October is I :::Heart::: Paranormal Romance month at my blog. During these next thirty-one spooky days, besides the usual blog posts, I’m featuring authors who write paranormal romance. Today, I have V.J. Allison in the interview chair. We’re discussing Eternity’s Gamble. Be sure to check out the excerpt.
1. What drew you to writing paranormal romance?
VJ: I love paranormal books, so it’s natural I’d try to write one myself.
2. What do you like most about writing paranormal romance?
VJ: The fact that there’s no limit on what can happen. Real world restrictions do not apply.
3. What do you like least about writing paranormal romance?
VJ: The world building and remembering everything in said world. It’s a lot tougher than people realize until they do it themselves. Because of that, I have a deep respect and admiration for those who write only paranormal and science fiction.
4. Why did you write the book you are featuring?
VJ: This idea came from a collaboration idea between myself and three other authors. We wanted to do a collection together, based on one idea but with our own take on it. We chose to write stories about a guy running a corn maze, and it all morphed from there.
5. Why do you think readers should invest their time in reading paranormal romance?
VJ: think they should at least try to read one paranormal romance book because it will take them to a completely different realm. One that only exists in the author’s imagination. They are sharing their world with you, reading it is a way to show them appreciation for their amazing world building and so forth.
Can love beat the odds, or will the dice decide their fate?
Blurb: Expecting the usual entertainment at the local Nova Scotia exhibition, Charles Hazard is less than impressed by the secluded corn maze his long-time friend and secret crush, Tiffany, drags him to. The repulsive state of decay, and the creepy dummy guarding the entrance of the maze have Charles anxious to leave, but his sense of self-preservation wars with his desire to make Tiffany happy.
Tiffany Morrow doesn’t think much of the tarot card reading she had only days before the annual exhibition, and has all but forgotten the prophet’s words and how she drew the Death Card when she comes across a spooky looking corn maze. There’s only one person she wants to explore the stalks with. She’s been in love with her best friend, Charles, for as long as she can remember. His level head, introverted tendencies, and unique ginger sexiness call to the most intimate parts of her.
Their fun quickly takes a dark turn when the maze morphs into a game of life or death. From a quiet sunflower field, to a treacherous walk across a volcano’s cone, to an encounter with a creature out of horror legend, each roll of the dice forces them to work as a team or perish in a way they most fear.
Amidst the danger-filled labyrinth, they delight in small, stolen moments and find the soul mate they have been searching for. However, as with most games of chance performed at a devil’s will, there is more to this sport than there appears. Could they really be the only ones within the walls of their confines, or are other creatures lurking?
In a terrifying twist of fate, their chances at forever could be ripped away from them by a single roll of the die…
Victory may linger out of reach, and a curse of eternal agony and loneliness could be their fate. Or just once the die might roll in their favour. But what are the odds of that?
Goodreads | Decadent Publishing
The inside of Tiffany’s eyelids were red, meaning she was in a spot with some bright light and also seeing a few stars.
She must have fallen asleep. Vaguely, she remembered spending the evening with Charles, but when did they get home? Her mind dismissed it, happy and content, so relaxed, she didn’t want to move.
A soft sound, like running water hit her ears, and when she took a deep breath through her nose, the air smelled like freshly cut grass underlined with flowers. Roses, maybe. She rolled onto her back and felt the tickle of grass against her neck.
A soft buzzing grew closer. She opened her eyes and saw a bee fly past her nose. Sunlight kissed her bare arms and legs, and the warmth of it made every cell in her body feel cozy, like she was under her favorite thermal blanket with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book. The sky was a brilliant blue. No clouds marred its perfection.
A happy groan to her left made her glance that way. Like her, Charles was on his back, his face toward the sun. How many times did they lie like this in his parents’ backyard last summer, watching the clouds and talking about her graduate studies at university? She couldn’t recall.
She let out a soft sigh and closed her eyes again. It was the perfect day and the perfect weather to have a nap in the sun.
Her eyes flew open when she didn’t recall putting on sunscreen. She hated getting sunburned and didn’t like risking skin cancer. She sat up and growled in frustration.
“What’s wrong, Tiff?” Charles asked. He sounded drowsy and happy.
“I forgot to slap on sunblock. I’m going to the house to get some.”
“Mm,” he sighed, and folded his hands on his stomach. “Bring it out so I can have some too.”
“Lazy bones,” she replied and swiped at his arm.
He reached over and poked her in the ribs. “Better lazy than sunburned.”
“Fuck off.” She shoved his hand away and tried not to giggle. Charles always seemed to forget the sunscreen even though he was more prone to turning lobster-red than she was. She stood up and brushed the grass off her rump, noting the color of her tank top. Odd, it looked like the same one she wore yesterday.
Ice lodged itself into her spine as her mind recalled the hideous face, a demonic voice, and the putrid smell of decay. She shivered, and the area didn’t feel so comforting and warm any more.
Every cell in her body turned to ice as a garden of sunflowers came into focus. Her parents didn’t grow sunflowers. Neither did Charles’ parents, and he lived in a small apartment building in town. No one in that part of town had a garden containing sunflowers.
“Charles, get up. Now,” she hissed.
He gave her the finger. “I thought you were getting some sunblock.”
“I don’t think we’re going to need it.” She nudged him in the ribs with her foot.
“Why not?” He sounded agitated and slightly bored.
“Open your eyes and you’ll get it.” She gave him a harder push with her foot.
“Ow, okay. For fuck’s sake. Jesus.” He shoved her foot away and sat up. His jaw dropped at least two inches. His eyes were wide when he stared up at her. “Where the hell are we? In a farmer’s field? I don’t remember the party.”
Tiffany held out a hand so he could pull himself to his feet and shuddered as the memory of the monster invaded her mind again. “We didn’t go to a party.”
Charles’ blue eyes widened, and his freckles appeared to glow in the sunshine as comprehension spread across his face. “That fucking maze.” He glared at her, his blue eyes spitting fire as they narrowed. “You and your crazy-ass ideas. Thanks to you, we’re stuck in this whatever-it-is, and can’t get out of here.” He gestured toward the sunflowers.
Shame made her cheeks turn hot. Charles was right, it was her fault they were in this mess, and she felt horrible for dragging him into it. Silently, she vowed to never drag her best friend-slash-crush on another one of her outlandish adventures, not without making sure he’d like it first. “I’m sorry,” she mumbled and toed the grass with her left foot.
“Yeah, you should be,” he muttered, annoyance thick in his voice. “That’s the last fucking time I follow you on your stupid ideas. We always land in deep shit, and this is the worst batch of it yet.”
Tiffany’s eyes burned and she lowered her eyes to the ground so he wouldn’t see the tears in them. Charles would assume she was trying to gain sympathy if she cried, even if it was genuine.
“You’re crying, aren’t you? Jesus, Tiff, you always do that when I yell at you for doing it so I’ll feel guilty for saying something. Can’t you be really sorry for once?” He sounded pissed, and rightfully so.
She raised her gaze to his and narrowed her eyes. His expression mirrored hers. His eyes were narrowed, his brow crumpled in anger and a deepening frown marred his beautiful face. His freckles were lost in the redness that covered his cheeks.
Yeah, he was pissed, but she was genuinely sorry for what happened. It wasn’t her fault the damn demon decided she was the one to play his fucking game. With a long snort, she flipped her ponytail over her shoulder and stomped toward the sunflowers. At least their sunny faces wouldn’t snap at her for something stupid.
“Where do you think you’re going?” Charles’ voice echoed loudly in her ears.
“Away from you,” she shot over her shoulder and gave him the finger.
She slammed on the brakes and whipped around to shoot verbal daggers at him. Her right hand came up and she pointed at him with her index finger. “I said I was sorry, and this time I mean it. I did not know we’d land in some fucking game, playing for an asshole’s pleasure.” Both hands slammed down on her hips and her jaw tightened as she snapped, ”You can stand here and stew over it all you fucking well want, but I’m going to look around to see if we can get out of this place and go home. Fuck you Charles Hazard!” She pivoted on her heel and marched away without a glance backward.
Charles muttered something—it sounded like a few swear words—and then footsteps echoed behind her. “Wait up.”
“Why should I?” She was getting sick and tired of his attitude. He hated adventure. She loved it. From now on, he’d be able to keep his ass home, because she wasn’t dragging him along after this. Not if he got mad at her for accidentally going through some sort of portal to another dimension.
She scanned the area around her and the sunflower grove to her right. All she could see was grass, lots of wildflowers—from dandelions to daisies and a few violets—and the sunflowers. Bees and butterflies floated from one flower to another.
Surely if there were bees, there had to be a hive, right? She walked along the hedge of sunflowers, looking for a telltale sign of a hive, manmade or otherwise.
With a mental reminder that they could possibly in a dimension that didn’t allow for bees to be kept by humans, or even create their own natural hive, she kept a lookout for bees entering or exiting a spot along the ground, or in the wall of sunflowers.
Charles’ footsteps got closer. “I told you to wait,” he muttered when he caught up to her.
Without taking her gaze off the grass and flowers in front of her sandals, Tiffany kept walking. “I thought you didn’t want to go on any more adventures.”
His deep voice rumbled in her ears. “I don’t think we should split up. What if something happens?”
What if, indeed. As pissed off as she was, Tiffany had to agree with his logic, but she wasn’t going to let him know that. She pointed to the hedge of sunflowers beside them. “I’m looking for a break in this wall. Maybe it will lead us to a way out.”
Footsteps beside her indicated Charles was tagging along. Not that she cared. God he was such a pain in the ass when he got his attitude going.
A shiver of guilt traveled up her spine as she remembered her own actions got them into this mess. If only she hadn’t tried to show him that fucking maze.
“Hey, Tiff, I think we found something.”
He was pointing to a break in the greenery. The scent of roses mixed with chrysanthemums and jasmine hung in the air. Another bee flew past her nose. She could feel the wind from its wings as it buzzed away.
V.J. Allison was born and raised in southern Nova Scotia, Canada, and her work reflects her strong Maritime roots.
She is a stay at home mother to a son on the autism spectrum, married to the love of her life, and “mama” to a cat named Marnie, who was adopted on August 25, 2018.
She has been writing various stories of novel length and short stories since her school days, and sees writing as a vital component to her life.
On January 4, 2021, she released her first independently published story, COVID’s Arrow, which had been previously released in the Together We Stand charity collection of stories about essential workers.
When she isn’t writing, she loves to read romance and science fiction novels (notably Star Wars); listen to music (heavy metal, rock, alternative); and do graphics design. She runs her own graphics design company, Veridian Rose Designs, specializing in book promotional posters and Facebook cover photos.
She is also an advocate for Occipital Neuralgia, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Autism, Diabetes, and animal welfare.