Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Marie Lavender talks about The Allure of the Paranormal Genre

The Allure of the Paranormal Genre by Marie Lavender

My new paranormal romance/urban fantasy release, Second Nature, made me think about how I got started in this genre. It certainly wasn’t my upbringing. Some members of my family have firm beliefs, and the supernatural or unexplained, whether in books, movies or TV, is considered satanic. I don’t agree.

To me, it’s just another way to be creative. I’ve always been open-minded, and I’ll admit that I think there are things in the world that can’t be explained with science or religion. There is a lot we don’t know about the hereafter (how could we?), and about this world in general. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to find out that there were real vampires, shifters or faeries in the world. We just can’t see them. I even believe in spirits to some degree. Why wouldn’t some of us stick around after we are gone, if not to be with our loved ones? 
Why not let your imagination soar a little? Just for fun, anyway. We all know fiction is a kind of escape from reality. Fantasy authors take that a step further and create amazing worlds that we can believe in.
So, how did I really start writing about the paranormal? I could blame my grandmother, who tried to terrorize us with scary ghost stories around the campfire whenever we went camping. I could blame pop culture with the movies about these supernatural creatures, or even horror movies. God knows I was obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the TV show) and Angel when I was in high school. Now I watch things like Grimm or Sleep Hollow. I even liked the first Twilight movie.

No, I would have to say that part of it comes down to literature. I could blame Annette Curtis Klause for first sparking my interest in YA paranormal romance with Silver Kiss. I was about thirteen when I read that one. Oh, man…now that was a kiss. So romantic, yet dangerous.

My deep-seated fascination with vampires, of course, extended to the present. I followed The Vampire Diaries and True Blood for awhile until I got tired of the drama and gore. I also experimented with TV shows about witches such as Charmed and Witches of East End. Or a shifter series like Bitten? Interesting. I am cool with stories about werewolves too.

I guess you could say that I was searching for the perfect series. Little did I know that fiction would always be my drug of choice.

When I stumbled across J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood Series (paranormal romance/urban fantasy), I think she’d already written five books in the series. So, I took a chance and bought them as a set. Wow! I’d never read anything like it! Then I began to pick up other ones such as P.C. Cast’s House of Night Series (YA paranormal/urban fantasy) and Kerrelyn Sparks’ Love at Stake Series (paranormal romance with a touch of comic relief). It was much later that I discovered Chloe Neill’s awesome Chicagoland Vampires Series about a pretty quirky, yet tough heroine who stands as sentinel or protector for her house. Little does she know that trouble always tends to follow her.
In recent years, I found a paranormal romance indie author, Linda Lee Williams, as well as Aubrey Brown, who sometimes writes erotic paranormal/historical romance. I also read one by Candice Stauffer called Eternal Breath of Darkness. I am eager to try books by other authors in the genre (my Wishlist is so long) such as Kresley Cole, Laurell K. Hamilton and Lynsay Sands. 
All of the aforementioned books stirred my imagination. My first foray into writing paranormal was A Misplaced Life by Kathryn Layne, one of my self-published books. It is a mystery/thriller book with some paranormal elements. I also wrote and published Terror in the Night, a paranormal romance about two people being terrorized by a demon. Subsequently, I wrote Haunted and Pursuit, both under the pen name Erica Sutherhome, and both were about heroines with supernatural gifts. After Magick & Moonlight, a romantic fantasy, was released through Solstice Shadows Publishing in March, I was ready to try my hand at something a little different. 
In truth, Second Nature built up in my mind for awhile until it was ready to come out on the page. As authors, we can’t always predict what happens with our writing and I didn’t know that the early scene where Desire wakes up, bound in the backseat of a car, was going to turn into a paranormal romance. But, it did. The next book in the series, Blood Instincts, will also be a paranormal romance/urban fantasy, but with a futuristic element. I look forward to finishing that book and showing it to readers, but I won’t get ahead of myself. I do hope you like the Blood at First Sight Series, and in closing, I’d like to give you a suggested reading list.
Do you like paranormal or even fantasy books? If you haven’t read any, maybe you’d like to try some of these awesome titles by other authors:
Black Dagger Brotherhood Series:
Dark Lover by J.R. Ward (book one of 14)
Lover Eternal by J. R. Ward (book two of 14)
The Fallen Angels Series:
Crave by J.R. Ward (book one of 6)
Covet by J.R. Ward (book two of 6)
Three Sisters Island Trilogy:
Dance Upon the Air by Nora Roberts
Heaven and Earth by Nora Roberts
Face the Fire by Nora Roberts
Sign of Seven Trilogy:
Blood Brothers by Nora Roberts
The Hollow by Nora Roberts
The Pagan Stone by Nora Roberts
House of Night Series:
Marked by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast (one of 12)
Betrayed by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast (two of 12)
Love at Stake Series:
How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks (one of 16)
Vamps and the City by Kerrelyn Sparks (two of 16)
Chicagoland Vampires Series:
Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill (one of 11)
Friday Night Bites by Chloe Neill (two of 11)
And here are some books by my comrades at Solstice Shadows:
Ascent of the Fallen by Rebecca L. Frencl
Fin’s Magic by KateMarie Collins
Paradox Lost: Their Path by K.C. Sprayberry
Dead in the Water by Chrystal Vaughan
Healer by J. McAfee

Marie Lavender’s Author Bio
Bestselling author of Upon Your Return and 19 other books. 2014 BTS Red Carpet Review Nominee. Finalist and Runner-up in the MARSocial's Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader's Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 50 Authors on Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Marie has published twenty books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance/fantasy, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. Lavender just released
Second Nature, a paranormal romance/urban fantasy, in December of 2014. She released Magick & Moonlight, a romantic fantasy, back in March. Upon Your Honor, released in late April, is her second historical romance. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series and The Blood at First Sight Series. Feel free to visit her website at for further information about her books and her life. Marie is also on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

A list of her books and pen names are as follows:

Marie Lavender:
Upon Your Return; Magick & Moonlight; Upon Your Honor; Second Nature

Erica Sutherhome:
Hard to Get; Memories; A Hint of Scandal; Without You; Strange Heat; Terror in the Night; Haunted; Pursuit; Perfect Game; A Touch of Dawn; Ransom; Leather and Lace
Kathryn Layne:
A Misplaced Life

Heather Crouse:
Express Café and Other Ramblings; Ramblings, Musings and Other Things; Soulful Ramblings and Other Worldly Things
Author Links

Her Latest Book Second Nature, book one of the Blood at First Sight Series:
She never expected it…

Desiree Edwards has a problem. She’s been attacked, kidnapped and forced to get along with a vampire of all things. It’s something right out of the story books she reads, or her worst nightmare. But, sometimes he’s not the monster he appears to be. He seems so humanlike that she can’t help it when her emotions betray her, when her body betrays her. To make matters worse, she finds out more about herself than she ever wanted to know.

She was unlike any other…

Alec has a problem. The animal in him wants Desiree. But, so does the man. The more he learns about her, the harder it is to deny what he wants. But, he’s a freak, and she’s just a human. The two species don’t mix that way. Then an old enemy surfaces and Alec is forced to make a choice. His life or hers.

Can Alec’s soul be saved by this unique human? Or will it be far too late?

Universal Amazon link:


  1. Thanks for being my guest, Marie. Really great post and of course, this book also sounds fabulous!

  2. Hi ladies. I don't normally read paranormal, but this book looks very interesting. I may have to add that to my TBR list.

    Shannon T

  3. Hey there Shannon....I can always count on you to stop by. Come on and step out of that romance box and try some paranormal! LOL

    Thanks for checking this out!