Hi! I’d like to thank Hearts on Fire Reviews for hosting this giveaway.
Steel and Promise is my first novel. It began as a series of loosely connected erotic stories about a courtesan serving a mysterious noblewoman with implanted steel claws. Dark and sexy was pretty much the only point at first, with a little bit of backstory for spice. But the characters had more to say than that, and before I knew it, wait a minute, this thing is a book!
It can be a dark book. It had to be for Teran Nivrai, Mysterious Noblewoman, to be the kind of person everyone fears in a world where kinks are common and everyone has their own little quirks. And claws and blood and mind games are fun things to write. But the story wanted to be more than claws and blood and mind games.
The courtesan, Cailyn Derys, is naturally submissive, but sweet, kind, and gentle. While everyone else is knee-deep in intrigue, she’s offering herself because that’s the kind of person she is. She enjoys her job and wants to be wanted—but more than that, she wants to offer solace and calm to people who often get caught up in power games and trying to one-up each other. She’s famous for her looks and because of her father’s reputation, but it’s her kindness that makes her unique.
And I think that’s what I enjoyed most about the story. Writing Steel and Promise was a roller coaster ride of blood and romance and intrigue and hope and violence and love, and although I knew how things would end up, Cailyn and Teran and the other characters constantly surprised me.
That mix is part of what I wanted. I wanted to write something hot and steamy and sexy and over-the-top; there’s a reason I’ve loved both operas and heavy metal. But I also wanted to write a story with a plot, something that people who wouldn’t necessarily pick up an erotic story could also enjoy. Weaving the relationship and the sex and the intrigue all together was a challenge, but I very much wanted something that offered both plot and sexiness, and didn’t skimp on one to bring the other.
Steel and Promise is a lot of things. A story about intrigue and manipulation, sex and love. About a budding relationship and the kind of people who aren’t quite sure how to have those and hurt each other deeply in the process. About stumbling toward each other in spite of it all, and finding kindness in the dark.
I hope you enjoy it!
Courtesan Cailyn Derys serves the passions of the noble classes—but she’s never served anyone like Teran Nivrai. Everyone whispers about the reclusive noblewoman, indulging her penchant for cruel passions on a private, hidden planet. She’s even modified her body with retractable steel claws. Drawn by curiosity, Cailyn can’t resist a meeting. Is Lady Nivrai the demon everyone whispers about, or have gossip and scandal made a monster of her?
Sex and pain draw Cailyn in, but the loneliness Cailyn sees in everyone’s favorite villain keeps her there. When the ruling Councils decide to use Teran’s gift for inflicting pain—and her claws—against their enemies, will Cailyn discover that the monster is real?
Please leave a comment by 2/28/17 @ 11:59 for a random chance to win a copy of Steel and Promise, courtesy of Bold Strokes Books.