More and more authors are finding it hard to place their books onto one shelf, and my latest release Isolde’s Wish is no different. Erotic medieval fantasy with steampunk elements anyone? Yeah, that’s right. Isolde’s Wish is a real collision of genres, but one of the most exciting books I’ve ever written.
When new writers begin the publishing journey, they usually have questions about genre. “I’ve written a story where my hero is a medical doctor amongst his wolf pack, and his love interest is a time traveler from Victorian times. Is this historical, paranormal, or medical drama?”
This is basically what I ran into when I started Isolde’s Wish. I always begin plotting with characters. In this case, I pictured a princess who lives in medieval times, but who rocks some amazing costumes and is more open to exploring her sensual side than your everyday medieval woman. From there, her hero was born. Sadler is a badass, battle ax-wielding son of a man who lost his life for taking the queen to his bed. He’s also a horseman, but he needed something edgier.
Enter elementis steampunkis. Android horses, airships and enormous robots that run on steam called zeppelgongers. Each addition yielded new avenues in my plot, and soon I had created a fresh new world where my hero and heroine can have midnight trysts, argue as they escape a well-meaning knight, and have steamy encounters in the great hall despite their fears of being caught.
For you writers out there, I encourage you to stay true to your vision. Isolde’s Wish is truly a different beast, and I am very proud of comments I’ve received from my editors. One left a note at the bottom which said, “I really enjoyed reading this story. It is different from anything I’ve read before, and I’ve read a lot!” Just goes to show that readers are ready for that wolf pack doctor who falls for the Victorian time traveler.
With a wild boar on her heels and a naked man before her, Princess Isolde has no clue which danger is greater. When she trips and falls into the dirt at the feet of the axe-wielding warrior, giving her a very close encounter with his manhood, she battles her undeniable awareness of the sculpted man even after she finds he has a price on his head for attempting to assassinate her father, King Adlard.
The bold son of the man executed for sleeping with the king’s wife, Sadler attempted to avenge his father at a very young age. Now he’s faced with the temptation of King Adlard’s daughter and presented a fresh opportunity to right his failed assassination attempt.
But when he learns a powerful earl seeks the princess’s hand in marriage, Sadler realizes his passions run deep. Desperate to keep her from the arms of his enemy, he plans to steal her away from the kingdom and make her his own.
Sadler brought Isolde into the shadow between the stable and a small hay-fuel shed. She was soaked to the knee with mud and lamenting the loss of her golden slipper. She limped into the space before him with her head held high.
He braced his hands against the rough, wooden shed wall, trapping her with his body. Their eyes met like steam to an airship. He wondered if he’d ever forget their blue-green fire. Fairy fire.
“I’ll peek out and tell ye when it’s clear to run for the keep.”
She nodded. A quiet moment passed while they struggled to let each other go. “I’ll never see ye again.”
“Good luck to ye, Sadler. Keep yer neck free of the guillotine.”
“Ah, that I will. Now the hangman’s noose, I do not know.” His jest fell flat.
A harsh cry tore from her, and she hurled her arms about his neck. He held her head against his shoulder and kissed the shell of her ear. His heart thudded in his ears. “Go now, woman, and don’t look back.”
Wrenching from him, she then ducked beneath the barricade of his arms and dodged across the yard. Sadler let his forehead drop against the wall and rubbed it over the splintery wood. Cries of the castle guards reached his ears.
“She’s here. We’ve found her!”
He dared not watch her sprint through the great entry. Another moment passed while he collected his wits, and he stole into the stable. He blinked against the enveloping darkness. Through a high window streamed ribbons of light. Dust motes swirled in the air.
As he edged deeper into the stable, the familiar oily scents of hay and horseflesh filled his head, resurrecting memories of his father. In his mind’s eye, Sadler could nearly see the curves of Isolde’s mother locked in the arms of his father, and finally he understood how the passion had gone before the sense.