Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Guest Blog and Giveaway: Dangerously Charming by Deborah Blake

Some of you might have read the first three books in my Baba Yaga series (I hope so!), paranormal romances based on an updated version of the Russian fairy tale witches. In Wickedly Dangerous, Wickedly Wonderful, and Wickedly Powerful, people were introduced to the three Baba Yagas, along with their companion dragons, who were disguised as either a huge white pit bull, a massive black Newfoundland, or (in the case of Bella’s Chudo-Yudo named Koshka) a very large Norwegian Forest cat. Readers also met their friends and helpers, The Riders.

The original fairy tales mentioned the Riders too (I don’t just make this stuff up, you know). In the tales, they were called the Black Rider, the Red Rider, and the White Rider, and they were mysterious figures who rode magical horses. Since this is a modern fairy tale, their horses are now motorcycles—but still magical, of course. And the Riders are still a bit of a mystery, even to the Baba Yagas who have known them for many years.

When my editor at Berkley told me she wanted me to come up with a spin-off series for the Riders, I wasn’t sure if anyone would be interested in reading about Mikhail Day, Alexei Sun, and Gregori Knight. But based on the response to this first book, I couldn’t have been more wrong. (WHEW) Apparently, their appearances in the three Baba Yaga books were just intriguing enough to leave my readers wanting more. Have I mentioned how much I love my readers?

But that meant I had to come up with a reason for the Riders to have their own stories. So at the end of Wickedly Powerful, I did something really horrid to them. (Bad author. Mean author.) I won’t go into the details, in case you haven’t read the first three books yet—and I do actually consider the Rider books to be a continuation of the Baba Yaga series, although you can read Dangerously Charming without having read the first three—but essentially, at the end of that book, the Riders all went through a tremendous change. That change left them without the identity that had molded their entire very long lives; the Rider series is about how they figure out who they are now, and also discover parts of themselves that have been hidden…and what the heck to do with them.

Of course, there are romances, because what would be the point of writing a paranormal romance without a love interest, right? And the Baba Yagas show up from time to time, because it is still their story too. Plus magic and mysteries and mayhem, just because I can.
Dangerously Charming is the story of Mikhail Day, the White Rider. In my head, I always envisioned him as looking like the guy who plays Thor in the movies, and I think my wonderful cover artist did a great job with him. (They even put his white Yamaha on the cover, too.) Mikhail is determined to hide away from the world, and most especially to never, ever come to the rescue of a damsel in distress again. Then Jenna Quinlan literally shows up on his doorstep, running from an ancient fairy curse that has destroyed her family, and things get a lot more complicated very fast.

I’ll confess, it wasn’t easy switching from writing about the Baba Yagas to writing about the Riders…and writing this book just about killed me. Thankfully, despite the unexpected struggle (or maybe because of it), I love the way the book ended up turning out. I hope you do too.

From the author of the Baba Yaga novels, a brand new series set in the same “addicting”* world, filled with wild magic, enchanting damsels, and the irresistibly daring men who serve the Baba Yagas...

The Riders are three immortal brothers who protect the mythical Baba Yagas. But their time serving the witches has ended—and their new destinies are just beginning...

Ever since a near-fatal mistake stripped Mikhail Day and his brothers of their calling to be Riders, Day has hidden from his shame and his new, mortal life in a remote cabin in the Adirondack mountains. But when a desperate young woman appears on his doorstep, he cannot resist helping her—and cannot deny how strongly he’s drawn to her...

For generations, women in Jenna Quinlan’s family have been cursed to give up their first born child to the vengeful fairy Zilya. When Jenna finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, she is determined to break her family’s curse and keep her baby, even if it means teaming up with a mysterious and charismatic man with demons of his own...

To unravel the curse, Jenna and Day will have to travel deep into the Otherworld. But the biggest challenge of the journey might not be solving an ancient puzzle but learning to heal their own broken hearts...

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Deborah Blake is the author of the Baba Yaga Series from Berkley (Wickedly Dangerous, Wickedly Wonderful, Wickedly Powerful) and has published nine books on modern witchcraft with Llewellyn Worldwide. When not writing, Deborah runs The Artisans’ Guild, a cooperative shop she founded with a friend in 1999, and also works as a jewelry maker, tarot reader, and energy healer. She lives in a 130-year-old farmhouse in rural upstate New York with three cats who supervise all her activities, both magical and mundane.

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