Archive for 'Marked'

The Draw of the Dark Side
by Our Guest on May 20th, 2010

Note from Jessa: When Elisabeth Naughton told my writing group about her first adventure romance trilogy, she called it “Indiana Jones meets Romancing the Stone,” which is like saying chocolate ganache meets dark chocolate.  And now she has a new series paranormal romance starting, which is like saying chocolate ganache meets dark chocolate with chocolate sprinkles.  And she’s giving away a copy today, so read up and leave your comment.

elisabeth-naughtonThanks so much to the gang at Silk & Shadows for inviting me to be with you all today! 

If you’ve read any of my previous books you know that I’m a romantic suspense author who has recently shifted to the dark side and is now writing paranormals as well. The first book in my Eternal Guardians series – MARKED – released this month. Someone recently asked me, “Why the change?” and I thought about the question for a minute, but couldn’t answer. It’s a simple question, I know, but the only answer I could come up with was not one I knew the questioner wanted to hear. I mean, authors are supposed to know why they do everything they do, so to have an author say, “I dunno. I just write the books that come to me,” I knew my answer just wasn’t gonna cut it. 

That, of course, is a cop out answer (even if it’s true). And since readers seem to want to know why things change (as my editor says… “Okay, why is this happening again?”), I’ve decided it would be in my best interest to have a list of answers ready and waiting for just such a question. 

So here it is, my top ten list for shifting to the dark side. 

marked-final-400x60010. Look at that cover. Do I need to have another reason for wanting to write paranormals?!

9. Special powers come in really handy in the climax of a paranormal book. As an author who ALWAYS gets stuck here trying to make everything work out, I can tell you it’s much easier to throw in an electrical storm or zap someone with lightning fingers to get out of a bind than it is to save the day with plane ol’ Tom, Dick & Harry. 

8. Superhuman sex. (I do write romantic paranormals, after all.)

7. I get to write about snarky gods. They seem to be able to get away with anything they want. Who knew? 

6.   Looking for a little danger? You don’t need a serial killer on the run to amp up the tension. That’s sooo over done. Throw in a seething daemon instead. Seven feet tall, horns like a goat, face like a cat, ears off a dog and lots of claws? Oh man. So much more fun! 

5. Sure, romances are great, but when the two main characters are fated to be together and hate each other at the same time? That just adds an extra level of tension that makes the whole romance that much more interesting. 

4. The fact I can throw in a Fury (or two or three) whenever I feel like it (Yes, I am Fury obsessed). And this time they’re real winged creatures with snakes in their hair, razor sharp teeth and a rabid need for blood, not simply stone carvings of the creatures. 

3. I can write really twisted scenes and blame the genre. (“What? You think that’s too sick? Yeah, but it’s a paranormal. My readers will expect it.”) 

2.  Superhuman sex (did I say that before?) 

And the number one reason I decided to write paranormals: 

1. They’re just plain freakin’ fun! 

I never expected I’d have so much fun writing this series, but every day I’m excited I get to take my world one step further. While I love romantic suspense and don’t plan to give up writing in that genre (as soon as I turn in TEMPTED, book 3 in my Eternal Guardians series, I’m jumping back into a romantic suspense novella for Kensington), I’m thrilled I get to write about heroes and gods and prophecies and soul mates. The possibilities in a paranormal are endless, the danger is epic and the romance seems a thousand times more intense when other-worldy dangers are lurking around every corner.  

So why did I shift to the dark side? The answer is clear: Why the heck wouldn’t I?   

What do you love most about paranormal novels? What draws you to them again and again? I’ve got a copy of MARKED to give away to one lucky commenter today! 



Your browser may not support display of this image. A previous junior-high science teacher, Elisabeth Naughton now writes sexy romantic adventure and paranormal novels full time from her home in western Oregon where she lives with her husband and three children. Her debut release, Stolen Fury, heralded by Publisher’s Weekly as “A rock-solid debut,” was recently nominated for two prestigious RITA® awards by Romance Writers of America in the Best First Book category and the Best Romantic Suspense category. When not writing, Elisabeth can be found running, hanging out at the ball park or dreaming up new and exciting adventures. Learn more about Elisabeth and her books at

Shades of Gray
by Annette McCleave on April 14th, 2009

S.J. Day’s resume includes a variety of odd jobs ranging from amusement park employee to POW interrogator. She’s presently a full-time writer. A native Southern Californian, S.J. thinks there’s no place like home, but she loves to travel. Her adventures have taken her to Japan, Holland, Germany, France, Mexico, Jamaica, and all over the United States. Next week, they take her to the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in Orlando, Florida, where she’s looking forward to meeting readers and writers alike. Or you can meet her from the comfort of your home over at her website:

S.J.’s alter ego, Sylvia Day, is well known for her evocative and highly sensual historical romances. The world S.J. has created in her new urban fantasy series, Marked, is certainly evocative. And exciting. And gripping. She’s built a world where demons and angels and all sorts of interesting creatures take hold of your imagination and never let go. She’s here today to dish the goods on her two hot heroes, those infamous brothers, Cain and Abel.

S.J. kindly gave away an ARC of Eve of Darkness to our Silk and Shadow Dwellers in February and she’s offering one lucky commenter an ARC of Eve of Destruction today. Be sure to comment for your chance to win!


sjdayIt’s a widely held rule of thumb that one should avoid discussing politics and religion in mixed company. Such topics are so divisive that it’s difficult to bring them up without sparking heated debate. That being said, it’s hard for me to avoid the topic of religion while talking about the heroes of my Marked series — Cain and Abel. However, since my guys are fictional–of course–we’ll just look at them that way. :wink:

One of the biggest questions I’m asked is: what inspired you to write a series wrapped around the most infamous brothers in history? My answer isn’t very helpful I’m afraid. I was in the shower (where many of my ideas are born) and Eve’s story popped into my head fully formed. I knew her and her story, and I knew she was torn between Cain and Abel. Honestly, I just *knew* it. Dripping water and wrapped in a towel, I grabbed my laptop and typed out what was fresh in my mind before it escaped me forever.

But spontaneous premise aside, I’ve always been fascinated with the tale of Cain and Abel. I’m not the first to think, “There’s more to that story.” There are other, non-canonized texts that didn’t make it into the Bible we’re familiar with. The First and Second Books of Adam and Eve and the Book of Jubilees all delve a bit more into the story than Genesis, but there are still a lot of mysteries that we can’t yet know the answers to.

So, I took creative license: I gave Cain the benefit of the doubt. There are two sides to every story, I always say. I blended the white that is Abel and the black that is Cain to make two gray men. Neither is perfect and neither is evil. They have more in common than not, as most siblings do, and they happen to fall in love with the same woman.

Marked Series

While the advance reading copies of the first two books have been circulating, I’ve found it interesting (and delightful) that readers clearly like one brother over the other. So far, it’s Cain who’s won the most hearts. As a writer, there’s a joy in knowing that with the right spotlight on a character, even an infamous murderer can become a beloved hero. I wish I could take credit for that, but really I’m just the narrator.

Do I have a favorite brother? No. I’m hoping that more readers will come to see Abel as a worthy challenger for my heroine’s attentions. Maybe, because I’m inclined to root for underdogs. Maybe, because they’re equally yummy in my eyes.

How about you? Do you have a favorite story where you rooted for the “bad boy”? Have you ever read a story where you feel like the wrong guy got the girl?

Leave a comment = Chance to win a book!
by Jessa Slade on February 9th, 2009


Cursed by God, hunted by demons, desired by Cain and Abel… EVE OF DARKNESS

S.J. Day, who’ll be guest blogging with us in April, has offered one of our lucky commenters this week an ARC of the first book in her Marked series, EVE OF DARKNESS. This fabulous new urban fantasy trilogy from Tor releases back-to-back starting in April. To learn more about Eve, the books, or SJ, visit her website at

We’ll draw the winner on Saturday – Valentine’s Day! – so scroll down to leave a comment on any post this week for a chance to win!