Five Novels that Have Inspired Me
Giveaway: Please help me celebrate the launch of Demon Interrupted. I’m giving away a $30/£20 Amazon gift voucher. Enter via the Rafflecopter (at end of post) for chances to win!
Thanks so much for having me over today, Kacey, to celebrate the launch of Demon Interrupted, the fourth of the Lakeland Witches novels. I’m very excited to be here. Since I’m giving away an Amazon gift voucher to share the celebration, I am especially pleased that you’ve asked me to talk about five books that have inspired me.
Though I’ve read a lot of really fabulous books, it actually wasn’t all that hard to pick out the five that inspired me most over the years and to say exactly why they did. It may surprise people that while only one of them is an erotica novel, I feel that all of them have not only entertained me and made me think, but they’ve made me a better writer as well.
These are not in any specific order.
- Empire of the East by Fred Saberhagen
This is an oldie but one of my absolute favourite Scifi/Fantasy novels, one I never get tired of reading. I had a world literature teacher in Uni who told us the very first day of class that if we didn’t like to read when we started her class, we either would by the end, or we would drop the class because we would be reading, and we would be reading LOTS! I owe Dr. Monaghan for helping me fall in love with reading. After that class, I couldn’t read enough, and one of the very best novels I read was Empire of the East. To this day it still inspires my imagination in ways no other novel ever has.
- The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
From the time I read The Once and Future King in 7th grade, I loved the Arthurian legends and, while I would definitely put The Once and Future King on my list of favourite novels, it’s Mists that makes the top five because a story that amazed me from the get-go amazed me even more when it was told, so imaginatively, from the point of view of the women in the story and when it was told from the pagan angle rather than the Christian. I was absolutely enraptured. Mists is a book that led me to explore my own pagan roots, and it also led me to rethink so many of our western stories and myths from the female perspective, it made me aware of just how lacking that perspective is.
- Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I’m sure I won’t have to tell anyone who has read this book that it’s one of the most haunting novels ever written. Few novels have stuck with me in such a way or given me anywhere near the goose bumps and tingles that Rebecca has and still does. The power of the novel, for me, is that the story it tells is not the story you think it’s telling, and du Maurier tells that deceptive story so beautifully, so seamlessly, that I never saw it coming. When I think of telling a tale that pulls the reader in with skin tingling, spine chilling nuance and then leads them to a place even more chilling than the one they were expecting, this one is it. This one is a whole creative writing class in a single novel, as well as one of the most gripping tales I’ve ever read. For any writer who hasn’t read it already, I can’t recommend it enough. For those who have, read it again, for the chills, for the story, for a refresher course in the writing lessons.
- Control by Charlotte Stein is the only proper erotica novel on my list. Not only was it one of the first erotica novels I read but it was, again, a teaching tool for me. Charlotte’s view of the dominant and submissive relationship took it out of bondage and latex, which I wasn’t all that fond of, and made it about people and their inner most desires for how they wanted to be with the opposite sex. That, I think, has been the key to all my novels since – what do these two people fantasize about? What’s their secret longing? How do they need to be with their partner? How do they need their partner to be with them? Control is psychologically complex while at the same time a simple story of what two people, plus a third, need. Brilliant.
- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I read the Outlander novels long before Starz totally enthralled me with Sam Heughan and Catriona Balfe’s beautiful portrayals of Jamie and Claire. The story is not like any I’ve ever read before. It follows no template I can think of. I remember the first time I looked in a bookstore for the next novel in the series, I couldn’t find it, and when I asked, I was totally shocked to discover that it was in the ROMANCE section! The novels cross genres in so many ways I couldn’t imagine, even as I fell in love with Jamie just as Claire did, that this novel and the ones that followed could be pigeonholed as romance. Having said that, some of the most erotic scenes I’ve ever read, some of the most unselfconscious sex and some of the most terrifying have been in Outlander. It’s another treasure trove of learning how to write – if you can stay focused on the lessons while reading such an incredible story.
That’s my top five in a nutshell, and it was SO much fun to share with you lovely readers, just why I love these novels. Thanks again for having me over, Kacey.It’s been great!
Please remember to comment for a chance to win the Gift Card so you can work on increasing your own list of favourite reads. And being a bit mercenary, as I am, I do hope that Demon Interrupted will now be on your TBR list.
Ferris Ryder has a choice to make. He can reclaim the past, which he now consciously keeps from his memories or he can let all that he fears to remember destroy the present and the Elemental Coven he has come to love. Has the mysterious Elaine come into his life to be his guiding angel or will she tear his world, and that of his coven family, apart?
Demon Interrupted is published by Xcite Books, and is available from Amazon (universal link).
Carefully, he slid out from under the duvet and made sure Fiori was well tucked in, even knowing as he did that no harm from the cold would come to her, not really. She hadn’t drawn breath in almost two years now. Strange, he thought, as he pushed into his clothes, his eyes still locked on the sleeping ghost, who still maintained her physicality so that she could endure, even relish, the torture of the Dream World. Strange that one who was dead should seem so much more alive than he. In truth it was as though he were the ghost that haunted the halls of Elemental Cottage when everyone else rested. And in all honesty, his flesh had only begun to matter to him as more than a vessel to serve Cassandra since his arrival at Elemental Cottage. Flesh, at Elemental Cottage, was a grounding in which powerful magic took place. As he dressed, he rested his hand against his cock through his trousers and felt it stretch to his touch. Imagine his surprise when he found, upon his arrival, that his own flesh once again had desires, that food and drink and sex and flesh against flesh burst, ne fairly exploded, into his perpetual present, and his life became three dimensional for the fist time in his memory.
And flesh, it was an anchor to a family that he thought he would never have. Even when Cassandra had been his soul purpose, he had exerted no control over her and she had sought no closeness in their relationship. He thanked the goddess that at least Lucia hadn’t deemed it necessary for him to live with the open-wound that Cassandra’s constant peregrinations could so easily have left him. No, he had gone about his days in a grey haze of duty that bound him deeply and yet he felt with a distance that eased his empathy at the young succubus’s suffering, yet never lessened his loyalty to her, nor his desire to protect her. For that at least he had been grateful.
He slipped out the door and moved down the hall toward his own suite. Here at Elemental Cottage, he was welcomed for no other reason that the fact that he was here. Periodically he made trips down to Surry to check on Cassandra’s estate there until a decision could be made as to the best use of the property. But it was always with a sense of anticipation and pleasure that he returned to the Lake District and to the warmth and camaraderie of Elemental Cottage.
When he reached his suite, he stood for a long moment in front of the closed door, then he turned and headed back down the long hallway past the rooms replete with sleepers traversing the Dream World, sleepers who had only a short while ago made love in honour of the waxing of the moon. The power of sex settled over the house like the moonlight did as he made his way to the staircase and down to the library. The fire was laid in the hearth, as it always was and, once it was lit, he perused the massive shelves for something, anything, that might ease his restlessness. He was looking through a section of old texts on alchemy when he became aware that he was no longer alone. The sudden warmth on his back made him feel as though he stood too close to the fire. In spite of the warmth his arms goose fleshed and his stomach somersaulted.
‘I can assure you, Ferris, there is nothing upon these shelves that can compare to the paths of knowledge you refuse to traverse.’ In spite of the inviting contralto timbre of the voice, Ferris felt a tremor climb his spine.
‘And I can assure you, Lucia –’ he said without looking behind him ‘– the most hideous volumes on these shelves I would fear less to peruse, than those places of which you speak.’
The demon moved in so close to him that if the fire of her had been a physical flame, his back would have been a cinder. As she crowded him against the book-lined shelves, for a moment, he resisted, ignoring the futility of such an effort. For a moment. Then he relaxed and let her invade his inner space. It was only as she exploded into those inner realms that he realized in all the years of her presence, in all the years of her on the edges of his consciousness, she had never come fully into him before. The weight of her, though not physical, was terrible, and he stumbled backward feeling his way to the sofa, gasping for breath as though all of the oxygen had gone from the world, feeling his flesh burn beyond ash even as everything remained as it was, and yet would never again be the same.
‘You gave me a choice,’ he gasped in a voice that would have been a scream if he could have managed more than a whisper. ‘And I made that choice.’
She pushed in even nearer, as if that were possible, and behind his tightly clenched eyelids he saw both the beauty and the horror of her poised closer than his own breath. ‘I gave you a gift.’ Her voice roared like the winds on the high fells. ‘I gave you a gift and I expected you to open it, to look at it, to use it.’
‘I didn’t want it! I still don’t want it! I was happy as I was.’
‘You can’t lie to me, Ferris. You were not happy. You were nothing more than a tool for my use.’ It felt as though she leaned into him and whispered in his ear. ‘And you didn’t fight me when I made you the offer.’ He felt the weight of female curves against him, on top of him, pushing him down onto the sofa, and to his horror, he was aroused, even as he was terrified.
‘I’m fighting you now,’ he said, realizing that the more he struggled the more aroused he became.
‘You may fight if you choose, but it will do you no good. Did you not think that I would reward you for a job well done?’ He felt an invisible hand move against the erection he could scarce believe was there. ‘Did you think that I would leave you with no comfort when your job was done?’
He cried out and arched against stroking and caressing. ‘Cassandra was her own reward. I asked nothing else of you.’
Her laughter climbed his spine like ticklish fingers. Hands ripped at his trousers, buttons popped from his shirt. ‘You don’t know what you asked of me, Ferris, and you don’t know what I demanded of you, or what I denied you. Do you not at least want the option to hate me for all that I took from you? Is that not properly yours to claim?’
He was shocked to discover that his trousers were around his knees and that it was his own hand stroking his cock while the other cupped the heavy weight of his balls. He was embarrassed to find her watching him from the winged back chair next to the hearth, clothed in the robe of fire in which he had always seen her.
‘Everyone here has fought demons, Ferris. Everyone here has suffered great loss. But for you it’s all been vicarious, has it not? For you the battle for the Elemental Coven was no more personal than the loyalty you pledged to Cassandra. I’ve kept you safe; I’ve kept you distant from yourself for all these years for your own protection and for the protection of that which I hold dear. And now you choose to remain in the empty space I created for you because you think it’s there that you’ll remain safe. I tell you now, Ferris, and I tell you honestly, there is no safety in this place you choose to remain, and if you don’t move forward and claim the time that was taken from you, you will suffer for it, ne, not only will you suffer for it, but all those who care for you will suffer as well. And they do care for you, Ferris.’ She spoke with a broad sweep of her arm. ‘They all do.’
There was a loud thud and a woman’s startled gasp, and it was all swiftly followed by bruising pain.
‘Ferris! Ferris are you all right?’ From his position face down on the floor, Ferris recognized Fiori’s voice. Opening his eyes, he became aware of her kneeling next to him, naked.
‘I’m fine! I’m fine.’ He pushed himself to a sitting position, then took the hand she offered as she pulled him to her feet. ‘I … fell out of bed?’
Fiori’s laugh was sleepy and warm as she tugged him back under the duvet. ‘You sure you weren’t dreaming, because you seemed to have been carrying on a conversation with someone.’ As he settled back into bed next to her, she straddled him, and with a shift of her hips mounted him, her grip on his erection a tight caress. ‘Something tells me it was a sexy dream.’
That he could be aroused after what had happened would have stunned him if his visitation had been from anyone other than Lucia. But she was a lust demon, and there was no denying her mark on his flesh. ‘No dreams,’ he lied, grinding his butt into the mattress and then arching up to bury his cock deeper in Fiori’s body, cupping the weight of her full breasts in his hands. ‘Just being in bed with you, that’s all.’
Fortunately, as he moved a hand down to rest against her pubis and thumb her hard clit, she seemed to lose her train of thought, and her tight shifting against his penis eased his own mental processing and brought him back to the calm centre of the present in which he existed, though there was now no denying that he might not be allowed to stay there much longer.
Voted ETO Best Erotic Author of 2014, and a proud member of The Brit Babes, K D Grace believes Freud was right. In the end, it really IS all about sex, well sex and love. And nobody’s happier about that than she is, otherwise, what would she write about?
When she’s not writing, K D is veg gardening. When she’s not gardening, she’s walking. She walks her stories, and she’s serious about it. She and her husband have walked Coast to Coast across England, along with several other long-distance routes. For her, inspiration is directly proportionate to how quickly she wears out a pair of walking boots. She also enjoys martial arts, reading, watching the birds and anything that gets her outdoors.
KD has erotica published with SourceBooks, Xcite Books, Harper Collins Mischief Books, Mammoth, Cleis Press, Black Lace, Erotic Review, Ravenous Romance, Sweetmeats Press and others.
K D’s critically acclaimed erotic romance novels include The Initiation of Ms Holly, Fulfilling the Contract, The Pet Shop and To Rome with Lust. Her paranormal erotic novel, Body Temperature and Rising, the first book of her Lakeland Witches trilogy, was listed as honorable mention on Violet Blue’s Top 12 Sex Books for 2011. Books two and three, Riding the Ether, and Elemental Fire, are now also available.
Find K D Here:
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