I have a little secret about the inspiration of the Bayou Magiste Chronicles. Okay, well, some people know how it came about, and I do mention it occasionally, though it's pretty common knowledge that I am a HUGE fan of the Harry Potter books and movies. Still, it's not widely known that a few characters from the Harry Potter series gave me the motivation to attempt a genre I had always enjoyed reading and never attempted writing. Say what you will about fan fiction, I came across quite a few very talented writers when I played in it, and some of them have gone on to do the same thing I did – take the inspiration JK Rowling and her books provided and create our own unique worlds and characters.
When Claimed by the Devil first started, it was only supposed to be a diversion from the vampires I was writing at the time. Just to see if I could make a story hot enough. I broke all the rules, I just wrote, imagining each scene and trying to convey what was in my head onto the damn screen that kept freezing up (still does - be glad you're not my neighbor listening to me lose my mind all day long! lol).
Before I started my fic, my love scenes, while sensual, didn't make pulses race. When I finally found my groove writing sex and love scenes in a way I never had before, I found it really freeing. Along the way, the characters I'd used for my experiment suddenly became completely different from the canon. The next thing I knew, an entire plot sprang up in my head, complete with a multitude of subplots, that stretched the "diversionary dabble" into a 300K word year-long project that taught me so much about what worked and what didn't, and how to bring what worked to its fullest potential. BTW, there are parts of it in all four of the books, though clearly more in some than others. No doubt I was definitely over-wordy, which my critique partners will tell you has ALWAYS been my problem, and still is (I like to talk, okay? I'm a Gemini, and I embrace it! ;p). There were also some things included in the opus that will likely never again see the light of day – they are quite dark and I am still somewhat surprised I shared them in that realm. My beta reader, who was usually unfazed about many things, was quite disturbed by the content in at least two chapters.
Anyway, as I moved through the world I had created, so much about its origins came to life in my head. I recorded every bit of it (yep, on my famous spreadsheets), and found myself anxious to go back to the roots of the Magiste – at least as far back as how they came to reside in what is now the Gulf Coast of the US (I have notes that go even further back in time, almost to ancient times, but it'll be a while before I tackle that!). And that's when my need to incorporate something real into my fantasy world took over. I've spoken of the Inquisitions here before, and I will probably address it again – I have more books planned for the founding of Terre Nouveau. It was easy enough to find just what I needed and incorporate it into Claimed by the Zyndevine. There were a few coincidences along the way, and a few shocking surprises I'd never imagined when I started, which I happily took advantage of, and Henri and Chantal's story came to vivid life, at least for me. I hope it does for you, the readers, as well.
And here's a little more about Claimed by the Zyndevine, Book 4 in the Bayou Magiste Chronicles:
In 13th century France, attacked by those carrying out the Papal Inquisition, Magiste Enchantress Chantal Belliveau is thankful for rescue from certain torture and death. But she never expected it to be at the hands of Henri Marchand, one of a powerful pureblooded line of ancient Magiste, the Zyndevines. Henri holds the key to her survival, but the danger he poses to her heart and soul could turn out to be even more perilous.
Henri is part of Il Resistasse, a handful of powerful Magiste fighting the atrocities the Catholic Church inflicts on their race. Saving Chantal becomes more than a simple rescue - the innocent young woman with half-trained powers enchants him more than he has ever been before. That she enjoys the dark side of pleasure he inflicts on her makes him question his determination to never give another his heart.
Chantal is horrified when Henri invokes an ancient spell, the Possede Puissant. The incantation leaves her little more than his possession. While she finds herself enjoying his dark and wicked sensual delights, she determines to free herself. Still, the security she finds with Henri encourages her to stay by his side, claiming spell or not.
Resentment toward her from Henri's family convinces Chantal she must ultimately break free of Henri's possession. But when the Inquisitioners attack, Henri convinces Chantal to embark on a journey to a new land, a journey that may well mean the survival of the entire Magiste race but the loss of her freedom forever.
** Contains lots of explicit Magically Kinky! sex of the paranormal kind, including magical sex toys, potions, bondage and spanking, and more!
Near Toulouse, France 1255
Henri adjusted his cloak, striding quickly toward the stables, thumb turning the ring on his left hand in a nervous motion. The stone, set in nearly pure gold mined from the caves near Limoges, warmed. He took a deep breath, teeth grinding in anger. He had little time to reach his destination, and waited impatiently as the groom finished saddling his horse. If he made it in time, he'd need the animal to help with the task that lay ahead.
Word had come that a family near Toulouse had been targeted by the Inquisitioners. Each passing second seemed somehow a waste, spurring his impatience, the message arriving only minutes before. In his mad rush to reach the stables, he'd avoided his parents, knowing they would disapprove of his actions. While Edouard and Marie Marchand preferred dealing with the minions of the Church using dark arts, Henri feared such measures only served to increase the rabid urges of men who held power and hungered for more. While he appreciated the use of sinister magic to bring his enemies to their knees, the brutality of the Inquisitioners far exceeded anything he'd witnessed from the Magiste.
Today's victims were a minor noble family of Magiste. They'd lived peacefully for centuries on their land, alongside their neighbors. What had changed to turn the evil eye of the Inquisition toward them? The question lingered and he finally accepted the reins of his horse from the stable boy. Thunder rumbled overhead. Henri mounted. Closing his eyes, he clenched his fist, the ring near scalding.
Beneath him, the horse pranced as the compression of the traveling spell took effect, sending Henri and the animal through distance and time. When the pressure eased, Henri found himself in the middle of a lush forest, damp with a recent rain. To his right, shouts sounded, and he wheeled the horse around. Beyond the tree line, fire illuminated the night. Henri's heart sank to see flames erupting from the windows of a large farmhouse. Even from this distance, he could hear the screams of those trapped inside. Merde! Too late!
Smoke quickly wafted toward the forests, the acrid stench burning his eyes. A flurry of movement in the brush nearby drew his attention. He dismounted and fastened the horse's reins to a tree. He held his hands above the animal's back.
His ring warmed and the horse vanished from view, concealed by the spell. No Mortals would find his mount. Henri stood motionless for a few moments. While the shouts of the Inquisitioners echoed around him. He ignored them, concentrating on the immediate area.
The tingling awareness of someone else possessing magic grew stronger to his right. He turned, his ring warming further and leading him closer to the source of power. Another rustle of foliage, this time accompanied by a choked sob. The flash of movement almost eluded him, but he headed in the same direction. His ring grew hotter and hotter, nearly scorching his skin. There, up ahead.
A woman ran, her long fiery hair catching on low-lying branches. He picked up his own pace, desperate to reach her before the Inquisitioners. He just about came even with her when she stumbled and fell, more sobs and gasping breaths reaching his ears, even over the din of chaos at the edge of the forest.
Aware of two of the Inquisitioners closing in, Henri hurried to the fallen woman as she struggled to rise. He held out a hand.
"Come with me!"
She froze, a shriek escaping before she scrambled away from him. Damn, she thought he was one of them.
"If you want to live, come with me now!"
Claimed by the Zyndevine is available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/CLAIMED-ZYNDEVINE-Bayou-Magiste-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00YB65GS0