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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thursday Spotlight: J. Hali Steele

Taking Care of Business.

I'll explain today's title in a bit. First, I should have mentioned before now that I write erotic romance. It's sensuous, hot, can be humorous, and sometimes--it involves more than one couple. With these stories, there's only the hero and his heroine (well, the white lion shifter is a voyeur, but that doesn't count!) *laughing* If you don't want to know that angels have a human side, this series may not be for you. Hopefully, you'll give them a chance to win you over.

Now, about the title--every love scene I've written was done while I listened to Tango. Every one. There is something raw and sexy about the music, the movements of the dance, that inspires me. One regret so far in my life has been that I didn't learn this dance and any others I could have physically mastered. But…it's not too late! Dancing With the Stars may see me yet.

Each story has a theme and the hero and heroine have their own song. I don't play it, but when I start a scene for them, it's running around in my brain, especially if I hit a rough patch and forget who they are and what they're about. For these two stories I've listed not only the theme, but the hero and heroine's song.

Hope in Love: "Yanni's Aria" was the only song for this story. Ramiel's theme was Nina Simone's version of "Don't Let me be Misunderstood." For Yael, I stayed with Nina's "Take Care of Business."

Book 1 in the Angels in Love series.

The world is changing. Hope is fading. Darkness beckons. And one angel holds the answer.

Tired of death, destruction and mankind's race to ruination, Ramiel, archangel of hope, finds it harder and harder to care about those he's meant to help. Now, the Fates have decreed that Ramiel must mate with Yael, an exulted human. On his shoulders rides the universe's only hope for survival, but the ties that bind him to Yael force him to face his own unexpected reckoning.

Yael, elevated to heaven to live out her days in peace, recoils from the sadness and shadows of death in Ramiel's eyes. Yet the need to ease the despair haunting him is stronger. During nights of searing sensuality, Yael and Ramiel light an erotic fire between them that will not be extinguished.

As the combined forces of the heavens try to tear them apart, Ramiel must find a way to hold on to the love he finds with Yael, or an end will come, so devastating that Heaven will drop to its knees.

Excerpt:

“This is such a surprise. What brings you here?” Gabriel's brows knitted together in shock. Ram hated Montana, didn't like cold climes at all and usually stayed as far from them as possible.

“Magnolia trees.” How could he explain his situation and not have Gabe laugh at him. Plus, he must to be very careful how much he divulged to the archangel. His tryst with the exulted would affect the outcome of his and Ezekiel's game with the vampyres.

“What?”

“I've seen many, but where can I find the best? One that is already in bloom and absolutely perfect?” He felt Gabe's probe at his mind and strengthened his mental shields against the intrusion.

“What on earth do you need with a blooming magnolia tree?”

“It's a gift.”

“Hmm, I see. A gift. Have you gone absolutely mad, Ram? Most men take a bunch of flowers, a dozen roses or something like that. The whole tree would be overkill, don't you think? And since when have you needed to take anything but yourself?”

“She's special.”

“Very special I would say.”

“Stop fucking with me and tell me where I can find one. I don't have much time.”

“New Orleans has the best. They should be blooming as we speak.”

“Thank you. Oh, and red lilies, buckets of them that I can plant at my home.”

“You have lost your mind. You need to get out more. Try Home Depot. They carry a variety of what you're looking for.” He'd caused Gabe to be curious and wonder what he was up to. “Why don't you use magic and be--”

“No, no, no. They must be planted with my own hands. I'll see you later, I have to hurry.” Yael had planted hers with her own hands. He should do the same.

He searched New Orleans endlessly to find a magnolia with the most perfect flowers. He would get the tree and plant it today. He'd surprise her with red lilies blooming everywhere in a matter of weeks.

Having spotted a nice specimen to unearth, he heard the voice.

“You crazy bastard, what the fuck are you doing?”

That was what he needed, questions from Lucifer. He decided to ignore him as he began to shovel at the dirt around the base of the tree. The roots seemed to go on forever. Then he heard Gabe.

“I told you he's serious.”

“Both of you go away, leave me alone.” He still refused to use his powers in any way for the task. The heat he loved stifled him and sweat poured copiously down his bare back. He didn't need these two to bother him. He was on a mission and had to be quick. She would arrive tomorrow.

“Ram, man, listen to me.”

“Go back to Hell, Luke. And screw you, Gabe. Must you tell him everything?”

He'd dug long enough. He pulled the whole tree up from the soil, and with the roots trailing behind, he disappeared. He left a rupture in the earth that gaped up at the sky.

At home he deposited the tree in the hole he opened with his mind and stood back to survey his work. Perfect. She'd love it.

Back on Earth, he searched for the nearest Home Depot with red lilies in stock.

Christ, I have lost my fucking mind!

Also at Ellora's Cave:

Hard Case: This was easy, the story could only be Sting's "Desert Rose." For Case, I always heard "Thunder" by Nuttin But Stringz. Tres was the problem. Two songs ran through my mind for her until I grasped one, the Eurythmic's "Sweet Dreams." And that's exactly what she filled Case's head with--sweet dreams.

Case couldn't believe his security expert hired the tantalizing female cat to manage his newest voyeur club. When he finds her, hand in her pants, in a voyeur's room, he makes his move--a move with bigger repercussions than he can imagine. A white lion from the Kind species, big cats with vampyre blood, Case has honed his blood-sucking ancestor's magic to a fine art. One taste of her and her sexual delights, and he comes undone.

Tres has her own plan--use the lion to forget her mysterious vampyre lover. She's drawn to both creatures for different reasons. The vampyre enjoys watching while the cat brings out a new side of her--performing for watchers.

Forced to choose one, can she live without both?



Growl and roar-it's okay to let the beast out.-© J. Hali Steele

2 comments:

Charisma Knight said...

Hey Joann,

I have recently started reading Hope in Love, and so far it is awesome.

Valerie said...

Hi Joann,

You're not the only one with a soundtrack in their head. I have a whole book worth's in there for each book. Some are actually soundtracks, and yeah, I have specific songs for love scenes. I definitely get the tango thing. The weird thing is that some songs I can't listen to again if I used them in a fairly dramatic scene!