Genre: F/F erotic romance / fantasy
*Giveaway is for 3 $10 All-Romance eBooks or Amazon gift cards.*
Guest Post by Katey Hawthorne
Hello, and thank you so much for having me at Bright Street Books, Deborah.
I’m here to talk about my latest release, a historical fantasy/paranormal romance called ALCHEMIYA. The hero is a young woman named Eugenia Ratna who’s frustrated daily by the Regency-esque social mores of her time and country, and her love interest is Olivia Plumtree—who’s been masquerading as “Lord Oliver Plumtree” for most of her life.
In their country of Chrysopoeia, nobility doesn’t come from your land-ownership, your money, or your name. The Ratna family emigrated to Chrysopoeia generations ago when a Call went out, inviting alchemists from all over the world to settle in Chrysopoeia and create a new society where those with alchemical knowledge would be the leaders and protectors of society—the noble class.
So from a writer’s point of view, why alchemy? Of all the forms of power it’s possible to build a fresh, new world around—magic, money, telepathy—why that one?
Partly, it’s just because I like it. Alchemy has this cloak of mystery around it that I’ve been curious about since I was a kid reading encyclopedia entries about everything new and interesting I could find. Plus, alchemy has roots in so many different traditions in our world, from China to Portugal to Mexico and everything in between, it made sense when looking to write a fantasy with a diverse cast of characters.
But I think the clinching argument came with the dual nature of alchemy in most texts. It wasn’t just about transfiguring base metals into gold or even creating healing potions, though those were and are certainly still important in alchemical practice. It’s also about transfiguring the soul, about reaching a higher plane of understanding, and that’s a recurring theme throughout the scholarship. Some people doubt it was ever really about turning lead into gold, and that it’s all just a big metaphor people took too literally.
There’s a lot to run with in that, as a writer, and I can’t wait to expand on it more as the Alchemiya stories progress. I mean, I’m also there for the hot romance, but that’s its own kind of alchemy, after all.
Eugenia was born to privilege in the Ratna clan, nobility famed for their alchemical jewel production. Eugenia’s a talented alchemist herself-but the patriarchy insists her less able brother is the heir to the family secrets and property. As if that weren’t insult enough, an accidentally public tryst with another woman means Genie is shunned by polite society altogether.
Enter the gorgeous Lord Oliver Plumtree, scion of one of the oldest alchemical families in Chrysopoeia and master of the foreboding Waldgrave Abbey. But Lord Oliver is actually Olivia, and on the lookout for a wife-one who requires an escape from the same crushing social mores that have forced Olivia to masquerade as her own long-dead brother to keep her family’s estate intact.
Genie and Liv seem a perfect match from the get-go, and things heat up quickly between them. But before they can carry off their marriage of convenience, Waldgrave Abbey reveals more secrets. Jealous Plumtree relatives and Liv’s association with the Secret Society of Alchemiya, rumored to be a dark and sinister arm of the patriarchy, might just ruin Genie and Liv’s chance at their unlikely happily ever after.
“Lady Ratna, I think?” a mellow voice asked just over Eugenia’s shoulder.
She turned slowly, amazed that anyone in this crowd, all of whom had heretofore ignored her presence completely, would deign to speak to her. She was even more amazed that the delicate, rather prettily handsome, fresh-faced young man who addressed her was not already of her acquaintance.
Speaking to a lady without an introduction? Eugenia wondered if she’d like him or hate him. She’d lay odds on the latter, but tonight had been…surprising.
“Yes?” she asked, careful to show no interest.
He made a casual, almost flippant bow. “Oliver Plumtree, your servant. Forgive me for introducing myself, my lady, but I admit I was hoping to find you here.”
“You amaze me,” she said, since she kept thinking it over and over. She took a sip to compose herself, concentrating on the play of the bubbles and the tartness of the wine on her tongue. When she felt sufficiently herself again, she added, “I was so looking forward to an evening of being invisible, too.”
“In that dress?” Oliver Plumtree’s eyebrows, thin, pale, and finely arched, rose. “Hardly.”
“Ah, so you hoped to find me here so you could flatter me. How original.” Eugenia was almost sorry the moment it was out of her mouth; damn Delaney for putting her in a sour mood. She took another, longer drink.
Plumtree only laughed, though. “Partly, I think. I apologize for interrupting your evening of invisibility, though. And they say infamy has nothing to recommend it.”
She blinked to hear someone-someone so obviously genteel-openly comment on her reputation. It was…odd but refreshing. “Would you like to be invisible too, Mr. Plumtree?”
“In that jacket?”
Katey Hawthorne is an avid reader and writer of superpowered and paranormal romance, even though the only degree she holds is in the history of art. (Or, possibly, because the only degree she holds is in the history of art.) Originally from the Appalachian foothills of West Virginia, she currently lives in Columbus, Ohio with her family, two cats, and one very large puppy. In her spare time she enjoys travel, comic books, B-movies, loud music, video games, Epiphones, and Bushmills.
Alchemiya Site: http://www.kateyhawthorne.com/p/alchemiya.html
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