In the real world, intolerance is something that really bothers me, gets under my skin and gets me standing on my soap box as my mother says, no matter who it is aimed at. I am more of a quiet person though, not one to just offer my opinions. Yet, as I writer, I get to mouth off about the injustices of the world in my fictional writing from time to time. But, in my new At War in the Willows Series, I got to wrap a whole world around my rants LOL! In the small resort town of The Willows, vampires, witches and werewolves live together peacefully in public, but are forbidden to relate in private. The humans remain gloriously unaware, well for the most part 😉 In each book in the series I pair together two paranormal creatures, have them fall into a forbidden relationship fraught with many dangers, and thus a war breaks out and escalates through the stories in the town. Some want things to stay as they are, fears from unknowns bring about prejudices that must be fought by those who wish to be together. Sound familiar? In the midst of a horrible war, behind closed doors, lovers risk it all in very sexy and very magical ways.
As far as writing goes, it is always interesting to create a new paranormal world, decide how close to stay to typical mythology and how far to stray. In the Willows, in order for this fight for the freedom to be together to happen, I made a list of the strengths and weakness that are typical for each of my creatures, vampire and witch and werewolf, to see how they could relate, how they could fight, how they could stand on either side of the issues of being together, etc. I found it really interesting, and actually had to change very few things in my world, stray from the usual myths, in order to make it work. But I am usually that type of writer, I like the original Byron vampires, and the mythical witches with magic passed by bloodline. This worked well for me with the politics of the whole story, and fell in line, very closely related to prejudices and politics today in our own world where man fights man.
Let me give you an example from the first novella, A Vampire’s Witch. In this story you have a younger teenage girl, a witch who must keep her true identity a secret, who has been in love with a boy from her school for years. Tragically, he was killed in a car accident. Although she tries to intervene in his fate that night – in that she tries to stop other young and mischievous witches from ensuring his death against a vampire who grabs his nearly dead body – it ends up she has no idea what happened to him since the vampire chased her and the other witches off when he felt their magic.
My story starts a decade later, the thought dead boy now vampire, Isaac, returns home secretly, hell bent on revenge for his maker who was just killed. Needing to know what the enemy clan, the witches are up to, he kidnaps one. It is only supposed to be for a short time to get information. But, who he kidnaps is the witch he didn’t know was in love with him all those years ago. When he recognizes her magic, but has no understanding as to why, well the explanations can get a bit out of hand…but hold the possibility of a fiery romance as well.
I personally love stories where the couple meeting has a history together, one that when they catch up brings a lot to light. This past connection gives a writer do much to build upon, to play with…a depth that just needs to be fleshed out, but yet a few mysteries remain. This situation can lead to some volatile and passionate scenes – boy I love those reading or writing! But, I liked the layers to their relationship, their past, their forbidden future, their secret romantic entanglements that run alongside the war their opposing clans are involved in.
I guess my biggest thing though was to show that there were inherent dangers with the creatures being together (you know, the paranormal worlds always amp up any problem) but that with love, with understanding, with compassion, that the initial problems could be overcome – that it was really opening peoples minds that mattered. I believe that in the real world as well. I’m a champion of the underdog, and in this trilogy, that will probably be pretty evident. What I ended up with were three very intense stories, ones that linger in dark, mystical worlds, just the way I like my fiction, and have an underlying moral fiber along with battles and romance.
Kiki Howell and Naughty Nights Press are pleased to announce the At War In The Willows book tour, celebrating the release of At War In The Willows in paperback format.
The queen of paranormal erotica, Kiki Howell has captured our hearts with her trilogy, At War In The Willows. The first book, The Vampire’s Witch was quickly followed by The Vampire’s Wolf and ended with The Vampire’s Human.
The Willows is a resort town run by vampires, werewolves and witches. Here, their true identities are kept secret from humans, and intimate relations between the individual clans are strictly forbidden.
When it becomes known that the vampire Amberlyn has fallen in love with the werewolf Kane, the tedious line of their co-existence has been crossed. Caught in the crossfire of this revelation, Drake, the vampire clan leader and Amberlyn’s maker, is killed along with an innocent witch. These deaths spark a series of horrific events leading to an all out War In The Willows.
Unexpected close encounters, bodies ripe with need, and situations beyond their control lead to forbidden relationships. Now three vampires, a witch, a werewolf and a human must ride along the edges of the rules. They will attempt once unthinkable romantic entanglements despite all those who oppose their relationships, while fighting for their lives as well.
With the Willows full of violence and bloodshed, meetings and magic amiss, will the clans ever be able to find peace among them again? Or, will this war destroy the Willows?
What people have said about At War In The Willows
Good plot, great characters and sexy enough to raise the temperature in my house about 20 degrees. A real page turner! ~4/5 Stars by Angela Holtz:
Reviews for Book I, The Vampire’s Witch
“This is the first adult book I’ve read by Kiki Howell. And it was delicious! Good plot, great characters and sexy enough to raise the temperature in my house about 20 degrees… It’s a very fast read, only about 50 pages. But it’s a real page turner!” ~4/5 Stars by Lilac Wolf
“Ms Howell weaves a spell binding web that ensnares the mind and lets the reader drift away in to another world. I highly look forward to the next two books in this series!” ~4/5 Stars by Phoenix Johnson
“This is a sexy but short vampire and witch story which takes place in the middle of an upcoming war between three species. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.” ~ 4 Stars from Linda Tonis, Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team
Reviews for Book II, The Vampire’s Wolf
“This is the second book in the series and picks up exactly where the first when left off… This is a short story with explicit sex. I can’t wait for the next book to find out what Devin’s story is and to continue learning about Isaac and Amberlyn.”~ 4 Stars from Linda Tonis, Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team
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Ever since she was young, Kiki Howell has loved to listen to a well-woven tale with real characters, inspired plots, and delightful resolutions. Kiki could spend hours lost in a book, and soon she knew that creating lives, loves, and losses with just words had to be the greatest thing that she could do. To that end, she pursued her study of literature and writing, earning a bachelor’s degree in English. She then followed in a Master’s program in Creative Writing.
“After a long break having my boys, I finally just had to write again. And, as soon as I gave the stories the space, they entered it. It’s both awesome and humbling to find the words in my mind become characters on a page and create their lives.”
She has now had over thirty stories published between eleven different publishers. Kiki could not be more thrilled or grateful to see her creations polished and out in the real world. Please look around. Although a bit of caution, most of her stories tend to hang out on the graphically sexy side of town.
In May, 2011, Kiki was chosen as an Ohioana Book Festival author for her novel, Torn Asunder. And, in March 2012, Kiki was awarded Bestselling Author for Naughty Nights Press, also earning two Silver Stars from All Romance Ebooks for her NNP novellas: Love, Creativity and Magick; The Vampire’s Witch; and most recently Mystical Mayhem. Kiki’s At War in the Willows Series has also been nominated for Best Series of 2012 by Sizzling PR
Kiki resides in the Midwest with her incredibly handsome and talented, singer/songwriter husband Stephen Howell and two children. When she is not writing, she is spending time with her family, reading, baking or knitting.
Her biggest dream is to have a novel she writes be made into a movie that her husband creates the soundtrack for, and then cruise to Alaska with her family on the money they make.
Contact Kiki Howell: