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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Building worlds and chasing happy endings

by Natalie G. Owens

I happen to be a big fan of the Highlander series since it first came out--to this very day. Sigh. I simply love Adrian Paul in his role of tortured hero fighting for justice and survival. Who can resist a character like that? Tall, dark, handsome--a true warrior fighting for all that is good. And then there was the love he has for this one woman, of course; a woman he protects with all of his might. A woman he eventually loses. So sad! I wanted that series to go on and on, and I'll still watch reruns when given the opportunity.

So one day, I got thinking about book series and how readers love them (including me), just like they love to watch TV shows like Supernatural or True Blood. In literature, there are some amazing series available in the paranormal/fantasy romance genre (e.g., Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward). The germ of an idea was forming in my head and I tried to think whether it had been explored before. Yet I couldn't find anything just like it that featured immortals dating back to East Indian mythology and existing under their own legal and political system. Immortals with their own style of government and their own code of ethics formed over time. Basically, a secret society of these special individuals that aims at furthering the interests of its people and the humans they live with. This was good, because that idea got stronger and stronger, and started begging me to write it. 

I opened a Word file and jotted down notes. Anything I could think of--their hierarchy, their origin, their adventures, their lives, the historical periods they had a hand in shaping, the mindset they would have, and the kind of man or woman they would love as their soul mate. The historical and political aspects to explore fascinated me. For instance, what if Man had someone—or something—powerful and magical come to the rescue at certain crucial points in history? Like a superhuman CIA or covert organization that gets in gear when needed. Such an organization could influence things like the outcome of wars or important social change. With such power, however, comes greed and abuse. Therefore, for every act of good, the shadow of evil lurks not far behind. So, what if Man's fate and future is determined by warring factions of these immortal beings (good vs. evil)? 

The idea in my mind became an outline on paper, and together with my interest in myth, romance and adventure, the Valthreans were born. Gradually, these characters became my best friends--as real to me as any flesh and blood human.

The story and practices of the Valthreans constitute the backdrop of each book in the series, the glue that holds them together. Some pretty amazing characters make up the higher ranks of this unusual organization—unforgettable heroes and kick-ass heroines such as Emma, Adam, Max, Cam, Neil, Viviane, Nathan, Jack, Pandora, and more. Each character will get their own book, and Emma and Adrian's story is told in An Eternity of Roses, just released in January 2013. Max's book, A Lifetime for Revenge, is due out later this year. 

When you read their stories, you'll get to know them and their world as well as I do, and hopefully, love them just as much. Then there are the villains who you can love to hate. But stripped to the bare bones, my goal as a writer of romance is to tell the tale and give you that happy "aaahhhh" ending. My deepest wish--that the winding road I take you on will entertain you and keep you reading until the early hours of the morning :). 

Thank you for reading!

An Eternity of Roses (The Valthreans: Book 1)
Now on sale for $2.99 thru January (reg. $3.99) at: 




Two lovers separated by an evil curse. 
A desperate quest through time. 
A love that wants to beat all odds.
And all the while, deadly danger brews around a two-thousand-year-old secret society and the enemy that lives to decimate it.

"...‘Til the end of my life, I shall belong to you as your husband.”

That was the promise Adrian made to Emmaline. And then, he was gone forever...

It is 1807. Adrian Segrave, Viscount Bournemouthe, and Lady Emmaline Deramore are about to wed and British Society teems with excitement at this imminent love match. But Madeleine de Brandeville, a mysterious Frenchwoman, has her lustful and ambitious sights on the groom. When she sets her cruel plan in motion, she leaves devastation in her path.

Heartbroken, Emmaline embarks on an adventure she'd never imagined having. As the world changes and chaos brews, her fate becomes linked with the Valthreans, a group of immortals who must learn to face a deadly enemy that threatens their place in the human world. But all the while, there is one thing she wants more than any other—to get back her man.

When she finally finds her prize and the intense blue flame of desire burns once more, her worst nightmares are far from over and the toughest battle is yet to begin. Will love win the war in the end?

Praise for An Eternity of Roses:

"A fast-paced ... lovable romp" -- Mallory Heart Reviews, GMTA Literary Community.

"This book wrapped its arms around me and didn't let go."

"A wonderfully paced and exciting romance."

"The story is tautly engrossing, the plot beautifully constructed, and the characters humanly complex. This paranormal romance is a must read!"

"This book takes the traditional fairy tale and spices it up with intrigue and secret societies."

Excerpt:
“Don’t ever leave me again,” she said, blinking back tears.
Like I left you once before. “Never, I swear on my father’s grave.” Could he ever erase his foolish past actions that could have destroyed both their lives? “I want to see you carefree and happy.” The way you fill me with joy and excitement each day.
He was here, in her arms, as close as a man’s and woman’s souls could be, joined, linked. One.
“Oh, but I am! Can you not see? I never thought you to be blind,” she made light.            
He ran a finger over her dimple. “I assure you I am not blind,” he rasped. His hungry eyes traveled over her face to her neck and exposed shoulders. “I’m not blind at all.”                                
“Show me, then,” she invited, and brought her seductive lips to his. “Show me how much you can see.”                     
He caught her head between his hands and kissed her, demanded that she part her lips and allow him to explore the moist inside. Reward came when she threw her head back in abandon, and lured him with soft whimpers of pleasure. He pressed forward until Emma’s back was plastered to the wall.
If only he could keep her that way always. But no. He loved her free spirit too much.
Yet, he also loved her this way. His prisoner. Trapped between a wall and him. All of her possessed by him. 
Her palms dug into the snug fabric that covered his shoulders and trailed a burning path down his back. The tips of her fingers dug into the superfine fabric as she frantically pushed her body against his. She clutched on to him with her mouth, her tongue, her kiss, her whole being.
With one hand, he traced the goose bumps on her upper arms, the delicate curve of her waist, and the full contours of her hips and bottom. After a thorough exploration, he retraced his steps and slid his hand up to her breasts, wishing all the time he could make her corset and stays disappear with just the power of his thoughts.
He imagined a scene like this when Emma would forgo such fripperies so he could touch her the way he wanted...
His hand closed over a breast and kneaded. Driven by impulse, his lips left hers and found the exposed skin above her plunging neckline and tasted its sweetness.
Her sigh ended in a whimper, a wanton sound that turned him rock hard.
“Yes, touch me like that, oh please, touch me.”
Her words drove him insane, and for one wild moment he considered laying her down, ripping off her dress and taking her there, on the marble floor.
He groaned and kissed her again, deeply. Primal need pulled at its weakened chains. He wanted to swallow her whole, to become one flesh with her. His body screamed for it. But not here.
With a heart full of regret, he forced himself to stop kissing her … but he couldn’t stop touching her. He pressed his lips briefly to the side of her swollen mouth and let them trail downward.                
“Mine,” he murmured into her neck. Her warm breath brushed his temple when he pulled back a little so he could dive in the deep pools of her doe eyes. They were glossed over.
“I love you, Emma,” he rasped.         
She rested her head on his chest. “And I adore you. I cannot imagine my life without you.”
If he closed his ears to the clamor from the ballroom, he fancied he could hear the steady rhythm of her heart. He caught a stray tendril of her hair and twisted it around his finger.
She finally lifted her flushed face to his and gently pulled on his coat. “We must go back,” she said without enthusiasm.    
“Hmmm,” Adrian replied, not budging an inch.                   
She rose on tip-toes and planted a quick peck on the bridge of his nose. “I would rather stay here, alone with you, but we need to go back before we are missed.”
A movement on her head caught his eye. “I think we need to see to your hair first. It seems to have a mind of its own.”         
She muttered an expletive, and drew a soft laugh from him as she swerved around so her back faced his chest. “You must fix it then.”
He raised a brow and surveyed the damage. “At your service, my lady, if I can understand how this works, and if you promise not to curse in public,” he said with a wink.
She grinned at him over her shoulders as he lifted uncertain hands to her soft ebony locks. Then she leaned back, and kissed him soundly on the lips. “I promise to be ladylike this evening. So do your best, my love. I have absolute faith in your abilities.”
The sparkle had returned to her eyes. When she smiled at him like that, everything fell into place. Emma was his fate, his destiny. There was nothing that anyone, including Lady de Brandeville, could do about it.

About Natalie: 
Natalie G. Owens got her first taste of serious writing by penning award-winning poetry, short stories, and articles for college and local publications. She sold her first book to a small publisher in 2007 and is currently indie published. Her favorite stories to write are romances with a dark edge featuring brooding heroes, strong heroines, and a good dash of fantasy. 

Find Natalie at:


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