Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Guest Lea Kirk

Hello, my name is Lea Kirk, and my newest book baby is not a sci-fi romance.  Yes, it’s true. My most recent release is a paranormal romance, and I’m not ashamed to shout it from the parapets of Dracula’s castle either.

How did this craziness come about? Well, like so often happens to me, I had a very vivid, very weird dream. This one was about a woman who had acquired something of great value from some guy and he would kill to get it back. Enter, the vampire. For some reason, the vampire hated the guy who was chasing her so he decided to help her. They were supposed to leave town, but the guy caught up with her in her apartment before they left. He turned into a snake and was trying to bite her. The vampire appeared and the snake bit him instead. The woman was devastated because she loved the vampire, but now he was dying…

…and I jerked awake with tears in my eyes.

Yeah, I know. Totally unfair. I wanted to find out what happened next because things did not look good for the vampire and the woman. Then a ray of sunlight cut through the morning fog in my brain and I remembered, “Duh, you’re a writer.” I could give them the happily ever after they deserved! I rushed to my computer and typed up everything I could remember from the dream and saved the file. I call this “putting them on ice” because that’s kind of what I do. They stay frozen in time in my ‘puter until I finish my current projects. In this case I was working on the second book in my Prophecy series and a short story set in the same universe.

A couple of months later, I was messaging with S.E. Smith and she extended a gracious invitation to me to write my own original story set in the fictional town she’d created called Magic, New Mexico. Like there was even a remote chance I’d say no! But, I was still buried under my two other projects so we agreed to discuss it again after the new year.
January first came and I had no clue what I was going to write. Magic, New Mexico is a town of paranormal and alien beings, but I couldn’t fit my Prophecy series universe into it because, well, the Anferthians had already decimated Earth. Before that, no extraterrestrials had actually visited our planet. It was a quandary, for sure. So, I pulled up my file of saved story ideas (you will not believe how many of them have their roots in my dreams!) and scrolled until “Vampire Dream” jumped out at me.

Ah, hah! I had my story idea and it was time to give this couple their happy ending. I began writing it that morning while everyone else in my family slept in. I also bought all of the already published Magic, New Mexico stories to ground myself in S.E. Smith’s world. To say I was captivated would be an understatement.

If you’re familiar with Magic, New Mexico, you’ll know that many of the book titles start with “Touch of” or “Taste of”. This was a fun idea that the authors from an earlier release group came up with to play off S.E. Smith’s title, Touch of Frost. More on that in a minute. So, I made Taste of Venom my working title. The problem was that’s not very romantic sounding. Even my writing friends and my editor looked at me sideways. And I deserved it because, ew. Venom?  Seriously? I was stumped as to what the real title could be, so I kept writing the story until one day my hero realized that as a created vampire he’d lived long enough to find his one love. He had been made for her.

Bam! Title found. I love it when a plan comes together, even though I had no clue there had been a plan to begin with. (This pretty much sums up my life, by the way. She had no clue….)

As the process continued and more authors joined group #3 of Magic, New Mexico, we began to click. There were many fun chats, including what we wanted to do to make our group different from the first two. Some of us continued the “touch” and “taste” tradition, but many of us went our own directions with our titles. The thing we did do differently is that we created crossovers between our stories, and some previously released stories. In my book, Alexandru Carson’s name comes up in a conversation, Michele Callahan’s little fairies from Touch of Fire are mentioned, and Dev the Genie from Taking on Tory makes an appearance. I have had the pleasure of reading Sabine Priestley’s Tainted Magic, where Jody Wallace’s dragon from Silver Bound appears. I know there are others, but I have only managed to read two of the fifteen books in this group so far. How many tie-ins can you find in our stories?

I must say, this whole experience has been incredibly positive and I’m thinking about writing a second book set in the little town of Magic, New Mexico, where being abnormal is normal. The perfect place for an author to hang out.

Made for Her
Vampires and faeries and snake-shifters. Oh, my!

Donnie McAllister’s dream job turns into a nightmare when she discovers her boss isn’t as human as he seems. Racing against time to return a legendary dagger to the land of the Fae, she must rely on a dangerously sexy vampire to navigate a world she never knew existed. Because if she doesn’t deliver, it’ll cost Donnie her life and leave the ancient weapon of untold power in the hands of her corrupt, venomous boss.

Four hundred years ago one man destroyed everyone vampire Mikhail Cherneski held dear. Now his nemesis is after Donnie, the human woman whose blood calls to Mikhail like no other. For she means more to him than a simple snack to satisfy his despicable eternal thirst. When Mikhail comes face-to-face with his enemy, he must risk his immortal life or watch Donnie suffer the same fate as his family.

Another bewitching story from Magic, New Mexico.

Excerpt from Made for Her
(Girl meets vampire she’s avoiding again, this time in the middle of the desert)
Donnie’s grin faded as her gaze was drawn to a small cloud of dust moving toward them, cutting through the sage and cacti on the other side of the highway. “As long as it isn’t Mr. Merrick who finds us.”

The dust cloud became larger as it got closer. Without Carnwennan’s magic cloaking them, they were vulnerable. Chances were pretty good it wasn’t Mr. Merrick, unless he had super-fast healing powers and instant transportation to this exact spot the moment she let go of Carnwennan’s hilt. No. This cloud must be from a vehicle, and the only ones who’d drive the narrow dirt roads out here would be local yay-hoos. It was easier to believe she’d left both Mr. Merrick and Mikhail on the East Coast.

Something shiny flashed, and a vehicle blasted out of the dust cloud. A pick-up truck, older model, mid-twentieth-century vintage. The reddish-brown body bounced on its chassis as it sped across the dirt track of desert roadway. She couldn’t hold back the chuckle welling in her chest. Good luck finding that thing in a sand storm out here. It’d blend right in.

Whoever was driving was not slowing down. There was no chance this was their ride. She stepped off the road next to a dusty boulder, uncapped her water bottle, and brought it to her lips. The sun flashed off the windshield and the truck barreled across the empty highway and past her. Strains of AC/DC’s Back in Black blasted through the hot air.
She coughed and waved her hand as the dust cloud enveloped her.


The skidding of tires on gravel drew her attention back to the old truck. What kind of maniac slams on their brakes that hard on a dirt road? The truck fishtailed to a stop. The dust cloud floated over the truck, obscuring it before continuing its silent trek out into the desert alone. The world around Donnie seemed to hold its breath, as if waiting for the driver’s next move.

No, wait. That was her holding her breath. She exhaled slowly. The backup lights came on and the truck rolled back toward her. Could this be their ride after all?
The pick-up stopped just far enough ahead that she couldn’t see the driver. The radio was off now too. She leaned to her right as the passenger door opened, and her gaze locked with the driver’s.

“Hello, Donnie.” Mikhail said with a small, deadly smile.

Well, shit.

Author bio
Lea Kirk loves to transport her readers to other worlds with her science fiction and paranormal romances. She is the award winning author of the sci-fi romance Prophecy series, and the newly released Magic, New Mexico PNR, Made for Her.
She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her wonderful hubby of twenty-seven years and their five kids (aka, the nerd herd).


CJ Burright said...

Ooh, I just love those dreams that are so vivid, they have to be written! :) Thanks for sharing how your story came about - it sounds great!

Maureen said...

Great post! It's so fun to hear about the birth of a story. Best wishes!

Lea Kirk said...

My too, CJ! Our brains can be little idea generators at night, can't they?

Thank you, Maureen!

Nancy Gideon said...

Welcome to the paranormal side!! I felt the same way when asked to write a horror novelization. What!? I can't do that! Well, I did and loved the experience. Thinking outside your usual box in a new genre rekindles fires of creativity and imagination in a wonderful (and scary exciting!) way.

Diane Burton said...

Lea, thanks so much for coming over to share your experience. Writing in a different genre can be fun, and it brings a renewal of energy to your writing. Best wishes.

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Lea Kirk said...

Oh, wow, Nancy, that's awesome! I wouldn't even know where to begin if someone asked me to write horror, I'd probably scare myself. lol. But writing a PNR was a rewarding experience. Happy I did it, and thinking of doing it again.

Thank you Nancy and Diane for your supportive words. :)