Guest Blog: Ash Krafton, The Dynamics of Love

Welcome to Teaser Tuesday! Today I’m hosting a stop on the Bleeding Hearts Blog Tour for the lovely Ash Krafton. You can check out the other stops for the tour on her Website, or keep up with her on Twitter. Thanks for joining us today Ash!

POST:

What is it that attracts us to another person? I mean, how would you describe the dynamics of a love relationship?

Is it a physical force–fed by sight and touch–that draws us closer? Or is it mental, emotional–intangible but substantial enough to feel solid and real?

In Bleeding Hearts, Sophie and Marek are drawn together by many forces. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he’s of the tall, dark, and handsome variety. However, we see that for Sophie, love is 99% mental—although she’d argue that there’s nothing wrong with altering the percentages to get a little more physical in.

Writing Sophie was no easy task—especially because she’s an empath on the verge of manifestation. Her lover is Demivampire, capable of expressing his power like a pheromone. She’s very susceptible to it and that "other sense" is partly responsible for their mutual attraction.

In writing this story I had to explore what it must be like to be an empath in love. Most of my "empathy" exposure was from Star Trek: The Next Generation. No knocks against Deanna Troy (especially because she rocked those catsuits) but she just wasn’t what I had in mind for Sophie.

Sophie is vulnerable, shy, lacking in confidence and social ease. Her emotions often got the best of her. Meeting Maek, however, gives her some power of her own—the power to own her emotions, to find strength and courage as a woman. She finds out she’s stronger than she ever believed. It’s a journey made possible by the love she finds with Marek.

Would she and Marek have found love if she wasn’t an empath? Hard to say—when I said Marek was tall, dark and handsome, I should have emphasized the word dark. His self-esteem is far from ideal, too, because he thinks he’s one step away from eternal damnation. Something about Sophie calls to him, something beyond the physical. For him, the love is almost spiritual.

Sounds quirky, but think: aren’t we all searching for our soul mate, our one perfect love? And isn’t the soul intrinsically spiritual by nature?

Questions like these are what led to Bleeding Hearts becoming the story it is today. I remember when I started out, it was going to be more along the lines of: Demivamp Marek hunts Sophie as prey, but chatterbox Sophie ends up causing to re-evaluate himself and his actions, essentially becoming a better man (I mean, a better DV.) However, the more I got involved with the chracters and their relationships, the more the story changed.

Stories evolve. Love evolves. They are both too dynamic to remain the same for long.

GIVEAWAY:

Thanks for having me, Sidney!

To show my appreciation, I’d like to give one of our readers a chance to win an ebook copy of BLEEDING HEARTS. Just leave a comment for us and you’ll be entered to win. The contest will run until Friday, April 6th. One person will be chosen by random selection.

I’d also like to let everyone know that the Bleeding Hearts Blog Tour will continue until April 14, 2012. (http://ash-krafton.blogspot.com/2012/02/bleeding-hearts-virtual-book-tour.html ) Be sure to check out the other stops along the tour for other posts about Bleeding Hearts and be sure to enter the huge end-of-tour prize package (http://ash-krafton.blogspot.com/2012/03/bleeding-hearts-blog-tour-gvewy.html ).

Good luck to everyone who enters and thanks for celebrating my new book with me.

EXCERPT:

Marek rose from his seat, captured my hand, and drew me along with him. I realized he was leading me down to the dance floor.

The look simmering in his eyes made me forget how much I loathed dancing. That look held me, his hands held me, his arms held me. We didn’t dance. It had become much more intimate. He pulled me up against him and we swayed to a rhythm he picked, slower than the one that played. People bounced and twisted around us but we were alone, separate.

Marek stretched out his power. He sent a stream of pleasure through me, tickling my insides and brushing against soft secret places. It started a slow fire within, one I wanted him to quench only after the fire had burned everything else away.

Whatever allowed me to feel his power, I let it have its head. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. I submerged myself in what he felt, now so much more than mere impression. Pleasure mingled with other emotions. Possession. Desire. Need.

Not just the need to have me, the need to have his urges met by mine. A desperate need cried out from deep within his soul. He needed me to help him find salvation.

It called to something inside me. It made me reach out to him instinctively, to stretch out my awareness like fingers caressing his depths. I drew his needs to me, filtered them through my own essence, and returned them to him, satisfied.

My eyes closed, my mind inundated by swimming emotion, I whispered. “I promise.”

I opened my eyes to find him staring down at me, eyes bright like sunlight on grass. His lips parted rapturously and he ran his tongue back and forth between his sharpened canines.

“Would you call my desire, here, Sophie?” His voice was husky, as if words were difficult to form. “Gods, you can feel me, my power. You know what I am. Do you mean to tease me?”

I stretched up against him, lacing my fingers behind his neck and drawing him down to my face. My skin tingled from the memory of the strange feelings I’d just experienced. “I know what you are, Marek, and it doesn’t matter. Who you are, whatever world you come from, it doesn’t matter. I want you.”

He seemed stunned, even as he wrapped his arms tighter around me. “You don’t know what you’re saying.”

“Maybe but I do know what I’m feeling. Let me be your sunlight. I’ll show you what love and hope truly mean. You’ll never be lost in the dark again.”

His power quickened, thinning out into a triumphant ribbon that surged up into his eyes. They burned with a violent emerald fire and I laughed with delight.

Marek shuddered and pulled me tighter.

“Mine,” he growled. “You will be mine.”

“Mmm,” I said, and slipped my arms up around his neck. “Just shut up and dance.”

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