When Muscled, Meaty Neanderthals turn out to be Misunderstood, Mysterious Not So Bad Guys

Torie James Author PicGuest blog by Torie James, author of Timeless Desire

Once upon a time, a toe socked, 80’s music loving odd duck walked into a magical forest and pulled a mystical sword from its bounden stone. That twisted ball of insanity was me. I’m Torie James. Welcome to my world. Leave your shoes and sanity at the door.

I’m well into my 3rd New Camelot Book, Timeless Seduction. Timeless Night and Timeless Desire, the first two books, have featured gallant knights who love as hard as they battle. Each of my heroes, thus far, have demonstrated chivalry, passion and purpose.

And then there’s Mordred. Yes. THAT Mordred. From Arthurian Folklore. So, what do we know of Mordred, according to the Medieval Rag Mags of the time? Mostly that he was the illegitimate son of King Arthur and Morgan Le Faye. Did I mention those two were half brother and sister? Someone cue the dueling banjoes. It was Mordred that cut Arthur down in battle, taking his father’s life. Arthur, being a negligent parent applied the same method in return, striking his son a fatal blow as well.

There was never anything nice written about Mordred.  He was a blight on Camelot, the shame of his father and the weapon of his mother. I mean, it’s sad but at the same time, I had no sympathy for him. He was, quite clearly, a “bad man”.

Then, I wrote Timeless Night with every intention of killing that bastard by the last page. I just needed a bad guy I could kill off and not lose sleep over.  I’m no George R. R. Martin! I loathed Mordred, he wasn’t the focal point of my story, he was part of a two person plot catalyst. End of story.

“You do look different, Mordred. Hmm. Oh!” Alex snapped his fingers. “I know. You’re not hiding behind Mommy’s skirt! That must be it! I’m surprised she let you out to play finally, to be honest. It’s got to be way past your bedtime, old boy.”

Dred’s lips curled into a disdainful sneer, spreading his hands wide. “You look different, too. Ah! I got it. You’re not bent over your dead wife, crying like a little bitch.” ~Timeless Night~

What a jerk, right? RIGHT! I couldn’t wait to write his demise. I was chafing at the bit. I was going to eviscerate him in fiction. After all, history had painted him a douche , I was just keeping true to form!

Then one my nearest and dearest who was also beta reading fell in love with Big Beefy, as we’d christened him and nagged me into changing his story a bit. I resisted. I pleaded. I gave her every reason why Dred needed to G-O. She calmly reminded me that this was MY world, MY New Camelot. And gave me that whole every sinner has a future, every saint has a past speech. What if? So I gave him a Hail Mary, determined I’d off him in Book 2!

But something funny happened on the way to that destination. I began to see things about Mordred I hadn’t before. I saw the little boy he’d been. He started to “speak” to me during Timeless Desire. He was still a jerk of the highest order, a sexist pig with a touch to much of Ego and clearly delusional as to his appeal when it came to me. He was those things…and more. But I saw, for the first time, his real sense of humor.

Nim barked out a laugh when Bri reached out and jammed a finger into his belly causing him to grunt. “Where have you been the last year?”

“Traveling. Spent some time reflecting. Took up with some Shaolin’s, centering my Zen, finding my inner Dred, shuing my feng, getting a grip on my anger management issues.” He said it all so casually, Alex actually laughed then coughed to hide it. ~Timeless Desire~

Suddenly his rough exterior was challenging me. And I never run from a challenge. Could I do it? Could I redeem him? Could I tell HIS story? Could I save him? I guess we’ll find out in Timeless Seduction.

He waited until the classroom emptied, pointedly not speaking to the lone remaining person in the room as he gathered up papers, shoving them in his briefcase and snapping it shut.

“What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be off saving the world from assholes like me?” Mordred finally spoke, his husky voice pitched an octave lower than the man who answered him.

“Took the night off. Figured retirement’s round the bend since your sister seems to be growing by leaps and bounds.” Merlyn threw him a casual smile, not moving from the desk he’d taken over moments earlier.

Dred nodded. “Yeah. You must be pretty proud of her. She’s not entirely unworthy.” He wanted to be anywhere but here. Merlyn’s presence only made him feel guilty as fuck these days.

“I’m proud of you both, Mordred. You’re full of surprises for certain.” The mage gestured towards the empty seats, the desk taking center stage. “I had no idea you did anything like this. Teaching classes, I mean.”

Glancing away then back at his father, Dred shrugged. “Well, I teach on the side so I can put myself through Villianous Asshole Training. Getting my doctorate next year.” ~Timeless Seduction~

Keeping Track of Torie:

Blog and Website: http://torienjames.blogspot.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/WriterGurl216

Thank you so much for having me today! Stop by and say hi anytime!

So, tell me, Dear Reader…

If you could live forever, what would YOU choose to live for?

timelessdesire_267x400Book Blurb:

Trust hides the truth and spans eternity when one secret—born of treachery and upheld by honor—stands between a broken heart and shattered soul.

If you could live forever, what would you choose to live for? I chose honor…

Awakening to a new world, Gawain has high hopes that the last 500 years have cooled the fires of hatred burning in the heart of his wife, Nimue. Cruelly betrayed by the one person she put all her faith and trust in, Nimue hasn’t forgotten the lone cowardly act of one of King Arthur’s greatest knights. Together again and yet forever apart, can they heal the past when a new enemy rises to threaten the foundation of all they hold dear?

Buy: Timeless Desire

Top Ten List of Fictional Boyfriends and Why It Didn’t Work Out

timeless desireGuest Blog by Torie James, author of Timeless Desire

Thank you so much for having me here today!! A lil bit about me:

My real name is Teri but I write under the pen name of Torie James. I have an ongoing love affair with Chocolate that time or affairs with Caramel can’t dim. I think people who can fold fitted sheets are minions of evil.

My Top Ten List of Fictional Book/Movie Boyfriends and Why It Didn’t Work Out

  1. Luke Skywalker. I sat in the movie theater in May of 1977, all of 7 years old. The moment that blue eyed, blonde haired Moisture Farmer popped on screen, I was as smitten as a kid could be. I’d have willingly corralled a stampeding rush of Bantha’s to hold his lightsaber. Things were going so well until he smuggled me into the Mos Eisley Cantina. Which leads me to Movie Boyfriend Number Two.
  2. Han Solo. Dashing, arrogant, reckless but hey! At least he had his own car (ship) and was employed! Things were going so well but then he took up with a bad crowd of scruffy looking Nerf Herders and I had to detach. We still see other now and then. Heard tell he went back to school and took up archaeology. Good for him!
  3. Edmund Dantes, the Count of Monte Cristco. Tortured, went from zero to hero. Deadly, dangerous and revenge driven, he could also dual like a boss. Thought he was the one but then I found about he was seeing Mercedes on the side and yeah. No.
  4. Heathcliffe. Yeah. I like broken guys. However, I couldn’t compete with the ghost of his ex. Literally.
  5. The Phantom of the Opera. Erik. There’s just something about a homicidal, morphine addicted genius/architect/singer/master mason/magician/blackmailer that screams “I can commit!”. What can I say? I like “fixer uppers”. But I just can’t carry a tune in a bucket and for some reason, the Opera Ghost likes ladies who can sing. Pfft.
  6. Lestat de Lioncourt. Until Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles came into my life, I’d always assumed vamps to be less than hot. But then I met the Brat Prince and all bets were off. The Fanged Ones could be deadly, dangerous, well dressed and absolutely yummy. However, my darling Lestat wants and needs the love of the whole world, he wasn’t into monogamy.
  7. Brad Pitt. Do I really need to list his exemplary and impressive skills? I thought after his separation from Jen, we could work it out but even I have to give over to Angie. She could wipe the floor with me.
  8. Henry Fitzroy. The lead male protagonist in a series of books d (Blood series), by Tanya Huff. It chronicles the relationship between kick ass lady investigator and her new sidekick, Henry. I don’t know what made my engine purr more, the fact that Henry was an immortal vampire or the fact that Ms. Huff made him the illegitimate son of Henry VIII, who purportedly died of consumption. (I am a huge fangirl of all things Tudor & Elizabethean). Henry, unfortunately, only has eyes and fangs for Vicki. That’s okay because the books and character led me to Number 9…
  9. Kyle Schmid. He played Henry in the TV series based on Tanya’s books. That man has been the cause of many 5 alarm fires in the southern regions. I have it bad for him. We’ve gone on a lot of dates. Okay, so he doesn’t know about them but Gods Bless Google Earth. And so Henry Fitzroy begat Kyle Schmid who begat Number 10…
  10. Alexander Lakeland. The fictional creation of my fertile mind and the hero of Timeless Night, my first book in the New Camelot series. Alex is smart, suave, chivalric and sexy. He’s modern man from the olden days of knights and magic. He has fangs, mojo and no small amount of patience when it comes to dealing with his lady love…and me. This is the one. It’s working out for us both. *grins*

If I haven’t scared you off yet, I’d love to have you come visit me at:

Blog and Website: http://torienjames.blogspot.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/WriterGurl216

So, the basis of my New Camelot series is love and loyalty, a theme I hold really dear. What about you, dear reader? If YOU could live forever, what would you choose to live for?

Talk soon!

Blurb:

Trust hides the truth and spans eternity when one secret—born of treachery and upheld by honor—stands between a broken heart and shattered soul.

If you could live forever, what would you choose to live for? I chose honor…

Awakening to a new world, Gawain has high hopes that the last 500 years have cooled the fires of hatred burning in the heart of his wife, Nimue. Cruelly betrayed by the one person she put all her faith and trust in, Nimue hasn’t forgotten the lone cowardly act of one of King Arthur’s greatest knights. Together again and yet forever apart, can they heal the past when a new enemy rises to threaten the foundation of all they hold dear?

Buy: Timeless Desire

Excerpt:

“Nim. I don’t want to fight anymore tonight. I’m tired and annoyed. Hate me all you want, berate me until you’re blue. But you need to feed. You’re still not fully recovered from the poison. Stop being stubborn, woman and take it.”

Her light fingers on his arm were soft as she pushed it away and rolled up her own sleeve.

He faltered. “What are you doing?”

“I’ve taken enough of your blood, Gawain. And you’ve not once asked for mine. Fairness dictates I rectify that.”

He caught his breath, already salivating at the image of his lips on her flesh, her taste filling his head, his body. “Change of heart, Nim? Dare I hope your hatred for me is weakening?”

Her pale, azure eyes met his own, face impassive. “Don’t read anything into it, Gawain. As I said, I owe you. And despite my personal views on your black soul, your brothers love you. As does Merlyn. Uther needs to be destroyed, I understand the need for retribution, trust me. And it’s your right. I swore to never reveal your treachery. And I won’t. I can hope you have presence of mind, someday, to come clean and admit what happened to the others on your own. Once you clear your conscience, I’ll be more than happy to help you along to the afterlife. But right now, they need you. So do you want it or not?”

“I’ll take anything you offer me, Nim. Even if it’s just your blood.”

His large hands caressed her arm, curling around the delicate wrist and bringing it closer. It would be ecstasy to drink from her, it always was. Her taste always hinted at pomegranates or elderberries. Delicious, heady. He could smell her blood now, saw it thrumming through the delicate blue veins under the skin. Her heart pumped fast, her pulse skittish. Feeling his fangs punch down in anticipation, he hovered over her ulnar artery, his gaze holding hers as he bit down, breaking through the skin. She gasped, her eyes holding his. The rich flavor of her blood hitting his tongue was all it took and he was harder than stone, throbbing for her. He pulled on the vein slowly, watching her lashes sweep down, obscuring her eyes, her breathing altered in panting sighs. Another mouthful and memories fell into his mind, of them making love, laughing. So long ago. Teasing minx, he’d shown her decadent things that had her blushing but eager. Her mouth on him, warm and wet, torturing him with her tongue, her grip on his shaft all the while. His hands buried in her glorious, silky blonde hair as he came in throbbing spurts and she greedily swallowed it all down. Oh Gods.

Her blood heated, the flavor coupled now with her own body’s arousal as he drank. Lifting his head, he ran his tongue over the fang marks, head buzzing with energy, with her. His mouth trailed a moist, bloodied path up her arm, dipping into her clavicle. His fangs nipped her throat, he moved closer and before he could stop himself, he sank into her carotid artery and almost came from the intense rush it brought. He barely missed her own arms wrapping around his shoulders, pulling him down on top of her as she laid back, hooking a long leg around his hip unconsciously.

Was he dreaming? Surely, he must be and had no wish to wake. He felt her arch up under him, every sleek angle of her body pressing up into him and lost control. Tearing his mouth from her throat, he laved the wound shut and sat up, grabbing the hem of her thin top, ripping it off. She wasn’t wearing a bra. Her perfect, small breasts thrust upward proudly, nipples tight and begging for attention. She moaned, thrashing beneath him, her own fingers fumbling for the zipper on his pants when a soft knock on the door had her freezing, eyes snapping wide open to blaze hell his way. She growled low, blinking and shoved upwards so hard, he flew back and hit the floor with a solid thump.

“Nimue? Is Gawain with you? I’m making sure everyone is accounted for. Alex reset security to extend down the whole hill. I’ll add my wards to reinforce.” Merlyn’s voice was muffled on the other side.

“Yes. He’s with me. He’s just leaving. Is Bri okay?” She narrowed eyes at him and he glared back, standing up slowly and looming over her.

“She’s sleeping already. I doped her up. She won’t be pleased when she wakes, I’m sure. Alex is with her.”

“That’s good.” She pointed at the door, dropping her voice to hiss at Gawain. “Get. Out.”

He gave a slow, devilish grin, staring at her wickedly. “I’ll have you again, Nim. We both know it.” Christos, she turned him on so much, even in anger.

“You’re threatening the wrong person, Gawain. My blood is the only thing I owe you.”

“We’ll see, my Lady Disdain. And it wasn’t a threat, love. It’s pure promise.” He swooped low, capturing her mouth once more with his for a quick, hard kiss then was gone in a rush of air.

Buy: Timeless Desire

Bio: Torie James has loved reading since she was old enough to hold a book in her lap. While her friends were out playing, she was generally curled up nearby falling down rabbit holes, catching second stars to the right, and stepping through wardrobes into mysterious lands and countless adventures. When those stories ended, she made up her own and kept going. This later on translated into a strong passion for writing that has helped her keep her feet on the ground while her head stayed firmly in the clouds. Lover of Dr. Pepper, all things chocolate, and Duran Duran, her dreams finally became a reality with her debut novel, Timeless Night, in 2013 by Breathless Press. Creator of the New Camelot series, as well as The Cloie Chronicles, Ms. James has plans to continue spinning many new worlds.

Torie lives in Southern California with her family and a houseful of pets who rule the roost.

Buy: Timeless Desire