Writing a new book is like being the new kid in school. When I finished Demon Hunting in Dixie and started book two, I felt awkward and shy and out of place, sort of like Evie, my heroine. I didn’t know much about Evie back then except that she was a wallflower. At first, I found it easier to write Meredith, the mean girl. Meredith Starr Peterson is a colossal pain in the tookus, but great fun to write. In Demon Hunting in the Deep South, she gets herself dead and comes back as a vengeful ghost. And Meredith dead is w-a-a-y worse than Meredith alive.
“Meredith.” Evie jumped to her feet. “Holy smokes, you’re dead! What are you doing here?”
Meredith rocked the whole ghost thing, Evie had to admit. She looked good. Better than good. No blood or oozing stab wounds. No gore stained clothes. The Death Starr’s stylish, gray floral sheath dress was belted at the waist and topped off with an elegant cashmere sweater. Black peep toe stiletto pumps with fire engine red soles encased her size five feet. Her sleek golden bob teased her jaw line, not a hair out of place. Evie glanced down at her rumpled sweats, feeling suddenly self-conscious. Good grief, Meredith was a better dresser than she was, and Meredith was dead.
Meredith’s lip curled. “I’m haunting your fat ass, that’s what. You didn’t think I’d let you get away with it, did you?”
“Get away with what?”
“Killing me, you porker. What do you think?”
“I didn’t kill you,” Evie protested.
“Oh, yeah?” Meredith looked around. “Then why are you in jail, Lumpy? I may be dead, but I’m not stupid.”
Ansgar rose to his feet with a frown. “She speaks the truth, shade. She did not slay you.”
Meredith’s laser beam gaze shifted from Evie to him. “Who’s the beefcake?”
“Oh . . . uh . . .this is Ansgar,” Evie said, remembering her manners.
“Hmm.” Meredith’s predatory gaze roamed over Ansgar’s hard muscled frame.
“You look familiar. Do I know you?”
“No,” Ansgar said.
“Meredith was Trey’s wife,” Evie said, shooting the Death Starr a nervous glance.
“Before . . . uh . . . you know.”
“I’m still his wife,” Meredith snapped. “The only one he’ll ever have. You’ll remember that, Lard-o, if you know what’s good for you.”
Evie and I danced around one another for the first few months before we became pals. I like Evie. She’s good folks. She’s kind and loyal, and far braver than she thinks. As for Ansgar, the hero, he was great fun to write. Like all the Dalvahni, he’s pretty darn full of himself. At the end of Demon Hunting in Dixie, Evie gets amnesia and Ansgar leaves Hannah, telling himself it was for the best. He soon gets his comeuppance. He can’t forget Evie Douglass and returns to earth with his tail between his legs.
Imagine his surprise and chagrin when he realizes the object of his affection doesn’t remember him. Poor little drop dead gorgeous demon hunter.
Evangeline’s lips parted in a soft gasp of surprise. The sound was too slight to be noticed by the others, but they were not as attuned to her as Ansgar. He could hear her heartbeat and the rush of the blood through her veins. The flowery smell of her skin and hair was intoxicating, the sound of her voice a lover’s caress. Not wanting to frighten her, he schooled his features in the expressionless mask of the Dalvahni warrior. It should have been easy, given his years of training. A warrior did not lose control. But seeing her like this, face to face instead of hidden in the shadows after months of wanting her . . .
A wave of desire engulfed him that left him shaking with need.
Some small measure of his feelings must have shown, because Evie’s face went white with shock. Her eyelids fluttered and her knees buckled. With a muffled curse, Ansgar sprang across the room, catching her as she fell.
“What’s the matter with her?” Addy cried, rushing over. “What did you do, Blondy?”
Ansgar did not answer her. He could not. Holding Evangeline in his arms again felt too damn good. By the sword, he’d been too long without her warmth and sweetness. She was like a drug, an addiction to him. How could he hope to resist her? But he had to try. He was not good for her.
And she was not good for him, he reminded himself sternly.
It was a familiar litany, one he’d recited countless times as he struggled to stay away.
With her, he became someone else. She shifted his vision of reality, his vision of himself. For eons, he had known the universe and his place in it, his purpose and his duty.
Until Evangeline. She’d changed everything. Changed him.
That is why he left.
That is why he returned.
It all works out, of course—hey, this is a romance!—but not before Evie gives Ansgar what-for for leaving her. And there are complications. Evie is a murder suspect and there are demons on her trail.
I had a ball writing Demon Hunting in the Deep South. I love my characters and we became great friends. I was very comfortable with them and their story, kind of pleased with how it all turned out, to tell you the truth.
And then it was time to start book three, Demon Hunting in a Dive Bar. Here I go again, the new kid in school.
To celebrate the release of DEMON HUNTING IN THE DEEP SOUTH, I'm giving away 2 copies of the book, so leave a comment. ;-)