I’m pleased to welcome Evelyn Elliot on the blog to promote her book, Feather Fall with an interview, excerpt, and giveaway.
Villains, and Why I Love Them
This is my routine:
- Plot the story out in exhausting detail.
- Outline every scene.
- Write the story.
My villain fucked it all up.
Crow, for those who don’t know, was the villain in my first fantasy novel. I say “was” because not only did he narrowly escape death, he has now become the main character of his own book.
Villains are some of the most charismatic characters, I think. There’s something deliciously enticing about a man who knows what he wants and gets things done. Crow… Crow has goals, and he’s willing to do what it takes to accomplish them. No flinching. No tears.
“They say you need to enjoy torture to be good at it,” Crow said. “I disagree. My mother wasn’t sadistic—merely practical. When she needed to know something, she always found out.”
He drew a knife from his boot. One edge was serrated, perfect for sawing through things. “I hated her,” he said. “And I loved Regis. I wanted so desperately to save him that every night I would lie awake, plotting my mother’s death. I became very inventive.”
Clyde couldn’t seem to speak. He stared into Crow’s black eyes.
“For example,” Crow said, “I know that if I tie tourniquets on your arms before I shave away your fingers, you will not die an easy death of blood loss. I know that if I hurt you, I should pour salt and vinegar in the wounds to prevent an infection that might otherwise take you from me. I know how to make you last, and while I am not a sadist, I am practical.”
Then he drew a knife and sank it into Clyde’s hand. The wide blade cleanly severed his smallest finger, and Clyde shrieked into the gag. Crow helped muffle it with his hand.
“Now,” Crow said. “Tell me what you did with my lover, and you can keep the rest of your fingers.”
I’ve always liked sympathetic villains, so I worked hard to make Crow interesting. He isn’t just evil; he can be nice, sometimes. He can be smart. He can be funny.
That’s what makes a villain interesting, I think. Crow doesn’t want to hurt people. But he’s willing to hurt people. Crow only has one friend in the world: Regis Teller, his childhood sweetheart.
So when Regis is kidnapped by a ring of slavers, Crow formulates a plan of action. The only way to save him is to team up with Jonathan, his archenemy. They disguise themselves as master and slave in order to infiltrate the black market.
Whatever it takes.
Feather Fall (Spell Slave #2)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 260 pages
Release Date: April 22, 2016
Hero and criminal. Brute force and subtle charm. Jonathan White and Crow Belcane are polar opposites, but if they want to rescue the man they both love, they’ll have to work together.
After visiting his former lover, Crow knows only one thing: he loves Regis and he will do anything to reclaim him. But before his very eyes, Regis is abducted. Kidnapped by high-end slavers. Only Regis’s infuriating partner, Jonathan—a dangerous vigilante—is willing to help.
To infiltrate the slave ring, Jonathan and Crow disguise themselves as master and pet. As a slave, Crow is pushed to his limit. He’s chained, branded, whipped, and forced to obey Jonathan’s every order. But the longer he spends at Jonathan’s feet, the more natural his disguise begins to feel—and the more he likes it. As much as he hates Jonathan, they make a good team.
Both of them are devoted to Regis. Despite the overwhelming attraction between them, Jonathan is unwilling to betray his partner, and Crow is unwilling to come between them. But once the three of them are together again, all bets are off.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14427929.Evelyn_Elliott
Categories: BDSM, Bisexual, Fantasy, M/M Romance, Romance, Menage/Poly
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | AllRomance | Dreamspinner Press
Crow followed Jonathan to the lodging house. Jonathan looked like he was going to explode with rage the entire walk home. Crow prayed they didn’t come across anyone looking for a fight.
When they strode in, the woman at the counter scowled. “Your boy’s only been gone two days,” she said to Jonathan. “Already bringing whores home?”
Jonathan waved her away. “He’s a friend, Marta.”
“Friend,” she muttered. “Yeah, all right.” She sniffed. “Long as you send him on his way when you’re done with him. Don’t want him harassing my patrons.” She bustled down the hall. Crow stared after her in shock.
“She thought you were a prostitute,” Jonathan said helpfully. He opened the door, then locked it behind Crow. Immediately, he went to the back door and swept it open. He went into the garden and hugged Chartreuse around her neck. His grip was white, and his entire body was rigid. “Fucking slavers,” he muttered. “Fucking disgusting.”
Crow leaned against the doorway, arms folded. “Why did the innkeeper think I was a prostitute? Do you often pick up whores?”
Jonathan rolled his eyes at the joke. But he relaxed a little, and he went back inside with Crow. He shut the door. His fingers rested on the knob. “So,” he said.
“So,” Crow said.
Jonathan looked away, hands clenched. “I need a favor.”
“Will you teach me how to—” Jonathan grimaced. “How to be charming.”
“Charming,” Jonathan said, like his teeth were being pulled. “It’s just this—this thing you do. I mean, let’s be honest with each other for a moment. You’re a terrible person, and yet every single person that meets you instantly likes you. How do you do that? Show me. I need to improve my acting skills.”
Crow didn’t want to teach Jonathan anything. But they were in this mess together, and if Jonathan slipped up and ruined his disguise, then they would both be in terrible danger. Crow saw on the bed. “Fine. Come here.”
Jonathan circled the bed like a wary animal. He sat far away from Crow.
“First lesson,” Crow said. “Body language.”
“What? Why does that matter?”
“You need to relax. If you look nervous, everyone else will become nervous, too.”
“I don’t feel relaxed,” Jonathan groaned.
“You don’t have to feel relaxed. You have to look relaxed.” Crow leaned against the headboard and splayed his legs. “See? Like this.”
“I can’t fake it the way you can.” Jonathan popped his fingers, then cracked his neck. He stretched his legs out, then touched his toes. Finally, he rolled his shoulders and let out a breath. He did seem a little less tense now.
“Good,” Crow said. “Now. Lesson two. Just be nice. Observe people. Give them compliments. Listen to what they say. It’s easy.”
“Of course. I mean, that’s how I seduced you the night I met you.”
And the room became weirdly silent.
The night they’d met. Right. The night Crow had waltzed in, spent a few minutes talking to Jonathan, and then stripped his pants off. Crow winced. It was probably a raw wound for Jonathan, considering the fact Crow had—at the time—been part of a plot to kill him. He shifted to the middle of the bed. He crossed his legs. “Look at me.”
“I want to teach you about sexual tension. It’s important. We need to investigate the House of Red Silk, but if we stall too long, Madam Karis might realize we’re up to no good. You must keep her attention. If she becomes impatient, pretend to be interested in a slave.”
“Interested? How do I do that?”
“Like this.” Crow leaned in. He lowered his eyelashes and tilted his head a little. His gaze slowly went from Jonathan’s hands, to his chest, then—ever so slowly—he met Jonathan’s eyes and held them. The air between them felt thin as paper, as though if he moved one inch closer, the barrier between them would tear.
Jonathan jerked back.
His face was unreadable, but his eyes were wide, pupils blown. Crow put his hand on Jonathan’s arm, and Jonathan jerked. “Tension is a sense of anticipation,” Crow said. “Stretch out that moment. Make it clear you want him.”
Jonathan skirted away to the edge of the bed. “Oh, come on,” Crow said. “If you can’t do it with me, how are you going to do it with a stranger?”
“I keep thinking about that time you threatened to skin me,” Jonathan snapped.
“That happened once.”
The light outside had faded. Twilight lit the garden. Crow felt exhausted from his façade. He got up to draw the curtains.
“No, wait,” Jonathan said. “I….”
Crow glanced back.
Jonathan had a painfully awkward look on his face. He blew out his breath. “Sorry. You’re right.” He got up. He rubbed his face. When his hand moved away, his expression was cool again. He scanned Crow’s face, then—hesitantly—touched Crow’s jaw, then his collarbone. He crowded Crow against the wall. Their chests didn’t touch, not quite.
Heat flickered through Crow’s body, and he was aware, powerfully aware, of how long it had been since he’d trusted someone to touch him. He shuddered.
Then Jonathan pulled away. “Like that?”
“Yeah,” Crow said. “Like that.”
Jonathan shut up and went to bed. He lay fully clothed on the mattress, alone by himself. Crow swept up a pile of blankets and dumped them on the floor by the wall. He burrowed into his little nest and closed his eyes. He didn’t sleep. Where was Regis? Locked in a cage somewhere? Sold?
MEET THE AUTHOR
If you encountered Evelyn Elliott, you’d see a small soft-spoken woman wearing a sundress. At first, she seems like a perfectly normal woman. Do not be deceived.
Her hobbies include watching grisly horror movies, torturing her characters, and tending to her flower garden. She enjoys long walks in the park and collecting the souls of small children.
Whenever she reads a book, she always roots for the villain.
Avoid her at all costs. Certainly do not locate her Goodreads. Do not dare friend her on Facebook, either. She will only corrupt you.
Facebook | Goodreads Link
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25-Apr: My Fiction Nook, A.M. Leibowitz
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5-May: BFD Book Blog, Molly Lolly The Novel Approach
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