By Anne.Hope On Jun 5 2012, 8:00 am
Deep down, I always knew I had a dark side. Little things tipped me off, like my obsession with horror movies when I was a kid, my unfailing ability to frighten my little cousins with stories of witches and goblins, my disturbing fascination with the supernatural and anything that goes bump in the night.
“Paranormals are dead!” That’s what they all told me when I first started writing. “Everyone wants comedy and chick lit.”
I tried my hand at comedy, and it was great fun. But all those frightful creatures lurking in my imagination laughed. “You’re fooling yourself,” they said.
I began writing romantic suspense, and that went a lot better. I could satisfy my dark side while quenching my thirst for romance. But the immortal beings in my mind refused to stay buried. They kept trying to claw their way out. Nothing would silence them. Not a silver bullet, not a stake to the heart, not even a hefty dose of angel’s blood.
Yes, angel’s blood. If you’re wondering what makes this substance so lethal, you’ll have to read Soul Bound, the first installment of my new paranormal series, Dark Souls.
As you can see, the dark side won out. I was powerless against its hypnotic lure, was ultimately seduced by the tempting pull of the forbidden. I’m the girl who secretly hopes the bad guy will be redeemed. The battle between good and evil, darkness and light, has always captivated me. I always wait breathlessly to see which of the two will prevail. So it should come as no surprise that my new Dark Souls series revolves around this very battle.
In Soul Bound, Jace Cutler is stripped of his soul, only to see it reflected in Lia Benson’s eyes.
Fighting an attraction that is stronger than both of them, the two embark on a perilous journey to unravel Jace’s past and solve the mystery of what he’s become, while laboring to steer clear of the creatures who hunt them. Creatures with inhuman abilities and twisted agendas of their own.
The problem is, Jace begins to suspect he may be one of them. Everyone around him is suddenly surrounded by a strange white glow, his body appears indestructible, and he seems to possess the psychic ability to make people do whatever he wants. Worst of all, he’s consumed by the insistent need to take back what he lost—his soul. The very soul that has now fused with Lia’s.
As the danger escalates and the stakes rise, Jace’s destiny reveals itself to him, and he is forced to make an impossible choice—reclaim his humanity and destroy an ancient threat to mankind or save the woman he’d sacrifice his very soul to protect.
The Dark Souls series is my most exciting project yet, taking me from the heights of the celestial realm to the dark depths of the catacombs. This thrilling foray into the supernatural has unearthed the creatures I’d buried and unleashed the darkest side of my imagination.
I hope you’ll join me on this riveting journey into the forbidden and fall in love with an immortal being or two along the way, as I have.
"Not like that. Put your weight into it." Jace had spent the better part of the morning sharing some of Regan's hard-earned lessons with Lia, until the sun's rays had grown fierce enough to shred the fog. Now the grass gleamed a brilliant green beneath a spattering of weeds and wildflowers. "When you strike, you gotta make sure you hit your mark or your target will retaliate, harder and with far more precision."
"I'm a healer, not a warrior." Puffs of air escaped her lips, reminding him that she didn't share his newfound stamina.
"Can you really be one without the other?" he challenged.
Boldness flared in her gaze, right before she lunged, her fingers fastened around the hilt of the dagger Regan had left behind for precisely this purpose. The blade struck him dead center in the heart, and he smiled. "Now that's what I'm talking about."
"I still can't wrap my brain around the fact that you can't be stabbed. My bones are still reeling from the blow." She ran her palm over his chest where the blade had glanced off him. "It's like you're made of stone."
He wished that were true. Then he wouldn't have to struggle not to sweep her into his arms and wrestle her to the ground, wouldn't ache to claim her lips or feel her soft curves mold to the hard planes of his body.
"Your turn." A silent dare resonated in her voice, and he froze.
"I'm not stabbing you."
"I was referring to your other idea. The one about you wrestling me to the ground."
Great. She'd read his mind again. He really had to get a handle on his thoughts or they'd end up in serious trouble.
She edged in closer, and her breasts grazed his chest in a tantalizing caress. "You don't need to fight it anymore. What happened yesterday proves I'm immune."
"You heard Regan. Being immune doesn't necessarily mean your soul can't be taken."
"By an Ancient. Last time I checked, you weren't an Ancient."
His glance drifted to her lush, inviting mouth. It would've been so easy to swoop down and swallow it, so easy to drink from the sweet well of delights it promised. But fear nagged at him. What if she was wrong? What if he was the one who could break her?
His head fell forward even as his body retreated. "I can't."
Her frustration and disappointment rippled through the air. For a brief second he almost gave in, reached out and grabbed her. It took all the willpower he possessed to keep his hands from closing around her shoulders, his arms from crushing her to him.
Inhaling a deep, tempering breath, he sat on an old tree stump and gazed at the horizon, where land met sea and trees conspired to block out the fickle sun.
Lia crouched beside him, clutched his hand and rested the side of her face on his knee. As if guided by a will of their own, his fingers twined in the silky threads of her hair. Warmth tangled his gut, slowly spread to inundate him. It made no sense that she could be so right for him when he was all wrong for her. That her touch could infuse him with strength, even heal him, while his kiss risked shattering her mind and ruthlessly draining her of life.
"You're wrong." She gazed up at him, her eyes more startling in their blueness than the sky. "You won't hurt me. Don't ask me how I know. I just do."
"Stop sneaking into my thoughts."
"I'm not. You're broadcasting them again."
"So change the channel."
She hooked her hand behind his neck, determinedly drew his face to hers. "What if I don't want to?" Her breath swept across his mouth, made his whole body stiffen and burn. The gaping hole in his chest pulsed. "What if I want to hear your thoughts when you kiss me?"
"I'm not going to—"
With a quickness he failed to anticipate, she bridged the reassuring distance between them and claimed his mouth.