My latest release, Daughter of the Dragon Princess, is essentially a paranormal romance but with its roots on the world of fantasy. So today, I wanted to write a little about how I think fantasy tropes can deepen paranormal stories.
Probably the book that had the most impact on me when I was growing up was the Lord of the Rings. It’s high, epic fantasy, with new worlds, fantastic world-building, and a huge cast of characters; heroes, villains, sidekicks… In fact it has everything: adventure, romance, (Aragorn was probably the first hero I fell in love with!) magic, comedy, action…
It was huge in scope and made me realize that as a writer you can create anything. You are only limited by your imagination. I’ve loved fantasy stories ever since then, especially great big fantasy trilogies. And one day I will write one, but I’m waiting for the perfect idea to thrill me into the commitment of a few hundred thousand words.
But while I still love fantasy, these days I have a hankering for faster paced stories, with more action, less world-building, and definitely more romance, but still with a hint of other worlds and characters who are more (or less) than human . And so started my love of paranormal romance.
I love mixing genres, and in the past I have mixed science fiction with paranormal (in my Blood Hunter series – Vampires in space) and thrillers with science fiction (The Descartes Legacy). With Daughter of the Dragon Princess, I wanted to write a paranormal romance set firmly in our world but give it a flavor of the high fantasy stories I enjoy so much.
For me great fantasy tropes are all about the fight of good against evil. There is a hero or heroine who must undergo a quest of self-discovery and somehow become more. There is usually a really great villain and a whole different world, fantastical creatures, and maybe even gods and goddesses who can intervene…or not.
For my fantastical creatures, I decided on dragons, as some of my favorite fantasy books have dragons at their heart. Dragonriders of Pern by Anne Mcaffrey, Game of Thrones by George RR Martin, Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels trilogy. But to give my dragons more of a paranormal twist, I made them into shape shifters.
For my fantasy world, I have the dragons’ world of Ankesh. But again, I wanted to give the story a more paranormal feel, so the action actually takes place on our world, in our time, where the dragons are trapped in their human form, trying to get home.
My heroine, Lily, is undergoing a journey of self-discovery, as she finds out just who and what she is and finally comes into her powers. My hero is also experiencing his own quest, from a man (or rather a dragon) bent on doing his duty to one who sees beyond that to what’s right and wrong.
I have a real baddie in Vortigen, the King of the dragons, various sidekicks and even a goddess…
I loved writing Daughter of the Dragon Princess and hope my love of high fantasy tropes has deepened the story. So which fantasy tropes would you like to see in your paranormal romance? There’s a Rafflecopter giveaway below for a chance to win a $25 gift card.
Date of Publication: 7th October 2013
Number of pages: approx.. 240
Word Count: 60k
Cover Artist: Keith Draws
Found abandoned as a baby and brought up in a children’s home, Lily Palmer has no clue that she is the last of the Dragon Princesses and destined to be mated to a king. But when she wakes up one night to find her apartment invaded by a stunningly gorgeous, but totally deluded madman, she can no longer ignore the dreams which have haunted her life.
Exiled on Earth, and trapped in human form, the dragons have waited two thousand years for the only person who can open the portal between their world and this one. Now they have found her and Malachite Smith has one job—to deliver Lily to his King. According to dragon law, only the King and the Dragon Princess together can open the portal and take them home.
But neither Mal nor Lily are prepared for the overwhelming attraction which flares between them. Or for his reluctance to hand her over to a king he despises. Can they stand as one and challenge the old ways, even if it means destroying his people forever?
The hallway was dark, and she reached out her cuffed hands for guidance and encountered his hard body, her palms resting against him.
“Shit,” he muttered, then turned and backed her against the wall. She could just make out his form towering over her, as his head lowered and his lips slanted across hers. Her mind went numb, her body took over, and she didn’t resist as he plunged his tongue into her mouth. The kiss was hard and held an edge of anger barely contained. It didn’t matter. He tasted like her dreams, of heat and spice. Her tongue thrust back against his as a pulse started its incessant throb between her thighs. She stood unmoving as he deepened the kiss, pressing his long, hard body into hers so she was plastered against the length of him. Hunger ignited low in her belly, and she groaned against his lips while her hips shifted restlessly against him trying to get some relief from the craving building inside her.
One hand slid beneath her top to cup her breast, his palm rubbing over the peak, and pleasure shot from her nipple to her groin. Her head fell back, and she raised one leg, wrapping it around his hip so she could press her core against the hard length of his erection. Desire was building like a heaviness inside her, swelling…
A bolt of lightning lit up the room, briefly illuminating the savage intensity of his expression. His mouth stilled, his fingers tightened on her breast, then the light flashed again and he jerked free of her and swore viciously.
A second later, his fist slammed into the wall at her side.
Her hands came up to drag him back to her. She was clumsy in the cuffs and her senses returned—what sort of woman kissed a man who’d cuffed her? A crazy one, that’s what sort.
She pressed her wrists against him, so the metal dug into her skin and the fog of desire cleared enough for her brain to function. She shoved him hard. He didn’t budge.
“Get off me, pervert!”
His brows drew together. “Pervert?”
“You know, the sort of man who likes to tie women up?”
He didn’t answer, just took a step back, and shoved his hands in his pockets. He breathed out deeply and the tension drained from his body.
“Why?” she asked.
He didn’t pretend not to understand. “It occurred to me that we may not get another chance. And I was…curious.”
She gritted her teeth. “Curious?” Her tone was filled with outrage.
“Just leave it.” Lightning flashed again and he frowned, then took her arm. “Come on, I don’t like this.”
He didn’t answer, just led her along the hallway and through a door. In the dim light, she could make out a comfortable sitting room. Everything appeared so normal and she blinked in confusion.
Mal pushed her toward an armchair. “Sit.”
“Yes, sir,” she muttered and sat. She didn’t understand him. Why would he kiss her like that, as though he cared?
He seemed about to say something but instead moved away to peer out of the window. She followed him with her eyes as he came back and stood over her again, rubbing a hand across his face.
“Lily…” he said.
She searched his expression, and he shifted under her gaze, not meeting her eyes. “What?”
“This man you are to meet tonight…”
“The one you’re handing me over to like an unwanted parcel?”
“Jesus,” he almost snarled the word. “Just don’t get him angry. Do as you’re told, and you’ll be all right.”
Was he actually afraid for her? “You’re frightening me,” she said slowly. “Mal”—for the first time she used his name—“am I going to die tonight?”
She held her breath waiting for the answer.
“No, he won’t kill you.” He paused. “But there are worse things than death.”
Icy cold washed through her. “Now, you’re really scaring me.”
Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.