Friday, September 20, 2013

VBT - The Beckoning of Broken Things by Calinda B with Guest Post

Paranormal Heroes - should they be flawed or visions of perfection? Who says they can’t be both?

When I started writing paranormal romances, I was told that the heroine could be any size, shape, or color. Main criteria were that she could kick some butt. As for looks, it could be anything.

The hero, however, should be hung like a horse (yes, I really read that on a publisher’s website), tall, to-die-for handsome, and, in my mind, match some idealized version of the male species. Bleagh, I thought. I would not be with a guy like that. I have been with guys like that and I’m sure not with them now. 

Sure, we all want to imagine ourselves with the hero of our dreams. We all want to see ourselves as the beckoning beauty that captivates the mind and heart of our Adonis lover. But writing about perfect men with perfect bodies and perfect junk in the trunk and nothing upstairs gave me the heebie-jeebies. I just couldn’t do it. I decided, instead, to create flawed men. Heroes with faults. Strong guys with weaknesses. Men with super human abilities or out of this world, paranormal skills who possessed vulnerabilities like anyone. 

My paranormal heroes can melt the panties off a woman. They can touch her and send her into shivers and quivers of lust. I give them all the physical attributes any girl could want. They can be stallions in bed, last until the woman is sated, go again in a few minutes. But they’re not perfect. I relaxed. I can write about a guy like that. I can read about a guy like that.

Take Cam Tyson, one of the main hunks in the Wicked Series. Cam is an adrenaline junkie, rock solid kind of guy. 6’1”, blond haired, blue eyed, he matches the kind of guy who always stole my heart. He lives for the outside world. Loves to go on wilderness adventures with his girlfriend, Cherie. When she started assuming paranormal characteristics, he freaked. When he started assuming paranormal characteristics, he freaked even more. In each book, he has to embrace the things that happen to him. It helps him become a better person. He turns into a more caring and loving guy. And, he’s completely devoted to Cherie and able to accept her fully, as a result.

The Beckoning Series has a couple of heroes. In The Beckoning of Beautiful Things, we get to meet Daniel Navid. Daniel is of Guatemalan and Brazilian descent. He’s got warm, coffee-colored skin and the bluest eyes you can imagine. He’s a 6’3” Night Numen, commanding the darkness. He wields incredible power. He draws forth evil from the depths of the world. He’s arrogant. Takes what he wants from life. He could have any woman on the planet. But, he won’t give his heart away to just anyone. He’s kept it under lock and key for years. Only when he meets Marissa Engles does his soul stir again. 

But then he gets all control-freakish and does something rather off-putting in Marissa’s opinion. Turns out he’s got some trust issues. Both of them have to live with the consequences for good or for bad. The consequences carry through to The Beckoning of Broken Things, book II in the Beckoning Series. Daniel decides to extract his own punishment for the things he has done. He has to earn the love he’s waited for. I can tell you, this does not sit well with him. He’s used to getting his own way. 

In Broken Things, we meet another hero, Rafe Caldwell, a gorgeous, kind, sensitive man who turns out to be a Stealth Numen. He can slip between worlds to do his job, which just so happens to be as a trained assassin. Yipes! And the guy has to have sex, frequently - has to. He gets a bit, shall we say, “aggressive” if he doesn’t get it (more like he can bend steel, break bones with his bare hands and he turns into a berserker - then he can do his job really, really efficiently). He’s never loved before, and for good reason. He’s been told what will happen, but does he listen? No. He has to find things out the hard way. 

I like to write about handsome men. Men who can kill, if the need arises. Men who reek of power. Males who command worlds no human can possibly comprehend. And then I always add a twist. I shape guys with lessons to learn to earn the love they crave. Guys with flaws and vulnerabilities that in no way diminish their power. My paranormal heroes learn that vulnerability may not serve them in their jobs…that killing someone may not require talking in full sentences…but they can’t get to the good stuff - the love - without it. Now that’s something I can sink my teeth into. How about you?

The Beckoning of Broken Things
The Beckoning Series Book 2
Calinda B
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Sumner McKenzie, Inc.
ISBN: 978-0-9839126-8-2
Number of pages: 342
Word Count: 92k
Cover Artist: Calinda B

Book Description: 

Is Marissa Engles crazy? Or is she a paranormal Light Rebel who can shape form from the electricity buzzing through her veins. Her aunt and sister think “Crazy.” The locked mental facility they’ve put her in thinks “Delusional.” 

She’s so drugged up, she can’t tell if they’re right. Only her new pal, Rafe Caldwell, another mental patient “inmate”, thinks she is what she says she is. And he intends to find out more – lots more. 

The only problem is her missing soul bound lover, Daniel Navid, who commands the darkest of the dark. But as they say, if the cat’s away…


“So tell me how you feel.”
I must be pretty heavily sedated because when the therapist asks me that question, the word “feel” comes out sounding like it’s a slide. I’ll just bet if I could climb on top of that slide, I’d be able to slip from the room and not have to answer that stupid question. I shake my head. What does she mean, how do I feel? I feel like been given something like heroin or Clonazepam or Secobarbital or some other mind-numbing agent. I feel like I weigh a thousand pounds, and I’m looking at her through thick glass walls and she’s talking to me through some kind of filter made of seven layers of dense foam. I feel like…wait, I know. I’m in here because I’m different. I’m sitting here with what feels like two hundred pounds of cotton between my ears because they don’t “get” who and what I am. They think there’s something wrong with me. They all think I’m broken.
She pushes up her glasses on her nose and taps her pen on the arm of the brown leather chair in which she sits, like a prim, porcelain doll. “I’m waiting.”
“Are you talking to me?” 
Her face is wrinkled, like an Amish Apple Doll. Her dyed brown hair needs a touch-up. White and gray roots serve as a flag to her age. She smiles, a crisp, stiff smile like peanut brittle. “I don’t see anyone else sitting across from me, do you?”
I picture taking her smug smile in my fingers and snapping it in two, resulting in my own satisfied smile. “Where’s Daniel?”
“Daniel Navid. My soul bound lover.”
She frowns and scribbles a few notes in the black binder sitting on top of her lap. She smoothes her blue tweed skirt. Clears her throat. Tries again. “How do you feel right now, Ms. Engles? Your sisters were pretty concerned about you when they brought you in here.”
“Where, exactly, is here?”
“You don’t know?”
“If I did, I wouldn’t ask the question.”
The therapist nods, as if I’ve just said something profound. She gestures to the room with her certificates of accomplishment and education lining the beige walls like little soldiers. “Well, you’re at the Brookstone Center for Healing, in Bellevue, Washington. Do you know where Bellevue is?”
“Are you kidding me? I’ve lived in this area all my life. I live over in West Seattle, two bridges away from Bellevue. Of course I know where Bellevue is.” I reach up and rub my eyes, trying to clear the spider webs, mud puddles, and sludge clouding my mind. 
“Do you know what day it is?” The peanut brittle smile appears again.
I want to smash that smile with a hammer. “Yeah, it’s today. And yesterday was yesterday. And tomorrow’s going to be tomorrow.”
She taps her pen. Scribbles. Frowns. Scribbles some more. “So you don’t actually know what day it is.” She says that as a statement, not a question.
“Let’s see, two days ago I was in Brazil, and it was Thursday. That must make today Saturday. What do I win?”
“What were you doing in Brazil?”
I pause and squint at her. This is a trick question. “I was visiting a friend.” I was kidnapped by a demented sorcerer. I stabbed his dead, but not really dead, girlfriend’s chest, and she exploded and her crystal dagger pierced the old man’s heart.
“I see.” 
“And how did you get back from Brazil?”
“I flew.” On a beautiful winged creature known as a Coati-lumina. Her name is Chiara, and she allowed me to claim her a few nights ago. She’s huge and brilliant, and she shines like diamonds. “Where’s Daniel?”
“There was no one at your home but you when your sisters stopped by. They were very worried about you. Said you were having a completely delusional conversation with them. Do you remember what you said?”
I incline my head and study her. Another trick question. “Maybe.”
“Can you tell me what you said to them?”
“Will you let me go if I do?”
“I’m afraid not. I’m afraid we need to keep you here for a while. Your sisters were very worried.”
“You already said that.”
“And they decided that a good psych evaluation was in order.”
“Oh, they did, did they?” I’m going to murder them. I’m going to strangle the daylights out of them. In my mind, I pick up a pricey sable paintbrush and paint them as tiny fragments of skin and bone, being blown to smithereens. “What gives them the right to have me evaluated?”
“Your aunt still holds guardianship. She was the one who ordered this.”
Aunt Topaz. “I’m 26 for God’s sake. I’ve lived on my own since I was 18. I think I get to be my own guardian, don’t you?”
“In this case, no. When someone is…when someone is ill…” She pauses, frowning. 
She was going to say mentally deranged. They all think I’m delusional because electricity flows through my veins, and I can burst into brilliant light and paint things with my mind and will them into…
“When someone is ill it falls to the guardian or parent.”
I don’t think that’s true but can’t argue it right now. My head is so heavy I need a crane to keep it upright. I purse my lips trying to remember something about my aunt. This goddamn drug is making it hard to think. My mouth is dry. I want to leap into a lake and suck it into my throat in one long swallow. Think, Engles, think. And then it all came back to me, like someone shot a memory cannon through my head, blasting open my brain. My dear Aunt Topaz hid my abilities away from me when I was 15. She and Daniel’s father, Armando, cast a spell over me and wiped my memories clean. And now she put me here? Armando and Aunt Topaz are definitely on my to-do list. I just don’t know what to do - yet. My hands squeeze tight, capturing my anger. I restored my Light Rebel skills with Tom the sorcerer’s help. He taught me how to hunt like a predator before taking me on an ether trip to discover what happened. When I showed Daniel my newly restored light, he…I swallow my arousal and blink back tears. 
Daniel. He’s a Night Numen and commands the darkest of the dark. He can wave his hand, rip the atmosphere in two, and draw foul creatures from wherever the hell they live. Thinking of his handsome tan face, stubble-covered jaw, eyes that are hypnotically blue, 6’1” muscular body, dark hair that falls in his face when he’s on top, his bronze skin, his hips, his legs, his hands…thinking of him makes me seriously horny, even with this drug-filled, muzzy-headed haze between my ears. And then I get a little mad. I mean, a couple of weeks ago he did bind my soul until the end of time to his without asking me, but it might have been for my own good. Might have. Not sure. Still a little miffed. We’ll sort it out by and by. I really need to see him. I need to get out of here - now. “I want to go home. I want to talk to Daniel. I need to see Daniel. I need to take care of my dog, Sober Dober.” I nod, satisfied with this statement, certain that it will yield results.
“I don’t know who Daniel is. Your dog is being well-cared for by your aunt.”
I lunge to my feet, or at least I want to lunge. It turns into more of a lurching wobble. “Aunt Topaz has my dog? That’s just wrong. Aunt Topaz hates things that are messy. She detests mess and color and light and…” And Sober has brand new sparkly wings. They’re training wings. He’s not very good with them yet. He got his wings when I restored my light. But I don’t say that. I dare not say that. I’ll be in this place for a million years if I tell her my dog has wings.

About the Author: 

An award-winning web designer and certified SEO specialist, Calinda B has worked in the Internet industry as a web page designer/developer since the early 1990's. She has also taught web site design and computer graphics at community colleges in Northern California. In addition to writing, Calinda B creates fine art and music, and enjoys scuba diving, kayaking, and bike riding. Calinda B makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with the love of her life and her two cats. She is currently working on the fourth book in The Wicked Series, tentatively entitled A Wicked Ending, or the third book in The Beckoning Series or maybe those are done and she's working on.... She loves to write and does it daily.

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Schedule The Beckoning of Broken Things by Calinda B
Sept 9-23

September 9 Interview

September 10 Guest blog
Mythical Books
Guest Post: How do you prefer (and why) your female characters to be: damsel in distress or badass chick? Can they be both?

September 11 Interview
Book in the Bag

September 11 Spotlight
Share My Destiny

September 12 Spotlight and review
Wicca Witch 4 Book Blog

September 13 Interview
A Writer's Mind

September 16 Interview
Pembroke Sinclair

September 17 Spotlight
The Snarkology

September 18 Spotlight
Elfie Books

September 19 Spotlight and review
Faerie Tale Books

September 20 Guest blog
Dalene’s Book Reviews

September 20 Spotlight and review
Let’s Start Saving Now
Book Worm & More.

September 23 Interview
Traci Douglass


  1. Thanks for hosting me here, Dalene!

    1. You are most welcome, I am putting you on my tbr list. I look forward to reading your work, loved the guest post. :)

  2. Loved the books! I hope your readers will pick up a copy.

  3. I love this series and I highly recommend it. Thanks for sharing it and the giveaway. evamillien at gmail dot com