Saturday, December 15, 2012

Shades of Naughty - Devil Under the Mistletoe

In my newest series, Holidays are Hell, my main characters are Perdition Guides (PDs). These guides have been conscripted to carry the newly dead to Hell. But their jobs include much more than just escorting souls. They must also figure out where their “supplicants” belong in Hell according to the “sins” they’ve committed.
In writing these books, I’ve come up against the good or evil question repeatedly, because the heroines my PDs escort to Hell are not angelic, or they wouldn’t be headed for Hell. However, nobody wants to root for an evil heroine, so they need to be naughty but likeable. That’s not an easy feat if you believe that good and bad are black and white. Personally, while I do believe there are truly good and genuinely evil people in the world, I also believe there’s a lot of room in between these extremes. I think that’s where most of us belong.

So what tilts a supplicant toward the “Eternity in Hell” side? And what level of naughtiness is still redeemable (retaining the heroine’s likeability)? Here’s what I’ve come up with to help determine if a supplicant is too naughty to be likeable. Answering yes to any of the following would almost always put the supplicant in the “not redeemable” category:
  • Was an innocent badly hurt, emotionally or physically by the misdeed? Probably not good.
  • Were children or animals hurt? NOT acceptable!
  • Was there violence or violent intent involved in the transgression? Usually not good.
  • Was the intent of the misdeed to improve the supplicant’s circumstances at the expense of an innocent? Nasty business.
  • Did someone die or become permanently disabled from the offense? Definitely a no no.

So what kind of transgressions does that leave? Victimless crimes, accidental offenses, wrongs committed against evil people for good reasons, self-destructive crimes, offense resulting from ignorance rather than intent, petty theft, white collar crime against evil organizations, politics (though some of us might find it hard to forgive a heroine for being a politician…hehehe).

In Holidays are Hell, there is a Dante-like division of Hell. Hell is divided into several layers and supplicants are assigned according to the seriousness of the sins these souls committed during their lives. PDs have to present facts to a judging body in Hell to determine if their supplicants belong in the innermost layer which encompasses the fiery pits or an exterior layer that is pretty much like Earth. In the course of this discovery, the guides have to spend time with their supplicants. And, since these are erotic romances, that enforced familiarity usually breeds some pretty sexy results. In the first book of the series, Devil Under the Mistletoe, Damian Noire and Amanda Wright discover that their time together leads to lust…and pain…and much, much more. I hope you’ll check it out!


Perdition guide Damian is supposed to escort sexy Amanda to Hell. But he’d much rather keep her.

Damian Noire is a Perdition Guide. He escorts people whose souls are stained to their rightful spots in Hell. Business always seems to pick up around the Holidays and this Christmas is no exception. Damian’s assignment is to bring a beautiful young woman to Hell to stand before the judgment assembly, and then take her to her assigned circle of Hell. It sounds simple. But it’s about to become the hardest assignment he’s ever performed.

Amanda Wright might have been unjustly judged. She might not belong in Hell at all. Problem is, Damian really kind of likes her. He especially likes enjoying her lush, willing body under the mistletoe. If he gets her the judgment she truly deserves, he’s probably going to lose her forever. But if he doesn’t help her, an innocent may spend eternity in Hell. It appears to be a lose/lose situation on all fronts. Proving once again that holidays truly are hell!

Sam writes romantic suspense and fantasy/paranormal/sci-fi at a variety of heat levels. She likes to mix a little fun, a little magic, and a little real-life spice to create her fictional characters. Her fun-loving creations fight their way through a dizzying array of dangerous challenges without letting little things like dangerous bad guys, angry, manipulative gods, evil dark world denizens, or killing Furies dampen their zest for life and hot love!

In Sam’s real life, she lives on a hobby farm in Indiana with 11 dogs, 2 horses, and one husband. Not necessarily in that order. No, that isn’t a typo, she has 11 dogs. Sam is a self-confessed dog-aholic!
To find out more about Sam and her work, please pay her a visit at any one of the following online hot spots: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Blog

1 comment:

Debby said...

Interesting problem. I love Dante's Divine Comedy.
debby236 at gmail dot com