Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Inside the Mind of the Author - Guest Blog by Jen Colly #ParanormalRomance

Jen's mind. It's a little sketchy in here most days. Authors are a strange breed, and over the years I’ve come to accept the fact that I am no exception. If you wander into Cabin Fever Coffee on my day off work, I'll be sitting alone at a table hugging the wall (because my laptop is a Megabyteasaurus and it likes to be where the electricity lives). Should you see me, chances are you’ll catch me making faces or gesturing at my computer screen. I’m okay. Promise.

When writing, my brain lives in a different world. My scrunched nose, random flinches, and fist shaking, all correlate to whatever scene I’m running through in my head. I could be mentally embroiled in a sword fight, a heated argument, complicated plot twist, or a deeply heartfelt commitment that promises to last forever. I’ve been known to twist in my seat to determine my left from my right as I pivot through a battle. I’ve been angry at characters, laughed at their jokes, and I shed a tear or two when they die. I’ve even startled a couple baristas once when I punched both fists in the air after finishing a particularly difficult chapter. I imagine I’m quite amusing to watch.

So why write in the public eye when I could be curled up at home in my pajamas? Well, honestly, it doesn’t bother me to be seen doing what I love. I’ve been a mother for seventeen years, which means very few things embarrass me, least of all my own awkwardness. I get one day a week to completely dedicate myself to my books and I treat this as another job. I’m a notorious procrastinator, and if I don’t leave home, I’ll find twenty other things to help me avoid my goal. Plus, my Cabin Fever Coffee office makes a supremely tastier brew than I do.

So, what do I write? Paranormal romance… Now wait, don’t run the other way! Hear me out… My series, The Cities Below, features a unique society of vampires thriving beneath France in several scattered, fully functioning cities. You’ll encounter brutal sword fights, political intrigue, demons, an assassin, a panther, brave children, a warrior woman, and men who will fight with everything they have in them to protect their people. At times you can’t help but like the antagonist, and once in a while you may find yourself angry with the hero, even question his motives. This is not your typical romance, or even a predictable paranormal.

In romance, love is the always the central theme, but there’s so much more to the story. You have the opportunity to watch both a family and a civilization break, rebuild, struggle to learn and grow, and in some instances, change their ingrained way of thinking. Fair warning: Not every character will live happily ever after, because that, my friends, is the harsh truth of life.

The Guardian
The Cities Below 
Book Five
Jen Colly

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Date of Publication: 10/11/2022
Number of pages: 300
Word Count: 97,000
Cover Artist: Ryan Imbrock

Tagline: Prepared to die...fighting to live.

Book Description:

Savard was in a mood to die, but when a human insists on saving his life, death is no longer an immediate option. He knew of no species – human, vampire, or demon – that could see him while in his invisible Spirit form. Unique to this world, this woman's singularity was a danger to the entire vampire race.

Waking behind bars in an underground vampire city was not how Sera envisioned her night drive ending. She has come to expect nothing from those who pass through her life, but this man, dying on the side of the road, proves to be different. Savard fights to free her from tyrannical vampire laws and to hide her unique abilities. What Sera doesn't understand, is why he would fight his growing love for her.

Savard's haunted past threatens to tear them apart. Soon, Sera discovers just how far her guardian is willing to go, and what he's willing to do, to keep her safe.

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Savard watched her delicate jaw drop at the sight of his fangs. Never in his long life had he shown a human what kind of creature lurked behind the visage of a man. He waited for her scream, expected her terrified flight or even a fainting spell. Instead of acting like a normal human, she just sat there, taking it all in, processing, and then out of the blue, the minx slugged him in the shoulder.

He groaned, not so much from her punch, but from stabilizing his core muscles to keep his body upright. Through gritted teeth, Savard asked, “What the hell was that for?”

“Give it a guess,” she huffed, not frightened, and certainly not shying away. “You can speak. Just say what you are. You didn’t need to threaten me with the pointy teeth.”

“Wasn’t a threat…won’t bite,” he mumbled. He knew he was behaving poorly, but his body ached, his hunger beat a heavy cadence against his tongue, and this woman had ruined his plans for a quick death.

His eyelids drifted shut, his head tilted back against the cushion. He was getting worse. The pain was there, but not exactly excruciating, making it easier to speak. His body was numbing out, going cold on the inside. Sensation was slipping away, along with life.

“If you’re what I think you are, then…” her soft voice trailed off, as if redirecting her question.

“What can I do? Be honest.”

“Nothing you’d be willing to do,” Savard said, cracking one eye open to observe her reaction, and when she shifted closer, he suddenly realized she still held his hand. In fact, her grip had never wavered. Even after he’d bared his fangs.

“Like letting you bite me? How can you be sure I wouldn’t?”

“I’m not asking.”

“But if it would help you…” Her delicate eyebrows scrunched together, and she asked in earnest,

“Would it help you? And would it hurt?”

His lips twitched, the beginnings of a smile that never fully formed. For some reason, he found explaining the nuances of a vampire’s bite to this innocent human amusing. “Blood heals. A bite is more pleasure than pain.”

“I wouldn’t turn into a…”


“When you bite someone…” Her voice was hesitant, the first subtle hint of trepidation he’d found in her. “Do they die?”

“No. Life is precious,” he said quietly.

Deafening silence surrounded him and he closed his eyes again, the calm lulling him. Several minutes passed, or perhaps more, and then he unexpectedly caught her scent. The soft, delicate flesh of this woman had a scent all its own, and he opened his eyes to see her leaning close to him, her hand pulling that fluffy white-blonde mass of randomly braided hair away from her neck. Savard growled, closing his eyes against the temptation, and turned away from her.

“Why not?” she asked, her steady voice sending shivers through his battered body.

Teeth clenched, he said, “You should have left me there.”

About the Author:
Jen Colly is the rare case of an author who rebelled against reading assignments throughout her school years. Now she prefers reading books in a series, which has led her to writing her first paranormal romance series: The Cities Below. She will write about anything that catches her fancy, though truth be told, her weaknesses are pirates and vampires. She lives in Ohio with her supportive husband, two kids, one fluffy dog, and four rescued cats.

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