Today we continue our week-long celebration of the authors featured in XOXO Publishing's recently released paranormal collection LOST TO THE NIGHT. We're chatting with the brilliant and amazing Kayden McLeod, who is familiar to many readers of paranormal romance for both her excellent stories and her dazzling book covers. So, let's get to talking with the lovely Kayden!
How long have you been writing?
A little over fifteen years now, though I only babbled until about six years ago.
How long have you been a published author?
What titles do you have available?
I have several series in paranormal: The Cornwall Coven, The Foxworth Coven, and The Jericho Coven. In erotica, I have Master of Subservience series. In addition several single titles.
Is dark fantasy/paranormal your favourite genre? If so, what makes it so appealing to you?
It is! I love to read and write both genres, because of the freedom these allow. Anything can happen, and reality rules rarely apply.
Do you have any new titles coming soon?
In Denyse’s Lost To The Night, Volume Two, I have another vampire tale. As well, more in my Master of Subservience series will be released. I am always working on a barrage of WIPs in a variety of genres.
What is your favourite genre to read and why?
Fantasy/paranormal in equal doses, both adult and YA. I love reading about new worlds/alternate realities.
What, to you, is the most exciting part of the writing process?
Opening up a document, having little to no idea what is going to happen from the first sentence, and just start writing.
If you could co-author a book with anyone, who would you choose and why?
Laurell K Hamilton. She is one of the biggest reasons I started writing. Both of her worlds within Faerie and the Anita Blake enrapture me. She writes in first person, which has always been something I enjoyed doing.
Where can readers find you on the web?
Excerpt from The Bruja Ligera, found in Lost To The Night:
Tears glittered in her eyes when she realized she had to tell him. She had to get this over with and see the disbelief in his eyes when she told him the truth until he demanded a demonstration that would seal his opinion once and for all.
It had always been like that.
Then he would have what he asked for and then he would run for the hills as fast as he could.
The door opening made her jump, a ripple of pure hatred that was not her own teased her mind, a blackness so bitter her lip curled.
One look in the mirror told her exactly who walked into the bathroom.
“Well look whose hiding in the bathroom crying. Just the same baby you were back in junior high, aren’t you?” Kylie said in a singsong voice that went through Sorabella’s nerves like acid.
Over the last few years, Kylie gained some weight, just about everywhere. Her stomach ballooned over her jeans, which were too tight and cut too low, made for a body she had when she was seventeen, and not twenty-three.
“Look who came to gloat over something she knows absolutely nothing about.” The words escaped Sorabella’s mouth before she could pull them back, her tone biting and sarcastic.
“I know more than enough, Sory.” Kylie snapped. “I know you’re into black magic and stuff, summoning demons and all that. I have watched the movies, I know what witches do.”
Sorabella barely contained her laughter. She was, for lack of a better term since there really wasn’t one, a light witch. One that celebrated nature and used only energy from the earth, and simple vocal and herbal spells to power their magic.
Never had either she or her mama delved into the deeper, darker magicks –the power in the ancient tombs, which held spells that were immoral and made every part of Sorabella shudder in disgust.
Even in the extensive library in her mama’s home, no one would find such a book. Only the spells that didn’t require anything more than energy, stone and herb were displayed on those shelves.
“Like I said, you don’t know anything.” Sorabella snapped, feeling her anger flare, normally tampered down so well, but it was now flowing through her veins and heating everything it touched.
She hated Kylie in that moment for rushing her into something that she wanted no part in yet. She wasn’t ready, but now the cat was out of the bag, she might as well see it to the end. To wait, would allow it to dull in Tyler’s mind and she wanted an honest reaction.
“Well what do you do then?” Kylie demanded impatiently.
“Right now I really wish that mind control was in my repertoire.” Sorabella’s finger ran down the length of the counter, allowing the energy to flow into her body from the surface and power her magic.
The electric current made her hair fly around her head, but she didn’t care. If Kylie wanted to know what she did, that was fine. It was time she came out of the closet to someone. Before, when she was younger, her tricks had been meaningless, but she hadn’t understood her magic then as she did now.
At least now Sora was grown up enough to take a mature interest in it.
The lights went out in the bathroom, the lock sliding into place. Kylie shrieked. Her voice was strangled in the absolute darkness of the windowless room.
“What are you doing?” Kylie asked in a small tone.
Sorabella whispered a small fire spell, the wick appearing in her palm at her bidding.
“What is it that you fear most Kylie Green? It was snakes, wasn’t it?” Sorabella’s voice held a trance-like quality, as she focused on maintaining the spells she set in motion, applying more energy, and stretching her concentration even more.
She was a strong witch, strong and almost as skilled as her mama. Sorabella had been learning her craft almost since the day she was born.
Kylie had practiced hatred just as long, but never fear.
A hiss sounded from the floor, the fire from Sorabella’s hand showing Kylie what she feared most. A black and white striped snake slithered from between the bases of the stalls, making Kylie fall back and shriek again.
“How are you doing this?” Kylie’s high-pitched voice vibrated through Sorabella’s skull like a bad guitar whine.
“I’m the darkest witch you know, remember? Since I cast black magic and all.”
She was taking great pleasure in the fact that the snakes (three of which Kylie had yet to notice) were about as dangerous as a stuffed toy. It was obvious from the terror on Kylie’s face that she thought them real and it was perfectly satisfactory, almost gratifyingly so.
Then Kylie turned. A coral snake slithered its way around the heel of Kylie’s shoe. She raised her foot to stomp on it, kicking it away from her, but it did no use.
To make it react, it would need to feel pain. To feel pain, it would have to be real, alive.
The lock on the bathroom door slid open, but not by Sorabella’s doing. Who could have done that, with no key to get in?
The lights blazed overhead once more, revealing that the snakes were gone. The spells dispersed like they had never been, mist hovered in small areas of the room as they dissolved quickly.
Kylie was pale, shaking in the corner and staring at her mother who walked into the room with a confident grace. Lynda had her own interpretations and impressions of what had happened seconds before Sorabella released the energy back into the atmosphere.
Sorabella wasn’t naïve, and she knew Lynda saw something before the bathroom had resumed to its normal state.
“My dears, is everything all right in here?” Lynda asked quietly, no rightful suspicion on her guileless face.
Kylie said nothing to her mother, but ran out of the bathroom and slammed the door shut behind her.
“Sora, I think I would appreciate an explanation.” Lynda said sternly, hands on her hips as she waited.
LOST TO THE NIGHT: Volume One
A collection of five short novellas that celebrate the magic that is the night!
There are more mysteries walking beside us in this world than we will ever suspect or know. For some, the greatest fears are also the sweetest thrills. Death walks among us, the unknown feeds our imaginations and fuels our dreams and our nightmares. In this collection of stories from a group of exceptional and talented authors, we'll look into the shadows, and shiver with fright and passion, until we are Lost To The Night… and all its magic…
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