Jennifer's Blog

A sneak peek at Dante, and how we got here…

Guardian Archives Book 1 - Keltor

Just a quick note regarding the recent releases from the desk of Jennifer Sage.

First, book 1.5 in the Guardian Archives was released 9/14/14 and has been a huge success with both beta readers and fans. Get your tissues handy, I will be breaking your heart Sage-style but you know I always put it back together again. So not to fear. In Ratha, we learn the history of the oldest Sorceress to ever walk the earth and how she lived as a Mortal for over 1200 years. We learn who Logan’s father was and about a great deal of things that were unanswered in Keltor-Book 1. We also learn where we are headed in Dante-Part 1, which is releasing ((pending editing in time-it is currently with Beta’s)) Halloween 2014. What better day to release an epic tale of Angels and Demon’s and everything in between? Right, I thought the same thing. So, that’s the date and if we have the covers ready ((there is an exclusive photo shoot happening the 13th of October)) and editing finished, I will set the pre-order up.

Dante has been in the making for 2 years. I left so many questions unanswered in Keltor for a very good reason. Sometimes an Author knows most of their back story, but not all of it. And that’s okay when you’re dealing with ageless beings that have been around since the beginning of time. ((The Pure One, Resiayana for example.))

It’s okay to know the meat of the story but not know ALL of what they are really up against. That stuff tends to come out as you’re writing when you write the kind of Fantasy that I do. You see, I don’t deal with things like just Heaven and Hell and Earth. There are actually Seven Hells ((Eh hem, Dante))…the Heavens are plural and the Earth has more to it than any of us realize. And more beings existing with us here than you know even after Keltor and Ratha have been read. Oh, and my Angels don’t have wings ((except one who has lost his mind in Dante, that’s all you get on that though!)) but they do have fangs and they were all Mortal once except two. They also have not Fallen from Heaven and they are definitely in God’s graces. So it’s not your typical biblical Fallen Angels. I love Authors that have written those stories well because who doesn’t like Fallen Angel stories? Perfect Beings falling to Earth for a woman because they can’t imagine living without them. Yeah, that story told well is super hot. But that’s not what I write. It’s been done. Over and over again it’s been done by awesome Authors. I knew in 2011 when I was writing Keltor that my Angels were all once Mortal, that they wouldn’t have wings, that they would bite ((but be nothing like your Hollywood sparkling vampire since they eat and have no other similarities other than the fangs and the sexual nature of feeding especially with their Mate..)) and I knew their history for the most part. The history I didn’t know was the one that I wrote only a very small scene in about, where they were at Lucio’s Club, Dark Heart in NYC, and there were all these other Immortals there. Who were they? Where did they come from? And THAT, was the story that started being told in Ratha-The Magic Within and that’s when it all hit me. Dante’s story couldn’t be just about Dante. Because there were three worlds that were about to collide in that work. I knew everything that had to be told in this work and nearly went off the highway when I called a friend and freaked out, also Sage-style, when I have that kind of epiphany. For a Fantasy Author, those moments are precious. I’m not even sure George RR Martin knows all of his histories before they are written. ((I am not comparing myself to that Author, he’s just my favorite Fantasy Author.))

I say this because when you’re writing histories that are so vast and so detailed and you can’t google them to research, there are things that come out as you’re writing that you sit back and go “Wow….okay…so that’s how that is going to work?” There were moments almost every day in Dante that I did that, some scenes were written in and literally as I was typing I would just squeal because some dots had been connected that pulled everything together that I didn’t even know was about to tie in. Waiting for two years for this work will have been worth it. This one time cliff has had every Beta calling me and yelling because I don’t do cliffs. I HATE cliffs. And this is not just a cliff but a one time “I’ve just made you walk in the desert for seven days without food or water, in a sandstorm and you’re thirsty and bloody and would cry if you had any fluid left in you to do so. Then you come to the cliff. And 500 feet below there is water but that jump straight down to the jagged rocks below will mean certain death.”

But you will jump.

And you will hate me for making you do it.

I’m so, so sorry in advance. I had tears in my eyes at the end and other parts of this work during every revision and as Beta’s come back to me their reaction is no different. All my readers know that there is an HEA at the end of all my work but I do some seriously terrible things to my characters. And Dante is no exception. I think it’s actually worse because I have three main story lines, four Villains and almost all of Part One is history and relationship building. You will be so invested in the characters you love at the end of the first 137,000 words. And you will be cursing at your kindle when it ends and you see what I have done.

That said, you won’t have to wait long for Part 2. I’m already 30,000 words in and I can write 5,000-10,000 words on a good day when the story is burning in my mind and out of my fingertips onto my trusty MacBook Air. And that has been happening almost every day. I am hoping for a Christmas release for Part 2 as long as editing is done in time. I will not leave you for two years with that kind of cliffhanger, that I promise you all. I can also promise you that Dante was worth the wait. This is not just a book any longer. It is a living, breathing story that you will fall into and walk with these characters through the ancient streets of Athens; through present day Rome. You will smell the fires burning, you will taste the dishes hand fed to our Heroine by the Hero. You will fall in love at least once, possibly more with our males that are introduced as they fall in love with their females. I’ve made you wait a long time for this work but now that I understand what the Guardians have been screaming at me regarding their story, it is effortless writing. Because there comes a point when the Author is just the conduit for the characters to write their own stories. And that time for me, came as Ratha was being written.

It’s okay to make your readers wait. If it’s not the best story you can tell, it’s okay. Because it’s better that readers wait for the RIGHT story, that is told with passion and depth, than to write crap and release it just to have another book out. And I had Dante’s story all wrong before. Now, it’s perfect.

*****

Here is an excerpt from the un-edited work that I hope you will enjoy. The Heroine’s name has been replaced with XXXX to keep her identity unknown.

Dante was restraining with everything he had. His teeth had nearly lengthened on her throat and bit her a moment ago. A heart he had forgotten was pounding in his chest and his pants were tightening uncomfortably. He wanted to throw everything off the table and put her on it, dining on her flesh instead of dinner. Her eyes were nearly glittering in the soft candlelight and her blond hair cascaded softly over her shoulders. The small bit of fabric between her flesh and his mouth was causing him to nearly growl.

“Dante?” She said softly as she bit her lip. “Maybe we should have a glass of wine?” She stepped back a little and smoothed her dress down before walking towards the table. Watching her walk away was nearly as nice as seeing her walk towards him. The way that dress hugged every sweet inch of her perfect, heart shaped ass was maddening.

No female. What we should be doing is me burying myself in your flesh so far that the only word that you know is my name.

He grinned wickedly and nodded. “Of course. Swiping the screen he text something and then returned his eyes to her. “It will be here in a moment. Amarone della Valpolicella is one of my favorites. I’m sorry, we don’t carry Silver Oak here but I will stock it if you promise to return with me?”

She turned and raised her eyes. “You don’t need to do that. I love Amarone. I only drink Silver Oak when I finish a project.”

“Then we will make more art. A lot of it so you can drink more of your favorite wine. And I’ve already had a case of Silver Oak ordered for my personal cellar at the Villa.”

He watched her fidget uncomfortably for a moment and his eyes darkened. “And you’re frowning at this why XXXX?”

“No. I mean, of course you can order any wine that you want. That’s your choice, not mine. I just don’t understand why you’re doing all this. First my art, then this night…what do you want from me Dante?”

The distrust in her eyes made him rage like a beast inside. Someone had hurt her so deeply. Closing the distance between them in two steps he pressed his hands on both sides of her face and dipped his head down immediately. His mouth made love to hers; gently licking her soft lips until she gave him the opening he wanted. And then he kissed her hard; the sweetness of her mouth consuming him. One hand remained tangled in her hair and the other followed her bare back to that luscious peak of her ass and pulled her against him roughly. When she moaned into his mouth he deepened the kiss, making sure she could feel every hard inch of him against her. In response her own melted against him and he growled deep from his chest. Dante sucked on her lips tenderly and licked them before nipping his way down her throat. At the throbbing jugular vein he stopped and bit, sucking her heated flesh into his mouth and groaning. Over a thousand years of control was being forced right now. His canines didn’t drop even though he wanted to feed from her divine blood. Her scent tantalized him insanely. If he took her blood he could pleasure her too and give her the most mind blowing orgasms she had ever known. And she needed to be fucking pleasured. Whatever the hell those shadows were in her soul were not staying. No fucking way. But he planned on staying for quite a while.

He lifted his head and stared at her, breathing heavy. Her lids were halfway closed and the feeling of her small hands running up and down his chest were nearly enough to make him snap. “I should think it’s very clear what I want XXXXX. No?”

© Jennifer Sage 2014

******

So, a lot of my teasers have had a lot of sexual content because there is A LOT of sex in this book. But it is not erotica. There’s again, just a lot of relationship building in Part 1. When a Guardian meets their Mate they have that insta-connect that I know some readers don’t like. But there are plenty of struggles before they get their HEA, which in my worlds seems to make up for that instant connection. There has to be that, because a Guardian’s Mate is their gift for fighting this eternal battle that rages. They have to know them immediately because they only get ONE. If something happens to their Mate, they might as well die too. If you have children then the love they feel for their Mate is comparable to that. Guardians can have sex and take pleasure but they cannot LOVE a female, not truly love, until their Mate is given to them. And that kind of love is so deep and intense that it is overwhelming for them.

Take Dante for example. He is the second eldest Guardian other than Lucio and he has been fighting this war against the Demons for over a thousand years. He has had plenty of sex ((which is good for his Mate when he finds her, experience is not a bad thing, lol)) but he has never known love. As a human he was just as much a gigolo as he is as a Guardian.  Never married, no children and the only love he knows truly is for the family he lost a very long time ago and for his warrior Brothers. When we see this Alpha male falling head over heels for a female and the beating of his heart begin to rage for her…it is felt by the reader. A Guardian would go through all Seven Hells and kill every Demon in every one twice to protect their Mate when they are found. If their female feels pain it is their natural tendency to want to protect them and shield them from it. Dante’s love for her is felt by the reader. And although the Guardian’s know their Mate almost immediately..((there are specific things that happen to them when they meet her)), the females do not always know as assuredly as the male’s do. So, ha, enter more conflict.

Anyway, back to the writing nook for me so I can get Part 2 to you all. It’s going to be a wild ride as we get to the real “The End.”

Blessings and Blissings and lots of sexy wishes to you all!

J. Sage xx

Jennifer Sage

Jennifer Sage

I love everything medieval even though my stories are fantasy/ paranormal urban romances. I love reading, writing, family time, movies, cooking, playing, great wine and stimulating conversation…not necessarily in that order.
Jennifer Sage
Jennifer Sage

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