Hello book lovers! Help me welcome dark paranormal romance author Rhiannon Mills here today! She's prepared a great guest author post and has provided a very good excerpt from her latest release, The Demon King! So get ready for some fab reading!
Hi! Thank you so much for having me here. I am Rhiannon Mills and I write romance with a bit of a horror element. I like my romances dark with a slight edge to them and that is why I wrote The Demon King, my first novella release from Knight Watch Press. There are a lot of really great characters in the story, but I thought today I’d give you a peak at the king himself because he is half of what makes the story so great and so dark. He is the creature hiding in the closet, the darkness that we fear, and the definition of things that go bump in the night.
Draken, the king, was created from the darkest corners of my mind. I wanted to create a hero who would make you question his motives a little bit. Does he want to have a relationship with the heroine or does he want to use her for his own dark purposes? Perhaps both? You’ll never know until you read the book. There were times, while writing the story, when I even began to question him a little bit, which was the exact tint that I was going for. I wanted a king who was selfish and strong, deadly and dark, sexy and sly—all of these things rolled into one.
I based his character a little bit on Gerard Butler (yum!) and a lot on Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ portrayal of Henry VIII in Showtime’s series The Tudors. From history we know that Henry VIII was selfish, ruthless (he had a few wives decapitated…and barely thought twice about it), and charismatic. He ruled his kingdom with an iron fist and he did quite a wonderful job. Out of a zillion monarchs throughout history, he is still one of the most famous, or perhaps infamous. Where Henry and Draken differ, however, is that Draken hasn’t had any wives whatsoever. He isn’t even looking because having an heir isn’t at the top of his to-do list. In fact, it would almost be dangerous for him to have a wife and child in tow while at war with his brother over the crown. Nonetheless, Draken possesses many of the same characteristics of Henry VIII.
Unlike Henry VIII, however, Draken has a pair of dashing black feathered demon wings, ram-like horns, eyes the shade of coal, and both upper and lower fangs. Draken isn’t afraid of anything at all, not even his brother (who seeks to destroy him in pursuit of the crown). To beat his brother, however, Draken needs the help of a soothsayer from the mortal realm, Willow. Willow is the light to his darkness, and sometimes, the thorn in his side. He isn’t quite sure just how much he can trust her, but the feeling there is mutual.
The Demon King
by Rhiannon Mills
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Draken needs a soothsayer to help him keep his kingdom under his own rule and not that of his twin brother. What he doesn’t count on is that his bewitching soothsayer, Willow, could possibly be the fall of the entire Underworld without trying to do so. One small twenty year old secret could destroy everything Draken has ever held dear. Through battles, both political and emotional, the King must do what is best to destroy his brother and hold his kingdom in the right hands, although nothing is ever what it seems and no one can be trusted in the Underworld
Her heart dropped when she looked in the mirror. Not because it was now cracked thanks to the lightning, but because there was a man’s image in the place of hers. She couldn’t see herself, but she definitely saw someone else.
A towering man, one at least two feet taller than Willow herself, with deep black pupils and a thick head of dark hair that hung just above his shoulders. He had bulging muscles, arms bigger in diameter than she guessed her thighs were and they were crossed over his muscular chest. Willow watched the dark, swirling black tattoos which seemed to glisten in the moon and candle lights, cover the majority of his upper body.
Every hair on the back of her neck stood on end. She clapped a shaking hand over her mouth and fell backwards onto her bed when she tried to back away slowly, just as her foster mother had taught her to back away from an animal on the occasion that one ever attacked. That’s what Willow thought she was right now…she felt as though she had suddenly become the prey to his predator in her mirror.
The man in her mirror wore chains around his waist that held in place several weapons. Medieval weapons, things that would make you think thrice about ever taunting him…and it looked like he knew how to use them, too.
His expression changed from a stern smirk to a satisfied mocking grin.
Willow pulled herself backwards on the mattress with her hands, not taking her eyes off of the form for a single second, in fear of him being what she expected…death. She tried to scream, but it was as if her voice was frozen in her throat. A single whimper was all that she could muster up to protest with.
She moved her gaze, slowly, down to the man’s legs and noticed that they were built like tree trunks, thick, muscular, and formed quite well. From his knees down, however, his leathery black pants disappeared into heavy black boots that were covered in tiny gold chains paired with what appeared to be thorns that followed a swirling pattern.
His menacingly horrifying, yet alluring, grin suddenly widened slightly as he parted and licked his lips with a slightly forked tongue, baring a vicious set of upper and lower fangs.
Holy Moses! What the hell is that!
Before she could find an answer to her unspoken question, two slightly curved horns rose from the man’s skull, slightly shifting his hair as they erected into their full glory. Willow watched with both amazement and fear. She noticed his eyes starting to flicker red, like the lonesome candle’s flame that was playing with the wind, which she was enticed by hardly half an hour ago.
Her heart dropped into her stomach. Her stomach felt as though it might just fall into her bottom, and the rest of her body was shaking uncontrollably.
Her bottom lip began to quiver, but she couldn’t cry. She was too scared to.
When the mirrored doors shattered into smithereens, Willow thought she would pass out, but didn’t. Instead, she continued to back away until she blindly felt the edge of the bed on the other side of the room. Willow then slowly climbed off of the other end of the bed cautiously, before she threw her back against the wall, her arms spread out as if to protect it, and her feet braced for whatever might come next.
He stomped out of her mirror and walked around the bed, taking large steps, and closed the distance between them, blocking all exits with his massive frame.
Willow could feel his hot breath against her shoulder as he bent his head towards her neck, though there was a small distance of six inches or so between their bodies. Her pulse raced the closer he came, but still she could not scream. The only sounds to be heard was the small whimpers that involuntarily escaped her quivering lips and the storm outside that continued to grow larger.
Willow was shaking uncontrollably, but he still leaned his head closer, close enough to whisper in her ear.
“Close your eyes.” He whispered, surprisingly gentle.
Rhiannon Mills is stay at home mother of four and lives deep in the West Virginia mountains. She spends her free time reading paranormal and historical romances, dark horrors, and historical fiction. When she isn’t reading, she occasionally writes dark paranormal romances and horror stories, but occasionally finds the time to watch a historical documentary or two.
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Rhiannon Mills at Blood and Coffee Cakes blog.