Welcome to January’s Birthday Blog, with a post – or maybe more – a day for your entertainment and fun :).
Today’s guest is NICKI J MARKUS. Please show your appreciation for the post if you enjoy it, and all the author’s links are below for you to take forward. Watch every day for any Rafflecopter giveaways, and don’t forget there’s ALSO a Grand Prize Draw at the end of the month for ONE lucky commenter.
Many thanks for dropping in, and have a great January!
Greetings one and all, and Happy Birthday, Clare. I’m thrilled to be part of this special celebration. My name is Nicki J. Markus; although, gay romance fans may also know me as Asta Idonea. I write under two pen names (one for mainstream works and one for MM) so there is no confusion amongst my readers. Not everyone enjoys both genres, after all.
When deciding what to share with you all today, I considered some of the pitfalls writers encounter in the course of creating a new story. Some are boring, such as an overuse of adverbs or a tendency towards comma splicing—you can see I’m also an editor—but others are more interesting, and one of them happens to be something I fall prey to all too often: falling in love with my characters.
This is a tragic affliction to be sure; however, I cannot deny it has also proven the source of great inspiration. So today I’d like to share with you two of my character crushes; one from my mainstream work and one from my MM stories.
Let me begin with my greatest character-crush of all: Loki in my fantasy novel, The Ragnarök Chronicles. What can I say about Loki—fire god and trickster? This is not the Loki of MCU but the figure from Norse myth. A mischief-maker, he nonetheless hides a deep anguish behind his bravado, making him the perfect bad boy/anti-hero. I defy anyone not to swoon. My heart was constantly aflutter as I wrote his scenes, and it still misses a beat even now every time I think of him. This book remains the one to which I have the deepest personal connection, and I think it will hold that place forever, regardless of what else I pen in the coming years.
The Ragnarök Chronicles
Nicki J Markus
Fantasy Action/Fantasy Romance/Norse Mythology
Suitable for readers 15 years+
For Ragnarök will be completed….
Nothing marks Cassandra out—except her visions. She’s only ever seen small, insignificant things. That is until the strange frost arrives.
With her normal life turned upside down, Cassandra is plunged into an extraordinary and terrifying world of Norse gods and rampaging giants, ancient feuds and broken prophecies.
A handsome stranger offers aid. But can Cassandra really trust him? More importantly, can she trust her own judgement when his slightest touch sets her heart and her body aflame?
Moving into my MM writing, we have demon deal-maker Saul. Like Loki, he also has something of the trickster about him. He’s always ready with a wise-crack and doesn’t lack for self-confidence; although, as time goes on, he starts to understand when and how to share his deeper feelings. His eye for mischief made him a delight to write. Life would certainly never be dull with him around. I first created him for a short story called A Twenty-First Century Demon, which appeared in Wayward Ink Publishing’s anthology Of Heaven and Hell, and I couldn’t help but feel he had more to say, so I brought him and his paramour, Thomas Ives, back for a novella-length sequel to complete their story.
Hell to Pay is releasing from Wayward Ink Publishing in February 2016. If you missed the original short story, don’t worry, for it will be included with the novella so readers can catch up. One of my editors already asked if I plan to bring Saul back again in the future, and I’m thrilled someone else loves him as much as I do. At present I have no such intentions, as I feel his tale has reached a suitable conclusion. But never say never….
Hell to Pay
featuring ‘A Twenty-First Century Demon’
Paranormal Romance/MM Romance
Explicit gay content. Only suitable for readers 18 years+
A Twenty-First Century Demon
It should have been an easy job: a contract signed and a new soul earmarked for Hell. But when suave demon deal-maker Saul chooses nerdy Thomas Ives as his next target, little does he know what lies in store.
Hell to Pay
The contract was destroyed and Tom’s soul saved from Hell. Or so they thought.
Demon deal-maker Saul and his mortal lover, Thomas Ives, find themselves on the run when the other demons take none too kindly to Saul’s bending of the rules. With the denizens of Hell on their heels, Saul and Tom must fight to stay one step ahead, knowing that if they’re caught there’s only one direction they’re headed: down.
When Heaven decides to get involved, Saul’s actions are no longer a mere bureaucratic misdemeanour but the basis of a factional confrontation. And now only one question remains: to whom does Tom’s soul truly belong?
So there you have it. My two very personal literary crushes. Now I am working on a new mainstream novel—a Gothic Paranormal Romance—and I feel I am about to fall once again, this time into the arms of my hero, Hal. But what’s a girl to do when such handsome, irresistible men keeping working their way into her stories?
Nicki J Markus was born in England in 1982, but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia with her husband. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist.
Nicki launched her writing career in 2011. She published works through Wicked Nights Publishing and Silver Publishing before both companies closed their doors. She is now self-publishing some of her mainstream works.
Nicki also writes MM fiction under the alternate pen name of Asta Idonea and has had several stories published by Wayward Ink Publishing and Dreamspinner Press.
Nicki works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys: music, theatre, cinema, photography, sketching, history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel.
Follow the month’s posts at your leisure:
Jan 01: RJ Scott on her inspiration for a new series in 2016.
Jan 01: Temple Dragon on giving for free during December.
Jan 02: Chrissy Munder on an author’s passion for paper planners.
Jan 03: Meredith Russell on inspirational cop series.
Jan 04: Becky Black on her five-year anniversary as an author.
Jan 05: Alexa Milne on characters stepping outside their comfort zone.
Jan 06: Sandra Lindsey on her dancing shoes challenge.
Jan 07: Anne Barwell on her WWII trilogy at Dreamspinner Press.
Jan 08: Elin Gregory on reviews – past, present and future.
Jan 09: Eli Easton on mature heroes and our life choices.
Jan 10: Julie Moffett on the geek in us all.
Jan 11: Jaime Samms and the rewards of an online life.
Jan 12: LC Chase on paying kindness forward.
Jan 12: EM Lynley on the recipes that add taste to her books.