Now you know how I can be say a little long winded with my reviews! So today I'm going to take a little break from that all and just give you the brief skinny on the Arcane Shot series along with a couple of my favorite passages from each book. But before I do let's hear from Joey what prompted her to write this exciting sensual series for Berkley. Take it away Joey!
Something About Witches came about when my agent wanted me to pitch a more sensual paranormal to Berkley, and she suggested “something about witches”. And no, ironically, that’s not where there the title came from (lol). My editor suggested the title later, completely unrelated (unless she and my agent have an alien mind meld…hmmm). Anyhow, it was a return to my traditional fantasy roots, since my very first published book back in 2000, was an epic high fantasy/paranormal romance called Guardian of the Continuum. It had witches, sorcerers, in-depth magical practices, shamanic/wiccan ritual, etc and was a direct manifestation of my long term love of the romantic yet traditional fantasy genre promoted by folks like Raymond Feist, Jennifer Roberson, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Stephen Donaldson, Mercedes Lackey, etc. I love writing vampires, mermaids and angels, but writing Something About Witches reminded me of how much I love those traditional fantasy story elements as well. It was a nice homecoming.
That’s the conceptual inspiration. The character specifics came from a couple different sources. Derek Stormwind, my “Wyatt Earp meets Merlin” sorcerer in cowboy hat and dragon skin boots reflected my general love of cowboys and magic both. The funny thing is I don’t read westerns for the most part (unless we count LaVyrle Spencer’s wonderful work in that area, particularly The Gamble), but I really like the idea of cowboys. With chaps and wide-brimmed hats, as well as overtly male, these are guys who look pained if you talk about men getting “mani/pedis” or being (shudder) “sensitive”. Derek has been around 1200 years; he’s worked out his baggage, knows Ruby is his soulmate, and he’s going to protect and love her, no matter how bitchy she gets about it. Ruby’s character – I’m afraid to admit this – has to do with a dichotomy in my own personality pointed out some years ago by a childhood friend. “You’re the only Wiccan-erotic author-socially conscious-animal-rights advocate-gun toting-economic/foreign policy-conservative I know!”. I was thinking about that, when I thought…”Hey, a witch who runs a gun shop – how could that NOT be fascinating?” Put the two of them together – the powerful sorcerer with the moral code of cowboys/knights of the roundtable (he’s been around long enough to know both), and the hard-edged yet emotionally fragile witch who can break down a sniper rifle, and the story was a lot of fun to create.
It's amazing what a little magic can do...
Ruby Night Divine is a gun shop owner. She's also a witch who knows magic can fail. She's experienced it first hand, with full-blown tragic consequences. Smith & Wesson is a whole hell of a lot more reliable, and nothing's as cathartic as the ability to put a few holes in the things that piss you off. Like Derek Stormwind.
A powerful sorcerer, Derek is determined to get to the bottom of why Ruby pushed him away and ran three years before. He also needs her help. A coven needs training to fight a demon and his minions. While Ruby is willing to do it, she's sure it's just a ruse to get back in her heart—and her bed. The thing is, that's where she wants him. Unfortunately, her bed's already made, she's this close to losing her soul, and she fears nothing can save her. Not Derek. Not even Smith & Wesson.
Something About Witches is the first book in the Arcane Shot series. Ruby and Derek have a past so when the story starts out the ensuing conflict has an already done that been there kind of vibe to it. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned as they say. And unfortunately Derek isn't totally up to speed on why Ruby is so damned hurt and angry. But he's going to find out why and the secret Ruby has been hiding from everyone is enough to rip your heart out. Have tissues handy! This story of loss, love, forgiveness and acceptance is one of my Joey favorites.
I can't show you my favorite passage from the book because it would be a spoiler for those who have not yet read this story. So I'm showing you another of my favorites instead. This one is at the tail end of a very intense, intimate scene between Ruby and Derek. Joey has a way of making extraordinary characters like Derek Stormwind, Light Guardian and one of the most powerful sorcerers around, come off as your everyday joe with his crankiness before coffee and his love of oatmeal-raisin cookies.
Derek was placing long, lingering kisses on her throat, her shoulders, stroking his fingers through her hair as he did it. Then he dropped his touch to slide along her sides, relearning her shape, obviously enjoying the corset's hold and indulging himself as she remained tied. "I want to do this to you all night long," he said, making it sound like the enticing threat it was. "In a hundred different ways. I want you to be so sore that the last time I do it, I'll need to ease into you. I'll go slow, so I don't hurt you. You'll take me despite all that, because that's the way it is between us."
She nodded, sniffling. She could deny him nothing, because as he'd said, she was his. "I love you."
It was out there before she could stop it. The first time she'd ever said it, she'd barely been out of girlhood. The declaration had terrified her, because she'd realized it was more than infatuation, a young woman's crush. The all-powerful sorcerer was a charismatic part of him, but it was the man, Derek Stormwind, the one who liked to swim with her at the beach, who didn't like raisins but loved oatmeal-raisin cookies, who preferred riding horses to driving a car, the one who got cranky if she tried to elicit dialogue more complex than grunting before he had his morning coffee....That was who she truly loved.
Even more remarkable, he'd said it first. And he saw all parts of her the same way. Though he'd told her she had tremendous potential as a witch, when it came to this, it was more basic than that.
"At the end of the day, doesn't matter who or what you become. It won't change how I feel. We're just two people doing our best to figure out each other's hearts, and that takes more lifetimes than even I have. But I'd spend every one of them with you trying to learn. Trying to make you happy."
But what she'd become could change how he felt. She knew it. "I love you," she whispered again, her voice broken with the weight of all the knowledge she now held about love and loss.
"I know that, girl." He put his jaw alongside her temple. His hands cradled her breasts gently now, his body a reassuring bulwark. "Though it's nice to hear."
Experience Joey W. Hill's scintillating blend of modern-day witchcraft, ancient evil, and the magical tricks men and woman play in the name of love...
All witch and part succubus, savvy businesswoman Raina has converted a Southern plantation house into an extremely profitable old-fashioned bordello. Because of her abilities as a witch, the demons under Raina’s protection can feed off the sexual energy of their clients without killing them—definitely a good thing for repeat business.
But when a rogue incubus shows up on Raina’s doorstep begging for asylum, the witch’s well-run business is put in jeopardy. The incubus has stolen an object of great power from Lucifer, and Underworld Dark Guardian Mikhael will do anything to get it back—even if it means incinerating the incubus on Raina’s porch to get the answers he seeks.
Not to be trifled with, Raina enters a dangerous match of wits with Mikhael to achieve their mutual goals—only to discover that the reluctant attraction between them is the most hazardous game of all…
Now when In the Company of Witches came out I was on it like white on rice. I had already picked Mikhael as my new bad boy book boyfriend at the end of Something About Witches. The heat between Mikhael and Raina practically incinerated the pages of the teaser so I was ready for a real sexually charged push and pull story between them. But I was in for a real surprise with these two when their relationship didn't turn out as I had anticipated but even better than I could have imagined. This captivating story that takes you everywhere from Raina's bordello to the Underworld is not to be missed. And I guarantee that you will be gushing like a love sick schoolgirl during Raina's trip into town!
This story is my favorite in the series so far and I really can't put my finger on why. Maybe because Mikhael reminds me just a wee bit of Daegan (my all-time dreamy bad boy book boyfriend) from Joey's Vampire Queen series or maybe because this story just has a different, slightly harder edge to it. The emotions that Joey is able to not only evoke out of her characters but her readers as well is why she is the amazing storytelling queen that she is. This passage I chose is my favorite from the book. During an emotionally charged intimate encounter with Mikhael it is where Raina touches on the possibility of being reincarnated and being with him throughout eternity.
He could get her aroused with only a look, but as hard as he was, as insistent, she was aware she could do the same, with no more than a lazy, hip-swinging walk into the water.
He lifted his head, those intriguing eyes studying her. So much unknown about him, but she had a feeling he'd open that treasure room for her now and again, whenever she desired, because she and she alone had that key. His mouth curved and she liked the way it looked. It was pretty damn close to a smile. He had a sadistic side, but this wasn't that. It wasn't the torment of making her beg that turned him on. It was the fact that she would do it for him, that she trusted him with that side of herself. It flat-out turned him on when she begged, driven by raw need, lust...love.
"Please." She curved her arms around his shoulders, bringing her breasts up against his chest, pressing as close to him as she could get, one body, one heart, one shared soul. "Please. Tell me. I'm yours."
He shuddered. Exultation swept her, the knowledge that this ownership went two ways and would grow deeper and more binding with every passing moment.
"I love you, Raina. Always and forever. You have my heart. You'll have it long after you're gone and I've grieved you thousands of years."
The thought of him grieving made her head hurt, and she locked her hands around his neck, pulling herself up to kiss him back fiercely. "I'll be such a pain in your ass, you'll be happy to be rid of me."
He touched her face, not smiling. Not saying anything. So she caught his hand, held it tightly. "I'll never be gone," she promised. "If Isaac can have another life, then so can I. I'll come back to you again and again."
When she saw raw emotion in those eyes, her heart cracked open entirely, giving him everything. "I love you Mikhael. Always and forever. Through every life, now until eternity."
He shifted his hand to her nape, thrust, withdrew, took himself into her deep and slow, making her thighs tremble. She squeezed down on him, giving as good as she was getting, and was rewarded by the quiver in those powerful hands.
"Come with me," she said. "Together."
The climax made the water ripple all around them. Their cries echoed throughout the chamber, surrounding and reinforcing the pledges they'd made here. The pleasure of it brought tears to her eyes again. Unashamed, she baptized his shoulders with them, until he pulled her head back and kissed every one of them away.
Breathless yet? Sure you are! And that is just a small sampling of what Joey Hill has to offer in the books of the Arcane Shot series. Check out this most awesome series and hopefully we will be able to then see what she has in store for Ramona and her honey, the Grim Reaper!
Want to check Joey on the go? Joey Hill is now an app! You heard that right you can now search for the free Joey W. Hill app on your Iphone and Android. So get that phone out and start your download now to check out all of Joey's releases and up to date news!!
I love the Arcane Shot Series by Joey W. Hill so much that I am giving away the first two books, Something About Witches and In the Company of Witches, to one lucky reader. Since these are print copies this giveaway will be U.S. only. To enter to win these most awesome reads just fill in the rafflecopter form below. Good luck everyone!
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