Hello Book Monsters and Literal Addicts!
As you all know I am a HUGE fan of Jaime Rush and her Incredible OFFSPRING series and we are most happy to be helping Jaime celebrate and promote her newest release, "DARKNESS BECOMES HER" today. Let's go check out the newest book in the series and then Jaime will be taking over.
Darkness Becomes Her
Book Six of the Offspring Series
Avon Books, June 2012 (ISBN 978-0062018922)
A man beyond redemption. A woman beyond hope. And a battle that will either kill them...or bring them back from the edge.
Lachlan McLeod has a mission: find the beast who put his brother into a coma. He'll start with Jessie Bellandre, his brother's girlfriend, who's harboring a dark, dangerous secret that could get them all killed. But as they plumb the depths of Darkness, and the light he didn't know existed in the shadows of his heart, not falling in love with her will be as hard as staying alive.
Guest Post by Jaime Rush
WHAT IS DARKNESS … REALLY?
Sometimes titles come easily, sometimes they don't. Well, pretty much like the stories. When I was putting together the proposal for the first three books in the Offspring series I threw out a bunch of suggestions, something that tied into the experiment the characters' parents were in (BLUE EYE) or their psychic abilities. My then agent came up with the Darkness titles, and to my surprise, the publisher went with them. I worried that readers would assume darkness meant vampires or something more otherworldly but overall I liked them.
Flash forward and now every month about five books come out with Darkness in the title. We talked about changing it, but some people know the books as the Darkness series, and different titles might throw them off.
So I rethought what darkness was. To me. Of course, it's a general term that conveys the darkness in people's hearts, physical darkness, danger, evil … that's why publishers like the word. I wanted to come up with a darkness of my very own. In my world, the villains come from a parallel dimension and have powers that reflect that world. My Offspring carry the essence of the "humans' in that world, which is why they have the powers they do. I had some leeway, which made it fun.
I believe that our emotions hold power. We know negative emotions can build up in our bodies and make us physically ill. Sensitive people pick up dark energy. In the other dimension, which we never actually see, they must suppress all of their emotions. I thought, what if all of those suppressed feelings of anger, resentment, and anything dark, combined to make an entity known as Darkness? And what if a few of those people tapped into it, pulling it into their souls? If they controlled it (or thought they could), harnessed it, what could they do with it?
I explored it a little in my novella, THE DARKNESS WITHIN, but we really learn about it in DARKNESS BECOMES HER. I didn't want to give too much away in the novella because I wanted to reward my readers who have been following the series with an explanation in the context of the group of characters they've grown to love. And who better to throw into that than Lachlan? He's one of the Scottish sons of the botanist who inadvertently introduced the other dimension's essence into the participants of a secret government program, and they passed it onto their Offspring. Lachlan has his own demons, but they're only the ones in his soul. He believes that he deserves his monk-like lifestyle, and the fact that he lost his powers. But a spontaneous vision, provided by a most unlikely source, throws him into a life and death situation with a woman who might be the death of him. That she also brings him to life is a conundrum poor Lachlan will struggle with the most.
Jessie isn't just your average girl. Her uncle used Darkness to morph into a wolf and poured his black soul into her father's body, and now he's hunting her down. That she harbors Darkness, something she doesn't wholly understand, keeps her on the run … and from loving anyone who might die because of her. And now she's got Lachlan, and a little otherworldly help, helping her. While he's willing to die to redeem himself, she must face that Darkness inside her to face down the man who would kill them both.
Here's a sneak peek at DARKNESS BECOMES HER!
Mad, bad and dangerous. Yeah, that about summed up the man who stood across from her. He wore only black pants, his bare torso long and leanly muscled. His long hair was tied back, emphasizing his square jaw and arched eyebrows. The trimmed beard made him look like a pirate or, seeing the sword he'd brandished earlier leaning against the wall behind him, a primitive Highlander. The movie Braveheart came to mind, all those delicious men in kilts raging into battle for freedom. That same ferocity and wildness glowed in his eyes now as they pinned her like that sword.
"Tell me about Darkness."
Those brown eyes told her she wasn't going anywhere until she laid out her soul.
"I don't even know your name.” A hysterical hiccup-laugh escaped her mouth. “It’s not like we’ve been properly introduced."
"I'm called Lachlan. Are you some kind of demon? I saw your notebook."
“I’m not this thing.” She held herself, and the anger at his word you, back. “I’m a person, like you. It’s something in me. Not me.”
“Semantics. I saw you and that son of a bitch turn into something inhuman.”
She wanted to convince him, but that would sound like begging. He’d seen her notebook, her own personal search for answers. Werewolves, witches, vampires, none fit.
He jabbed his finger toward her. "That's how you threw me across the room. I thought something weird had gone on, but it happened so fast, I couldn't tell. I thought I was mad. Then, back at the carnival, you turned to a black fog. What the hell are you?"
She heard the stretch of emotion in his voice. And the accusation. "I don't know. That's why I've been studying demonology, trying to find something that fits. I'm not evil. I don't want to go around killing people." Way to sound like you're trying to convince him. “I used it to save Magnus, after all.”
“And now he’s some kind of monster.”
She bristled. "You had a choice.”
"Some choice, put your Darkness in him to save him or let him die. But now I need to know, what's in him? Will he turn into smoke, too? Or some bloody wolf thing that'll eviscerate me the next time we have an argument?"
ALL ABOUT JAIME:
So you want to know a little more about me? I am the daughter of an exiled king, living a life of both luxury and danger. While ensconced in our palace in our adopted land of Romania, we must be ever-vigilant of the dark forces that expunged us from the beautiful and sacred land that was once called Eden.
You can tell I write fiction, right? I wish I could say that I was an airline pilot or a former spy or something exciting, but my life has been pretty ordinary. My mom likes to assure people that I had a nice, happy, stable childhood in her defense of the fact that I kill people for a living. On paper, of course. I was always drawn to the strange and unexplained, and to the dark side of human nature. I devoured Alfred Hitchcock anthologies, as well as the movies. Loved watching Unsolved Mysteries and true crime television. My sometimes warped sense of humor probably came from all those MAD magazines that were always around the house. Don't even get me started on my Alfred E. Neuman nightmares.
So, yes, I am fascinated by what makes people do evil things, but mostly what I love about what I write is that good triumphs in the end. The bad guy gets his just punishment. We don't always get that in real life. But I believe in the strength and beauty of our souls and that we can at least triumph over our own demons--our pasts, our nemesises, the hurts we've sustained along the way. The people in my books have the baggage and hurts and insecurities we all do. Then I throw them into a really bad situation, test their hearts and souls, and in the end, they find not only love for someone else, but for themselves, too. If they can do it, so can you, and you don't even need to have people trying to kill you to achieve it.
I've lived in southwest Florida my whole life. I have a wonderful family, fabulous friends, and consider myself blessed beyond reason. I swim, work out, meditate, read, and spend time with the aforementioned friends and family. I try to find joy in the little things in life and to find the lessons in the hard times. Life is truly what we make it, and I choose to make mine fantastic.
I actually do have another identity. I have written eighteen books, mostly paranormal romantic suspense, under the name Tina Wainscott. Check out my website at www.tinawainscott.com. Unfortunately those books are out of print right now, but some of them are available new and even signed. If you're interested, use the contact form. I'm working on getting them into e-book format. If you like the Jaime books, I think you'll like most of my earlier books, too.
What inspired me to write the Offspring series? I love television shows like The X-Files, Lost, Highlander, and Roswell. Ah, the romance, the action, the group dynamics, and those delicious paranormal elements! So I created a series that rolls all of what I miss into one package.
I became fascinated when I read about the classified experiments the government undertook that explored using psychic abilities. Even though it's been declassified, much of what the various agencies did has been kept secret. I thought, "Wow, this stuff is real!" Then, of course, my devious literary mind started spinning. What if the subjects of those programs were given something that altered their DNA and enhanced their abilities? What if their offspring inherited it? And what if…? Well, you get the idea.
I came up with a group of people who must come together out of necessity, who bond, grow, encounter terrifying danger, and fall in love. Each book features a different couple, but we get to see all of the Offspring, because they're working with (and sometimes against) each other.
I'm celebrating the sixth book in her psychic romantic suspense series, DARKNESS BECOMES HER, with my Kick Butt First Line contest. Shocking, suspenseful…make us want more! Cash prizes! Contest runs through July 1, 2012. For aspiring authors, it's a chance to get your name out there and add a "win" to your bio. For readers, it's a chance to play at being a writer. Even if you're not inclined to write a line, check out the entries—they're a lot of fun! For details, go to www.JaimeRush.com and click on the Contest link.
Win a copy of DARKNESS BECOMES HER by commenting. Post your thoughts or answer this question: If you could tap into a dark energy to become a creature, would you? And what creature would you be?