So as I writing today, a scene came up that took a very dark turn. This was not something I had anticipated when I started this book, and it wasn’t something I thought would happen when I got the cover. The man and woman still fit. The title still fits.
But the subtitle is not really an accurate portrayal of things. I mean, there is a time travel aspect. So technically, it’s okay there. The thing is that this book is far darker than I expected. Think of the original fairy tales (not the cute Disney ones). Think of fairy tales where Rumpelstiltskin wanted the woman’s firstborn child for helping her turn hay into gold, where the witch lured Hansel and Gretel with a house made of candy in hopes that she would get to eat them, or a wolf ate a girl’s grandmother and then tried to eat her, too. When I was a little kid, Little Red Riding Hood gave me nightmares. These are dark fairy tales. They have dark elements in them. In the end, however, good won out, and that’s how things will play out in this book as well.
When I wrote the Marriage by Fairytale Series, I got a few comments about how gruesome and violent The Wedding Pact and The Duke’s Secluded Bride were.
One beta reader was so shocked that she said she couldn’t believe I could write a villain as terrible as the one I had in The Duke’s Secluded Bride and write someone as wonderful as Dave Larson in Eye of the Beholder. (I actually took that as a compliment since I like knowing I can run the spectrum on heroes and villains.)
Mostly, though, I received comments from people who said that they never want to read anything like The Wedding Pact and The Duke’s Secluded Bride ever again. They asked me to let them know if I was going to write a book similar to those so that they could avoid them. Since I said I would, this post is the warning. If you didn’t like The Wedding Pact or The Duke’s Secluded Bride, skip An Earl In Time. It’s actually worse than those.
The dark elements involve a curse and a villain who was willing to sacrifice her own baby for eternal youth (so you can imagine what she’s willing to do to the hero and heroine). Though to be fair, the dark stuff comes in toward the last 1/4 of the book, which is what I’m working on right now. I don’t start out knee-deep in dark territory, though I do hint at it through the use of “a bloody legend” and the fact that the heroine gets isolated from the rest of the world.
The story starts out in our contemporary time where the heroine inherits an estate that she is unable to leave or sell. She comes upon our hero who is stuck in a parallel reality (due to magic), except he’s been living out the same day over and over (June 17, 1817) for two centuries. It’s only when the heroine steps into his time that the hero is able to move forward in time again. The heroine is now in 1817 with him and is unable to return to her time (nor does she really want to because the hero is handsome and pleasant to be around). Things evolve from there as they try to figure out why they can’t leave the property, and, of course, they fall in love, get married, and the book becomes a steamy romance.
As with quite a few fairy tales, I’ve brought in the element of fantasy where magic is at play. I’ve been advised by fantasy writes to make sure my magic comes with rules. I’ve been trying to watch these rules so I don’t break them, but I have learned the benefit of rules is to give the hero and heroine a high-stakes obstacle to overcome. But there is a flip side. Since this is a romance, I’ve gone the route of “true love” having its own magic, and this will be an obstacle to the villain. As a kid, I’ve always like the “true love” element of fairy tales, so I wanted to incorporate it into this book.
I don’t know how many people I just lost by writing this post, but I don’t want anyone reading this if it’s not your cup of tea. I’ll link back to this post in future as needed just in case someone missed it this time. That way, I don’t repeat myself like crazy for the rest of the year. I’m hoping to get this book out in November or December, though I guess it would make a good Halloween read for people who like romance and some gothic fiction. So maybe I’ll make it an October release.