Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Nocturne
Date of Publication: May 1st 2016
Number of pages: 304
Word Count: 80 000
Cover Artist: Harlequin
Claiming her felt like his destiny…but could prove to be his ultimate undoing.
Desperate to flee a horrific arranged marriage, Princess Tanzi turned to the only man who could help. Lorcan Malone, infamous necromancer, had vowed to come to her aid whenever she needed him. And even as they traveled from the mortal world into the fantastical Otherworld, Tanzi knew her true need ran deeper than just a rescue.
She was his enemy's daughter. A renegade like Lorcan had no business craving a Fae princess, one intended for a greater calling. Yet he was powerless to resist the pull to do more than protect Tanzi…
“Trust me, Tanzi. If you need me, I will know.”
Those words, spoken by Lorcan Malone in the heat of battle, must have been a bit of Irish blarney. He probably didn’t even remember who she was, let alone recall their strange encounter on that fateful day. So why, in this moment—when she was in more trouble than she could ever have imagined possible—was she suddenly experiencing a fierce longing for the bad-boy necromancer with the twinkling blue eyes?
It’s called clutching at straws, she told herself. It’s what you’re doing right now instead of facing reality and finding your own way out of this madness.
“What are you thinking, my daughter?” Moncoya, exiled King of the Faeries, watched her face.
“I’m thinking that defeat has unhinged you. That you have finally done what others have whispered of for years and taken leave of your senses.” Never before had Tanzi spoken so boldly to him. Defiance was the trait her twin sister, Vashti, proudly exhibited. Tanzi had always been the acquiescent one. Until now. There were some things she could not bow down and agree to. This was one of them.
Moncoya’s perfect features hardened with fury. His blue eyes, so like her own with their sidhe ring of fire encircling the iris, lit with a brighter inner blaze. His fingers tightened on the arm of his chair so that his knuckles gleamed white in stark contrast to the black polish that decorated his perfectly manicured nails. Tanzi braced herself. His retribution would be swift and merciless. She couldn’t hope to match him in strength, but she might be able to outrun him.
The outcome hung in the balance for seconds that stretched into minutes. Then Moncoya laughed. It was a brittle, mirthless sound that set Tanzi’s teeth buzzing. She knew that laugh well. It had never boded well in her childhood. She didn’t imagine things had changed. Unexpectedly, he relaxed back into his seat.
“My child, you are overwhelmed by the honor I have arranged for you. I should have foreseen this.” He rose, draping a deceptively casual arm about her shoulders. “Walk with me a while.”
They stepped through a set of double doors straight onto a sand-and-shingle beach. The entire island, known locally as the Silver Isle, seemed to be made up of sand. Even the ocher-hued cliffs looked ready to crumble into grit at the touch of a fingertip. Ferns, wild fennel and coarse bamboo grasses clung determinedly to soil that was a combination of granule and dust. Tanzi thought of her father’s palace, of the precisely laid-out gardens leading down to the elegant lake. She glanced back over her shoulder at the beachside villa they had just left. Sea breezes and salt water had taken their toll on its elegance so that it had a faded charm she doubted her father would acknowledge. In comparison with the soaring, white marble palace she had called “home” for all her life, it was a shack. Moncoya was as out of place here as a diamond in a dung heap.
“You made sure no one followed you?” Moncoya withdrew his arm from about her shoulders as they walked along the water’s edge. Secrecy surrounded this hiding place. If he was discovered, he faced trial and inevitable execution.
“Of course.” Tanzi was offended at the question. Would he have asked Vashti the same thing? She doubted it. Yet we both trained with the Valkyrie. We are equally astute when it comes to warfare and subterfuge. It came back to the same weary argument. The same reason Tanzi had been summoned to be the recipient of his latest piece of “good news” instead of her twin. Moncoya viewed Vashti as the son he had never had. Tanzi’s only value to her father was as a pawn in the marriage stakes. Not this marriage, father. The sacrifice you are asking of me is too great.
“Tell me what has been happening at the palace in my absence.” Three months had passed since the cataclysmic battle that had forced Moncoya into hiding. It felt like three years.
“There is a peacekeeping council known as the Alliance in place. Each of the Otherworld dynasties has representation on it. The Alliance itself is led by Merlin Caledonius.”
Moncoya’s expression hardened further at the name. “That half-blood cur will pay dearly for his part in this.”
Merlin, the greatest sorcerer the world had ever known, was Moncoya’s half brother and the man who had brought about his exile. Cal, as he preferred to be called these days, had widened the existing gulf of hatred between the two men further by falling in love with and marrying the woman Moncoya had hoped to make his queen.
Tanzi paused, looking out across the turquoise waters toward the horizon. She drew a deep breath. “My father, you wrong him. He is man of conscience who is doing a fine job of uniting the dynasties…” Moncoya’s growl of rage told her she had gone too far.
“Am I, the greatest leader Otherworld has ever known, to be forced into hiding while he lives in luxury in my royal palace? Am I to endure the knowledge that he has stolen the necromancer star, the woman I chose as my own, from under my nose? Must I kick my heels in this backwater while you, my own daughter, take the seat that should be mine at this pathetic council table—” He broke off, his voice ragged. When he spoke again, his tone was softer, the words a caress. “But you know nothing of these things, my child. It is wrong of these men to ask you to involve yourself in their political machinations. They seek to trick you.”
Tanzi bit her lip. How could she explain it to him when he insisted on viewing her as a helpless dupe? Being part of the Alliance had brought her new life. Oh, she had been regarded with suspicion initially by many of the council members. She was Moncoya’s daughter, after all. They saw her as the spoiled brat sidhe princess who had been his consort—his puppet—in the past. Together with Vashti, she had blindly carried out his wishes. But things had changed three months ago on that battlefield. She had changed.
A pair of laughing Irish eyes came into her mind once more and she determinedly dismissed them. Cal and his wife, Stella, treated her as their equal, and with their help she was learning how to be the voice and conscience of her people. She was developing an understanding of compassion and democracy. Tanzi cast a sidelong glance at her father. She was learning that there was a way to rule other than Moncoya’s iron-fisted style.
“Let us leave this talk of the mongrel sorcerer for another day. I look forward to dealing with him when the time comes. This marriage I have arranged for you is the highest distinction ever to be bestowed upon a woman. Through this union, I will not only be able to come out of this undignified hiding and return to my palace, I will be the undisputed ruler of all Otherworld.” Moncoya’s lips thinned into a smile. “There will be no need for their puny Alliance when that day dawns.”
“And what of me, Father? While you become all powerful, what will I become?”
He paused then, perhaps considering for the first time the true implications of what he was asking of her. Such was his arrogance, she might have known he would not allow her feelings to influence him for long. “You will be revered above all others.”
She shook her head. “I will not do it.”
His face was set. The silken note in his voice made the threat even more menacing. “You have no choice.”
“By all the angels, Father, you cannot intend to force me into this!”
Moncoya’s lips smiled but Tanzi’s heart quailed at the look in his eyes. “Given the bridegroom I have chosen for you, might I suggest you refrain from speaking of angels in the future?”
About the Author:
Jane Godman writes in a variety of romance genres including paranormal, gothic and romantic suspense. Her Otherworld series is published by Harlequin Nocturne and she has a new series coming out soon with Harlequin Romantic Suspense. 2017 will see the publication of a new paranormal series for SMP Swerve.
Jane lives in England and loves to travel to European cities, which are steeped in history and romance—Venice, Dubrovnik and Vienna are among her favorites. Jane is married to a lovely man and is mom to two grown-up children.
Interview – Jane Godman
Hello, I’m Jane Godman, author of the Otherworld Series. Otherworld is a magical realm existing just beyond mortal sight. The Otherworld Series tells the stories of the compelling heroes who fight to protect this beautiful place from the battles threatening to tear it apart.
Where are you from?
I live in the Wirral, which is a beautiful peninsula in Cheshire in the North West of England. It’s across the River Mersey from Liverpool (home of The Beatles) and is the place where the iconic ‘Ferry ‘Cross the Mersey’ song originates.
My mum is from The Wirral, which is why I call this land my home (a line from the song), but I’ve lived all over the world. I was born in Scotland and have lived in Germany, Wales, Malta and South Africa.
Tell us your latest news?
Where to start? I write paranormal romance for Harlequin Nocturne and, after Otherworld Renegade, there are three more books to come in the Otherworld Series plus a gothic paranormal romance. I have a confession to make… gothic romance is my first love! The title of this book is IMMORTAL BILLIONAIRE (and, let's face it, who wouldn't want to capture the heart of one of those?). For Connie Lacey, an all-expenses-paid holiday on a privately owned, heart-shaped Floridian island seems too good to be true. And maybe it is...
I have also recently signed a three book contract with Harlequin Romantic Suspense and I can't wait to share these exciting, romantic stories that will get your pulse racing in more ways than one!
In 2017, I have a six book paranormal series with St Martin's Press new digital romance line, SMP Swerve, coming out. Watch out for my hot Arctic werewolves (trust me, they are irresistible)!
I also write historical romance and the third book in my Georgian Rebel Series, The Jacobite's Return, will be released at the end of May 2016. It seems safe to say this is a busy year, publication-wise, but I wouldn't have it any other way!
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve written for as long as I can remember. As a teenager, I lived in South Africa, and my best friend and I discovered the novels of Kathleen E Woodiwiss when we were thirteen. We used to spend our evenings writing books in the style of ‘The Wolf and the Dove’. When I had a big birthday (let’s just say it had a zero at the end), my friend gave me an amazing present. She had kept one of the books I wrote when I was fourteen! It’s a medieval romance, hand written in felt tip pen. I’m very proud of it and it gave me the push I needed to start submitting my work to publishers.
My first Harlequin book, Legacy of Darkness, was published in January 2014 as part of a Shivers digital box set and I haven’t looked back since.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve always considered myself a writer, but the first time I thought of myself as an author was when I saw my name on the Harlequin Sold! Blog as a debut Harlequin author. That was when it seemed real.
I still have to pinch myself when I realize I write books that people find pleasure in reading. That’s the best part for me. When someone tells me they’ve enjoyed one of my books, it’s one of the best feelings in the world.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Apart from the Kathleen E Woodiwiss inspired medieval novel, you mean? I love gothic romances and feel strongly that this is an under-represented genre. I’d love to see them make a come-back and hope to do my bit by writing my own. My first gothic romance, Legacy of Darkness, was what I think of as a ‘true gothic’ with the following features:
1. The setting is dark, gloomy and atmospheric
2. A feisty heroine who pushes the boundaries
3. A villain you fall in love with …
4. And a hero you fall in love with (for different reasons)
5. Dark secrets, the past comes back to haunt the present
6. Some surprises along the way
Sometimes I find it easier to explain what gothic romances are not, rather than what they are:
Gothics are not paranormal romances. As a rule of thumb, the main protagonists should be human beings who may be affected by the supernatural or the unexplained. It’s possible they may be reincarnated. If they are vampires, werewolves, shifters etc. you are writing a paranormal not a gothic.
Gothics are not horror stories. They may have strong elements of horror, but it is implied rather than explicit. It’s a creaking board in the attic or a trail of blood on the stairs. If your story features a chainsaw wielding killer carrying a severed head, you are writing horror not gothic.
New gothics have strong elements of eroticism. This can be implied or explicit. Steamy is good. But they are not erotic romances. If that’s all your story has, you are not writing gothic!
Do you have a specific writing style?
I like to think so. I hope people who pick up my books and then come back to read others find something unique in them.
I’m not very fluffy. And I’m not saying that in a derogatory way about people who are fluffy! We all need a book that gives us a hug. My books are a bit darker.
I’m definitely steamy. I don’t shy away from difficult subjects and I don’t have an off button for horror. If you like love stories with a dash of the supernatural, beautiful, tortured heroes and feisty heroines and edge-of-your-seat twists and turns, then you’ll probably like my stories!
How did you come up with the title?
Otherworld Renegade is part of a series (the second book), although each one stands alone.
Otherworld is a mystical realm and Tanzi, the heroine, is on the run from her fae home. She has arrived here in the mortal realm with no idea what our world is like.
I’m fascinated by the ancient Celtic idea of an ‘otherworld’ that is situated, not in some distant, unknown region of planetary space, but here on our own earth just out of sight and within our grasp (if we really believe in it and want it enough). The Otherworld of my imagination is a beautiful place inhabited by many races, including faeries, vampires, lycanthropes, phantoms and gods. Unfortunately, the constant battles between these warring dynasties threaten to spill over into the mortal realm.
The renegade in the title refers to the hero, Lorcan Malone. He is a rebellious necromancer who comes to Tanzi’s aid. But in reality, Tanzi is forced to turn her back on her past and become a renegade herself.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
As well as being a paranormal romance, Otherworld Renegade is the story of how opposites can attract. How we are drawn to those who are different. Homebody vs. party animal, for example. Or shy guy vs. outgoing girl.
In this book, the differences between my hero and heroine go so much deeper…
Lorcan Malone is an Irish charmer who never stays in one place for long. He is also a necromancer, one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all, and leader of the resistance who are sworn to fight Moncoya, the evil Faerie King.
Tanzi is a sidhe. And not just any sidhe. She is one of Moncoya’s twin daughters, a Valkyrie trained warrior and a pampered Otherworld celebrity.
As if those contrasts aren’t enough, the emotional chasm between them is huge. Tanzi doesn’t do feelings, while Lorcan is acutely intuitive. Yet when Tanzi is forced to ask for Lorcan’s help, they can’t deny the sizzling attraction between them.
How much of the book is realistic?
Hmm. Tough question when it comes to a paranormal romance! I think the romance can be realistic, even when the paranormal elements aren’t. Drawing on very deep emotions is always an important job for a romance writer and these two characters were tough ones to write.
Tanzi, in particular, was a difficult character to capture. I had to take her on a journey from being a person with no feelings to someone who falls in love. I think I did her justice.
I hope anyone who reads the story will let me know what they think!
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Again, that’s tough to answer when the story in question is a paranormal romance. Part of the story is set in Barcelona, which is one of my favorite cities and Lorcan’s opening scene is in the Kasbah in Tangier. I enjoyed writing that because I loved visiting the Kasbah a few years ago. It was such a vibrant, exciting place with so much going on.
Lorcan’s lovely, lilting Irish accent is definitely a combination of a few people I know in real life.
As for the Arthurian legends that run like a thread through all of these books, those have been an influence on me. I adore those stories and including them in my writing has been such a thrill. I can’t say too much about them because there is a huge surprise coming up in Otherworld Challenger (Book Three)!
What books have most influenced your life most?
As a reader, I’m quite eclectic and that obviously influences my writing. I love romance (of course) and historical romance in particular. Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer are my favorite historical romance authors. I also like mysteries, crime novels and I do love a good horror story. Not blood and guts, but proper spine-tinglers.
As I’ve already said, gothic romance is my first love, both in my reading and my writing. Think Jayne Eyre by Charlotte Bronte or Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Love stories with a dash of horror! Romances that scare the life out of you! What’s not to love about that? I like to think I’m at the point where Jane Austen and Stephen King meet and overlap.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Beyond doubt it would be Georgette Heyer. She is the cleverest, wittiest writer ever. I come back to her books time and again and always find something new in them. She does everything so well. Humor, romance, suspense. I recommend her books to everyone.
What book are you reading now?
Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica. I’ve only just started it, but it comes highly recommended.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’ve enjoyed Alessandra Torre’s erotic suspense stories (The Girl in 6E and Do Not Disturb). I think there’s a third, but I haven’t read it yet.
What are your current projects?
I’ve got a lot going on, so I’m concentrating on my Otherworld series and my Harlequin Romantic Suspense titles (which I’m VERY excited about). I do have a new idea floating around at the back of my mind, sort of psychological thriller/erotic romance, but it’s early days.
What would you like my readers to know?
This sounds very dramatic…but it’s really not. I have a brain tumor. I’m lucky. My tumor is low grade and slow growing.
I tell people about it so anyone who may be struggling with their own issues as they read this can hopefully see there is some light at the end of the tunnel. You can still write the book, climb the mountain, be whatever you want to be, no matter what the obstacles are.
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