Thanks for having me, Paloma! I'm normally known for writing science fiction romance. My backlist is stuffed with it. :) But I do have this underlying love of magic. And one day, whilst I was careening my characters through a cyberpunk nightmare of a world, I had this image of a woman, hiding in the shadows, watching the man she wanted kissing another woman. Her anger, her betrayal was sharp...but she wasn't alone in witnessing this wrong kiss. She caught a touch of his magic, felt his fury...and a plan was born. Also, obviously, a book! lol
The blurb and excerpt follows.
DARK DEALINGS will be available 26 November.
There are monsters in the city. And one of them is her… Ava Kalle's empty soul devours magic. And her hunger is deadly. She's sharp, quick and can live in shadow, making her work as a spy for the Mages a natural choice. She lives on the fringes of society and likes it that way. When the man she loves takes another woman for his mate, the darkness in her heart unravels and she'll do anything to get him back. She makes a dangerous deal with a fire elemental, Heyerdar, who has a vested interest in agreeing: together they'll use forbidden magic, harnessing their sexual energy to drive the couple apart. But soon their pact pushes them both into a dark sexual obsession. One that Ava may not be able to control…
Dark Dealings ~ Carina Press
Heyerdar leaned in the stone arch, his hand draped over the high lintel of the wooden door. He’d removed his armor, the thick linen undershirt stained by rust and dark leather. Lamplight touched his golden eyes and the streaks of copper in his blond hair. He tilted his head, his frown in place. “What do you want, thief?” His low voice was bitter, the curl of anger she’d felt when she’d taken his trace of magic into herself still there in his voice. Reist had stolen his woman. And nobody took anything from an elemental. Ava didn’t answer. She did what she did best and slipped past him into his room. “I didn’t say you could come in.” His snarl followed her, echoing in the low arch of the stone chamber. He glared, his golden eyes more animal, more a part of nature than human, caught her and pinned her to the stone wall. Literally. Almost as if the cut stone reached out to grab her, took her body and wouldn’t release her. So much for her plan to run. He was an earth elemental. Of course the wall was his to command. She pulled in a tight breath, the constriction of the stone somehow pressing tight against her lungs. She could almost taste his magic, and her mouth watered. “I have a proposition for you.” His gaze raked over her and he turned away. “I have no interest in you.” “Never said you did.” “You think I’m not particular?” “I know your tastes, Heyerdar. And they’re very particular. Tall. Blonde. A higher mage’s blistering magic.” He stood before the blackened hearth, his back to her. His shoulders tensed. “Get out.” Ava ploughed on. “A woman no longer in your bed.” Before she could move, he’d turned and with inhuman speed forced her hard up against the wall. His eyes glowed, his magic so close to the surface she could almost taste it. It licked at her senses, her own need aching to eat him. He’d be a foul burn, his blood and meat sour in her mouth, but with the new way she had... She pressed her lips together and her heart quickened. “Try to take my magic from me, thief, and I promise it’ll be the last thing you do.” Her eyes narrowed. She told him a truth. “You’re elemental. I draw your meat and bone and you’d taste like mud.” He tilted his head. “Then what do you want?” “Reist.” His growl rippled over her. “I imagine you want him in one piece. And alive.” “Reist is mine.” “He has a strange way of showing that.” “He’s thick-headed.” Heyerdar gave a low, rumbling laugh and released his grip on her. The pressure of the stone at her back eased, and she could pull away. She resisted the need to rub her arms, knowing that his hard hands had left bruises. “So what’s your proposition? I’m assuming it’s not getting me within gutting distance of him?” He lifted an eyebrow. “I could’ve done that a month ago. And any time since.” “I want him alive and you want her.” His gaze was on her again, fury and pain a wild mix before his eyes became flat gold. And there’d been something else she couldn’t name. What he was confused her. He sat in his leather padded chair set before the cold hearth and waved her to the opposite chair. He curled his fingers, a casual flick, and a spark of fire started in the grate. That had taken no effort. It was little wonder he was the emperor’s Left Hand. In the growing firelight, there was a wildness to him, an animal strength. That would be it. Fallon would crave the power and not the beast that gave it to him. She wanted force and beauty. Perfection. The perfection that was Reist. “I want to break them up. Reist is mine. He is and always will be.” “You fucked him?” Ava kept the blush from her cheeks. It was none of his business what she’d done—or hadn’t done—with Reist. “I’m a thief. I can twist any gift, any spell to my will with enough strength.” She focused on him. “You have a vested interest in giving me that strength.” “Why?” He sat back and watched her, his eyes hooded. She knew she was playing with a predator, but she had no choice, not if she wanted to get her man. “I can cast illusions.” His brow furrowed. “Illusions are illegal.” “Going to tell on me?” He grunted. “Carry on.” “I can spin a veil, push it between Reist and...her.” It was still hard to speak her name. And she doubted Heyerdar would appreciate the names she wanted to call her. “Break them apart.” “Really?” “You want a demonstration of what I can do?” A sharp smile lifted her mouth. “Of what we can do together?” “I know what I taste like to a thief.” He tugged at his linen collar and exposed his neck, the hard line of muscle and brown skin. “You still want to do that?” Reist, Eleta, the images in the treatise swirled through her thoughts. It was something she hadn’t thought through, but if she didn’t grab her chance then even with the thief ruling her she would lose her nerve. He was her only chance to break Reist from Fallon. She could weave illusions so Reist would think of her more as she wanted him to, more than as a thief of magic, the lowest of the low. And she’d chase need through Fallon, remind her of Heyerdar’s power, his...virility. Fallon had slept with him for half a year. She had to still have some need for him. The whole thing would be fucked up but she had nothing to lose. Heyerdar could still say no. “There are other ways to take the power I need.” He frowned. “That’s not just illegal, it’s taboo.” Ava lifted an eyebrow. He knew about consuming. Had everyone known about this method of taking power but her? “They’re caught up in the wonder of each other. Their absolute perfection. It’s not a part of the harmony of magic. And if we have to use something...unethical to return the balance, then I’m good with that.” “How much power?” She had him.
About The Author
Kim Knox brews sex, magic, darkness and technology in a little corner of North West England. She writes erotic science fiction and fantasy romance for Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing, Cleis Press and others.
SYNTHETIC DREAMS and BITTER HARVEST are available now from Carina Press.
DARK DEALINGS coming soon.
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