Paranormal Romance. What comes to mind when you hear those two words? Dark settings, the chilling thrills of a vampire’s kiss, full moons that bring about bad behavior of werewolves, mischievous fay folk and any other assortment of supernatural characters.
In my case, I like to throw in a dose of humor and lighten things up. Dark paranormal and urban fantasy is great, but for me, I like to laugh through life and writing. So, why not?
It’s the fact of taking “scary” subject matter and injecting comedy into it and making it a separate thing entirely. Let’s use my latest release VEGETARIAN AT MIDNIGHT (sequel to The Art of Fang Shui) as an example. The hero, Xavier, in this book is a werewolf. He shifts into wolf form and gobbles up joggers and criminals in suburban areas like appetizers. Who better to pair him with than a heroine, Sophia, who also happens to be a vegetarian and a gargoyle who turns to stone at the first sign of stress? Right away you have a conflict because of the meat-eating issue—among other things.
Here’s an example. In this snippet, Xavier and Sophia have traveled to see a mermaid as they try to break his curse:
“Seems so.” Xavier shrugged and flashed his trademark, charming smile. “Renn, I admit when I dropped you unceremoniously on the lawn of that burning house I didn’t anticipate you would harbor a grudge against me for saving your life.”
“Oh please, Xavier, the Universe does not revolve around you.” She gestured to Sophia with the weapon. “I’m talking about your girlfriend here.”
“I’m not his girlfriend.” Sophia eased off the doorstep until she was slightly behind Xavier. Women’s lib had its advantages but being shot first was not one of them
Throw on the added comedic relief of Xavier’s being allergic to broccoli and putting the both of them into a marriage counselor’s office to work on their sham of a “troubled marriage” and you have instant bonding between the reader and the characters.
Here’s the blurb: Sometimes the love of meat is only the beginning of the problem.
Sophia has issues beyond being near-sighted. Bound to work for a power-hungry Portal Master for the next 90 years, her crown-shaped birthmark might set her apart, but her vegetarian lifestyle make her unforgettable. She can’t afford to be distracted by Xavier’s Adonis-like features because she knows she’ll betray him eventually.
Golden-curled, fedora-wearing Xavier’s a man with issues. Under a gypsy curse that compels him to morph into a werewolf, he wants nothing more than to convince the Portal Master to lift the blight. The only way to that exulted individual is through Sophia, but her stubbornness and fearful disposition heat his blood and annoy him at the same time.
Passions and problems collide while both Sophia and Xavier rise up to meet their destiny. Fighting a fallen angel and the Immortal Court, only the strong will come out alive.
Throw in a cast of colorful secondary characters and next to impossible situations and you have a story that will have you cracking a smile every time.
Want a taste?
Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 1 (a longer one can be found on my website)
The whispered name went into the night air unheard while his nose continued to twitch from the sharp scent of wood burning stoves. He ignored it and pushed further into the shadows of a doorway as she passed. No sense letting her see him until it was absolutely necessary. He considered slipping into his wolf form in order to follow her, but just as quickly banished the thought. Better to maintain full control of his human side for this part of the reconnaissance.
Xavier Leighton pulled the brim of his fedora lower then slunk out of his hiding place. He frowned. This woman held his fate in her hands? This woman had the power to save him? After watching her for weeks to learn her routine, she didn’t appear capable of handling her own life, let alone anyone else’s. He wanted to scoff, rage at fate for the cruel trick, but he did none of those things. Instead, he studied the woman.
Dull, brown hair hung limply to her shoulders. She tucked a lock of it behind her ear with a pale hand, the nails clipped short. His gaze focused on the slight sway of her hips as she walked. Xavier scowled. He wondered what her body looked like beneath the blazer that obscured her figure. Her height was several inches shorter than his six feet, the perfect size to tuck into his arms. His mouth watered—not from lust but from hunger. He hadn’t eaten since the day before, and the meal of venison did not satisfy him—would never satisfy him again. Perhaps if the woman did not answer to the title of Gatekeeper, he would devour her. The soft parts he could see would keep him busy for a while. He could almost feel the bones snap in his jaws, taste the sweetness of her flesh…
All the old admonitions from Hannah warning him not to eat humans came rushing back. He thrust them away yet, the primal urges would not be ignored so easily—neither could his curse.
The shrill ring of her cell phone yanked him out of his culinary reflections. Her attention seemed to be occupied with her enormous bag yet she continued to rush over the darkened sidewalk. Xavier stifled an impatient growl. Women these days had no sense of personal safety. If she had been just an ordinary human citizen, he would have pounced on her right then. He needed proof of her identity before he either disposed of her or saved her.
“Mona? What happened? You didn’t burn the apartment down, did you?” Her voice was low, melodious, but tinged with fear. “What happened?” The woman paused under a street light. Xavier saw a flash as she turned her head. She wore glasses. An intellectual female. His interest in her rose. However, her next comment chilled his blood. “Mona, tell me again what it means when my birthmark glows.”
A birthmark? Xavier narrowed his eyes. Would she actually give him confirmation without him needing to reveal his presence? His pulse thundered in his ears as she drew her left sleeve up to reveal her wrist. A crown-shaped birthmark glowed eerie red in the darkness. He licked his lips, tasting success.
Cold dread mingled with hot excitement at the prospect of his quest being over for The One—his mate and his salvation. He breathed a soft sigh and skulked out of the shadows when she hurried down the deserted street once more. The woman threw her phone into her bag and held the oversized monstrosity close to her side. Xavier wanted to laugh at her poor security clutch.
Fate had chosen, and it was his responsibility to carry the plan through. Finally, freedom was within his reach.
Book video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0b_GNk1AjxA
Publisher’s Website: http://www.eirelander-publishing.com/
Also available on Amazon and All Romance E-books (links on my website).
Author’s Website: http://www.sandrasookoo.com/ (you can also connect with me on Twitter and Facebook from the front page)
I hope you enjoyed the excerpt!
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Thanks so much to Roxanne for letting me chatter on about my book!