Anya Bast

Anya Bast Discusses Embrace of the Damned

Jessamine Hamilton has always thought of herself as a pretty ordinary person. Then the death of her aunt, the woman who raised her, sparks a strange sequence of events in her life. Soon she suspects the world may be not the place she’d always assumed it was.

Her suspicions are confirmed when she’s attacked in a parking garage by a man with eyes that bleed black and fangs that drip saliva so cold it gives frostbite on contact.

Obviously, that’s just not normal.

Enter a tall, dark stranger able to explode her attacker into a million shards of glittering ice crystals and Jessa knows her world has been turned upside down. The man’s name is Broder and he insists she’s in danger. He’s going to protect her whether she wants his help or not.

If all of that isn’t weird enough, Broder tells her he’s a thousand year old Viking who has been made immortal. But his immortality is no blessing. Centuries ago he committed a heinous crime. As punishment, he was given over to the dominion of Loki, the Trickster God, made part of the Brotherhood of the Damned and condemned to a life of battle against the Blight, blood-drinkers from Hel. He has very little free will.

Loki has allowed him a woman as reward for his good service and repentance of his crimes. That woman is Jessmine and Broder is overcome with need for her from the first moment he sees her. But Loki knows that Jessa is no ordinary woman, and the truth of who—and what—she is could have dangerous consequences. He’s just playing yet another trick on Broder, a pastime the callous god loves.

Though a future together is impossible, Broder’s touch ignites an irresistible passion in Jessa. But every heated kiss pushes them closer to destruction. Forced to return to the brutality of his Viking past to protect her, Broder will surrender to his darkest impulses.

“…Bast has created a dark and thrilling world of demons and damned men. The romance is H.O.T. hot! EMBRACE OF THE DAMNED is completely engrossing; I didn’t want to put this book down….If you like sexy Vikings, smart-ass women and Norse mythology then this is one Viking romance I definitely recommend.” ~ Dark Faerie Tales

Want to win an autographed copy of EMBRACE OF THE DAMNED? Leave a comment!

www.anyabast.com

 

Jeweled

In JEWELED, the heroine, Evangeline, has not experienced her own emotion since she was a child. Her magickal gift is stealing emotion from others, trading it, and “manufacturing” feeling in others. A part of her gift is the ability to build strong walls against emotion for herself and after a very traumatic experience as a child, she did just that.

But when the palace where Evangeline lives is taken over by a mob during a bloody revolution and she’s turned out into the street, penniless, all her walls coming tumbling down and Evangeline is forced to learn how to feel again.

There to help her is Anatol, an adept of light and illusion. He is also a “Jeweled,” one of those with enough magick to earn him a precious jewel set into his flesh and be considered good breeding material for the royal family, (that, over the years, has bled out all the magick from their line through inbreeding).

The backlash of Anatol’s gift of being able to sculpt illusion is the ability to see truth. He sees that Evangeline is a very special person, but she needs lots love and support to get through the sudden changes in her life. He has loved for her for a very long time and is willing to give her anything she needs.

Complicating matters is Gregorio Vihkin, the scholarly mastermind behind the revolution that has disrupted Anatol and Evangeline’s lives. When the upheaval in the streets threatens Anatol and Evangeline’s lives, he takes them in.

At first Evangeline hates Gregorio for what he’s done, but when she gets to know him and sees  the truth behind their former pampered lifestyles and how it hurt the rest of the people, her feelings for Gregorio warm. Warm a little too much for Anatol’s taste. Soon both men are in love with Evangeline and Evangeline has more than she can handle.

Together, in a world gone mad, they must find a way to come together.

Please enjoy a small excerpt from JEWELED, which releases tomorrow! I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it.

~*~

“All I’ve ever had in my life to use was my looks and my willingness to have sex.” She swallowed hard. “Honestly, Anatol, I should go to the Temple of Dreams. It’s all I’m really suited for.”

His jaw locked and something dangerous flashed in his eyes. “We’ve had this conversation before.”

“Why are you so against the idea of it, Anatol? We could both go there to work. I know you say you’re in love with me, but that’s just silly—”

He rounded on her, arresting the end of the sentence in her throat. Fire jumped in his eyes. “Not silly, Evangeline, true. I don’t want to make love to any woman but you. I couldn’t do it. So you go, if you think that’s what you want.” He turned away. “I won’t stop you.”

She chewed her lower lip and let emotion rise up to swamp her for a moment in punishment. She deserved it; she’d hurt him. Wrapping the blanket around herself, she stood and walked to him. “I don’t want to leave you,” she murmured at his back.

He turned and pulled her into his arms. “Good. That’s a good thing to hear, Evangeline, because I don’t want you to leave me.”

She wrapped her arms around him, letting the blanket fall to the floor and his body heat warm her. Nuzzling her nose into his chest, she inhaled the scent of him. “I want you to . . . make love to me, Anatol. I want to know what it feels like.” The words came out as a whisper, like she was afraid to say them too loudly. She wasn’t sure why.

His body tensed against hers. “Don’t tempt me.”

She gave a soft laugh. “Haven’t you noticed that’s exactly what I’ve been trying to do?”

“Yes, I’ve noticed.” He made a tortured sound in his throat. “The scent of you tempts me. The sound of your breath tempts me. You tempt me even when you’re not trying.” He turned her and she saw that the cracked head -to -toe mirror was directly in front of them. “Look at yourself, Evangeline. You’re beautiful.”

She smiled. “Like I said, it’s been my currency in life.”

He moved her closer to the mirror. “I don’t just mean your face, hair, and body. Look into your eyes, hold your own gaze in the reflection.”

She met her eyes, blinked, and looked away. Staring into her own eyes was uncomfortable.

He gripped her shoulders. “No, look, Evangeline. See what I see.”

Her face flushing, she raised her gaze to her eyes again. They were gray, the color of metal. That’s what she noticed first. But if she went deeper, which felt a little like diving into her own soul, she saw . . . vulnerability. Honesty. Emotion. Joshui, so much of it. Her eyes seemed to swim with it. She saw strength, too.

Anatol dropped his mouth near her ear. “Your eyes have always been this way, even when you were at your worst. There was always beauty in you, complexity, empathy, caring, and I always saw that beauty. Always. No matter what you did or what you said to me, it was there.”

Her lips parted as she stared into her own reflection in a way she’d never done before. Anatol was helping her see herself in a way she never had.
His hands rested on her hips as he took a slow sweep of her body. “You are, of course, also beautiful in the more traditional sense.”

“Touch me,” she murmured, meeting his gaze in the reflection.

www.anyabast.com

Anya will give away a signed copy of JEWELED to someone who comments!

 

 

Passion and Chemistry


In CRUEL ENCHANTMENT, my upcoming September 7th release, the hero, Aeric, has an intense passion for the heroine, Emmaline. At first his passion is distinctively negative and with good reason. Over three hundred years ago, back when the fae were free in the world, Emmaline killed the woman he wanted to marry. When Emmaline re-enters Aeric’s life, he captures her, convinced he wants to take revenge on her for this.

Yet something stops him. Emmaline isn’t the cold-hearted woman he has presumed she would be and even though she admits to the killing, he senses there’s more to the story than she’s telling him. Could it be that all these years he’s never known the full truth about his fiancée’s death? To top it off, he’s attracted to Emmaline. There’s something about her that fascinates and draws him to her.

Aeric’s already passionate nature is soon inflamed by Emmaline’s presence and his negative feelings toward her become fiery and near uncontrollable. Emmaline also has trouble resisting Aeric. After all, he’s the man she’s loved for centuries. Try as she might to hold herself away from him, she just can’t do it.

I love it when my characters have this emotional, dramatic energy in their relationship. It doesn’t always work this way with the characters I create. Oddly, bringing fictional characters together is a lot like observing a true life couple. Sometimes they have chemistry, sometimes not. Aeric and Emmaline have chemistry in spades, explosive chemistry. I really enjoyed spinning their tale and I hope you enjoy reading it.

Here’s a small taste of that chemistry I was talking about between Emmaline and Aeric.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the excerpt!

Excerpt from CRUEL ENCHANTMENT

He moved closer and her whole body stiffened. “So we’ve established that you killed Aileen and you’re lying about the circumstances to save your pretty ass. We’ve also established that I’m unable to kill you. The only question that remains is how I should make you pay.”

His gaze raked her up and down and his body reacted. His too big clothing hid her curves, but he’d had enough of a tantalizing glimpse of them during her shower to let his imagination run wild.

The very last thing he should be doing right now was remember the way her body looked behind that frosted glass. It was almost worse than having her naked. The image behind the shower door hinted at lush breasts—an overflowing handful—a narrow waist that flared into a generous, curvy bottom, and shapely legs.

He wanted to find out for sure, using his hands and maybe his tongue, too.

He’d brutally suppressed the urge before, tamping down the attraction he felt for her because it wasn’t right. Now, in the violent wake of what Emmaline had told him and his subsequent confusion over whether or not it was true—all that want came rushing back at him. It didn’t matter that it was horribly misplaced.

And damned if he could remember why he shouldn’t give in to it.

* * * * *

He was looking at her without anger in his eyes for once.

Okay, maybe there was a little anger in his eyes, but she had the feeling that the anger—for whatever mystical and unbelievable reason—wasn’t directed at her, but at himself. And anger wasn’t the only thing in his expression right now; there was hunger, too.

And that was all for her.

Her heart thudded so fast and so hard she thought it might break her ribs. What the hell? His behavior had changed so quickly she practically had whiplash.

“Aeric?” she whispered. She wasn’t even aware his name had slipped past her lips until it was out there. She didn’t know what to do with this sudden turn of events . . . although her body sure seemed to know. Her mind was awhirl with confusion, but the rest of her was quite aware that the man she’d wanted and fantasized about for so long was inches away from her . . . and seemed to actually want her back.

“Fuck,” he growled, bracing his hand on the wall right near her ear and moving closer to her. “This is not a good thing.”

“No.” She licked her lips—a nervous habit she’d had since she was a kid, no matter what guise she used. “This is not a good thing for either of us.”

His mouth almost brushed hers when he spoke. Her body flared to
life, singing to almost painful arousal. Her nipples leapt to hard little points and she ached between her thighs. This man seemed to either terrify her, piss her off, or plunge her straight into animalistic heat.

His voice was a low growl, laced with anger. “I should chain you to my bed in charmed iron and take my revenge that way.”

She closed her eyes, her breath shuddering out of her. “I wouldn’t
object.”

His eyes narrowed like a hunter’s sighting prey—and, boy, was she ever. Wounded, limping prey at that. She had no chance. “Don’t you have any shame?” he asked in a low, harsh voice.

“Not where you’re concerned. I never have.”

He eased her against him and dropped his mouth to her throat. Goose bumps erupted all over her skin. He nipped her flesh and then licked the small hurt. As though he wanted to punish her, but couldn’t make himself do it…..

 

Passion and Chemistry

In CRUEL ENCHANTMENT, my upcoming September 7th release, the hero, Aeric, has an intense passion for the heroine, Emmaline. At first his passion is distinctively negative and with good reason. Over three hundred years ago, back when the fae were free in the world, Emmaline killed the woman he wanted to marry. When Emmaline re-enters Aeric’s life, he captures her, convinced he wants to take revenge on her for this.

Yet something stops him. Emmaline isn’t the cold-hearted woman he has presumed she would be and even though she admits to the killing, he senses there’s more to the story than she’s telling him. Could it be that all these years he’s never known the full truth about his fiancée’s death? To top it off, he’s attracted to Emmaline. There’s something about her that fascinates and draws him to her.

Aeric’s already passionate nature is soon inflamed by Emmaline’s presence and his negative feelings toward her become fiery and near uncontrollable. Emmaline also has trouble resisting Aeric. After all, he’s the man she’s loved for centuries. Try as she might to hold herself away from him, she just can’t do it.

I love it when my characters have this emotional, dramatic energy in their relationship. It doesn’t always work this way with the characters I create. Oddly, bringing fictional characters together is a lot like observing a true life couple. Sometimes they have chemistry, sometimes not. Aeric and Emmaline have chemistry in spades, explosive chemistry. I really enjoyed spinning their tale and I hope you enjoy reading it.

I recently kicked off Twenty Days of Enchantment on my blog, a celebration of the release of CRUEL ENCHANTMENT. Stop by to participate in daily book giveaways and enter for a chance to win a $75 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble plus other prizes. http://www.anyabast.com/blog/

Here’s a small taste of that chemistry I was talking about between Emmaline and Aeric.

Excerpt from CRUEL ENCHANTMENT

He moved closer and her whole body stiffened. “So we’ve established that you killed Aileen and you’re lying about the circumstances to save your pretty ass. We’ve also established that I’m unable to kill you. The only question that remains is how I should make you pay.”

His gaze raked her up and down and his body reacted. His too big clothing hid her curves, but he’d had enough of a tantalizing glimpse of them during her shower to let his imagination run wild.

The very last thing he should be doing right now was remember the way her body looked behind that frosted glass. It was almost worse than having her naked. The image behind the shower door hinted at lush breasts—an overflowing handful—a narrow waist that flared into a generous, curvy bottom, and shapely legs.

He wanted to find out for sure, using his hands and maybe his tongue, too.

He’d brutally suppressed the urge before, tamping down the attraction he felt for her because it wasn’t right. Now, in the violent wake of what Emmaline had told him and his subsequent confusion over whether or not it was true—all that want came rushing back at him. It didn’t matter that it was horribly misplaced.

And damned if he could remember why he shouldn’t give in to it.

* * * * *

He was looking at her without anger in his eyes for once.

Okay, maybe there was a little anger in his eyes, but she had the feeling that the anger—for whatever mystical and unbelievable reason—wasn’t directed at her, but at himself. And anger wasn’t the only thing in his expression right now; there was hunger, too.

And that was all for her.

Her heart thudded so fast and so hard she thought it might break her ribs. What the hell? His behavior had changed so quickly she practically had whiplash.

“Aeric?” she whispered. She wasn’t even aware his name had slipped past her lips until it was out there. She didn’t know what to do with this sudden turn of events . . . although her body sure seemed to know. Her mind was awhirl with confusion, but the rest of her was quite aware that the man she’d wanted and fantasized about for so long was inches away from her . . . and seemed to actually want her back.

“Fuck,” he growled, bracing his hand on the wall right near her ear and moving closer to her. “This is not a good thing.”

“No.” She licked her lips—a nervous habit she’d had since she was a kid, no matter what guise she used. “This is not a good thing for either of us.”

His mouth almost brushed hers when he spoke. Her body flared to life, singing to almost painful arousal. Her nipples leapt to hard little points and she ached between her thighs. This man seemed to either terrify her, piss her off, or plunge her straight into animalistic heat.

His voice was a low growl, laced with anger. “I should chain you to my bed in charmed iron and take my revenge that way.”

She closed her eyes, her breath shuddering out of her. “I wouldn’t object.”

His eyes narrowed like a hunter’s sighting prey—and, boy, was she ever. Wounded, limping prey at that. She had no chance. “Don’t you have any shame?” he asked in a low, harsh voice.

“Not where you’re concerned. I never have.”

He eased her against him and dropped his mouth to her throat. Goose bumps erupted all over her skin. He nipped her flesh and then licked the small hurt. As though he wanted to punish her, but couldn’t make himself do it…

The Joy of Book Videos


A few years ago book videos were the big new thing and it seemed like every author was making them or having them made. The craze seems to have died down a bit, but book videos are still definitely on the scene. They can be as fancy as the ones made by Circle Seven Productions http://www.cosproductions.com/, some even with live actors, or as simple as a few second vid of a book blurb set to music.

I’ve done numerous surveys of my readership to see what people think of book trailers and have come to the conclusion that they’re not really a cost effective method of book promotion. I’ve definitely sold a few books thanks to the videos I make, but probably not enough to justify the cost. I still make them anyway because I love them, and life is too short not to do things I love. They’re really more of a hobby than anything else for me, but if one of my vids should tempt a reader into buying one of my books—well, then, score.

The book videos I do for my books cost an average of $100. That cost is stock music, stock video footage and stock photography. Notice the term ‘stock’. I buy licenses for everything in my book vids and never, ever infringe anyone’s copyright. You can’t just pluck your fav song off your iTunes list, you need a royalty free piece.

Music – It’s the most important element in my opinion. Very rarely do I easily find the right bit of stock music easily. The search for the right music is the most time consuming part of book video production because music invokes emotion, and that emotion you’re invoking in the viewer needs to fit the feel of the novel. I used high-energy goth type music for my Elemental Witches series. For my Dark Magick series, the music I search out is dark and mystical. Once I find the right music, it’s (pretty much) downhill from there. My favorite place to buy stock music is www.stockmusic.net

Storyboard with Stock photography/stock video – I generally do this step at the same time. I plan out the text for every “scene” and find an image that works best to tell the story. When I’m texting out the book video I distill the novel down to its very basic parts, pretty much just down to the main conflict(s). That’s not an easy thing to do (as any author who has ever written a synopsis or a book blurb will tell you).

I love to use little bits of stock video to add movement and give the vid a more polished feel. My fav find was the section in my Wicked Enchantment video that depicts my villain, Gideon Amberdoyal. I could never have found a more perfect bit to depict him. In my Cruel Enchantment video I used an approaching thunderstorm with sound effects to symbolize the coming conflict between my hero and heroine. My favorite place to buy stock photos/video is www.istockphoto.com

After that I decide which image to use to open the vid and put everything together using Windows Movie Maker. I hear there are more complex programs to use, but Movie Maker is simple, has always worked well for me, and it came free on my computer, so bonus.

Here are a few examples of books videos I’ve made recently. 

 




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