Thursday, September 1, 2011

Whatcha Reading? Bound to the Prince by Deborah Court


Whatcha Reading? is a feature that spotlights currently released titles. Today we have Deborah Court here to give us a closer look at her debut novel, an erotic paranormal romance titled Bound to the Prince.



Word Count: approx. 98,635
(Novel) 

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What’s the basic premise of Bound to the Prince?
Once a proud warrior, elven prince Elathan was living in exile, fallen from grace and separated from his own people. He wanted the mortal woman the moment he saw her standing on London’s Blackfriars Bridge, staring down into the darkness with unbearable pain in her eyes. This strangely compelling female also happened to have luscious curves that made his body ache with desire. Naturally, he decided to hunt the woman down, drag her to his lair and command her to become his slave of pleasure. But would her frail human body survive a night of untamed passion in the arms of a Fae?

After a devastating breakup with her fiancé, Igraine Chandler was spending her honeymoon in England all by herself, her life utterly bereft of meaning. For who could ever love a plain, slightly overweight nurse from New Jersey with nothing left but a broken heart and her lost dreams of a home and a family? But she never imagined that she would soon set out into a world beyond her wildest dreams, and help a prince reclaim his throne …

What inspired the idea for this book?
I’ve always loved elves since I first read “Lord of the Rings”, and later the graphic novel “Elfquest”, which inspired me to write and draw my own comic books. When the LOTR movies came out, I had quite a crush on Legolas and the other male elves. However, they always seemed a bit too soft and ethereal for my taste. I longed for a darker kind of elf, strong, masculine and sexual. Elves are magical creatures, living in perfect unison with nature. They are also clever and cunning, and they love to play all sort of pranks. If one of them encounters a mortal woman he desires, he’ll simply steal her from her own world. This is what happens to my human heroine, Igraine.

Who is the audience for this story?
Readers who, deep inside their heart, believe that somewhere - maybe not too far away - another world exists; a place where myths and legends come true. And women who want to have it all in one story - romance, action, mind-blowing passion, and the immortal love of a prince.

How would you define the genre for this book? Are there any underlying themes?
Jokingly, I call it “H.E.R.” - Hot Elven Romance. Actually, it’s a paranormal romance with lots of steamy scenes and a strong alpha male as the hero. Still, it’s not like urban fantasy since the story mainly takes place in the elven realms, so I guess it’s a fantasy novel, as well. You’ll find noble knights, monsters and magicians, sacrifice, betrayal and revenge. It’s a romance at heart, but I was strongly influenced by Celtic mythology and the Arthurian Legends when I created Fearann, Elathan’s kingdom.

How would you describe the heat level for this book?
Although I see Bound to the Prince as a fantasy/paranormal romance, I think it would be also right to call it erotic romance so that readers will know what to expect.

The heat level is definitely much higher than in mainstream romances; the erotic scenes are more frequent and explicit. My hero is an alpha male - after all, Elathan’s a prince who's used to be the one in command. He likes to be dominant and possessive in bed, but in a loving way. Since he's an elf, he even might use some magic to enhance his woman's pleasure. But I strongly feel that the main focus is on the love story, and there's much more going on in the elven realms than just mind-blowing passion. As the story enfolds, you'll visit beautiful places, meet mysterious creatures and see some fighting action, too.

What sets Bound to the Prince apart from other books in the genre?
Although I am not 100% sure, I think that my book is the first romance featuring an elven hero. Besides, Elathan is another sort of elf than those we know from fantasy fiction. He’s much darker, deadly beautiful and seductive. But at the same time, he has a strong sense of honor and responsibility. If he gives his heart to a woman, it will be forever. I love paranormal romances, but I didn’t want to write another story about vampires, weres or shapeshifters - there are already so many talented authors who did that. Instead, I felt that it might be the right time for something new.

Will Bound to the Prince be part of a series? If so, can you tell us more about it?
Yes. “Bound to the Prince” is the first book of my upcoming Elven Warrior Trilogy. I am currently working on the second part, which will be Calatin’s story. Calatin is an elven magician and Elathan’s friend. I introduced him in “Bound”. He’s funny and sexy, and he’s an irresistible womanizer. But at the same time, he’s loyal and honorable. Calatin is a character I fell in love with quite unexpectedly. I planned him as some sort of funny sidekick to Prince Elathan, but he turned out to be so much more.

Who did the cover art for your book?
Kimberly Killion at Hot Damn Designs, a wonderful artist and a romance writer herself. It was a pleasure working with her.

What is your favorite scene or line from Bound to the Prince?
It’s hard to decide, but I particularly like a scene where Elathan commands Igraine to wash him under a waterfall by an underground lake. It was so much fun to write. Read an excerpt of this chapter below.

If you could be one of the characters in your book, who would it be, and why?
Obviously, my heroine Igraine. At the beginning of the book, she has reached a dead end in her life, and she’s heartbroken. Then Elathan takes her to his beautiful realm of magic, and she gets all the hot elven lovin’. ;-) But Calatin is the character I fell in love with quite unexpectedly. I planned him as some sort of funny sidekick to the prince, but he turned out to be so much more.

Where can readers find your book? Is it available in ebook, print, or both?
It’s already available at Amazon.com as a Kindle ebook, and will shortly be published in print version. You can also find it in many other e-book formats on Smashwords and other large retailers.

Is there anything else you would like readers to know?
The elven language I used in this story is, though I didn’t especially mention it, Irish Gaelic. I had some help from a good friend who learned this wonderful old language from her Irish grandmother. My next blog entry will be about “How to say it in Gaelic” - teaching you the best declarations of love and the best insults, just in case you’ll encounter some handsome-as-hell sex god from Ireland or Scotland whom you want to impress. I also wove some old Irish legends into the story. Readers will find the original versions on my website if they are interested to dig deeper into the mythology.

Where can readers find you online?
You can find book excerpts, a video trailer and more on my homepage: http://www.deborahcourt.com.
My blog: http://www.deborahcourt.blogspot.com.

I always love hearing from readers, so don’t hesitate to hit the “Contact me”-button! Although it may take a few days, I’ll answer every message.


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FIRST WORDS... (from Prologue)

Deep in the night, an elven prince lay by a lake, sound asleep.

Dreams wove their way into his peacefully resting mind, dreams of days long past, when he was a young knight living at his father’s court. King Bres of the Tuatha Dé Danann had attached great importance to his son’s education and insisted that Elathan was to be treated the same as any other warrior in his service, for he should not grow up to be pampered and weak. After all, Prince Elathan’s royal duty would be to defend Fearann, the lands of the Fae, and make sure that no human would ever cross the magic boundaries. 


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EXCERPT from Bound to the Prince
Copyright 2011 Deborah Court

Elathan stood at the edge of the lake, waiting for Igraine to serve him. “What do you want me to do, my Lord?” she asked, still avoiding looking at his private parts.

“Don’t you filthy humans even know how to wash?” he hissed impatiently. He gestured to the ornate table. "These vials contain soaps and oils. Use them to bathe my body, slave.” The prince stepped under the waterfall, rinsing off part of the mud, but it stuck to his skin and hair. Igraine sniffed at some of the bottles, inhaling their wonderful, unknown scents. Some of them were fresh, others musky, but clearly intended for use on the gorgeous body of the male who was showering right in front of her, naked. Water droplets glistened on his skin, running down from his chest to his flat, rippling stomach and still further down, gathering at … "Why do I feel like I'm in midst of a Cool Water commercial now?" she nervously murmured, wincing when the elf threw her a glance that clearly declared her a lunatic.

Sighing, Igraine took a small green bottle containing a soapy liquid and followed the prince. Elathan stepped out of his natural shower without even looking at her. Closing his eyes, he turned his broad back to Igraine, with the unspoken order to wash him. She poured some of the aromatic soap into the palm of her hand. The mud was diluted by the water, but it still ran in dark streams over the elf’s body, down over his hips and his muscular backside, dripping over his thighs. It collected in a puddle at his feet.

Igraine’s hands trembled when she reached out to touch him. “May I …?” she said softly. “What are you waiting for?” Elathan replied. Despite the harsh words, his voice was low and hoarse. She couldn’t see the expression of his face from behind, but she noticed his rigid posture. His contempt for her was obvious.

Taking a deep breath, she fought back her tears and started with his dirty hair, lathering it with the luxurious soap. Black, muddy water ran through her fingers and down her arms. When she had worked the soap into the whole silken length, she reached up to massage his scalp. Elathan stiffened before tilting his head back so she could reach him more easily. After she had washed all the mud out of his hair, she reached out to touch his shoulders, covering his pale skin with the soap.

Elathan stiffened even more, looking like a statue of stone now. Her hands wandered to the sides of his neck to wash the dirt away, then moved down over his shoulders, rubbing him in circles. His skin was smooth and soft as velvet over his rock-hard muscles. How much she loved to touch him! No man had ever affected her so much. Just being close to him made her a weak creature, driven by the most primitive desire to mate.

Now that he couldn’t see her shamelessly staring at him, she was safe to admire his muscular back. It was built like an artist’s masterpiece. The scars marring his alabaster skin only enhanced his beauty. Without them, the sight would be too perfect for human eyes to endure. They were old, faint scars, diagonally crisscrossing all over his back. Igraine suddenly realized that the prince had been whipped, even if it had obviously happened long ago. Tears stinging in her eyes, she lightly traced the scars with her fingers while she washed his back. Although she didn't dare, she longed to touch those reminders of his torment with her lips, kissing the ancient pain away.

Continuing with his waist, she found some very nasty grime there, sticking to the prince’s skin. As she rubbed his sides to get them clean, Elathan seemed to wince. She paused, but when he said nothing, she rubbed some more. He winced again, apparently trying to escape her touch. At first she stared at his back, baffled for a moment. Maybe he didn't like her to touch him anymore. But then she understood.

The merciless, battle-hardened elven prince was ticklish.

Amazed by her discovery, she pondered about tickling him some more, but decided against it. She should not tempt her fate too much. Instead she reached around his waist and began to wash his wide chest, feeling his strong heartbeat and the heat of his skin. He was so tall that she had to press her body against his back to reach him with her arms. Moving down, she soaped his flat stomach, feeling the tense muscles under her fingertips. Elathan seemed to breathe more heavily now. For a moment, she asked herself what would happen if she dared to go even deeper, washing him … there. When she had finished and withdrew her arms, she glanced down at his butt. Heavens, this was too good to be true – so smooth, perfectly rounded and tight. She wondered if he would allow her to wash him there, too.

Suddenly a mischievous grin spread across her face. Well, even if he would kill her afterwards, this princely backside would be worth it. Now your ass is mine, Your Royal Highness, she thought. She just couldn’t help it. Then her hands touched his muscular buttocks, lathering the soap in small circles over the skin. Maybe being an elven prince's slave wasn't going to be so bad, after all. When Elathan moaned ever so softly, she couldn’t hold herself back anymore. A small giggle escaped her lips.

Strong hands grabbed her upper arms. Igraine was whirled around until she stared directly into Elathan’s furious face, his golden eyes burning with anger. Before she could move or utter a sound, he picked her up like a weightless doll and threw her into the lake.

All of this happened so quickly that she didn't even have time to hold her breath. She sank into the dark water and struggled for a moment in panic. Then she managed to reach the surface and came up, coughing and gasping for air. Bewildered, she was still wondering what had happened when Elathan was suddenly in there with her, wading through the lake and quickly rinsing off the soap from his hair and body. His pitiless grin let her know that he found her distress entertaining.

"You!" she shouted angrily, shoving against his chest with both hands. The fact that his eyes widened with surprise gave her a certain amount of satisfaction, but not enough. "Prince or not, who the hell do you think you are? First you abduct and enslave me, threatening to kill me if I don't obey your every wish and whim. You hate humans, and still you don't bother to kill me. Instead, you seem to enjoy your little game of humiliating me. Why don't you finally get it over with, elf? You incredibly arrogant, insufferable…"

He grabbed her wrists and bent her arms behind her back with a swift movement. Simultaneously, he silenced her with a hard, passionate kiss.


 
Want to sample some more?
Download a 20% excerpt at Smashwords

 

Find it on Goodreads HERE
 

You can also view a trailer for this book at Deborah's website or on YouTube



   

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I love books. I always did, since I was old enough to learn to read, and my passion for stories – funny or tragic, dark or fantastic, sad or amusing – has grown ever since. With time, I started to think about the books I had read, starting to write alternate endings or additional scenes. The step to write my own story wasn't too far from there. Over the years, I have written many short stories, fiction and articles for magazines. But the wish to write my own romance was always there, in the back of my head.

During my time at college, I was lucky enough to get a job as a translator of historical romance books. Translating made me learn a lot about the structure of a book, about good and bad writing and what the reader looks for in a good story.

With the rise of paranormal romances, I finally encountered a genre that had everything I ever wanted in a story: Love, supernatural and fantasy elements, and more passionate love scenes than in your usual romance. "Bound to the Prince" began as a small story about an elven warrior who has been living in exile for many years, hidden in underground caves beneath the world of humans. Never in my wildest dreams had I imagined it to grow into a full-length romance, but here it is, and I hope you enjoy reading as much as I loved writing it.


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Deborah, thanks for coming by and telling us about your book!  I think you had me on "ticklish".  This one is going in my TBR. Kimberly did an awesome job on the cover, too.  It definitely caught my eye :)


1 comment:

  1. Dear Michelle,
    thank you so much for inviting me to introduce my book on your awesome blog! I really enjoyed answering your questions. I love to hear from readers; you can reach me at deborahcourt.writer@googlemail.com ;-)

    ReplyDelete

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