From Kate’s Writing Crate…
As a reader, I always love finding books that appeal to me. As a writer, I am twice as pleased when the authors also provide masterclasses within their books.
Masterclasses take place when performance artists and musicians work one-on-one with students. Writers don’t generally have this option, but I have found some books to be masterclasses for characters, backstories, plots, settings, voice, and/or creativity.
As a nod to Halloween, I write about paranormal fiction in October. It’s not the genre I’m most likely to read, but I always learn a lot from authors who write it well.
Fiction is difficult enough to write in settings readers recognize or can relate to easily, but authors who can create whole new worlds for characters with preternatural abilities have to be really good to make it believable.
One of these authors is Kresley Cole who writes the Immortals After Dark series. Among her characters’ abilities: it’s very hard to kill these immortals—usually they have to lose their heads. Some can regenerate limbs, some have access to magic while other count on supernatural strength. They all look human, but some change their looks when they are fighting, in fear, or there is a full moon. All have allies and enemies as their world is a dangerous place.
In this series, Cole inhabits her novels with werewolves (Lykae Clan), vampires, Valkeries, witches, sorceresses, and many other creatures with an amazing array of powers. In A Hunger Like No Other, the first book, werewolf leader Lachlain MacRieve has escaped from being imprisoned in a fire pit for 150 years by the powerful vampire Demestriu because he sensed his true mate was on the street above him.
Mates mean everything to werewolves so they will do anything to find and protect them. But Lachlain’s dream of happiness with his mate, Emmaline Troy, may be doomed as she is nothing that he expected while Emma wasn’t expecting a mate at all. She is considered weak by her family so she is in Paris alone to study. Now she has a handsome and powerful suitor who claims her, but is unkind because of her background. Her instincts tell her to run, but she cannot escape her fate--or can she?
Lachlain also still has to even the score with Demestriu. The werewolves and vampires are headed for battle, but love is complicating everything. Once he accepts his mate, he will do anything to keep her happy. However, his clan’s interests clash with his responsibilities to Emma. Difficult choices have to be made by both Lachlain and Emma. Who will prove to be stronger?
One of my other favorites in this series is Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night. Many more creatures take part in this book as the plot revolves around An Amazing Race-like contest only the winner of this game gets to use Thrane’s Key to go back in time twice.
The two main characters are werewolf Bowen MacRieve, Lachlain’s cousin, and Mariketa the Awaited who is a witch. Bowen wants to go back in time to save his fiancée. Mariketa’s parents need to be saved as well so both are determined to win the prize.
Bowen is drawn to Mariketa, but he despises witches as one devastated his family. Also, he has remained true to his mate since her death so he doesn’t want to acknowledge any attraction.
Mariketa hasn’t yet transitioned to her immortal state, but Bowen is unaware of that fact. When he traps her and several other contestants in a burial chamber during the game, he presumes she will escape using a spell. However, her magic is strong, but not very accurate. She doesn’t want to blow everyone up so they prepare to wait for rescue. Unfortunately, there are gruesome creatures in the tomb who want to feed off her…
When Mariketa doesn’t return to her coven, her fellow witches try to track her down. Discovering Bowen had been giving her trouble, they tell Lachlain to expect war if Maiketa isn’t returned quickly. Once Bowen realizes she cannot save herself, he rushes back to rescue her. He is not prepared for her reaction to his return or all the obstacles he will face getting her home.
Bowen's instincts are telling him Mariketa is his mate so when his fiancée reappears he is torn between the two of them. Who is his true love?