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  • Writer's pictureA.J. Locke

A Seduction of Dreams and Nightmares

My next release will be a magical, spicy, paranormal romance: A Seduction of Dreams and Nightmares. What's been interesting about this project is how it began and how it evolved. The idea started to grow when I was deep in the trenches editing The Vanish Tide. Personally, it's not easy for me to juggle two writing projects at the same time, so I kept trying to suppress the inspiration that was trying to take hold, telling myself it was the absolute worst time for a new book idea! But the idea wouldn't let me go, smh. So I thought, okay I'll write some notes, that should appease the muse for a while, but no, the dang thing wanted me to write it. So I gave in. I thought that it would be a quick and dirty novella, along the lines of Elemental Inferno. Something I could draft fast so it wouldn't take away too much from the time I needed for VT edits. But as I started to outline and do worldbuilding and plotting, things started to evolve and I had to let it become what it needed to be. Once I started writing it was quickly apparent that this wouldn't be a novella, and even though there is a high spice content, I realized that I was also very invested in the emotional development of the three main characters, Luccero, Novari, and Keovallen.

In this world, there are humans and Fiends. Of Fiends, there are various kinds such as vampires, wytches, incubi, succubi, and shapeshifting creatures. All of the Fiends are bound to specific appetites or a barrel toward a demise they cannot avoid. Luccero, as an incubus, feeds on the energy generated by sex and runs a Pleasure Den to do exactly that. But there are limits to the physical pleasure he can indulge in unless he is willing to suffer the consequences of binding his lovers to him for eternity.

Novari is a human who bartends for Luc, making normal as well as magic-laced, aphrodisiac drinks for patrons. Keovallen is a vampire and Nova's close friend, and they regularly hook up. As a vampire, Keo cannot walk under sunlight, thirsts for blood, and has long questioned the things that make up who he is since he came into existence a fully formed adult and did not get to grow up and make choices the way humans do. Keo longs to be human and unbound from the limitations of being a vampire, and hopes to find a fabled cure that will do just that.

Luccero is desired by both Novari and Keo, but there is more to him than his identity as an incubus. Once Nova gets to know him, she comes to understand his loneliness, as well as get to know how caring, perceptive, and insightful he is, how his long life has made him able to see living in a different way than humans with a shorter lifespan do, and how those years have burdened him with grief and loneliness he cannot escape.

Novari comes from a life that has been relatively easy, but those circumstances change very abruptly and she is launched into dangers that might see her life end. She has to grapple with a change in her identity that she had no control over and what that means for herself and others. As Nova, Luc, and Keo draw closer, their physical attraction unleashes, but an emotional bond also begins to grow.

I realized that this was a story I wanted to take more time with than I'd initially planned. There are aspects of the story I thought would conclude by it's end, but I ended up feeling as though doing so would rush the pacing and that I wanted more time for the relationship between the three of them to deepen, and for certain aspects of the plot to come to a conclusion. So my plan right now is for this to be a duology and I'm excited about the journey, Nova, Luc, and Keo will be taking together.

Here's some character I did of Luccero, Novari, and Keo. A nice group piece is on the agenda too ;)


They say humans are dreams and Fiends are nightmares. For though Fiends have magic, beauty, and power, their immortal lives are restricted. Vampires must sate their blood lust. Wytches will crumble to dust when their magic runs out. Shapeshifting Haunts must keep their vicious beasts caged. Incubi and succubi cannot indulge in carnal pleasure without dire consequences.

Novari is a human who bartends for Luccero, an alluring incubus and the star of her fantasies. She can’t have Luc, but she does have Keo, who also wouldn’t mind Luc’s touch. Keo, who loathes being a vampire, is in pursuit of a fabled cure that will turn Fiends human. A cure highly in demand as many Fiends crave freedom from their burdened lives.

When an unexpected discovery about the cure’s location puts Novari and Keo in danger, they take refuge in Luccero’s sprawling manor. There, they contemplate how to stay safe … and succumb to each other’s seduction.

The pleasure she finds with Luc and Keo makes Novari want to hide away forever, but when the danger zeroes in, they’ll have to figure out how to overcome it before the dream they’ve found together becomes a nightmare.

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