Q. Tell us about your book.
A. The Queen of Swords tells the story of a bookish white witch who returns every century to reunite with her earthbound soul mate. He’s a Scottish earl turned vampire by a dark wizard’s curse back in the Regency era on the eve of their wedding. She came back once before in the Edwardian era only to be killed by his maker in the same manner as before. He believes he has no soul, so can’t understand why she keeps coming back. She believes he does have a soul and that she comes back to free him from the curse. The story follows their journey as they try to work out who’s right and how they can stop history from repeating.
Q. After this, what's your next project?
A. My current work-in-progress is book two in The Knights of Avalon series. After that, I haven’t decided. Probably another paranormal romance/urban fantasy. I’ve got a stalled manuscript about an oil company spokeswoman who gets involved with a merman during an oil spill in the Hebrides. Might get back to that one, or write one featuring Benedict and Avery, the secondary couple in The Queen of Swords. I’d also like to maybe write a sequel to The Tin Man, my political thriller releasing in August. It tells of two journalists thrown together to solve a series of murders tied to a global conspiracy to take over the media.
Q. What inspires you to write what you do?
A. All of my paranormal stories are inspired by my love of the history and mythology of Scotland, my interest in the unknowable, and my belief in the redemptive power of love.
Q. When did you start writing?
A. About as soon as I could write the alphabet. When I was a kid, I won an essay contest sponsored by the local library (I was an avid reader and always did the summer reading challenge). Back in the days of typewriters, I wrote a romance novel about a couple of ballet dancers, but never did anything with it. Didn’t try my hand at fiction again until five or six years ago, when I started what is now The Queen of Swords.
Q. What inspired you to write the book?
A. I started the first draft after reading Twilight. While I liked the saga, I also found myself frustrated by the lack of sex and Edward’s lack of history. In literature, vampires originally personified uncaged sexuality, so a chaste vampire seemed counter-intuitive to me. Plus, I felt writing an immortal creature provided fantastic opportunities to build an interesting backstory. What had he/she seen and experienced over the centuries? How was he/she affected by it? My immortal characters all have a history tied to the world and what they’ve seen and experienced has colored them in some way.
Q. Are you a careful planner or do you let the story guide you?
A. I do a bit of both. I work out the characters and their motivations, setting, and where I want the story to go. I also tend to do index cards for each scene or major plot point from start to finish. Once I begin to write, it can go completely off the rails, depending on where the characters want to take it. As long as they’re reaching the touchstones, I let them do what they want. If they go too far off track, I either re-plot the novel or rein them in, depending on which direction seems better at the time.
Q. Who is your favorite among your characters?
A. I love them all, of course. Graham, the hero in The Queen of Swords, is both noble and funny. Callum, the hero in The Knight of Wands, is a good-hearted romantic. Leith, the hero of my WIP, is a bit on the dark side, but still well-intentioned. If pressed to pick just one, I’d have to go with Alex Buchanan, the journalist hero in The Tin Man. He’s very complex and has lots of demons to overcome, but also is a really good guy.
When Graham Logan, a Scottish earl turned vampire by a dark wizard’s curse, draws the Queen of Swords, he knows he’s about to meet the love of his life. For the third time. But surrendering his heart will mean risking her life…or making her what he is. Neither of which his morals will permit him to do. Graham, who believes he lost his soul to the curse, rages at God: Why give her back only to take her again?
Cat Fingal, the third incarnation of Graham’s twin flame, won’t let him escape so easily. As soon as they meet, she feels she knows him and begins having past-life flashbacks. A white witch, she casts a spell to summon him, wanting answers and to fill the void she’s felt all her life.
Graham has other problems, too. Like the seductress who wants him for herself and the dark wizard who cursed him and killed his beloved the first two times.
Will he find a way to save her this time around? Or will she save him?
You can buy The Queen of Swords HERE
Nina Mason is a hopeful romantic with strong affinities for history, mythology, and the metaphysical. She strives to write the same kind of books she loves to read: those that entertain, edify, educate, and enlighten. Three of her books will be published in 2014: The Queen of Swords, an urban fantasy/paranormal romance; The Knight of Wands, book one in the Knights of Avalon Series; and The Tin Man, a political thriller about the dangers posed by media monopolies. She is currently at work on Book Two of the Knights of Avalon series and is itching to get back to a book she started a while back about a merman who falls for an oil company spokeswoman after a phantom tanker capsizes on the coast of the Hebrides islands. When not writing, Nina works as a communications consultant, doll maker, and home stager. Born and raised in Southern California, she now lives in Woodstock, Georgia, with her husband, teenage daughter, two rescue cats, and a Westie named Robert.
You can find Nina here:
When the night grew too cold for comfort, they moved indoors, stripped out of what remained of their clothes, and got into his bed. He spooned her, holding her close so close she could feel his erection in the small of her back, the warmth of his skin against hers, the moist heat of his breath near her ear.
“Roll over. Onto your back.”
She did as he asked, suddenly afraid, but some deep-down part of her wanted him to; wanted him to take part of her into his body just as she’d taken part of his into hers. As he came over her, she saw his eyes. They were yellow, like a wolf’s. Tense and brilliant, fierce, not loving. She wanted to look away, but her will was gone. She could feel those eyes pulling her in, down and down into their depths. She was drowning, but it was a peaceful, euphoric feeling. His woodsy scent filled her nostrils, making her lightheaded and strangely detached. It was as if she watched it happening to someone else.
She shivered, dimly aware of his knees pressing between hers and his hands on her breasts, squeezing gently, teasing her nipples, sending sweet tremors all the way down to her sex. She shivered as he came over her and touched her lips with his—petal-soft—before moving to her ear.
He nibbled her lobe. “Are you sure?”
Returning to her mouth, he nipped her lower lip before moving to her throat. She clenched, bracing herself for the bite, but he only nuzzled and licked the thick cord of muscle. He then kissed her shoulder, her collarbone, and the indentation at the base of her throat. Finally, he proceeded to her left breast, where he circled the aureole with his tongue before closing his lips around the nipple. As he sucked it, thrills twitched deep in her abdomen.
When he bit down, she came back to herself with a jolt, cursing and bucking under him. Excruciating pain echoed through her body. As he sucked, the pain gave way to euphoria. Then began a pleasurable sensation, like electrical pulses surging to points of ecstatic brilliance, making her insides quiver and melt. It went on for what seemed a long while, and then he let go, rose over her, and came into her with a smooth, deep thrust. The feeling of their merger overwhelmed her, threatened to consume her. It was too much, too intense, too amazing. She clung to him, afraid of what was happening to her. He wasn’t just inside her, he was part of her, fused with her. For the first time in her life, she felt truly alive.
The orgasm broke over her like a tidal wave. She came around him in shuddering sequences, again and again, her body spent, but unable to refuse the pleasure. By the time he finished, she felt both ecstatic and utterly depleted.