Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dark and stormy nights

Arguably one of the worst opening lines is “It was a dark and stormy night.” But when an elementary school teacher in Northeast Ohio gave her sixth grade class that line and told them to write a story, an author was born. An author who grew up with a keen interest in all things paranormal. I don’t remember how old I was when I first read Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but I was hooked. I think I’ve seen every Hammer Horror film that Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing were in, and while I don’t necessarily like straight horror, throw a little romance into all that gothic angst and I am so there.

So it was only natural that when I started writing, seriously writing for publication, that I went straight to paranormal romance. And I’m so excited about my Warriors of the Rift series with Grand Central Publishing. The first book, KISS OF THE VAMPIRE, comes out February 1st. It has a vampire hero and a half-demon heroine and a supporting cast that includes werewolves, elves and even a werebear. Set primarily in the Scottsdale, Arizona area, the series combines paranormal elements with suspense and romance.

The second book, HEART OF THE WOLF, picks up the storyline where KISS leaves off, with a werewolf heroine and a human cop. I’m just about ready to start writing book three, HEART OF THE DEMON which features a demon hero and a fey heroine.

Warriors of the Rift: Once a generation, the rift between the paranormal world and the human world opens, allowing supernatural entities to cross. Vampire, demon, or shapeshifter, they can save the world–or send it spiraling into chaos.

So, tell me. What’s your favorite type of paranormal, and why? To celebrate the release of the first book of the series, we’ll draw a name from all the comments and that person will receive an Advance Reader Copy of KISS OF THE VAMPIRE and a bookmark and magnet.

Cynthia Garner

***Shannon wins the ARC for Kiss of The Vampire!! Congratulations, Shannon! Please send an email with your full name and mailing address to so we can get the prize in the mail! Thank you!***


Shelley B said...

I like wolf shifters and vampires. I love the whole idea of one mate and being blooded to one person for life.

Kylie Griffin said...

I'm on a binge of post-apocalyptic paranormal romance - just finished reading the DARK AGE DAWNING trilogy by Ellen Connor. I'm also rather taken with Joss Ware's ENVY CHRONICLES.

I think what I find most appealing about both series is the incredible world-building. There's enough familiar about the settings/environments for me to identify with them and that helps me to believe the changes that happen "after the end of the world" and the time and events the characters find themselves facing.

I also like that the romances are gritty, sometimes dark, but there's that sliver of hope and eventual HEA. It mightn't be the one you saw coming, or wanted to see the characters end up with, but it's there.

I get a lot of satisfaction from imagining that love can make a difference, even when the world has gone to hell in a handbasket! A very similar scenario to the situations your characters face in KISS and SECRET, Cynthia! LOL

Cynthia Garner said...

Shelley, me too!

Kylie, I think that's the whole appeal of romances in general, the thought that love can make a difference. We don't always get that hope in real life, so we need that escape into a romance.

Thank you both for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like such a great series!I like steamy suspenseful paranormal, but to hook me, you have to create a strong world- which I know you can :)

Cynthia Garner said...

Thanks, Alica! I appreciate your trust. :)

Unknown said...

I love paranormal characters that are - at some level - just regular Joes trying to get by. Your series where people in one dimension are paranormal here takes me right back to my very first love...Superman!

Virginia C said...

Hi, Cynthia! I am loving the sound and the look of your books--FABULOSO ; ) Werebear--OH, MY!!!

My fascination with Vampires began at an early age. Jonathan Frid as Barnabas Collins on "Dark Shadows" started it. Bram Stoker's "Dracula" fueled it. Frank Langella's superbly sensual "Dracula" immortalized it. David Boreanaz's sweet, conflicted "Angel" renewed it. Vampires are awesome! Bram Stoker's "Dracula"--the Grand Vamp of them all. The many film portrayals of The Count, with my favorite being the superb Frank Langella! Watching "Dark Shadows" after school with my grandmother--neither one of us could wait for the next episode. Barnabas! Then there is the modern renaissance of Vampire fascination and fanaticism. There are Vamps of all types, but the indelible image of a tall, dark, handsome and powerfully compelling male Vampire remains the touchstone. "When a Vamp loves a woman", she is not just food for thought...she is his "soul provider". Who could be a darker hero? Who could be needier of redemption than a legendary Master Vamp? I love Jonathan Frid's "Barnabas", David Boreanaz's "Angel", and GB's "Dracula 2000". I can also say that Louis Jordan and Jack Palance both put their own intriguing mark on the character of "Dracula". Nods to Bella Lugosi and Christopher Lee as well! However, no one has captured the seductive, sensual, invasive evil of Dracula as well as Frank Langella! That voice! I can only imagine him in his live stage performances, his audience spellbound as his voice wrapped around them!!! I watched the film in the theater when it first came out in 1979. When I watched it last Fall, thirty years later in 2009, it still hit me like a lightning bolt. The climactic (non-nude) "love scene" was one of the most erotic things I've ever seen on film! Still powerful! I love INTENSE. Who would want a Vampire who was not intense? Having said that, it's so much more attractive for that Vampire to have one soft spot--his love for a very special woman! "The Bite" is very sensual because the neck is an erogenous zone. Offering it up to be bitten is sexual surrender. When the fangs sink in, it's an erotic rush for the Vamp and his "soul provider". A savory-sweet, sensual smorgasbord--let's dine! The increasingly creative and expansive world of Paranormal Romance takes love beyond yearning and turns it into craving. Even when it is written in a humorous vein, it is still intense, and HEA is not guaranteed. It's really quite amazing how soulful the undead can be, especially when love is unrequited.

Cynthia Garner said...

Unknown, there is something engaging about the vampire next door who's trying to make the mortgage, right? LOL

Virginia, my first Dracula movie experience was Christopher Lee in the Hammer Horror films. Tall, dark and deadly! I agree with you that Frank Langella really put the sexy in vampires, though.

Thank you both for stopping by!

Barbara E. said...

My favorite type of paranormal features vampires and has lots of other creatures in it, some as allies and some as enemies. I also love main characters who are resourceful, strong and have a good moral center, even if they have to do bad things sometimes.
Your Warriors of the Rift series sounds fantastic and I'm looking forward to reading it.

Barbed1951 at aol dot com

Shannon said...

Years ago I read a book by then new-to-me author Kerrilyn Sparks where the vampire breaks a tooth and has to go to the dentist...Hilarious!
A tv series I used to love was Dead Like Me, a dry comedy about a group of grim reapers who have to help transition souls from earth to wherever they go after death. The twist to the show was that the reapers had to hold down day jobs to pay the rent.
I don't really have a favorite--good story, is good story. I'll read anything.

Cynthia Garner said...

Barbara, I agree with you--the strongest characters are those who do what they think is right, even if others disagree. They're true to their own code.

Shannon, I loved that Sparks book! How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire. It was my introduction to her as well. I liked Dead Like Me, too. Quirky things like that appeal to me. :)

Laura Russell said...

I'm partial to the starting line "it was a dark & stormy night" I like the story to start with the world already gone to hell and it keeps getting worse. Then our hero cleans it up or cleans it up enough so he can make his woman happy.

Your stories sound great. Counting down til Feb 1.

alainala said...

my fav type of paranormal are ones dealing with shifters!! there usually has to be a strong female... i dont really enjoy ones where the woman is all like 'help save me!!'
thanks for the chance to win!

alainala AT hotmail DOT ca

Cynthia Garner said...

Laura, it's great to start the story just as everything is sliding out of control. :)

Alainala, I don't like heroines who are helpless, either. The hero doesn't complete her, he complements her.

marybelle said...

I like a big dose of romance with my paranormal. I totally agree about strong & independent females.

Lil said...

It is difficult to choose a favorite style of paranormal but I guess it would be the fae. They just intrigue me no end.

little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

Cynthia Garner said...

Marybelle, me, too! It's great to make a big, bad vampire (or werewolf, or whatever) fall in love.

Lil, there's so much you can do with the fae. I'm intrigued, too. :)

Mary said...

I love paranormal books and right now I am obsessed with Vampires...I always have been ever since watching Dracula with my mom on tv when I was a little kid.

I'm looking forward to reading your book, it sounds great.

lindsey hutchison said...

I love Shifters and Vampires....If you give me a alpha male with a brooding side yet can be tender yet possesive of his women and a leading lady with sass that can tie that creature up yet he has a bit with playful banter that keeps me laughing at times...then lusting at other times im so there in that book .

I love the look and sounds of these books and they have gone on my wish list.


Cynthia Garner said...

Hi, Mary! I remember watching reruns of Dark Shadows on TV when I was in 4th or 5th grade. Loved Barnabus! Then Christopher Lee as Dracula in the Hammer Horror films...I was hooked. I hope you enjoy KISS OF THE VAMPIRE.

Lindsey, the book you describe is the kind I like to read, too. And write.

lindsey hutchison said...

LOL then im glad i slapped your book on my wish list

Michele L. said...

My favorite paranormals are the dark, mysterious, powerful, seductive male characters that save the world from disaster. I love vampire novels but love all kinds of stories. I read Shana Abe's novel about the Drakon and they were fantastic! So I love all kinds of paranormal romance novels.