Happy June 10th everyone! I thought that this month I’d share a new project and a new line of books from Dreamspinner Press as my author post, since I’m down in the weeds right now with the last round of edits on my own offering in the line, Finder’s Keeper. I’m talking about the upcoming Dreamspun Beyond line of contemporary paranormal romances from Dreamspinner Press. These stories, like the Dreamspun Desires line, are romance-forward category romances like the old Harlequins. Sexy and sweet, with a sweet HEA, Dreamspun Beyond titles are between 50-60K and feature paranormal phenomena, creatures, and anywhere your imagination might take you, all set against a contemporary backdrop.
Writing for the Beyond line was a no-brainer for me: I adore romantic stories, and I love paranormals.
For those who may not know, I’m a huge anime (Japanese animation) fan. I blame my son for this, although he moved on to gaming a decade ago and I’m still watching! The inspiration for Finder’s Keeper came from two of my favorite animes: InuXBoku Secret Service and Kamisama Kiss, both of which feature a kitsune, a fox spirit, who shifts from human to fox spirit form. The Japanese kitsune are clever, beautiful (these two are gorgeous), and a little mischievous. So when I was trying to decide on a character for the half-human, half-spirit guardian of the gateway between the human and spirit worlds, there was no doubt in my mind that my spirit would be a fox. The kitsune in my story, Kit, is several hundred years old. He’s the son of a human woman and a Japanese fox spirit. The gateway between worlds? It’s in the basement of a Gothic brownstone in Cleveland, Ohio, my hometown.
Finder’s Keeper is the story of Zane Mayer, an engineer who leaves North Carolina to live in the old house his second cousin left to him and his twin sister. The last thing Zane expects is that the handsome redheaded caretaker of the brownstone, Kit, lives in the basement. But Kit isn’t exactly what he seems, something Zane finds out when he goes down to the basement, worried that something has happened to Kit. Here’s a little excerpt from that scene:
The room was huge—at least ten times bigger than Zane had expected. Bigger than the footprint of the house. Near the doorway, a simple cot stood against a bare wall. Next to it an alarm clock and a book sat on a table. All normal, everyday things.
The rest of the room was something out of a dream.
A set of heavy wooden doors completely filled the space. Simple inlaid handles joined to create a square with a single character in silver paint—like a letter from a strange alphabet—in the center. The space between the bed and the doorway reminded Zane of a Japanese rock garden with matching benches on either side of a walkway. The stones that formed the garden substrate glowed blue and seemed to oscillate, first solid, then flowing like a liquid.
Someone stood between the two benches, his back to Zane, dressed in a hooded robe of deep blue with silver embroidery at the ends of the sleeves that hung well below where his hands would be. The same letter painted on the doors had been sewn in silver thread into the fabric at the back of the garment. The scent of something familiar and sweet danced around Zane’s senses, reminding him of the delicate perfume his mother had worn, with its hints of citrus and ginger. In the face of the impossible beauty of this place—was he still in his basement?—the fragrance felt familiar and warm.
“I didn’t want you to find out this way.” Kit’s shoulders rose and fell as he drew an audible breath. He turned around. In the dim light of the room, his eyes glowed green and his pupils looked much like a cat’s. His skin was so pale, it seemed nearly translucent. He pressed his lips together and held Zane’s gaze before he reached up and drew off his hood.
Kit’s hair tumbled over his shoulders and down his back in waves, the red silk of it like embers in the hottest of fires. Zane gasped. Atop Kit’s head were two large ears like those of an animal, pointed and furred. Like a wolf, or a dog, or a—
“Fox,” Kit said as if he’d heard Zane’s thoughts.
With that, a wave of something black flew toward him. It wrapped itself around him and squeezed. He couldn’t see. He couldn’t breathe. His head spun and the room shifted sideways. The last thing he remembered was two strong arms catching him as he fell.
Finder’s Keeper will be released on September 15, 2017. If you love sweet romance and you love paranormal stories, I think you’ll really enjoy the new Dreamspun Beyond line. Until next time! Have a great June all y’all! -Shira