Welcome to our Freaky Friday Halloween Party! To kick off our celebration with a bang, I'm pleased to introduce guest author Lyn Armstrong to Cheeky Reads. I knew she'd be a perfect guest today because not only does she love Halloween, but she writes kick-ass erotic historicals about witches.
I'll be handing out random treats throughout the day and on Twitter, so be sure to check back often for your chance to win. One lucky reader will win an autographed copy of Lyn's first Celtic Witch story, The Last Celtic Witch! Make sure to leave a comment below to enter to win!
Now, let's welcome Lyn to Cheeky Reads!
You write erotic historicals set in Scotland. Would you tell us a little about The Last Celtic Witch, the first book in the Celtic series? Certainly. The Last Celtic Witch is very near and dear to my heart. This was the first book I had published, and is one of my favorites. Here is the blurb:
Pursued by evil forces for her powers, recluse Adela MacAye foresees her own agonizing death. She must seek the chosen one to produce an heir and pass on her Celtic powers. To fail would be the end of good magick, plunging the world into darkness. Conjuring a fertility spell she is led to a sensual chieftain who is betrothed to the sorceress that hunts her. Time is running out as fate and the future pursue her.
Plagued by enemies and undermined by sabotage, handsome Laird Phillip Roberts must save his clan from a bloody feud with an alliance through marriage … a marriage he does not want. After a night of white-hot sensual delights with the alluring witch, his heart commands he break the pledge of peace. With treachery around every corner, will he be too late to save …
The Last Celtic Witch?
Which actor would you pick to play the sexy hero in the Last Celtic Witch? For The Last Celtic Witch, I visualized Laird Phillip Roberts as Brad Pitt as he looked in the movie “Troy”. I like to cut out pictures of actors and sexy models and stick them on my wall beside my computer. This helps me get into the character’s head, plus when I am describing their looks, I can “flesh” out the details.
What inspired that first Celtic Witch book and the ones that have followed? There are many things that inspired The Last Celtic Witch. I’ve always been a fan of witches and warlocks with powers that help or hinder their lives. I also like to read erotic, edgy books that are epic adventures, which is why I write those types of stories. The dark, gritty side of history inspires me along with people from the past. They lived such harsh and brutal lives. When you add romance, magick, lust, and betrayal, it sends me into another fantasy world where good overcomes evil, and the sex is always amazing. LOL.
How much fun did you have researching Scotland and its legends for this series? Have you had the chance to visit Scotland? I was fortunate to do a six-week historical tour in Scotland. I went inside more castles than I can name, each one leaving me with a part of history. On top of that, I researched Scotland, its Celtic lore and Scottish witches for months. I would say it took me longer to research each book in the Celtic series than it did for me to write them. And I loved every painstaking minute of it. LOL.
There are 5 books in the Celtic series now. Tell us a little about the series as a whole and what kind of heros and heroines our readers can find in your books. Well, every book has received outstanding reviews. I won my first award with Witch Hunter where it received Reviewers Recommend Award at Coffee Times Romance.
The Celtic Series: The Last Celtic Witch - The Celtic Witch and the Sorcerer - Heart of a Warlock - Lady of the Mountain - Witch Hunter
In a superstitious time where witches are prosecuted and magick considered the devil’s work, a Scottish clan filled with secret Celtic powers must fight an evil darkness threatening their chance for love and their very survival.
My heroes and heroines consist of Celtic witches, a sexy warlock, evil sorcerer, Scottish chieftain and a sorceress. I like to put my heroines in very challenging situations where it seems impossible for them to escape. It’s important that my characters grow in some way through the book—to learn something new about themselves. You will fall in love with each character, even the villains and villainess. Oh, everyone LOVES my villainess. She was so much fun to write about. Many say she represents the darker side of me. Which is really scary to think about. LOL.
Now, I said you write Erotic Historicals, but your books are not just hot, they are SPICY! For readers not familiar with erotic romances, would you tell them what the difference is from your average hot romance? I know the first time I saw "erotic" on a book I hesitated, but there really was no worry! There are varying degrees of erotic romance. If you are interested, you can check out the heat ratings at www.ResplendencePublishing.com. They have different gems for their romance novels. For instance, my books are rated “Fire Opal”. This is the hottest rating because I have graphic sex scenes. I also have mild bondage, m/m, f/f, and ménage scenes. However, my stories are set around a romance between a man and woman. Some erotica is based on just the sex, but my stories have a strong plotline with great characterization. The sex scenes move the story along rather than rely on it.
What's been your favorite scene to write so far? Can you give us a little peak? Wow, that’s a hard one. I love all the books and characters; it’s hard to pick just one. But I loved writing this high-tension scene from the Witch Hunter.
Rhiannon spent the eve sitting on cold stones in the king’s dank dungeon, thinking about all things she wished she could change. If she had a chance, she would tell her mother, father and the rest of her family that she loved them. She would apologize to Lachlan for being the cause of his downfall. She never wanted him to be in the middle of the trial, which was why she trapped him in the mountain.
She rubbed her hot hands on her thighs. Since the middle of the eve, her palms constantly burned. There was not much time left before the sun rose and all goodness left her soul. How could she face the look of fear from Lachlan when the hex took effect? If only she were executed yesterday.
A nervous giggle erupted from her mouth. To think she was wishing in her last moments to die earlier.
The door opened, and the repulsive lanky Inquisitor pulled her to her feet. “I can help you escape,” Grigor offered.
Rhiannon stared at him, her heart leaping to throat.
“If you promise to use your powers to my benefit, we can work out an accord.” Grigor cupped her breasts and she shivered.
She spat in his face. “I would rather die.”
He gripped her arm and pulled her up against him, his teeth clenching. “Then I will torch you myself.”
Grigor dragged her along the cavernous hallway. For once, the Inquisitor was silent which terrified her more than his threats.
He placed her in the same cart she took to Tolbooth yesterday. “Where is Lord Lachlan?” she asked.
“You will see him soon enough,” Grigor replied in a scathing tone and sat beside the driver.
Tilting her head up, Rhiannon observed the eve’s fading stars, appreciating the last chance of seeing the sky’s dark beauty. Conflicting emotions tore at her heart. Although she was afraid to burn on the stake, if the dawn came before she died, everyone in Edinburgh was in danger of the evil that simmered beneath.
The cart rumbled out the castle gates and she willed the horse to trot faster.
Perhaps the sorceress would not be up this early.
Rhiannon hopes were dashed when she arrived at the hill outside the castle. Upon a high white horse sat the sorceress in a red gown and hat, her bosom almost spilling out of the exquisite dress. On a black steed next to Torella sat the king, appearing bored and impatient.
As soon as the crowd saw her, they shouted curses. The noise was so loud she wanted to cover her ears, but her bound wrists could not reach far enough. She glared at the hundreds of people who eagerly woke early to witness another witch burning.
The cart halted and Grigor roughly escorted her up the nearest scaffold of four.
Lachlan stood against one of the posts on the platform next to her. His tunic hung open at his sides, his muscled back exposed to the vicious mob.
His head hung low; he appeared defeated.
She swallowed past the lump in her throat.
A heavy-set soldier near Lachlan cracked a whip into the air and the crowd replied in awe, their eyes glistening with blood lust. The man picked up another whip near his feet and held it high for everyone’s pleasure. The claw-like pincers at the end of the whip held bloodstains. Every lash of the cat’s paw would tear Lachlan’s skin like a knife through butter until it reached the bone.
Damn the sorceress for blocking her powers. She could have saved Lachlan from feeling the pain. Allow his soul to escape into a world of bliss.
Grigor bound her to a post, and she peeked below at the pile of dry timber. Her heart felt like it was going to pound out of her chest. Sweat poured down the sides of her face. Her breathing increased.
“I pray you do not burn too fast, witch,” Grigor taunted and left the scaffold. He snatched a fire sconce from one of the guards and waited nearby, his eyes burning with impatience.
“Rhiannon,” Lachlan called to her above the din and she turned her head. “Try to escape if you can.”
She shook her head. “I cannot.” Bile rose in her throat and she swallowed the acidic taste. Something was happening to her beyond just fear. Her body seemed to blaze from within.
Rhiannon looked at the sorceress, and she held a sinister smile. Torella’s face turned to the east. She was waiting for the sun, for the hex to take place. She whispered into the king’s ear.
King James ordered, “Whip the traitor!”
“Nae,” Rhiannon screamed but it was lost in the mob’s cheers.
The soldier swung his arm to gain momentum then cracked the whip against Lachlan’s back. He squeezed his eyes shut, his body spasm against the pain, but he did not cry out.
Rhiannon struggled against her binds. She had to stop this.
The cat’s claw flicked through the air and tore his skin again. Blood dripped down his legs. The soldier flicked the pieces of flesh from the pincers and whipped him again and again.
“Stop it!” Rhiannon shouted at the sorceress. But she shrugged her shoulders and pointed to the east.
A reddish-orange glow colored the morning sky. The sun would soon appear over the mountains.
"I am a powerful witch!” she shouted as loud as she could.
The crowd hushed down to a whisper, their attention on her.
“If you do not leave this man be, you will all be cursed for the rest of your days,” she warned.
“Nae, Rhiannon,” Lachlan groaned.
The crowd’s faces changed from hatred to panic. They turned to the king.
His Majesty whispered into the sorceress’ ear and she nodded. “Burn the witch!” he ordered.
A mixture of terror and relief filled her being. She did not want to die, but could not allow the hex to darken the world.
Grigor pushed the other guards away and walked forward. Holding the fire sconce in the air, he stared at her with a huge grin on his face. He brought the flame down in an arc, and the timber easily caught fire. The Inquisitor practically danced around her scaffold, adding fire to the pile.
Her steady composure collapsed with the horror of a painful death. The crackling of the flames grew louder, drowning out the noise of the mob. Even Lachlan’s pleas for mercy for her seemed like a whisper.
The spot on her forehead seared the skin, while her insides burned even though the flames had not reached her flesh. She closed her eyes against the sting of smoke, the smell of wood clogging her lungs.
Suddenly, a sense of peace overcame her being. Her limbs instantly cooled and her skin prickled. The beat of her heart and her intake of breath slowed in pace.
She was ready for death.
A piercing light shone from beyond her eyelids and she opened her eyes.
Yellow beams of sunlight shot over the mountain range.
Evil darkness invaded her soul and body.
Tomorrow is Halloween. What's your favorite part of the holiday and do you have anything special you do to celebrate? (I watch The Great Pumpkin every year! This year I'm doing the walk through Cassadaga since I live right down the road). Oh, I love Cassadaga. I will be dressing up as an undead French maid this year and going to a wicked costume party at my friend’s place. I will also draw the winner for my Halloween contest at the stroke of midnight, so that should be fun.
You're running a special Halloween contest for readers. Tell us about it and how readers can enter! In light of my favorite spooky holiday and that I write erotic tales about sexy warlocks and Celtic witches, I am having a wicked Halloween contest.
For a chance to win a Celtic T-shirt with "Find Your Inner Witch" logo, an autographed book from the Celtic series (your choice), a unique Celtic calculator, Celtic series CD, a witch's broom pen and many other goodies visit my website www.LynArmstrong.com
I always ask authors for their book recommendations because they always know the best debut authors or new books! What new book or author should readers check out? Any good Halloween reads? I’m a huge fan of Sherrilyn Kenyon. She is not a new author, but for Halloween, you can’t go past her Dark Hunter series with sexy vampires and werewolves. Yummy!
What's up next for you? After the Celtic series I wanted to challenge myself with a different historical era. I’ve written an erotic Regency set in France before the revolution, called the “French Rose”. I am also editing another erotic Regency that is set in Kent in the early 1800’s about a sex society for the aristocrats, called “Tutoring Miss Molly”.
However, my next project will be a historical romance with a ménage theme set in France about a Queen who seduces the King’s guards.
The list goes on, but I’m constantly writing because my fans are always thirsty for more. LOL.
Thank you, Sabrina for having me on your blog. I wish you all an awesome Halloween. May you have a magical night.
Haunts and kisses
You can find the Celtic series in ebooks at http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/ or in print at http://www.amazon.com/.
For more information visit: http://www.lynarmstrong.com/
Thank you Lyn! For a chance to win a copy of the Last Celtic Witch, leave a comment telling us your favorite part of Halloween, your favorite witch story, or ask Lyn a question about her series. This contest is open to the U.S. only, but we will do a giveaway for International readers later today!