Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Writing A Different History by Kiki Howell

First, I would like to give a big “Thank You” to Hannah Howell for having me today, and once again for reading my novel, Torn Asunder, and giving me a cover quote for it.

“Good art is art that allows you to enter it from a variety of angles and to emerge with a variety of views.” ~Mary Schmich

I think I take this approach with all of my writing. I’m all about different angles and various views. So, even when writing within my favorite time period in history, Regency England, I feel the need to shake things up, alter history. How do I do this? Well, I combine genres, write not only a romance that is a historical story, but one that is also a paranormal romance and an erotic romance with a touch of romantic suspense.

To me Regency England is quite magical in and of itself, that is if you were part of the Upper Ten Thousand, the ton. A life of gowns and parties, elegant food and regal men – well, I am more partial to the rake myself. *giggles* Anyway, it seemed only natural to me to add in some magic. I wanted my heroine in a lavish white empire line dress of embroidered lawn fabric with power coursing through her veins so strong it would let her manipulate the elements at a whim. Of course, such beauty and power can get a girl into trouble in any time period.

It is the troubles that build suspense, so as a writer I have to look at the setting and figure out what troubles a witch could find herself in, in say the early 1800’s in England. I write in what-ifs. What if she was forced away from the man she loved? What if she traveled to a magical island, say Ireland, where her powers were increased? This question, of course, lead to a lot of research on how one would get from England to Ireland in those days. To continue on in my questioning mode, what would a witch do for love? Would she stand battle against not only a mother hell-bent on an advantageous marriage for her son? What if there was a threat of black magic as well? What exactly would she do, how far would she go, to be with the man she loves? I don’t make it any easier on my heroine to find love than I do for her to get into her corset.

Of course, then I take myself out of my comfort zones. I push the limits of my imagination as I answer each of those questions. I see the houses and clothing, play with each of their limitations. I imagine the situations, all the possibilities my mind can conjure up. I add in a spell or two to make things tougher or easier. And, I create a man, a hero, whose tailcoat and neckcloth fall to the wayside as he is transformed into a beast of my heroine’s own creation.

With all my paranormal elements in place, my touches of suspense set just right, and my love scenes fraught with magic as well, I enjoy my bouts with the structure of the upper class. I challenge their rules of propriety and their ideas of entitlement and class, with the heavy hitters - complications such as passion and spells. Basically, I take this time period I love, and while obeying its confinements, staying true to them, I explore new areas, widen my view, add just to see how the characters will deal. Yeah, I have fun as I live in my mind in another place and time as I create it.

So, I hope you will enjoy my newest novel as much as I did writing it. Fraught with scenes of explicit intimacy, romantic spells and mystical shapeshifting, Torn Asunder is a unique blending of the age of manners with sexual magic.


Blurb: Aubrey Griffen is a witch whose true reasons for coming to London soon fall to the wayside when she catches the eye of Edmund Bryant, the Marquess of Dalysbury. He seduces her into a whirlwind romance until the lies and threats of his mother force her to flee to Triaill Brimuir, a secret island of her ancestors off the coast of Ireland. Edmund goes after her only to be hit by Aubrey’s confusion and anger when she magically transforms him into an elemental beast of her own creation.

However, it is when Edmund’s lust mysteriously turns him back into a man that the couple are forced to deal with a family secret and untold of powers. Now, Edmund must learn to shift himself into the beast in order to save her in a battle of black verses white magic.

Genres: Historical (Regency), Paranormal (Witches & Shifters), Erotic Romance

Purchase Novel in eBook and Trade Paperback online at retailers like Amazon, All Romance Ebooks, Smashwords, and Excessica Publishing . Currently on Sale for $3.49 ebook and $9.99 paperback at most retailers!

More Praise for Torn Asunder:

What a truly memorable and original novel! Torn Asunder by Kiki Howell is remarkable in its' depiction of a different time and age- and the adventures of Aubrey Griffen- a mystical and magical heroine. Torn Asunder brings to life the very essence of 19th Century England andIreland, and in doing so, provides the reader with the feeling they are actually there! Only a rare talent can accomplish this, full of magic, drama and romance, Kiki Howell joins the ranks of the very top supernatural writers! ~A JAMES MASON COMMUNITY BOOK CLUB MUST READ, RICK FRIEDMAN, FOUNDER

“Torn Asunder is what a Regency novel should be. Prior to this book, I have never had a historical romance keep my interest for more than a chapter or two. Kiki Howell has written a historical novel that sings. Her love for the time period is reflected in every part of the story, from the vivid characters to the clear imagery of her settings. I give Torn Asunder five of five hearts.” ~D. Alexx Miller, Book Reviewer for Romance in the Backseat

Kiki Howell I feel has a major hit on her hands with Torn Asunder. I was so glued to this book that I was up til 4AM reading it, and mind you, I had to be up at 7AM to see my kiddies off to school....lol. I was just so captivated...In between all the chaos our couple must endure is the most breath taking love story. Their hearts and minds are linked for all time by an unforeseen connection that real couples only dream of. On a scale of 1-10 I give this book a 10 and encourage everyone 18 and over to get a copy of this book and fall under Aubrey and Edmund's spell. It is so worth the ride. ~5 out of 5 Stars, Review by Raquel Vega-Grieder for Sinfully Tasty Reads

Monday, February 7, 2011

More snow tomorrow

I think if I hear those words 1 more time I will run out of the house screaming - maybe naked(after all, if I'm going to do something insane, might as well make sure I leave the neighbors with a real need for some eye wash).  Of course, once I veer off the dug path I will disappear into the nearly 5 feet of snow on the ground.  Actually my head might still stick out just a little as the snow has compacted a bit even if it hasn't melted much. Around 75" of snow may have fallen on this area but it's not exactly that deep everywhere.
How about a few pix from out of the sunroom windows to illustrate how life has been here for the past weeks?
This was just after the sunroom was put up and, yes, I am waiting anxiously for the weather to warm up so I can sit in there and savor the view.  It's already winter here and it's not particularly warm but it's still just looking like late fall out there.  When the sun was out, you could actually sit there at this time and be warm and content.  It was almost ready to put the Christmas tree up in it.(which looked really nice in the room when I finally got it up)

First snow.  Kind of a nice touch.  A little wintery but not at all threatening.  River's looking a bit icy so you get that chilly feeling looking at it.  Reasonable way to feel at this time of year.  But still kind of nice actually, as I've always rather liked winter, just not the inconvenience of it.  The cold or occasional storm that keeps you shut up in the house.  Definitely the down side of winter.

Now I can accept this ,too.  One has to expect at least one or two good big, dump-a-massive-pile-of-snow-on-the-yankees storms in New England in the winter.  Kind of pretty with the river all iced over.

Okay - now this is starting to get ridiculous.  62" of snow in 31 days.
It's also grey and cold most days so this stuff just isn't melting.  Strangely we didn't break a snow amount record yet, but this is January.  Guess what month we usually get the most snow?  You got it.  February.  Only hoping the current weather stays as promised which is slightly warmer and not much percipitation.  Also that that rodent in PA might actually be right for a change and we can celebrate an early Spring. See how almost buried my patio table & chairs are?

And then the last storm - two days of it - one wave followed by another and dumping over a foot on us.  Oh, the joy.  Back out, more digging.  Now also digging a path for the oil men so they can actually get to the oil connection.  It's still pretty cold and the last thing one wants is to run out of heating oil because the guys can't get in to fill the tank.  Please note the hint of the patio table still showing.  Still haven't reached a record of snow amount for the season yet, though.  Look at that.  Think you'd be willing to add to it to break a record?  Right.  Neither would I. Oh, and one last pic to show how this measures up to the new sunroom.

Nice, huh.  All the sliding glass doors aimed towards the river looked like that or worse.  All the windows overlooking the front porch roof looked pretty much the same, too.  Reports of roofs collapsing all over the area - but ours held up.(knock on wood)  Poor hubby had to tromp out through the several feet of snow and shovel that snow away from the sliding doors though.  It suddenly occurred to us that once the melt starts - and please may it be soon - that's got a good chance of coming into the house.

So, that's what I've been up to for the last few months.  True, in the beginning, it was nice to sit inside the warm house, watch the snow and get some writing done.  Always nice to have some on the holidays, too, to help get into the spirit of it all even if - as I was - you're desperately trying to finish up something for a deadline while getting Christmas stuff done.  Then it became a seemingly endless round of run out to get cat food, etc. before the next storm.  Then storm, shovel, plow, next day of shopping, storm, shovel, plow, next day to renew supplies, storm - get the picture?  Not much sun for the last couple months, either.  They actually did a report on the local news about the signs of winter depression and how to treat it, as well as a week of reports on where you can go to catch some rays and not get ripped off.  Even I'm starting to be very slow to get out of bed in the morning.  Well, much slower than usual.  Not exactly a morning person here.

But life will get back to normal soon.  Can't stop the turn of the seasons. Only 42 days left until the first day of Spring.  And - only 9 days left until my deadline for my next vamp tale so I will stop trying to elicit pity for the weather problems here and get back to work.  Also have the page proofs for one reissue and my next new book to go through and get back to the editor.   But wanted to give you a view of why this blog wasn't - shall we say - the first thing on my mind for a while.  And just to show how optomistic I am that things will improve soon -Today, while out to get more bird seed for the voracious birds I'm feeding, I bought some flower seed.  Hope springs eternal.