- It’s a Pricked Party!
- Resurrecting Gods and Stealing Names with Anya Richards
- Inspiration Inked, by S.J. Drum
- The book that almost wasn’t.
- Eileen Ann Brennan brings the mancandy.
- God of Ecstasy with Lena Loneson
- Fiona Jayde and Kicking Ass
- Tattooed Man Candy with Cynthia Sax
- The Intimacy of Ink, with tattoo artist and author James R. Tuck
- The tattoos in Under His Skin
- Pricked Party: How “Passionate Ink” was born.
- Saranna DeWylde and the meaning of tattoos.
- Redeeming the Troll with Anya Richards
- What comes after Under His Skin?
- Pricked Party, it’s been fun
Welcome back to the Pricked Party! This celebrates all of the authors releasing books this month in the Ellora’s Cave themed series. Today I have the prolific Anya Richards here talking about the second of her Pricked books coming out today. You can catch up with Anya at any of these locals:
“A TROLL? Are you NUTS?”
My critique partner’s horror was clear even over instant message, and for a moment I too wondered if I had lost my mind. But, like most of my heroes, I knew Vidar already, even though I’d just started writing Stone-Hard Passion, and knew he’d be one of the sexiest, most compelling men I’d ever written.
So, yeah, he’s a troll…so what? Trolls, like humans, come in all shapes and sizes, depending on where they originate. Vidar isn’t shaped like the troll dolls of the 70s, and it’s not like he’s one of Tolkien’s trolls, or one from a video game. Nor is he like the ones that live under bridges, waiting to eat unwary travellers. He doesn’t have a vacant stare. There are no pointy teeth. For goodness sakes, he’s a vegetarian. Where does it say all trolls are meat-tearing, brawling, brainless behemoths?
Well, he is big; taller and more muscular than many of the other men you’d see hanging around the Midnight Café. But when has that become a bad thing? And no, he’s not pretty. If you ask Ula, the office manager and receptionist, in the beginning she’d say he was ogre ugly, but she’s looking at him through stereotype lenses, not as an individual.
Jasmina Elalmadhoun knows better. She’s actually spent time with him, gotten to know him while giving him his tattoos. She knows he’s smart, obscenely ripped and has the kindest eyes of any man she’s ever known. He may be shy and reserved, but she won’t hold that against him. We can’t all be outgoing, party-animal jinns like Jasmina. In fact, she rather likes his quietude, his soft, deep voice, the way he thinks everything through before he reacts. There’s enough damn temperamental crap in the world as it is without him adding to it!
But perhaps the characteristic about him she finds most intriguing is his lack of artifice. In a world where glamours and spellcraft can make you appear more handsome or stylish than you really are, the fact that Vidar refuses to appear anything other than he is appeals on a variety of levels. Okay, he could use a good haircut and a shave, but he is what he is, and who is she to try to change him?
Little does she know he’s willing to do anything, change anything for a chance to be with her. All he has to do is get past everything he believes he can’t be—actually, get past the stereotypes others have placed on his race—and he’ll become everything Jazz could ever want or need. When he does…watch out!
So, yeah, (I repeat) he’s a troll. Wanna make something of it? If you do, you’ll have to take it up with Jasmina and, believe me, she’s not going to be nice about it. And, believe it or not, you’ll also have to take your issues up with my critique partner too, who’s a Vidar convert. She’s withholding judgement on the rest of the trolls out there, but Vidar? He’s worth fighting over.
I hope you’ll enjoy the blurb and excerpt below (there’s another excerpt here). Stone-Hard Passion comes out today (SQUEE!) so I hope you’ll be tempted to buy it, even if it’s just to see whether this troll can shatter the stereotypes you may have about his specie.
Book two in the Unveiled Seductions series.
Tattoo artist Jasmina Elalmadhoun is on a mission to entice her client Vidar Jarlsen into bed, but getting the shy, obscenely ripped troll to agree is going to take some work. Even telling him straight-up she wants him doesn’t break through his reserved, polite demeanor. Just what does a jinn have to do? Maybe showing him the pleasures they can enjoy without jeopardizing their friendship will do the trick.
Beneath Vidar’s staid exterior his blood burns with the thought of having Jasmina for his own. He’s been carrying a torch for years, never thinking she’d be interested in a troll. Although he desperately wants to take Jasmina up on her offer, there’s something about him she doesn’t know, and he doubts she’ll still be interested if she finds out.
When Jasmina’s past threatens and Vidar offers her sanctuary, there’s no way to stop their passion from boiling to the surface. But despite their new closeness, secrets and dangerous enemies can destroy what they’ve built, forcing them to sacrifice everything to prove their love.
She was trying to kill him, he was sure. He turned, caught sight of himself in the mirror at the back of the room. It was the first time he’d ever seen himself naked and aroused, but it was the juxtaposition of his and Jasmina’s bodies that really held his attention. His was so big and pale, hers slim and tawny. They were so close together, touching, and that made another shudder fire through his muscles. He swallowed a moan.
“What about—” He stopped, swallowed again, then said the first thing that came to mind. “You never told me how you came to be traveling around in the first place. How about telling me that?”
He’d already felt the pattern affix to his skin, but for a moment she didn’t move. Looking into the mirror, knowing she couldn’t see, Vidar let his hungry gaze roam her reflection. The black leather pants and sleeveless vest fit her like a second skin, hugging firm, high breasts, slim hips and thighs. Her tattoo only emphasized the wiry strength of her arms, the reds, oranges and gold of the roc a perfect complement to her skin. She always wore her hair up, sometimes under a cap or, like tonight, rolled into a casual bunch at the top of her head. It left her throat bare, and his fingers clenched into fists, the urge to stroke that smooth, glorious skin almost too much to suppress.
As though feeling his regard, she looked up. Her gaze swept over his reflection and he swore he could feel it rush like fire over his skin too. She licked her bottom lip and her fingers definitely trembled against his skin. Then she met his gaze in the mirror and gave his hip a little push with her hand, indicating he should turn back around.
“I can do that.” Was it his imagination, or did her voice sound a little raspy? “It is an interesting story, if I might say so myself.”
Vidar grasped the edge of the table and squeezed his eyes closed as the machine started to buzz. “Tell me.”
He was hoping to sink into her tale the way he usually did. Jasmina had once explained storytelling was an important part of jinn life, and her gift for it was evident. She wove words into strangely beautiful patterns and used her voice the way other people used their hands in emphasis.
There was the first touch of the needle and Vidar began to relax. Despite her hand moving lower and lower, holding the flesh in place to be inked, they were back on a more businesslike footing. And there was nothing unusual about the fact that she didn’t start the story right away. Making him wait, building anticipation, was part of her natural showmanship.
She lifted the needle away from his skin and wiped the area with gauze.
“I come from a very traditional, old-fashioned jinn family.” She pitched her voice so he could hear it clearly over the hum of the machine as she went back to applying the tattoo. “So old-fashioned that if my father had his way, I would never see anything but the inside of his house or, should I marry, that of my husband.”
Jasmina paused to wipe at the tattoo again, and gave a little chuckle.
“What’s so funny about that?” Vidar asked.
“I was just picturing my father seeing me tattooing your ass and reading my mind, realizing just how badly I want to fuck you. He’d lock me away forever.”
Every muscle in his body went into rigor, and Vidar couldn’t restrain the low moan that broke from his throat.
So much for getting lost in the story.
She definitely was trying to kill him. He just knew it.