. It’s not the same guy. How could it be?” she asked, looking at her friend with horror.
“Then tell me what’s got you shaking, Mairi.”
“The guy,” Mairi murmured, swallowing hard as she looked at the man who was slowly coming to her. “The one in my dream. I…I… killed him.”

Question of the Day: Do you believe? And if you no longer do, what creatures, real or imagined captured your imagination in your childhood?


  1. I still believe even if I don't know for sure.

  2. I still believe in magical happenings.

  3. Hi Sophie!

    Great post and excerpt, can't wait to read Velvet Haven!!

    I still believe!!!! :)

  4. I believe in those wicked, sexy Fairies, too!!!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Although I no longer believe in fairies, or mermaids or Disney-like talking animals, I'm still holding out for aliens from another galaxy-the truth is out there, LOL!

  6. I use to believe in the unicorns, fairies, dragons...etc :)

    But I'm with Cheryl McInnis, these days I'm waiting for the aliens :)

  7. I still believe in the possibility that there is more out there than we can touch or see.

  8. I think there are things out there in life that we haven't discovered yet or can't and when i was a child I believed in things like the monster under the bed.

  9. I do believe. ^^ There are so many things out there that can't be explained for me not to believe. ^^


  10. I believe, these days as an almost 50 year old it keeps me sane in the stress that is today's depressing and anxiety ridden world!!!
    As a child I never imagined the world of books that is out there today and would absolutely love a chance to get my hands on "Velvet Haven" the beginning of The Anwynn Chronicles, Sophie has written a book that has the keys to my heart!!!!

    jackie b central texas

  11. Oh I believe! And like the Neverending Story I believe that the more ppl that believe the stronger it becomes!

  12. As a child, whenever I watched a scary movie I would think that whatever scary thing from the movie was real.

  13. As a child, it was mostly characters from Beverly Cleary & Judy Blume books that captured my imagination.

  14. I think magic exists in some form around is magic...If I ever get to where I don't believe, I don't think life would be worth it. I love the unexplained!

    rachie2004 @ yahoo (d0t) com

  15. I think that magical things happen that we can't explain.


  16. I believe in magic, so many things that can't be explained.

  17. I definitely believe in magic. I would like to believe in fairies & when I read about them I surely do.

  18. I do believe in magic and mystical creatures.

  19. I am a huge paranormal romance fan, and I definitely do still believe in magical creations.

  20. I still believe that there is something "else" out there.

  21. I enjoy mystical and magical creatures, my favorites are unicorns!

  22. Lovin' the cover of this book! That man is a hottie and the excerpt makes things even hotter!

    As a child I was fascinated by unicorns. They are so majestic and magical.

  23. I still believe, maybe not in all the same things I did as a child, but I think the universe is too big and even our planet has too many unexplained things for it to be just us here.

  24. I still believe that there's place out there , somewhere, full with the creatures that we've never seen before.

  25. I don't remember my fantasies from my childhood but I certainly enjoy the ones I have now when I see covers such as this one.

  26. I live in South Jersey with woods behind my house. I grew up with ghost stories about the Jersey Devil. He still scares me after dark.

  27. I believe that all the magical creatures that we all learn about as kids, got frustrated with the human race when we stopped believing and got dangerous. They may decide to return if we are ever mature enough to accept them again.

  28. I may not believe in the beings of storytales, but I still believe that there is magic in everything that goes on around us. The beauty of the flowers and the strength of the wind is just a few of the magical elements of the world around us.

  29. I believe that there's more than meets the eye.

  30. awesome excerpt! i believe that there are some things you just can't explain and that there is magic in the world.

  31. I do believe that there are "other" beings out there. I'm not sure which, but there are too many references in history to just ignore them.

    What captured my imagination as a child? Well, my favorite shows were Bewitched, I dream Of Jeannie, The Munsters and The Addams Family, lol, so I was a fan of paranormal as a child too!

  32. Ooh, I love to read as if I believe, but I'm not sure... I guess the possibility is open :) And Sophie, I can't believe this is out already!! It's been on my "waiting for" list, and I must have blinked! ;) Congrats!!