Raven, the floor is yours.
Thank you for inviting me onto your blog today, to talk about Temptation my recently released book from Evernight Publishing.
Temptation is the first book in a new series about an Island in the Indian Ocean where dreams and fantasies come true—if you let them.
Isola dei Sogni. Island of Dreams. Not your ordinary run of the mill island. For a start, there a lot of very interesting people living there. Some aren’t wholly human either. The shifter population is active in the running of the island. So are those with other attributes. After all, you need all sorts to sort out those dreams and fantasies.
I wrote a shorter version of this story several years ago, as book two in the series. With Impulse another story set on the same island as book one. When I subbed those original stories to Evernight they suggested we swapped the order around. It works so much better.
Temptation is Meryl’s story. She’s feisty, doesn’t suffer fools gladly and is still getting over the break up with the one guy she could have settled down with. Not that she’d admit that of course, especially not to him.
Marloth is so pleased to see her again. But there’s a lot of unfinished business between them, especially his past, and how she wasn’t supposed to fit into it.
A wee tease… Here he is trying to explain some of it to Meryl
So, let’s go back to my twenty-first birthday. When my father told me my history. It’s a strange thing in my family, but you don’t shift until you come of age. That is twenty-one. Oh, and by family, I mean it more than a mum, dad, grandparent sort of thing. I guess other sorts of shifters will have clans, and packs, and stuff. We have a family. Each to their own. Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah. I have no idea how or why it happens like that, the being twenty-one stuff, but it does. So, the night before that date, you’re invited to meet up with the council, for your coming-of-age ceremony. It’s all very hush-hush and no one ever talks about it afterward. Even now, I’m not going to explain things to you, except to say I was told what would happen, and how. I had to pledge certain things, as well. Of course, at twenty- one, and in front of all these people you’ve known as friends of your father, it was scary. I couldn’t help but wonder about mafias, or mason-type things. Overawed and overwhelmed was an understatement. Not only that, one of those things indirectly involves you.”
He shivered. Meryl squirmed. She was uneasy and didn’t want to show it. A sheen of sweat beaded on Marloth’s skin, and Meryl herself felt clammy. Tentacles of fear were once more busy and crawling over her body, and she had to know more. It wasn’t something she did very often, but Meryl prayed that Marloth would be able to explain without breaking any oath he’d taken. “It does? How?”
“Let me do it all in order, ’kay? Then I think you’ll see things better.” He hesitated and then picked up her hand to play with it, stroking the back, and rubbing her fingers with his. If that connection helped him, no way was Meryl going to tell him that each feather- light sensation was making her hot, needy, and wet.
“So, after the big day, I was told to go back to university and finish my last semester. Then once I’d graduated, they’d begin my … my education as a shifter, I guess. The first time you shift is not easy, not comfortable, and damn well not something you can talk about over a pint. I guess if you learn from an early age it might be different, but we don’t.”
“And do you know who else is like you? You know, have meetings and things?” Meryl was interested in the mechanics of it all. When she’d known him the previous year, and inadvertently walked in on him as he shifted, she hadn’t freaked out, as he seemed to think she would. Instead, with his permission, she’d watched, fascinated as he changed from man to beast, and then later, back again. Now it seemed something sinister was tied up in his abilities, with her entangled in it.
“Not as such, but yeah, I guess you could say, like senses like. And of course, you do know some people. Those who guide you, for instance, like Faran does for me. He’s my cousin, and powerful in our families. Also, you know some, but not all those earmarked to be part of your life.” He sighed and his hold on her hand tightened.
“Like a wife?” Meryl guessed. “And we met, and I put a spanner in someone’s works?”
“Something like that.” Marloth kissed each finger of the hand he held. “You see, I was at, well, not a loose end because I knew what I wanted, but I wanted to paint. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. Put a canvas in front of me, and I’m away in my own world. I worked like an idiot for a few years and then said I needed a gap year.”
Meryl giggled. “I thought most people did them immediately before or after uni?”
“Well, I like to be different. No, honestly? I wanted enough money as a cushion so I could paint. When I came into your coffee house, I’d been in Europe and worked my ass off in a painting frenzy. I headed back to Scotland to check out some of the country’s scenery. Then I saw you and knew I needed to check out your scenery instead.”
Book two Impulse will be out in March.
Love Raven xx