Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Trouble with Demons

Today fantasy author Lisa Shearin joins us in the Lair. Lisa writes the popular Raine Benares series, which started with Magic Lost, Trouble Found. Her third book, The Trouble With Demons, is due out this Tuedsay. Welcome, Lisa!

Who is Raine Benares, and why is she in so much trouble?

Raine Benares is an elf and a seeker, a finder of things lost and people missing, kind of like a gumshoe/private detective with daggers—lots of daggers. Raine’s occupation is at odds with being a member of the notorious Benares crime family. Some of the things Raine’s hired to find are better off staying lost, and one of those is the Saghred, an ancient, soul-stealing stone of cataclysmic power. When the Saghred bonds with Raine and she can’t get rid of it, she suddenly finds herself with the kind of attention a girl can do without: the sadistic leader of a goblin secret society, the sexy but secretive commander of the Conclave Guardians, and a renegade goblin prince. And when attacks in back alleys fail to capture Raine, the goblins take the legal road. As Raine said, “I couldn’t be bonded to just any old stone of cataclysmic power. Mine had lawyers.” Oh, and by the way, at least once in every book something big gets blown up—warehouses, embassies, gates to Hell—just your fun, garden-variety pyromaniac targets.

Raine has interesting problems with the men in her life. Can you tell us a little about them?

Tamnais Nathrach is a goblin nightclub owner and a friend of Raine’s. He wants to be more than friends. Like most goblins, Tam wears his black hair long—and his fangs aren’t for decorative use only. If a fight gets dirty, a goblin won’t hesitate to use their fangs to lethal effect. Tam won’t hesitate to use his fangs to nibble on Raine’s neck or the tips of her pointed ears.

Mychael Eiliesor is an elf and the commander of the Conclave Guardians, the most elite magical fighting force in the seven kingdoms. At first he’s after Raine to keep the Saghred from falling into the wrong hands; later he wants to keep Raine from falling into anyone’s hands except his own.

Would you like to share an excerpt with us?

I heard the creak of leather as Tam came to stand directly behind me, the heat of his body warming me. Warm and nice. Except it wasn’t nice; it was dangerous. Don’t forget dangerous, Raine. Tam was dangerous to anyone who crossed his path, but mostly to me, especially now.
And I was dangerous to everyone, period.

Tam’s strong hands settled on my shoulders and gently pulled me back against him. I knew it was a bad idea, but I leaned into him anyway, my head resting on his chest. Just a minute or two wouldn’t do any harm. A little comforting never hurt anyone, and right now, I could use some.

Our reflections looked back at us out of the glass.

I watched Tam’s hands slide from my shoulders to my arms. His hands were deliciously warm. My numerous brushes with death today had left me shivering—and not just from cold.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered. Those two words said everything, but told me nothing.

Tam could be sorry for any number of things: the bond that linked us, using me to cram that demon into a bottle, me being accused of practicing black magic, or even the crap heap my life had become thanks to the Saghred. But it didn’t tell me what I could do about any of them. The only thing I wanted more than to run was to do something, anything to find a way out of all of this.

Tam wrapped his arms around me, pulling me closer, his head bowed, hair falling in a silken curtain around us. The side of his face softly brushed against mine, like a cat—a big, dangerous cat. A shiver ran through me. This was about to go beyond comforting.

My heart sped up, and not just from Tam’s touch and his scent of fire-heated spices, of cinnamon and cloves. Getting within arms’ reach of Tam had always been risky; the kind of risk where your clothes somehow ended up on the floor. Now risk had turned to danger. Thanks to our bond, we were as intimate as two people could be and still keep their clothes on. The Saghred had forged our bond.

The rock never did anything without a reason—and no wards held it now.

I swallowed hard. “Tam, no.”

“Raine, I would never hurt you.” Tam’s voice was a husky whisper against my ear. It was the whisper of a man torn between what he wanted and the knowledge that what he wanted could ultimately destroy him. Tam wanted me. Tam’s black magic wanted the Saghred. Deep down, he knew it. He knew it and he didn’t care—or he couldn’t stop himself.

In one swift, smooth move, Tam turned me to face him. I didn’t fight him; I needed to see his eyes, to see if Tam was the only one home in there. I looked up into twin pools in a midnight forest. Not the solid black orbs that they’d been under the embassy, no black magic glittering there, just desire. A woman could drown in those pools. I could drown in those pools. But if did, I’d drag Tam under with me. It might not be tonight, but it would happen. The Saghred would see to it.

“No, Tam,” I said quietly. “I’m the one who would hurt you.”

His heart pounded beneath my hands as he pulled me tight against him, his body hard against mine, his breath warm against the tip of my ear. I expected his lips next, followed by a nibble of fang. Neither happened. We stood there, not moving, not speaking, not safe. Definitely not safe. And we both knew it.

Tam pulled back just enough to gaze down at me. “It won’t happen yet.” His denial was murmured on the barest breath. He bent his head, his lips poised above mine. “Not yet.”

I didn’t stop him, and I should have.

Tam’s kiss was a brush of featherlight silk, tentative, cautious; but his breathing had taken on a ragged edge—for me and for the power that had slowed to a soft pulse inside of me, anticipating, waiting. The touch of his lips quickened that pulse, and my breath along with it. Suddenly I was returning his kiss, my mouth pressing insistently against his, my tongue touching the smooth sharpness of his fangs. Tam shivered at the contact, and his breath came in a quick hiss as his long fingers gripped my hair, holding my head still as he kissed me hard and deep, devouring. His other hand left my waist to explore other places. I heard a soft groan; I think it was me. A slim slice of my consciousness knew it was more than me, more than Tam.

Stop this, Raine. Stop it now.

I couldn’t.

My hands took on a life of their own, sliding from Tam’s chest to his throat. I lingered there, my fingers resting against the vulnerable pulse point, feeling it quicken and throb at my touch. Tam’s arms tightened around me, and suddenly my feet weren’t touching the floor.

This was more than sensation, more than Tam and me. Magic curled in a sensuous swirl of heat through my belly and lower, along my skin and through my mind, and I saw Tam and I pressed together as if I were standing outside my body, a witness to passion that I had no control over. Tam’s magic answered mine, his power responding, transforming those swirls into living vines, touching, entangling.


Heat flared in the center of my chest, awake and eager, and I came back to myself, passion turned to panic.

I wasn’t across the room; I was clenched tightly in Tam’s arms. Our lips parted and we froze, pressed together, breathing fast, our hearts beating faster. Inside of me, the Saghred’s burn went from an exultant blaze to a triumphant smolder.

The rock had just given Tam a sample of the ultimate fix and a taste of me along with it. For a recovering addict, it could be damnation. Tam might be willing to risk it; I wasn’t going to risk Tam or myself.

I got my hands between us and pushed hard against his chest. “Tam, let me go.”

I was panting, so was he. A shudder ran through his body and his hold on me loosened just enough that my feet touched the floor. I was ready to fight him if I had to, but Tam released me.

“I’m sorry,” he managed between breaths.

I pulled air into my lungs, trying to clear my head, and took two steps back. I’d have retreated further, but my back was against the glass wall. Tam made no move to come after me.

I exhaled and tried for some more air. “My fault. Shouldn’t have . . . let you get that close.”

Tam’s lips were parted, breathing softly. “I should have had more control.”

His dark eyes were still drowning pools, reflecting fear at what had happened, but desire at what we’d done. I looked away. I couldn’t drown if I didn’t go swimming again.

“Though control would be easier to come by if you didn’t feel so good.” There was still fear in Tam’s eyes, but his sly grin was sex itself. “And if you hadn’t tried to stick your tongue down my throat.”

“I didn’t try to—” Then memory collided with sensation. Oh yes, I did. Damn.

“Maybe next time we should just stand across the room and talk dirty to each other,” he suggested.

“There can’t be a next time.”

Tam didn’t answer. He might be a scoundrel, but he didn’t make promises he couldn’t keep.

You're an exhibition fencer. How did you become interested in that?

I took fencing and archery in college and the love of both never left me. My husband and I started taking lessons and jumped at the chance to become part of our fencing club’s Renaissance group, The Ship’s Company. We did fencing shows and demonstrations at movie premieres, Renaissance faires, museums and schools.

Since I’ve begun writing Raine’s adventures, unfortunately I haven’t had the time to get back into the fencing gym. But I have five years of fencing experience to fall back on (my Olympic weapons of choice are the foil and epee). And while I was working on the manuscript that would become Magic Lost, Trouble Found, I took private rapier and dagger lessons, and took a lot of notes for future book use. My fencing coach, Wes Caudill, helped me block out the fight scene in the first chapter of Magic Lost, Trouble Found, and is always available for any and all of my combat-related questions.

Like Raine, I like to be creative in my fighting style. Though unlike Raine, I’ve never used a rose bush branch as an offhand weapon. I prefer the more traditional offhand weapons: a dagger, a second rapier (fighting with a pair of rapiers is also known as a “case” of rapiers or Florentine style), a dueling cloak (though I never quite got the hang of that), but what was just too much fun was a rapier and a bullwhip. Yep, you heard me right. Believe me, nothing distracts an opponent like a six-foot whip wrapping around their blade. Hmmm, a bullwhip. That sounds like a weapon Raine would like.

We love call stories here in the lair. Would you like to share yours?

I got "The Call" from Kristin Nelson offering to represent me, and "The Email" from Kristin telling me we had a two-book contract offer on the table.

"The Call" came during the day while I was at work (at the day job). When Kristin said she loved my book and wanted to represent me, I did a lot of silent "squeeing" and fumbling to find a pen and paper to take notes. That alone shows how completely befuddled and caught off guard I was—I'm an editor, writer and proofreader at an advertising agency; I've got pens and paper all over the place. I had two other agents who were also considering my book, but I really wanted to sign with Kristin. Why? Because she was so excited about my book and seemed to love my characters as much as I did. For me, that was a must-have for an agent.

The frustrating part of getting The Call at the office was that while my co-workers congratulated me, they had no clue how freaking huge and mammoth and humongous this moment was for me. It's definitely more fun to squee with people who know why they're squeeing with you.

As to The Email from Kristin saying that we had an offer of a two-book contract from Ace Books—that one came at home. I'd just gotten home from work and had been checking my email like crazy every day. When I saw the subject line "We have an offer," first I stopped breathing. Second, I let my breath out, took another one, and told myself to keep breathing. Then I opened the email.

And screamed.

Bear in mind that I was at home and so was my husband Derek. Now he understood how huge, mammoth, and humongous this news was, so when I burst into tears, I got the perfectly appropriate response of enthusiastic hugs and kisses (not that I wanted that from my co-workers). Our dogs (two retired racing greyhounds and a Jack Russell Terrier) were crowded around us and jumping up & down—they had no clue that mom had just scored a two-book deal, they just wanted to share in the excitement.

For more about Lisa and her work, check out her website. Lisa will be participating in a panel and signing at Barnes and Noble in Cary, NC, on June 23. For more information, click here.

What's your favorite love triangle? What do you like about swashbuckling adventure, and what's your favorite one? What criteria do you think a heroine should use when choosing between two hot guys?

Lisa is giving away a Raine Benares gift basket with copies of all three books and assorted other goodies to one commenter.


limecello said...


jo robertson said...

Great interview, Nancy and Lisa, and welcome to the Lair.

What a delicious excerpt from your book. I see another trip to the bookstore is in order! I love the idea of combining fantasy with a crime family -- great idea!

Ah, shuck, my favorite trio has to be Stephanie Plum, Joe Morelli and Ranger. Sigh. Very big sigh.

flchen1 said...

You're quick on the draw, Limecello! ;)

Hi, Lisa! Huge congrats on your Raine Benares series! How exciting to be on book three--do you have more planned? And silly question, but is there going to be an HEA for Raine?

To be honest, I'm wary of love triangles--I find it hard to invest in both possible interests equally, then if they are both worthy, I feel bad for the one who loses out. I know that's part of real life, but then I want the other one to find a happy ending, too! And I'm just awful about making choices, so I would hate to be faced with choosing between two great guys--clearly I'm projecting my personal fears into my reading life ;)

Now swashbuckling adventure sounds totally fun though--I really liked Zorro (and it was fun seeing Ms. Zeta-Jones hold her own) and of course, the Pirates of the Caribbean ones...

Back to the choosing, if they're both equally hot and she likes them equally well, then the one who's a more considerate person and who can (more than) his share of the housework ;)

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Lime, he's back with you!

Lisa, congratulations on all your success. Nancy, what a great interview. And I loved the excerpt. Mind you, I think my favorite bit was the line about lawyers. That had me laughing out loud. These books sound great.

Lisa, I've noticed a trend over recent years for series featuring kick ass heroines who have to choose between several attractive heroes. The stories stretch across a series which means each book doesn't have the trad romance happy ending. Yet these books have attracted readers in droves. Why do you think this particular style of book - and most of them are paranormals - are so popular at this particular time in history? Do you have other series that you particularly like?

Leslie said...

Loved the interview. I always enjoy hearing "The Call" stories. And the excerpt certainly grabbed my interest.

As far as a favorite love triangle the first one that comes to mind is between Victoria, Max and Sebastian from Colleen Gleason's Gardella Vampire series.

If a heroine has to choose between two guys she should chose the guy that she can't live without.

WTG Limecello!

limecello said...

Hi Lisa - thanks for visiting with us today! Loved the interview :D
And... love triangle! I have to admit I'm quite fond of them. As to my favorite one, however, gosh, I'm blanking. Too many books have a "triangle" but one of the characters is generally a jerk. It's hard for me to think of and trio where the two, say, guys, are both genuinely nice.
Haha - ok, if anyone watched Private Practice - the one Violet is in now. That's... especially complicated, what with the baby. :P Could be a romance novel there.

suzana said...

Favorite love triangle? King Arthur- Ginevra- Lancelot
Favorite swashbuckling adventure? Journey to the center of the Earth. (I also loved Willow’s journey , from Ron Howard’s movie)
What criteria I think a heroine should use when choosing between two hot guys?
Since she’s a heroine- someone who’ll ease her “task” (makes her feel safe). That someone should create (different kind of) “distraction” by having a good conversation and, of course, making her laugh.

Helen said...

Well done limcello

Great interview Ladies more books I need to look out for when shopping and I loved the call story. It must be fun being able to fence and I am sure it is going to help with your stories.

I don't think I have ever read a book about a love triangle need to try some I think. I do love swashbuckling pirate stories though and movies.

Thank you for the great interview

Have Fun

Minna said...

Love triangle? The only one I can think of was in the latest Robin Hood series: Robin Hood- Lady Marian- Sir Guy of Gisborne.

Robin Hood theme song

Lisa Shearin said...

Good morning, ladies! (At least it's morning on the East Coast U.S.) ; ) Thank you so much for welcoming me to the Lair today! I've been keeping up with the banditas over the past month and have added Romance Bandits to my daily blog reading. You ladies know how to have a good time. ; )

So many great questions! Yes, Raine will have an HEA. And those who are "Team Mychael" as well as those who are "Team Tam" will be very happy with the outcome.

As to how many books I have planned in the series -- a lot. In the front of The Trouble with Demons is a map of Raine's world that I drew with the help of an artist friend (she does great trees and mountains). ; ) I cover a lot of territory on that map and it'd be a shame not to use all of that real estate.

My absolute favorite fantasy series is Jim Butcher's Dresden Files. The man is a genius. Period. I also love Ilona Andrews' and Rob (Robyn) Thurman's urban fantasies. Primo work!

I think fantasy adventure, paranormals, romantic fantasy, etc. are so popular right now because if people want bad news, all they have to do is turn on the TV or go to the online news sites. People want (and need) an escape, somewhere they can go where they know that the villains will get what's coming to them, and the good guys will win -- and the girl will get the guy.

I'm writing Raine's fourth adventure (Bewitched & Betrayed) right now (it's due to my publisher on June 1). So I'll be at my computer for most of today and will be popping in to answer your questions and chat with you.

Again, thank you for the warm welcome!


Margay said...

I'm not sure if I have a favorite love triangle, but I think the main thing a woman has to take into consideration when choosing between them is who does she feel more comfortable with? What does her gut tell her about this man? Sometimes lust is very strong and we think it's love, but lust eventually fizzles out. Love is when you roll over in bed five years later, look at that face and still have that "wow, I love this guy" sensation. It's longevity. It's the enjoyment of the smaller moments and the pleasure of just being together even when the initial lust subsides. These are all the things I would consider if I ever had to choose between two men. That and how do the men treat the woman?


Tina said...

congrats Lisa great interview..Right now the books i am reading i only have one love triangle going on and that is Raine,Mychael,Tam So thats my Favorite of the far as how she should choose i guess she should decide what kind of life she wants to have..with the bad boy she is going to have alot of excitement but also alot of heartache..with the good guy there will be passion but on a more even keel..I'm not a writer so i hope i got my point across :)

Llehn said...

Great interview!

My favorite love triangle is the one between Anita Blake-Richard Zeeman-Jean Claude from the Anita Blake vampire hunter series.

I'm not much of a swashbuckler kind of gal though I did like Pirates of the Caribbeans (Go Orlando ...!)

I think a girl must see which of the two guys she has a future with when she is choosing a beau.


Jo said...

Great guest post!

I don't think I've read anything other than Lisa's books with a love triangle. I'm trying to think, but nothing's coming up. So I would have to say Raine, Tam, and Mychael. And it is just SO hard to decide who Raine should end up with. That might be wrong. It's probably really easy to decide who she should be with, but who'd I'd like her to end up with is a different story, and I can't decide, they're both pretty damn awesome. I don't actually think I want her to decide. It would mean the other gets the elbow, which would suck.

What do you like about swashbuckling adventure, and what's your favorite one?

The greatest thing about adventure is the excitement, the suspence, and pretty much always, the characters. Books full of adventure almost always have clearly unique but completely amazing characters, with an awesome story to go along with it. My favourites - besides Lisa's - would have to be the series by David Eddings, The Belgariad, The Mallorean, The Elenium, and The Tamuli, and also the series by Robin Hobb, The Farseer Trilogy, The Liveship Traders, and The Tawny Man Trilogy.

As to criteria for Raine choosing between Tam and Mychael... perhaps who she thinks she'd have the best chance of a future with, working out whether it's more than just lust that she feels for either of them, and vice versa, and if either guy would put her above everything else. Maybe. I'm not sure. I don't really want her to choose any time soon, really. (Please don't make her choose just yet, Lisa!)


Also, the series started with Magic Lost, Trouble Found, not The Trouble with Magic. Just thought I'd mention it.

Pissenlit said...

I don't know how you do it, limecello but congrats!(I think you must be's the only explanation)

Great interview and call story!

I'm not sure I can say I'm a fan of love triangles since I always end up rooting for one of the two people competing people(GO TEAM MYCHAEL!). Heh heh. Um, let's see, aside from Raine's lovely Mychael, I mean, triangle, I kinda liked the triangle of Mercy, Adam and Sam in Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson series that was happening for awhile.

What I like most about swashbuckling adventures is the swashbuckling parts. My favourite one at the moment is The Pirates of Penzance with Kevin Kline as the Pirate King.

I think the heroine should choose the dependable one and if they both are? Well, then I'm out of suggestions and am going to pick a team randomly. Ha! :D

Nancy said...

Limecello, congrats on grabbing the rooster! I hoe he won't give you trouble!

Jo, I think Stephanie, Joe, and Ranger are a classic triangle. I love those books.

Nancy said...

Fedora, you've fingered the problem with triangles for me. I also want everyone to get an HEA.

Martha Grimes's early mysteries had both the detective, Richard Jury, and his friend and helper, Melrose Plant, smitten with Vivien Rivington, who seemed drawn to them both but was involved with someone else. After six books of this, I wanted Vivian to fish or cut bait with the other guy and Jury and Plant to show some backbone.

Jury had another romantic interest Grimes squelched in a later book, to my disappointment. I don't know what they're up to lately because the series took a darker turn that didn't appeal as much to me. The earlier books had a cast of quirky, eccentric characters that provided great comic relief.

I love your point about housework!

Nancy said...

Anna, as you note, romantic triangles are common in urban fantasy and sometimes in mysteries. Sookie Stackhouse has had a series of lovers, with Bill, the vampire, hovering in the background. I'm not sure why they're so popular, but readers in those genres seem to like that.

I'm trying to think why I like it, and maybe it's because there's another story arc pulling me forward to the next book. Or because each romantic arc opens other lines for the plot to follow. In those stories, the romantic arc is another layer, but it isn't primary, so its resolution maybe isn't as important as in romance?

Nancy said...

Leslie, I haven't read those vampire books, but I know they're hugely popular. What do you particularly like about them?

Nancy said...

Limecello, I haven't seen Private Practice. For me, a triangle doesn't really work unless both guys are nice. Otherwise, I don't buy it.

One of the things I like about Lisa's series is that I do buy it. Michael is pretty much a straight-up guy, and Tam has a shady side, but they're both clearly devoted to Raine's welfare, as well as having mutual attraction to her.

Nancy said...

Suzana, I love all things Arthurian. Arthur, Lancelot, and Guinevere, are the classic love triangle, complete with swashbuckling adventure.

I like your laughter suggestion. Life is always better with laughter.

Nancy said...

Helen, when you mention swashbuckling pirates, are you, perchance, in Tawny's corner with Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow high on your list?

Errol Flynn's first movie was a pirate film, and I'm blanking on the title. He and Basil Rathbone had a fabulous duel on the beach over Olivia de Havilland.

Captain Blood, that's it! Way cool though available only in black and white. The lack of color (I don't like colorization) probably hurts its circulation, but it's a great pirate film.

Of course, any movie featuring Errol Flynn and a sword . . .

Joan said...

Must. Get. These. Books.

Wow, the excerpt was fantastic! Can't wait to read them. Love the twist with goblins........I've always had a thing for guys with dark hair (fangs optional):-)

Joanie T trying to figure out how to assume a BB identity to be eligible for the prize....(think,think,think...)

Nancy said...

Minna, I love Robin Hood (speaking of Errol Flynn). I prefer Flynn to Costner. The BBC has done several Robin Hood series, and I watched them all.

Nancy said...

Lisa, I also like Dresden, and so do others here. I'm reading Ilona Andrews as well. I have the third one but haven't started it (waiting for semester's end, as with so many things!).

Am glad to know everyone will have an HEA. I think I'm Team Mychael. At least for now. I've always had a weakness for the word paladin. It's just so cool. And I sympathize with his difficulties in keeping order as magical trouble erupts all around.

Nancy said...

Margay, I like your point about small moments, and about not fizzling over the long term. If you can't share the small moments, there's really no bond to get you through the hard times. I think.

Nancy said...

Tina, I think most of us have dated bad boys at one time or another. In my experience and that of my friends, the bad boy attraction eventually fizzles. It'll be interesting to see how that works with Raine.

Nancy said...

Must go run the boy somewhere. Back soon, and I'll try to figure out how the color went wonky. It was fine when I saved the blog to post! Sorry about that, y'all.

Margay said...

I agree, Nancy. It's like, if you feel compelled to always talk to fill a silence, then something's missing. The important thing is being able to enjoy those silent moments and feeling totally at ease within them.

sarabelle said...

HEllo Banditas, Great Interview. WTG LIMECELLO I hope you enjoy the GR today.
Let me see Favorite Trio hummmmmmm Well there was Anna Campbell and those 2 smoking hot cabana boys at the last party. :) but being I dont think that is the answer you are looking for I will have to go with Anita Blake,Richard/JeanClaude. Or Anita Blake/Micah/Nathanial. Either one are quite yummy.

tori said...

thank u 4 tht exciting and interesting interview! i love lisa's books veryy much and cant wait til trouble with demons comes out(i preordered it as soon as i could). i especially lurved the excerpt, tam is such an interesting character. im still having trouble between deciding on which team 2 be-mychael or tam? this excerpt has put me on team tam so far but i will officially decide when i read the book.
thx again,

Joan said...

Anita Blake,Richard/JeanClaude. Or Anita Blake/Micah/Nathanial.Humph...sounds like this Anita chick is a hunk hog...


Louisa Cornell said...

How about the triangle between Lime, the GR, and Fedora? Which will he choose? Congrat, Lime!

What a terrific interview, Nancy and Lisa ! And I HAVE to get these books. That excerpt was SMOKING !! And I'm a big fan of urban fantasy / paranormals. I can't believe one of my buddies hasn't recommended these books. Well, I'll be recommending them now.

Lisa, will you be in DC for Nationals?

I'm so glad your sale e-mail came to the house. It had to be awesome to share it with your hubby and the dogs. Good for you for taking in Greyhounds. Aren't they the best. A friend of mine has one and she and her boyfriend think Limit is the PERFECT dog. So much so, the boyfriend ran the dog to the Animal ER because he coughed. 400 bucks to find out the dog had bronchitis! LOL AND a Jack Russell Terrorist? You are BRAVE!

I think my favorite recent triangle has to be Colleen Gleason's Max - Victoria - Sebastian triangle from the Gardella series.

I also like the Anita / Richard / Jean Claude triangle in Laurell K Hamilton's books. And YES, JOAN ! This Anita chick is a BIG HUNK HOG!!

There are a couple of triangles going in in Kim Harrison's urban fantasy series and you have to love the titles - Every Witch Way But Dead, Dead Witch Walking - A Fistful of Charms, The Outlaw Demon Wails.

Love Jim Butcher's Dresden Files too. Great stuff.

And Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series is good, but I SO hope she doesn't end up with Bill. I want her to end up with Erik !

One of the attractions of triangles in these series has to be the debate they spark among readers. It is always fun to see readers on blogs argue about who would be best for her.

For me going to bed with a guy for whom a woman has a great sexual attraction is not hard. Getting up in the morning and living with him - that's hard! So she needs to choose the guy with whom she can share the day to day mundane things. When the adventure is over (even if it is just a temporary lull) who is the one she is most attracted to for all of those reasons big and small BESIDES sex? That's the one she should choose!

Swashbuckling adventure? Are you serious? I live it every day! I work at Wal-Mart !!

I've always loved adventure. I started reading King Arthur stories when I was six. Then I moved on to the Iliad and the Odyssey and the rest is history. Dumas's stories of the Musketeers, the Count of Monte Cristo. I love an adventure where justice is done in the end and everyone is relieved that it is over .... until the next adventure comes along!

Pissenlit said...

Nancy - Oh ya, Flynn beats Costner hands down! The Adventures of Robin Hood is one of my favourite films! I hear Ridley Scott's doing a Robin Hood movie with Russell Crowe as Robin, Cate Blanchett as Marian and Matthew Macfayden as the Sheriff of Nottingham. I don't know if I'll see it though 'cause I'm not a huge fan of Crowe.

Anonymous said...

My favorite love triangle is Patricia Brigg's Mercy Thompson series between Mercy, Adam, and Samuel. I like it because it has come to a sort of resolution and doesn't go on and on forever unlike Stephanie Plum which is starting to feel forced. Also, the way in which the triangle was resolved allows the series to continue and allows Mercy's relationship with Adam to continue to develop at the same time.

As for the 2 men in Raine's life, I really love both Tam and Mychael and I will feel a loss for whichever man doesn't end up with her because of the bond I've developed with the men through Raine's emotions. However, having said that, I'm a huge fan of redemption stories and I can't discount the idea that the reformed rake makes a great partner because of what he has learned, experienced, and made a conscious decision to change in order to earn the respect and love of the woman he wants to be with permanently.

Please, Lisa, whoever doesn't get Raine, make sure he has someone equally as awesome as Raine. LOL

traveler said...

What a wonderful interview! Your book sounds enticing and appealing. Love the entire premise. A Love triangle that always was a favorite of mine was Catherine, Heathcliff and Edgar. Emotional and heartbreaking as well as unforgettable. Robin Hood represents a favorite adventure. A heroine needs to have a man with principles, morals, ethics and compassion.

Nancy said...

A couple of corrections, which have been fixed in the intro to the blog: Lisa's first book was Magic Lost, Trouble Found, and the third, The Trouble With Demons, is actually due out this Tuesday!

The color was weird in Safari, but not in Explorer, which was doubly weird, but I think it's fixed now.

Nancy said...

Lesley, pirates are fun, aren't they? The Pirates of the Caribbean series also had a lot of humor, which swashbucklers don't always include.

The "future" question would seem to decide Stephanie Plum in favor of Morelli, but so far, she's not moving that way.

Nancy said...

Jo, a reader after my own library! I also loved The Belgariad and the two Robin Hobb series. I didn't get into the Liveships quite so much, but I loved Fitzchivalry Farseer (with a name like that, how could I not?).

Yes, Tam and Mychael are both pretty awesome choices. It'll be interesting to see how that works out.

Nancy said...

PS to Jo--the error on the first book is fixed, and I'm glad you pointed it out. So did Lisa, very graciously, as you did. I don't know how I made that mistake, but I clearly did!

So everyone should start with Magic Lost, Trouble Found!

Nancy said...

Pissenlit, I'm Team Mychael, too, at least for now. It's the paladin thing, I suspect!

I've read the first Mercy Thompson and thought it was an interesting spin on the genre. The triangle hadn't yet developed in that one. I need to read the rest of them, but the TBR mountain just continues to grow. *sigh*

I love The Pirates of Penzance! The music is great, and Kevin Kline is always good.

Nancy said...

JT, you'd better watch the goblin thingie. Demetrius might not like it.

Seriously, though, if anyone had told me I'd find a goblin attractive, I'd have snorted in a not very tolerant way. I'd have been wrong. This goblin is way cool. And hot at the same time, y'know?

Nancy said...

Margay wrote: It's like, if you feel compelled to always talk to fill a silence, then something's missing.I couldn't agree more. The heroine of the ms. I'm currently shopping makes a similar observation early in her relationship with the hero. I think this applies to friendships as well as romance. The best people to be friends with are the ones with whom I can just "be," and not have to do anything.

I have a college friend with whom I used to see every Star Trek film (and everyone's looking forward to the new one, right? not just me and Trish and Jeanne) and every Star Wars film until our lives took us in too many different directions. We love a lot of the same things, but we can also ride in the car or sit in the same room, reading, for hours in comfortable silence.

The silence feels like acceptance.

Nancy said...

Sarabelle, another Anita Blake fan! I know people who rave over those books. They're a little dark for me, but I admire what Hamilton has done.

Nancy said...

Tori, that's a great excerpt, isn't it? I think it's a wonderful example of the tension between Raine and Tam, and I love that there's also such tension between her and Mychael.

Nancy said...

Louisa wrote: Getting up in the morning and living with him - that's hard! So very true! It's the real acid test.

You and I read a lot of the same books, Louisa--Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, and Dumas. I loved the Musketeers, though I didn't love the sequel so much. I also love the Iliad and the Odyssey. And I buy a lot of urban fantasy and paranormals.

The tone of Lisa's series has, to me, an urban fantasy vibe even though the world is pre-industrial, as in traditional fantasy. And the first person narrative is, of course, common in urban fantasy.

And you make one more vote each for Colleen Gleason and Laurell K. Hamilton! Obviously, these series have true devotees.

Lisa Shearin said...

Wow, I go to church, come back and you ladies have been seriously busy! ; )

Unfortunately, I won't be in DC for nationals this year. Hopefully, next year.

I loved Errol Flynn in Captain Blood. The book was great and so was the movie. Gotta love the black & white films. I have a lot of B&W movie photos of my favorite Errol and other swashbuckling movies.

In addition to Captain Blood, I also love Captain Jack. I mean, who doesn't? : ) And Kevin Kline as the Pirate King (sigh).


Nancy said...

Pissenlit, I'm not a huge Crowe fan either, though I know he has a devoted following. My boys gave me the deluxe re-issue of Robin Hood, and it has cool special features on Howard Hill, the archer who did the tough shots and on Basil Rathbone (who was an Oympic fencer for Britain) trying on different helmets for the sheriff's wardrobe.

I read somewhere that Rathbone said he liked fencing with Flynn because Flynn took the fights seriously and respected the sword, unlike some actors.

I also read that Bob Anderson, the swordmaster on Star Wars and First Knight, had worked on some Flynn pictures early in his (Anderson's) career. How cool is that?

Nancy said...

PS to Louisa--it's the "justice getting done" part that draws me to genre fiction rather than to literary or mainstream. I like that feeling of right triumphing in the end!

Nancy said...

Lisa, another Captain Blood fan! I haven't read the book, though.

Jack Sparrow is very popular in the Lair.

Virginia said...

Congrats limecello on nabbing that rooster.

What a great post and your books sound like a fantastic read.

I can't think of a love triangle right now so I am not sure if I have ever read about one. Although in the movie The Cutting Edge there was a bit of a love triangle going on. I do love swashbuckling pirate books and movies.

Joan said...

I love Errol Flynn in "Captain Blood".

I need to get me a working DVD player and get some of these old movies!

Now, Russell Crowe in GLADIATOR aside, I think he's a phenomenol, versatile actor.

Ashley said...

Favorite love triangle? I'd have to go with Raine, Tam, and Mychael. Mainly because the love triangles in so many other books are just rife with drama. Now, don't get me wrong, there's drama to Ms. Shearin's triangle, but it's made more fun because of two choices, not more complicated (at least for us readers).

And since I don't usually go for this genre I'd have to say this is my favorite Renaissance-y urban fantasy series. Just fantastic. :)

Nancy said...

Hi, Virginia--Is The Cutting Edge the skating movie with D. B. Sweeney and Moira Kelly?

Or am I confused?

Nancy said...

JT, I will readily concede Russell Crowe's skill. I'm just not a fan. So should I assume you did NOT like Gladiator?

Or is it Demetrius who objects?

A lot of those movies are on DVD now.

Nancy said...

Ashley, that's a interesting observation about this triangle being more fun, as opposed to others that are "rife with drama." There's tension among Raine, Mychael, and Tam, but not high angst, I think.

Since you don't usually read the genre, was there something in particular that drew you to these books?

Kate Carlisle said...

Lisa, welcome to the Lair! Great interview, Nancy!

Wow, that excerpt was enticing! I've added your books to my Must Buy list for the week!

Love triangles are great fun. I think the most important issue is that both guys have to be extremely hot! ;-) But do we have to make a choice between one or the other? Really? Why?? LOL

Louisa Cornell said...

Joan the DVDs of those old black and white Errol Flynn movies are fabulous! LOVE Captain Blood. Love anything that has old Errol swashing his buckle!

Kate, I DO love a woman who has her priorities straight. "They have to be hot." You are absolutely right!

Actually, I like Russell Crowe and I do love Matthew MacFaddyen and would love to see him do a villain, so I will keep an eye out for this movie.

Nancy said...

Kate wrote: But do we have to make a choice between one or the other? Really? Why?? LOLWell, I don't know, Kate. DO we have to choose? *g*

Sexy British security consultants who used to be spies are always an appealing choice . . .

Nancy said...

Louisa, I need to get my hands on a DVD with Matthew McFaddyen in MI-5 (or Spooks, or whatever it's being marketed as). I hear he was great in that.

Tina said...

i forgot to name my swashbuckling Fav..i have to agree with Llhen (orlando) But i also like Phaelan ;)..even tho they're pirates they still live by a code of you can't help but love them..

I liked Russel Crowe in Gladiator

Lisa Shearin said...

I'm so glad everyone is enjoying the excerpt! Nancy mentioned that you all like steamy excerpts and blowing things up. ; )

I don't know why, but I feel the urge to blow something up in each book. Something the bad guys don't want to have blown up, and the explosion has to be tricky to accomplish, followed by spectacular and noisy. And of course, highly satisfying to Raine and the good guys. ; )

Lori T said...

Great interview! This series sounds really good and I am a huge fan of series. The excerpt definitely makes me want to pick it up.

My favorite trio was Mercy Thompson, Adam, and Samuel, but that has been resolved and honestly I always knew she would end up with Adam.

Pat Cochran said...

Congratulations, Lime, on that wily
fellow! I agree with you on the
Camelot triangle, it's my favorite trio also!

I watch three "soaps" regularly &
each one has a major triangular
configuration on the "front burner"
at the moment. This type of conflict seems to be the "meatiest" of their story lines!!

Pat Cochran

TinaChristopher said...

Wow, I absolutely loved book 1 and 2 and cannot wait for book 3.

I'm with flchen1, I tend to stay away from love triangles but give me kick-ass heroines all the time and swashbuckling pirates (Errol Flynn and Stewart Granger were firm favourites when I grew up) are a definite must have at least once in your life;D.

Thanks for a great interview and even greater books!


Louisa Cornell said...

Me too, Nancy! I really need to find that series as I hear dear Matthew was fab in it. And I believe that is where he met his wife.

Nancy said...

Tina, I loved Orlando Bloom as Legolas. Maybe it's the archer thing, tying in with Robin Hood, but regardless of the reason, he was great! I ran into a high school friend in a bookstore where he was working, and he told me the top-selling LOTR bookmark was Legolas.

Nancy said...

Lisa, we truly do love blowing stuff up here in the lair. I am eagerly anticipating the new Star Trek and Wolverine movies, in part because I know there'll be lots of "boom." (Jo, was it you who did the blog on that?)

We may go to Star Trek for Mothers Day.

One reason I love your books is that you do have lots of action.

TinaChristopher said...

Lisa, I absolutely love dbook 1 and 2 and cannot wait for book 3.

I tend to stay away from love triangles as I always feel a bit sorry for whoever loses but I love kick-ass heroines and swashbuckling pirates are a must have;D!

Thanks for a great interview and even greater books!


Nancy said...

Lori, another vote for Mercy Thompson! I didn't realize that had been resolved, but I'm not up on that series. I can't keep up with everything, unfortunately.

Nancy said...

Pat, soaps really do revel in those competing love interests, don't they? I guess it strings out the suspense for the viewer.

Nancy said...

Louisa, Matthew M. has a wife? Who? Would we know her?

Nancy said...

Tina, I remember Stewart Granger! He buckled a mean swash.

I used to say I'd never seen anyone equal Errol Flynn, and I can still say that if we consider career swash-buckling. However, Viggo Mortenson and Orlando Bloom come close if taken on a single-shot basis.

Nancy said...

The dh and I have a commitment tonight. I'll pop back in later.

Tina said...

Nancy..a few weeks back Lisa had a contest on her site and wanted pics of who we thought would be a good Mychael..and i turned in Orlando as Legolas..thats who i think of..Must be that Elf thing :)

CrystalGB said...

Great interview. Loved the excerpt. Your series sounds wonderful. My favorite swashbuckling adventures are the Pirates of Carribbean series.
One of my favorite triangles is King Arthur, Lady Guinivere and Sir Lancelot.

Helen said...


I love Errol Flynn movies my favourite one of his is Robin Hood and I have it on DVD and can watch it anytime I want to and of course I love Captain Blood I am still looking for that one on DVD I will finid it one day.

Have Fun

Barbara Monajem said...

Great interview and lovely excerpt. I'm soooo intrigued.

Hmmm... I'm not really keen on love triangles, although if I know the guy-not-destined-to-be-chosen will find a love of his own, I'm okay with them. I hate to see someone left out! In a series, I don't want the triangle to go on and on. After three or four books, I lose interest... Decide already, and get on with life!

Swashbuckling adventure? Georgette Heyer's Beauvallet springs to mind. I love that book.

Pissenlit said...

Ha! I'm on a huge urban fantasy kick right now and I love all series that everyone's mentioning here! The Dresden Files, the Kate Daniels series, The Hollows, Sookie Stackhouse, Anita Blake(preferably the pre-hunk hogging but oh well)...

Louisa - I hope Sookie doesn't end up with Bill either! Though it's a toss-up as to whether I want her to end up with Eric or Sam. I can't see Matthew Macfadyen as a villian...the last thing I saw him in was Pride & Prejudice as Mr. Darcy.

Lisa - Ha! That's why I made my post before church! :D I've been meaning to watch Captain Blood for years but I didn't know there was a book too! Ahh, my TBR pile is teetering...

Nancy - need to find me the deluxe re-issue version of Robin Hood! Those extras sound really neat!
"and he told me the top-selling LOTR bookmark was Legolas" I have two of those but they were gifts, honest!(We won't mention the other Legolas stuff I have) ;)

Tina - I like Phaelan too! :D

Lisa Shearin said...

Not to worry about my love triangle -- everyone will be happy in the end. I don't like to see one of the guys get left out, either.

For those of you who want to read my series, be sure and email me to let me know what you think. I love reader feedback. : )

lisa @

Suzanne Welsh said...

Welcome to the Lair, Lisa!!

Elves, Goblins and Demons in one book. Sounds very fun!

And wow, exhibition fencing, how cool! I have a son who'd love to learn how to fence. Any suggestions where a yound adult could go learn that skill?

My favorite Swashbuckle movie is CUTTHROAT ISLAND with Gina Davis and Matthew Bodine. That's a great romp of a movie!

B.G. Sanford said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Louisa Cornell said...

He does have a wife, Nancy. Her name is Keeley Hawes and he met her when they were in Spooks together. Caused quite a scandal as she was already married and had a young son when they met. They are now married and have a son and a daughter in addition to her young son from the previous marriage.

Lisa Shearin said...

Hi Suzanne,

How wonderful that your son wants to learn to fence! On the USA Fencing site is a Resources page and a link to where you can find a fencing club in your state/area. Here's the link:

Joan said...


Loved. It.

Loved Russell in it too (He cuts a fine figure in a tunic)

Gannon Carr said...

Great interview! Lisa, your series sounds fantastic and I will definitely be getting it!

I must say that Max, Victoria, and Sebastian from the Gardella Vampire series is my favorite love triangle, followed by Jean Claude, Anita and Richard from the Anita Blake series.

And as for choosing the right man....she has to pick the one whom she loves with all of her heart, body and soul.

Gannon Carr said...

Oops, forgot to say congrats, limecello! You must be doing something right with the GR. ;)

Lisa Shearin said...

Thank you, Gannon!

Amy S. said...

Great interview! Excerpt was great!

Nancy said...

Tina, I can totally see Orlando/Legolas as Mychael. Great choice!

Nancy said...

CrystalGB, I do love the Arthurian saga, including the love triangle. I think there's always room for a good Arthurian tale.

The Pirates series is very big here in the lair, so you have lots of company.

Nancy said...

Helen, I hope you find Capt. Blood. I want it, too. I assume your DVDs and our TV systems are incompatible, though, like ours and the UK's?

Nancy said...

Barbara, I hate to see someone left out, too. Of course, if that person later gets a cool book, I can deal.

I love Heyer, but I may have missed Beauvallet.

Nancy said...

Pissenlit, if you're a Flynn Robin Hood fan, you do need that DVD set. It has great material on it.

The History Channel recently ran a Sharpshooters episode featuring an archer inspired by Howard Hill, who did the actual shooting for Flynn. Wish I could remember what it was officially called. It was interesting, though.

Nancy said...

Suz, I haven't seen Cutthroat Island. Sounds like I need to check it out!

Nancy said...

Louisa, thanks for the fill in on McFaddyen. I'm not familiar with that actress, but I suspect I'll spot her when I find a copy of the show.

Nancy said...

JT, I figured you would've loved Gladiator. Must've misunderstood your early remark. Thanks for clarifying.

And yeah, he did look pretty great in the costume.

Nancy said...

Gannon, the two series you mention have come up a lot today, as you may've noticed. You have lots of company!

Nancy said...

Amy S., glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for stopping by.

Caffey said...

Oh I missed this series!! Excellent! So glad to hear about this series Lisa!! And the big peek into it with the excerpt!

I loved the DEADLY series of Brenda Joyce with the trio of Francesca Cahill and Rick Bragg and Calder Hart! Its a historical set one too.

Pissenlit said...

Nancy - Is it the 65th anniversary digital transfer two-disc special edition in full screen?(i'm assuming it only comes in full screen?) Please tell me that's the one 'cause is listing it at 9.99$ right now. :D

Nancy said...

Caffey, I hadn't heard of that series. It sounds interesting!

Nancy said...

Hi, Pissenlit--

Mine is a 2-disc "special edition." In the Special Features listing, it says it's the "all-new 65th anniversary digital transfer from restored picture and audio elements." Special features include: documentaries on the movie's making and the technicolor process; audio commentary, outtakes, music-only audio track; Leonard Maltin hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1938, with trailer, newsreel, musical short and cartoon; Robin Hood Through the Ages; Home Movies; more vintage cartoons, short subjects and studio blooper reel; galleries of art/photo/publicity materials and Errol Flynn trailers, audio-only extras, radio show and Korngold scoring session.

So it sounds the same. The Howard Hill archery bit is listed inside the video case itself; no reference to the Rathbone helmets sequence, but I can't think where else I could've seen it.

I hope this helps.

Barbara Monajem said...

Nancy, Beauvallet takes place in the Elizabethan age. It's a tremendously exciting and romantic story, and Beauvallet is a magnificent larger-than-life hero.

Nancy said...

Barbara, thanks. I do believe I missed that one!

donnas said...

Great interview. I just wanted to say I loved the first 2 books and cant wait to get the chance to read the new one.

Pissenlit said...

Nancy - Thanks! It looks like the one. Figures that when it's on sale for 9.99$, it's not in stock at any of the stores so I guess I'll have to pick it up online.

Lisa Shearin said...

A huge thank you to Nancy for inviting me to blog, and to all the Banditas and guests who dropped by to chat! I had a great time!

As I said, if you read my books, email me and let me know how you liked them -- I love reader feedback.

Thank you again!!

Britt said...

I can't believe I spaced reading this yesterday!

Great interview!

My favorite love triangle? Raine, Tam and Mychael, of course!!

M. said...

I'm partial to Amelia Peabody, Emerson, and Sethos the Master Criminal in the Elizabeth Peters Victorian Egyptian series. Very funny.

How to choose between them? Depends on every heroine and and the two others....

babygirlG said...

My favorite love triangle is the Bella-Edward-Jacob one in Twilight!

The thing I love most about swashbuckling adventures is the action and the romance. Ahhhhh ... I love Zorro because Antonio Banderas is sooooo yummy! And I love the chemistry he had with Catherine Zeta Jones.

As to how to choose which hottie to go with, if all things being equal, she should choose the one with the best sense of humor because if you can laugh in the face of adversity, you can take whatever life throws at you.

Great contest by the way!