Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Price of Surrender and The Joy of Sequels

I was very pleased when I finished writing The Gift of Surrender. It was the sexy fantasy romance with a hint of bondage – a very twisted yarn in the spirit of Lord of the Rings. I was very happy indeed. I certainly wasn't planning on writing a sequel. But something bothered me. Actually, two things bothered me. First, I am loathed to make my characters suffer. It broke my heart to have to tear the Sons of Ritvala (Prince Nikulainen and his half brothers) apart, because it made Niku sad. I really hate making hot men sad. Secondly, I realized that I couldn't allow the fall of Prince Armas to stand as a matter of logic. King Magnus and Lady Reija had a household that was filled with love and laughter. Despite the rivalry between the brothers and the danger from Lady Reija's kin that threatened everything, the three brothers were generally happy souls. I couldn't see Armas remaining estranged from such a family forever.

A few months after the release of The Gift of Surrender, the first first scene of The Price of Surrender was popped into my brain demanding to be written. As often happens, I see a scene in my head very clearly around which the whole story is built. In this case, it was a scene from To Kill a Mockingbird that really scared me as a child that inspired this one. I brought back the assassins from the first book. This time, they are hunting Armas in a dark and spooky forest as he tries to reach safety with Niku and Sarianna who are now rulers of her kingdom. In that frightening and nearly tragic scene, Sarianna and her two young children along with a visiting royal are caught up in the attack. Prince Alkarin, Niku and Sarianna's six year old son is the one who saves his mother and sister. Princess Laurilla is saved by Armas who nearly dies in the effort – thus launching another love story. That attack is only the beginning of the danger that engulfs all of the surrounding Kingdoms in a lethal, dark magic that no one has seen for generations.

Three is excitement galore, for sure, but I really loved Price of Surrender, because of the redemption of Armas and the reunion of the brothers. My husband said that I would be content to write a book where an interesting group of people simply hangs out together doing nothing in particular. I admit that there is a lot of hanging out amongst the characters, but this happens while many other things are going on in the background. Armas has to recover from the assassin's attack. He is barely on his feet when the vengeful queen behind the attack arrives at Niku and Sarianna's realm for a conference of rulers. Grave danger stalks everyone Armas loves, including the princess who has claimed his heart.

This book is my favorite book in many ways, because of the camaraderie of the brothers, the budding romance between Armas and Laurilla and the ongoing romance between Niku and Sarianna six years and two children after their marriage. In fact, the heat of romance is evident in couples in two generations. I really enjoyed writing the humorous banter as much as I enjoyed writing some very imaginative love scenes. I actually found myself crying when I wrote the last pages. I really hated to leave these characters.

But don't take my word for it. Take a look at these sample chapters from both books.

For The Gift of Surrender, go HERE.
For The Price of Surrender, go HERE

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