Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Savage Love by Raquel Taylor

Writing Paranormal

If asked my favorite creature the answer has been and will always be the Frankenstein Monster. Aside from the sheer brilliance of Mary Shelly’s writing, there is the beauty that is the monster himself. Monsters are like people, otherwise people wouldn’t be able to write them. They are the dark sides of us all and the things we fear the most. The Frankenstein Monster was brilliant. He ran faster. He jumped higher. He learned at an accelerated rate. He was, in most ways, better than the intense man that had created him in dark defiance of death itself.
My love for the monster started so long ago, I can’t really remember its beginning. In films, I always felt sorry for the big cumbersome thing that no one loved. In reading the book, I learned that the films (at least the early ones) had a lot of things wrong, like the look of the monster or the sheer neglect of his brilliance. However, the ‘unloved’ part was always the same—the pitiful rejection and the rage that comes with that kind of rejection intensified a thousand-fold by a creature that was very human on the inside.
My second favorites are Count Dracula (vampires) and the Wolfman (werewolves). Count Dracula had love taken away from him and raged against it to the point of changing himself into something else—something that could deal with that terrible loss. Dracula’s lust for timeless love is so sad, so huge, and so defiantly real, that it has kept us riveted, in one way or another, for decades. The Wolfman had a tendency to surrender to his baser self—which made him an outcast and unloved as well.  While the Larry Talbot character is usually a pretty nice guy, you don’t want to be around him during the full moon. He is what we do when we can’t control ourselves, when our greed and lusts become too large to be contained.
And, finally, there is the zombie—any zombie. Whether created by voodoo ritual or bitten by a raging Infected, the zombie is the most loveless creature of all, and the least human. These walking, shambling corpses cannot even pretend to be anything other than the hungry empty shells that they are. While not the best fodder for a love story themselves, they can easily be the glue that either holds people together to fight them off, or the thing that sets people against one another in absolute inhuman savagery.
There is a beauty in our legendary monsters and their myriad spawn that makes writing paranormal both interesting and fun. Seeking out the humanity in these creatures—even the zombies depending on what you’re reading, watching, or writing—and teasing our own humanity with their darkness…with our darkness. Our greed. Our pain. Our fear.
Frankenstein is that bastard child, the unwanted, and the, oftentimes, abused. What started out as an empty slate learned, through constant rejection, to be the monster.  If the brilliant Dr. Frankenstein had been kinder, what would have become of his monster then? Would his creation have turned on him? Would it have turned on other humans? Was the Frankenstein Monster a monster because of the strange way that he came into the world, or was he a monster because of the way the world viewed and treated him?
Dracula, at least in my opinion, wants a love that lasts forever, which is a very unrealistic, but not odd thing to want. Both he and Victor Frankenstein raged against death. They raged against loss. Dracula turned himself into something cold, something that did not need the love that he had lost—or so he thought. When that love came again, that cold vampire was a man trembling in the arms of that woman. He is merely the fear that something beautiful will be taken away from us too soon, and the frustrated rage that we can’t do anything about it. Most of his spawn (the countless vampire tales after him) talk about it in one way or another—even if it is only the mention that they miss the warmth and beauty of the sun—this is a love lost, and never to be regained,  too.
The Wolfman is a venture into a loss of control so great, so very unmanageable, that it causes you to lose everything. Love. Respect. Humanity. He is the average man’s surrender to the most terrible desires. In a civilized world, the Wolfman just won’t do. He is the murderer that didn’t mean to. He is every excuse used in every court for every crime ever committed. He is: “The devil made me do it,” personified. He is the thing that walks amongst us, pretending. He is reviled and can’t be trusted, if you can spot him in those lovely sheep’s clothing.
The zombie is a basic fear of succumbing to conformity to such a great extent that all of you is lost and there is nothing left but a thing that consumes and consumes and consumes, bringing more into the fold of that conformity. Those few remaining individuals who manage not to be infected struggle to remain themselves. Even if it’s the voodoo zombie, it is still the absolute loss of self that drives the fear of these things, and the struggles of those who are pit against them.
Within all of that, are a billion, trillion stories that can be told about people—about their loves and their lives and their battles when facing these monsters and/or becoming them. Writing paranormal is writing people. It’s writing love, and fear and hope and happiness with a touch of the supernatural amplifying very human things.

Savage Love
Raquel Taylor

Genre: Paranormal Erotica 
Publisher: Rogue Publishing, LLC
Date of Publication: August 16, 2013
ISBN: 9780989392600
Number of pages: 260
Word Count: 78,000+
Cover Artist: Yana Golyshkina

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Book Description: 

Welcome to the world of Nyw’Gaia where genetically engineered werewolves and vampires have battled for centuries. They fight to the death. They, most certainly, do not fall in love…

An illegally made vampire in his father’s Nosferatu army, Prince Skyy Hi’daat leaves the city of Nocturne for the lush alien domain beyond.  He finds this world filled with exotic inhabitants who would just as readily kill him as look at him. He is unprepared for the desire he feels in facing the werewolf that is supposed to be his natural enemy. Ravished and then rescued, his vengeance knows no bounds for the creature that dared put his filthy paws upon him.

Cathedron is the city of Arachnae’s greatest champion. On a deadly stealth mission to infiltrate Nocturne and discover the source of the infection that is eating the world, he finds he cannot help but hunt Nocturne’s gorgeous dark prince. Skyy’s scent ignites his desires in a way that is strictly criminal. Remembrances of Skyy’s body fires his blood against every law, against his own common sense. The wolf is determined to have the vampire again and make Skyy his forever.

Against the heat of the passion that threatens to consume them both, Nyw’Gaia is dying. An ancient darkness is infecting the denizens of the world and killing everything in its path. Their love is forbidden, but only their love can save Nyw’Gaia now.

Short Excerpt: 

The wolf was covered in the pierced and tattooed designs so prevalent amongst the ruins of the First Colony. The markings denoted a complete surrender to savagery, a negation of even the faintest hint of civilization. Skyy had seen designs like them in the museums and art galleries of Nocturne. They were an intermingling of the human-like designs of the First Colony along with the artwork of the aliens that had populated the planet before the first human settlers had landed hundreds of years before. The werewolf wore inked bands across the hard muscles of his arms that might have favored the Celtic designs brought from Old Earth had they not been populated with ja’anaszi stones—tiny glittering jewels that radiated with the uncanny inner light found at the mined core of Nyw’Gaia. Ja’anaszi stones were illegal in the City of Nocturne, the tiny rocks imbued with a narcotic so strong it had been known to kill on contact. Once placed upon the flesh, the stones bonded with the skin and needed the aid of a skilled surgeon to be removed. Often whole limbs were lost in the procedure. And the werewolf wore enough of them to kill an entire human district. The stones were known to be a glittering white, the light inside them throbbing to the heartbeat of the wearer. The stones the wolf wore were an uncharacteristic blood red.

Raven hair slid in a straight black wave down the creature’s shoulders and inky eyebrows arched over long black lashes. His finely sculpted face, complete with smooth cheeks and high cheekbones, was the home of arched raven eyebrows, which rose to peaks over those incredible eyes. There was something so wild about the look of him that it captivated Skyy.

He could not look away as the wind picked up the long inky cape of the werewolf’s hair and played with it, jangling the multi-colored beads and tangerine feathers that decorated it. The picture was both spellbinding and incredible and the new vampire’s mind took its sweet time processing it all, down to the silver metal and ja’anaszi stone collar that decorated the beast’s throat. Still, not quite used to his new perceptions, Skyy found this creature as fascinating as the Trinity and his body reacted to its presence in much the same manner as he had reacted to the Three Moons. The beast sparkled, the blood red stones embedded in his flesh glittering like sustenance and Skyy was suddenly filled with the dark hunger that denoted what he was, but there was something else to it…a certain and undeniable lust of a completely carnal nature.

About the Author:

Raquel Taylor enjoys writing love stories with an erotic edge. Secretly, and under a crazy pseudonym, she writes multitudes of homoerotic fanfiction based on myriad anime worlds. She does this for the love of the written word. She does this for the love of the carefully crafted worlds and characters that others have created. Most importantly, she does it in order to satisfy a need she sees in the readers of fanfiction.

Outside of this rather clandestine operation, Raquel writes love and erotica in whatever form that pleases her. She truly believes that love conquers all. With pen and keyboard she creates worlds where only love can bring light to the darkness. She creates lovers who need one another and she brings them to readers who want to experience those worlds and those people.

She writes for the love of it, against all odds. And she will never stop creating.

You can visit Raquel’s worlds at:

Twitter: @roguepublishing

What Makes a Good M/M Romance
Raquel Taylor

A good M/M romance has the same qualities that made any other romance good. The job of the author is to create characters that readers want to see be together. If the author writes erotica, then the job becomes two-fold because not only do the readers want to see the characters be together but they want to see them touch one another in intimate ways that reach through the realm of the physical and burn hot enough to touch the soul. If a writer can achieve these things, then they have written a good romance and that, ultimately is the goal. 
Personally, I do not see a difference between M/M romance and any other kind. Love is, very simply, love. My goal is to create love between whatever characters I’ve decided to attempt to put together. And truthfully, sometimes they don’t fit. I believe all writers, at some point or another, have met those characters within themselves that they thought would be perfect for one another and the two couldn’t stand one another. Like people, characters have life and, if you are very careful or very lucky or both, they will fall in love within the pages of the tale you are telling. Gender doesn’t really have anything to do with whether two characters fall in love or not. 
I consider myself a romance writer with a distinct lean toward the erotic. The heat level I am trying to achieve in any story that I write is always the same. I want to create people who cannot keep their hands off each other. I want to create people so deeply in love that they cannot live without one another. I need them to need one another—physically, emotionally, and completely. Is that the dream? Even if we have abandoned it, it was there once upon a time for each of us—the need to have someone as close to us as breath, someone we could trust, someone we could love without fear. In creating characters in answer to that need, the gender of the lovers has never been something I’ve been concerned about. I want the love. I want the passion. I want the need that inspires the painful honesty that it takes for someone to admit to someone else: “I love you. I need you.”
Are there differences between boys and girls? Yes, there are. A writer must adjust. It is my humble belief if you make those differences the goal of the story, though, then you are going down the wrong path. While those differences must be recognized, love is the goal. How you achieve that love, how many obstacles you throw in the path of your lovers, and how they conquer those obstacles is up to you.  The obstacles to a M/M relationship may be different than those for a M/F relationship depending on the setting that you choose, but in the end, love is the symphony that you are playing for the audience that chooses to listen. If you remember that, then you cannot fail to bring something beautiful to life. 
I’ve read M/M romances for years. I have a passion for Yaoi/Manwa like you wouldn’t believe, and, in my spare time (of which there has been a lot lately), I write naughty stories for people who appreciate my brand on that genre. I’ve seen flaws (or what I see as flaws anyway) that I’ve wanted to correct. First of all, there is a great tendency for M/M stories to end in tragedy for one of both parties. I do not read romances to cry my eyes out at the end. I do not want to be left asking: “Why couldn’t those two people just be happy, huh?” I know that all stories do not end well. Shakespeare is one of my favorite authors and he had a lock on tragedy. However, the tendency for M/M romances to end in tragedy is extremely high. Two examples that I can give you are: The King and the Clown and Legend of the Blue Wolves. The King and the Clown is a beautiful Asian thing, and Legend of the Blue Wolves is an anime. Both will rip your heart right out of your chest. Still, you will be happy that you saw them. The love is there. It’s undeniable, and while I’d like, very much, to slap the writers for hurting me in that way, I can do nothing but appreciate the beauty of the delivery of these particular stories. 
Secondly, boys are not girls. If you’re going to write M/M, make sure that’s what it is, and not M/Pseudo-female. A boy is a boy even if his hair is long and his eyes are big and he likes to wear dresses part-time. Time and again, I’ve read stories where one of the characters was only missing a pair of breasts to complete him. While I realize that there are some lovely guys out there that truly feel this way, and I would like nothing more than read or write about something like that, it’s not what I mean here. I’ve read several manga where the author stopped in the middle of the story and made a note like: “Wouldn’t it be cute if he was a girl in this particular love scene?” Harsh as it may sound, I’ve put books down for that. 
So, in writing M/M romance, let my boys be boys and let their love be deep, heartfelt, and fervent. It would help if they lived together, to a ripe old age, and died in each other’s arms, but I’m not telling you what to write there, simply what I’d love to read. I focus on the love, grow it in their hearts like flowers, and water those throbbing, crimson heart-flowers with lots of passion because we are people and when we are fortunate enough to find that marvelous other—passion. 
Write people who fall in love…Hard…Tangled like a spider’s web…and make them love it. That’s what makes good romance. 

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