Romancing the paranormal
I write a genre which tends to have a little bit of stigma attached to it. That genre is romance. More specifically, paranormal romance. Fairly or not, those two words together tend to conjure up a certain image in critic’s minds.
What makes the genre exciting for me isn’t what has been done, but what can be done. There is a whole world of paranormal creatures out there to explore and use. Are all of them fodder for romantic attachment? I guess handled right, there is the possibility to romanticize any creature. But paranormal romance doesn’t necessarily have to be about having a romantic involvement\attachment with a paranormal creature. It can just be about finding love in a world where such creatures exist. This is probably where the line between paranormal romance and urban fantasy blur and smudge a little.
What makes paranormal romance interesting to me is that even with these fantastical creatures, so much of the wonder in the stories is driven by the very things that make the real world turn. Human nature drives us to find companionship. I don’t believe it would not be out of the question for people to search for love even in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. Yes, there is the daily struggle for life and the inherent danger of creating vulnerabilities by finding a significant other, but love also gives people a reason to live. It gives them a greater purpose, something which lets them focus on the positives that life offers and not drown in the depression of constant death.
So it is for me, in Through the Fire, and the whole Daughter of Fire series. Evie's days are filled with fleeing for her life, but still she clings to hope for something more. She desires love and companionship, and something bigger than herself. Freedom from prejudice.
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Through the Fire (Daughter of Fire #1)
by Michelle Irwin
Life could have been different for Evie Meyers. If only she wasn’t a freak.
She wouldn’t be hiding from the Rain, a secret organization intent on destroying all supernatural creatures. Neither would she have run from Clay, the object of her desire.
Her hope for love and a normal life shattered when Clay stumbled onto her biggest secret and revealed one of his own in the process—he’s a soldier for the Rain. Learning that Clay was a threat to her survival, Evie had no choice but to flee.
Now Clay’s back—battle-scarred and mysterious—and the attraction between them is undeniable. Stuck on opposite sides in the war between humans and the supernatural, there seems little hope for a happily ever after. Caught between what her heart wants and what her head knows, something has to give. What will she choose? And what price will she have to pay?
All Romance Books: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-throughthefire-1653923-344.html
Connect with Michelle: https://www.facebook.com/MichelleIrwinAuthor
Closing my eyes, I tried to retrace the steps back out of the warehouse and cement the escape route in my mind. When I opened them again, I was looking at three backs: Clay and two other men who had entered the room. Clay’s head immediately turned, and his gaze sought me out.
He ripped his hand from his pocket, lifted his shirt to reveal a holster and gun. In the next instant, he had it drawn and pointed at his father.
“Now, Evie! Run!”
I didn’t think twice. I turned, and I raced from the room—rushing through the doorway and into the darkened corridor. Before I’d even broken free of the warehouse, I heard the sound of fighting erupt behind me. After a rash of thuds and bumps, Clay’s voice shouted indecipherable words, and then the sound of a gunshot sliced the air. My heart beat rapidly as I skidded to a stop. A pained cry filled the corridors, and I started to turn back around.
Another loud crash sounded, and one of the men was right behind me.
“What the hell?” the older voice, Clay’s Dad, shouted from inside the room. Angered cursing replaced his uttered statement and filled the space around me, vibrating off the walls and drowning out all other sounds.
At least until Clay saw me standing still with his brother fast approaching.
“What are you waiting for, Evie? Run!” Clay shouted as he crash-tackled his brother into the wall. “Run and don’t look back. I’ll find you!”
A loud, wet thud sounded as Ethan fought back against Clay’s hold.
Bursting out into sunshine, I didn’t even stop for the air I desperately needed before I climbed into the truck and gunned the engine. My eyes were trained on the warehouse as I reversed out onto the road, so I barely even noticed the Hummer that was parked in my way until I almost hit it. I spun the wheel at the last second to avoid collision and ripped out part of the fence on my way to freedom.
I drove like a madman until I was halfway home and then the adrenaline left my system in a rush, leaving me with tear-filled eyes and shaking hands. It was in that instant that I realized what was different about Clay’s kiss. With the extra time to assess it in my mind, I understood what he was trying to tell me. He didn’t think he was coming with Dad and me anymore. With his kiss, he’d said goodbye. After that gutting discovery, I couldn’t move the car another inch, even if I wanted to. A chorus of beeping sounded around me as a reminder that I wasn’t alone on the road, and yet even that wasn’t enough to force me to drive.
Pressing my forehead against the top of the steering wheel, tears that I couldn’t fight began to fall in cascades. I could almost feel the ghost of his kiss, and in hindsight his “I’m sorry” and “Goodbye” echoed through every motion of his mouth.
By the time I’d finally been able to compose myself enough to drive, I didn’t know where to go. I worried that taking the truck home would flag a warning in some database. Did they already know where we lived? Dad would kill me if I dumped his truck, but he’d be more devastated if it was a link that led to us being discovered. I had no way of contacting Dad to discuss the best course of action. After hearing Clay’s admission of how he’d found me, I had no doubt Dad’s reasons for not getting cell phones was valid. I would have to make the choice unaided and live with the consequences.
I put the truck into drive and forced myself to head down the tree-lined road toward home. Just as I drove past Renaissance Park, the black Hummer that had been at the warehouse tore through the streets behind me and slammed into the rear of my truck, jolting it roughly. I was thrown forward, and my head smashed against the steering wheel. For a moment all I could see were stars, but I fought to remain conscious.
When my vision finally cleared, my heart slid into my stomach as I looked beyond the hood to see a young man who could almost have been Clay sitting behind the wheel. I hadn’t had the chance to look at him in my rush to flee the warehouse, but now I couldn’t look away. He was clearly a few years older, his exposed arms were bulkier, but otherwise the likeness was obvious. After hearing his statement before Clay had left to greet him, I was certain he knew the truck was mine and that I was the one driving it. Cringing at the violent look on his face, I held tightly onto the steering wheel and forced my foot flat against the accelerator pedal.
With the Hummer on my trail, there was no way I could go home. It would be leading him straight to my father and my best chance of long-term survival. At the next intersection I turned right instead of going straight ahead. I knew enough about the area to know it would lead me away from the city and could only hope it offered the opportunity to shake Ethan before too long.
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