Magic is necessary to all things, but too much of it is sending the emotions of the Dark Fae Court to extremes.
The Fae Nation’s championship boxing match is the highlight of the year, but there’s a chaos-creating surge of energy accompanying every exhibition bout leading up to the main event. With the championship looming, the Special Collections Team is called to Las Vegas to investigate the magical disturbances at the Red Raven casino, the home of the volatile Dark Fae Court.
But the fae are not the only ones affected by the instability. The Dark Court is a hostile environment for the SCT, dragging them closer to emotional breakdowns and lines drawn in the sand. Dangerous royals, randy revelers and relationship dramas have the Special Collections Team close to folding, until a pair of changelings ups the ante.
“Can we get on with it?” Greel broke in. “I need to be on my way, and I’d be just as happy leaving now, if you lot can’t focus.”
“By all means.” Beryl’s voice dripped sugar. “If you’re scared of being torn apart by the Dark Court, your entrails served for dinner at the downstairs buffet, then do begin the briefing. I’m surprised they haven’t banged down the door for you yet, as it is.”
“I do not fear the fae,” Greel sneered.
Beryl smiled with all of her teeth showing. “You should.”
“Enough!” I raised my hands, unable to take another moment. It seemed we had learned nothing on our first case. “Just tell us what the mission is. The sooner we begin our investigations, the sooner we can get out of Las Vegas, and away from the fae.”
Beryl patted her hair. “I see you have the sense to fear the fae, Niccolo.”
I gritted my teeth to hold back my angry words, which would serve no purpose other than getting the former assassin bent out of shape. However, it was on the tip of my tongue to tell her, in no uncertain terms, that one belligerent fairy in my company was more than enough, and I did not need to surround myself with a whole Court more.
As I said, there was no reason to voice such a thing out loud, especially not to an overly emotional woman thoroughly skilled in all the ways a single finger can kill a man. And especially not when said finger sported a triangular hunk of metal large enough to rip a man’s throat open. Instead, I asked Greel to continue.
“There have been anomalies in the flow of magic through this casino.” He passed his glare around the table, staring at each of us in turn. “The disturbances have grown stronger lately, and with the exhibition matches already underway, we’ve been able to find a correlation between the power fluctuations and the bouts.”
“But that’s not surprising.” Zahra shifted in her seat, though she kept her cheek pressed to the tabletop. Her voice scraped against my eardrums like sandpaper, and she moaned in pain when
Giovanni rubbed her shoulder. “More and more people would be coming to the casino to see the championship match, right?”
Greel lifted his lip. “You are correct.”
“It’s the highlight of the year for my Nation,” Beryl told her.
“With so many fae already here,” Zahra managed to lift her head a bare inch to look at me, “and so many tourists popping in, and then all the others gathering to see the fight, it makes sense that the magic would be stronger.”
I cocked my head. “She’s right.”
“Not exactly,” Beryl protested. “Morrigan keeps the citizens of other Nations strictly prohibited to the lobby and the boxing arena, but apparently the spikes in magic are affecting the gaming floors and nightclubs, as well.”
Our angel liaison waved his hand. “The disturbances have grown beyond what’s normal for these events. The magic seems to be human.”
Delve into the emotions, dive into the erotic.
An extensive traveler who loves to incorporate various legends from around the world into her tales, Lola White likes to twist reality at its edges in her stories. She likes delving into the emotions of her characters, finding their strengths and weaknesses, and seeing (and showing) how they get themselves out of whatever trouble has found them—if they can.
- When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always wanted to write, but I didn’t realize I could actually do this until a few years ago. It took a long time to get things in shape for publishing, and even longer to find the courage to publish, but in late 2013, I took the plunge with a short story and haven’t stopped since.
- How long does it take you to write a book?
It depends on the book. I’ve written some stories in less than a month, while others dragged on for half a year or more. (Rough drafts—time for beta-reading and editing not included!) For me, it depends on how the words are coming and where my attention is. I’m not one of those people who can sit down and dig up my story one word at a time, if the going is too slow, I switch to something else and soon enough I’ll find the motivation to finish the previous project.
- What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I wake up early, get my coffee, take care of my animals (a dog and a cat), check my email then get to work. When I’m writing, I tend to ignore everything else provided nothing breaks my concentration, so I could spend the next several hours typing.
- What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I want total silence. I can’t listen to music, the television must be off and hopefully the dog doesn’t bark, or my train of thought tends to derail. Normally, I take a deep breath and work myself back into the story, but it’s frustrating when you’re on a roll and suddenly get wrenched out of your fantasy-land and back into real life before you’re ready.
- How do books get published?
The physical publishing process includes writing, editing—a few times—formatting, cover art and marketing, all before you get to the actual publishing. As far as I can tell, having self-published as well as gone through publishing companies, the process is about the same no matter how you do it, though one is more labor intensive than the other. But spiritually, books get published through hard work, drive and determination.
- Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Anywhere and everywhere. I never know what is going to trigger that part of my brain, but many various things have. Sometimes, I get the whole story roaring through my imagination and other times it’s a slow drip stemming from things I’ve heard and seen.
- When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I wrote my first real book when I was twenty-six. Before that, I’d only written short stories and poems. That first book will probably never see the light of day, but it taught me so much.
- What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love to read, of course! I also learned how to crochet, so I’m having some fun with that, but otherwise spare time is hard to come by. Work, writing and family take up most of the day!
- What does your family think of your writing?
They are very supportive of it, which really surprised me, considering my genre. My grandmother has not only bought almost everything I’ve written, she’s also read them! (She claims she has no idea where I got my dirty imagination.)
- What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I learned I had the words for more than one full-length novel inside me, that I could write more, and every time I doubt I’ve got another book in me, I find out I do. Between writing books, I always wonder when I’ll write again, I always wonder if I’ll be able to finish a whole novel. But I do, and I’ve got a thousand more stories simmering in my brain.
- How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have written nine full-length novels and a couple of shorter things. My favorite is always the one I’m currently writing, and my least favorite is always the one I’m currently editing. But I’m very superstitious about the second book of my psychic trilogy, the first series I ever published—when artists speak of getting help from an other-wordly Muse, I know what they mean because of that book. That one wrote itself when everything else was a hard slog to the finish.
- Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
The best writing advice I can give is to Just Write. Writing is the only thing that will make you a better writer, because it’s the only thing that can help you find your voice, that special thing that makes what you wrote the thing everyone wants to read.
- Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I do hear from my readers, but I’d always love to hear from more! So far, I’ve been very happy with the feedback, I’m glad so many like my stories, and I love that so many keep telling me how surprised they were.
- Do you like to create books for adults?
I love it! I write books specifically for adults, dealing with very adult themes and I love the challenge of exploring the depths of the emotions graphic scenes require. Vulnerability in all its shades, and the strength that can thrive in the fractures of a soul…I believe adult books are able to explore certain themes to a greater extent because the content can be more explicit.
- What do you think makes a good story?
Plot elements aside, it comes down to an author’s Voice. When I was just a reader, I had no idea why some stories were magical and others weren’t, but as an author, I get it. I’m the creator of a tale that’s already been told a thousand times before, but the way I tell it, the words I use and the imagery I conjure in your mind’s eye is completely unique.
- As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I’ve wanted to be a thousand different things…so in a way telling tales is a natural outcome. Now, I can be anything I want—like a genie, or an investigator of magical crimes—until I’ve completed my story, and then I can be something new.
- What would you like my readers to know?
I would like your readers to know how appreciative I am that they took the time to read this and get to know a little about me. If they would like to know more, and also get some great exclusive deals from me in the future, they can sign up for my monthly newsletter on my website or my Facebook page. Thank you!