What do you think: Can historical romance and paranormal romance co-exist in one book?
I love historical romance. I’ve read it since I was 16 and I’ve written Regency romance for many (many) years. I love the costumes, the manners, playing with the concept of a closed society (which the British aristocracy certainly was, and arguably still is today, despite the fact that Prince William wed a “commoner”) . All of my Regency romances are about an outsider trying to fit into the established society.
Paranormal romance and fantasy is loads of fun too. All about the what-if. What if vampires were real? What if werewolves existed? What if there really is magic in our world? It’s so much fun to imagine the possibilities, and their implications on society.
So, now, think about combining the two. Paranormal beings are almost always outsiders – Other. All of my Regency romances are about outsiders, people who don’t quite fit into the aristocratic society. Sounds like a perfect match to me! Don’t you think?
So, I acted on this lovely aligning of genres to imagine a world where magic truly exists. A people called “Vallen” (Latin meaning powerful) who have varying abilities associated with a particular element (Air, Water, Fire or Earth). They are a people whose role it is to use their powers only for good to help human society advance through medicine, science, art, literature, leadership—wherever their strengths lie. The Vallen have existed since before the time of King Arthur. They come from magical Isle of Avalon and have lived amongst ordinary people for centuries.
Naturally, I’ve got to have a story about the origins of the Vallen off the Isle of Avalon (actually, it’s three stories -- the Children of Avalon Series). But then, from there, I can— and have—created stories in any time period. Naturally, I began with the Regency. But didn’t want to escape completely from the Children of Avalon trilogy because there was still one more character in that series who needed a book of their own, the children’s mentor, Sir Dagonet.
Bridging the Storm is Dagonet’s book, although you don’t have to have read the Children of Avalon books to understand and enjoy it—it stands alone and yet connected to both the Children of Avalon series and my Storm Series (it’s book #2 in that series. Book #1 is the novella Storm on the Horizon and is free everywhere you buy ebooks).
Even though Sir Dagonet lived in medieval times and was a knight of King Arthur’s Round Table, thanks to a gift given to him by the great wizard, Merlin, he’s still alive during the Regency. The catch is that he doesn’t want to be. He’s lived a long, full life and is ready to die. But because of Merlin’s gift, he can’t. He’s compelled to live on. So, he spends his life exploring the world looking for someone who can take away this gift-turned-curse.
Kate Cherington would love to explore the world. She reads about explorations all the time, but because she’s completely dependent on her aunt, the high priestess of the Vallen, Tatiana Vallentyn, she can’t. When Sir Dagonet comes to her home to assist her aunt, Kate can’t believe her good luck. Not only does she think Dagonet could be her ticket away from an increasingly unstable aunt, but he’s handsome, funny, intelligent and appreciates her. What more could a girl want? Well… perhaps a man who is actually willing to take her away.
It’s going to take some convincing and a good number of knocks before Dagonet realizes that there might just be something, or someone, worth living for.
Here’s an excerpt from Bridging the Storm:
“I’m sorry. I don’t believe we’ve been introduced,” she said, her cheeks flushing an even deeper shade of pink.
“Er, uh, no! No,” he chuckled. “I beg your pardon.” He executed a grand leg for her. “Sir Arthur Dagonet, at your service.”
She curtsied in response. “Miss Kate Cherington. I’m Lord Vallentyn’s niece.”
“Ah! Had the pleasure of his company at breakfast,” Dagonet said, smiling. “Shame about the children.”
“So you are the man Aunt Vallentyn invited here to cure them.”
He opened his mouth to say something, debated whether he should make a joke, or just affirm she was correct. He decided to play it safe. “Yes.”
“Will you?” Her beautiful eyes, so expressive, seemed to get paler in the sunlight. Was that possible?
“Will I what?” he asked, his mind befuddled by her beauty.
“Be able to cure them?” she asked.
He almost asked who she referred to but quickly pulled his mind back to the situation at hand—and not a moment too soon. He’d almost made himself look like an idiot. Why did he always make a fool of himself in front of women he was attracted to? He was determined not to do the same with Miss Cherington. He was too old to fall into such silliness. Lowering his eyes to the ground, he placed an appropriately somber expression on his face. “No, I’m afraid I don’t have that ability.”
“But Aunt Vallentyn said you had knowledge that she might use…”
“Oh, yes! Plenty of knowledge. Just not the, er…” he paused for a moment. She was Vallen, right? Yes. She’d used magic to stop her book from falling into the river. “I’m not associated with Fire. Can’t actually heal anyone, don’t you know?”
“No. I didn’t know,” she said, her head tilted slightly, as if trying to figure him out.
This time he couldn’t help but laugh. “Lady Vallentyn…” She’d called her ‘aunt’ hadn’t she? “Your aunt?” At her nod, he continued. “Yes, well, she thinks that I may know of some magic that she could use to cure the children. Don’t know that I do, but I'm more than willing to explore the possibility with her.”
Miss Cherington looked confused. “You don’t know if you know how to cure the children?”
“No. Lady Vallentyn ’s going to, or, well, she’s begun to explore my memories, don’t you know?”
“Explore your memories? And what does she think she’ll find there that you don’t know about?”
Dagonet burst out laughing. Luckily, even Miss Cherington saw how ridiculous the question, in fact, the whole situation, was.
“You’re a very funny man, Sir Arthur,” she said laughing. “I only hope my aunt finds whatever it is she thinks you have in your memories, and that…”
“I’m not aware of?” he chuckled.
She laughed. “Yes.”
“Yes, well. I hope so as well.”
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About the author:
Kate Cherington is certainly trying her best. The handsome and amusing Sir Arthur Dagonet does exactly what Kate has always dreamed of doing—travel the world, exploring new lands. He also may be her only path away from an aunt determined to keep Kate from having a life of her own. Kate knows that her only hope for the adventure she craves is to escape with Sir Arthur.
Sir Arthur has already lived through several lifetimes, thanks to the gift of immortality from the great Merlin. After centuries of adventure, he’s eager to rid himself of this gift, and to finally die. But meeting the brave and beautiful Kate brings back memories of his happy exploits with the Children of Avalon, the first of the magical Vallen. Though he decides he really doesn’t want to get distracted from his goal, he is bound by a promise to help, Tatiana Vallentyn, the current high priestess of the Vallen.
From the mists of legend to the estates of the Regency, Kate and Sir Arthur tussle with a force unanticipated by either, and stronger than any desire for life or death—love.