Friday, 24 January 2014

Queen's Quest - Sizzling Hot Paranormal Romance From Bestselling Author, Suz deMello

Today, I'm delighted to showcase Suz deMello's latest release. Published today, Queen's Quest is an erotic paranormal romance set in a different world, in a time far off in the future. I asked well-travelled Suz to tell us more about where she found the inspiration for her stories, which have such varied settings. Here's her response:

One of the questions writers are frequently asked is, “Where do you get your ideas?” I like to tell people that I buy them at Sears—they sell them by the dozen in the basement between the exercise bikes and the barbecues.

                All joking aside, an idea that forms the seed for a book can sprout anywhere, sometimes in unexpected places. For example, I wrote a vampire book set in 1748 Scotland while teaching English in China in 2009. I hadn’t been to Scotland since 1978—sometimes an idea may take a long time to grow into a book.

                Queen’s Quest, which is an erotic paranormal romance novel, had as its seed the concept of a terraformed planet that we Earthlings in the far future stopped from spinning. The planet developed three distinct nations, Lightside, Shadow, and Darkness. All three cultures resemble extinct civilizations that existed here on Earth, even though their inhabitants are not aware of this fact. 

                That I have traveled physically to one of those cultures was helpful. The Shadowlanders, especially the aristocracy, unconsciously take their cues from Europe, especially England, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, with a little Regency swagger thrown in. 

                Here’s a description of my heroine, Audryn, Queen of Shadow, at her toilette:

Maia took a fine silk chemise from a clothespress and flung it over my head, deftly avoiding my braided coif of dark-blond hair. The chemise was followed by a corset and gartered stockings fastened at my thighs.

Tonight’s brocade gown was draped over a manikin. Bored with the stiff, wired ruffs fashionable during my parents' reign, I had instituted new styles.Embroidered in burgundy, gold and blue, the dress featured a heart-shaped neckline that bared my arms, shoulders, and d├ęcolletage almost to the nipples, below which was a narrow waist and a full skirt with a lavish train. For warmth, I would wear fingerless, elbow-length gloves of golden lace embroidered with burgundy thread.The ensemble was completed by high-heeled slippers with golden buckles. If chilly, I would carry a fur stole.

I have visited the costume exhibition at the famous Victoria and Albert museum in London several times, and never miss a chance to return. Every time I go, I make a point of examining the clothing carefully. Though I enjoy the couture gowns, I’m much more interested in the older garb.

My character, Audryn, is a small woman, and she is aware that her ministers may challenge her rule:
So I had designed garments which emphasized my authority. High-heeled boots and shoes so I stood taller than any of them. Long sweeping skirts, some with hoops and panniers to broaden my slender silhouette. The finest silks and furs, velvet and brocades. Wherever it was moved, the Golden Throne was set on a platform above all.
In this way, the costuming of the character shows her thought process, her conflicts, her concerns and her personality.

The Lightsiders, their realm always blasted by the planet’s sun, take steps to protect themselves from it, and I modeled their culture on that of ancient Egypt…they live in pyramids and wear loose, pale robes. In contrast, the DarkDwellers live always in the chill of eternal midnight, so I borrowed from the Viking and Celtic traditions to describe them. Here’s how my hero, Storne, the Prince of Darkness, appears:

Metal shod feet rang on the slates. I had not noticed when the tall knight had entered, but at some point he had decided to make his presence known. My attention seized, I rose, seeking to pick out the interloper from the crowds.

He wasn’t hard to find, for he stood at least a head higher than anyone else in the room, and I understood the mockery of the Darksiders who called us “puny creatures of Shadow.” He wore a metal suit from head to toe, and I could see nothing of his face, hidden as it was by a helmet crowned with the double horns of the taqqa.

I knew the moment he espied my glance on him, for the speed of his long strides increased. He bulled his way through the crowd, which parted for him like the stormwind rushing around the turrets of my castle.

I consciously grounded myself, feeling the marble floor beneath my high boots, straightening my back. Deep breaths pressed my breasts against my corset, the lace trim scratching my flesh. My heart pounded.

Managing him would not be easy. If I chose him as my mate, who would rule over Shadow?

“I, Storne, Lord of Darkness, have come to claim my queen.” He approached and stepped onto the dais supporting my throne.

I was offended. “Bow,” I said.

Still standing, he reached up and removed his battered helmet. Long dark hair, unkempt from his journey, fell around his armor’s pewter shoulders. Cold gray eyes regarded me from a pale, set face, all planes and angles of bone. Not a stripling, but not wizened and old. Darkness had sent their finest champion, for Storne was a prince in the prime of life.

So you can see how I use information and sights I’ve noted on my travels. Suits of armor; the double-horned helmets worn by Viking warriors; a castle’s stone floor.

Thanks for reading my blog, and many thanks to Antonia for hosting me. I hope you enjoy what you read and will check out the book. It’s available at:

 Janus is a planet which lacks both tilt and spin, and its Shadowlands are the pewter band of dusk dividing the violently hot Lightside of the planet from its Darkside, imprisoned by eternal night. Because of the peculiar conformation of the planet, birthrates are low and indiscriminate mating encouraged.

Audryn, Queen of Shadow has reached that time in her life when she must choose a King to rule with her or fail to bear an heir, casting not only her realm but all of Janus into chaos.

Despite her duty, she is reluctant to share power, even a bit distrustful. Janus’ nobles vie for Audryn’s hand. Although she enjoys trysting with all her suitors, none seize her heart.

Then Storne, the warrior Prince of Darkness, arrives to claim her as his bride.

Will his masterful ways allure or repel the willful Queen?


Best-selling, award-winning author Suz deMello, a.k.a Sue Swift, has written over sixteen romance novels in several subgenres, including erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense, plus a number of short stories and non-fiction articles on writing. A freelance editor, she’s worked for Total-E-Bound, Liquid Silver Books and Ai Press, where she is currently Managing Editor. She also takes private clients.

Her books have been favorably reviewed in Publishers' Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, won a contest or two, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.

A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now writing a vampire tale and planning her next trip.

Find her books at Sue Swift/Suz deMello

For editing services, email her at

Befriend her on Facebook, and visit her group page at Red Hot Authors' Cafe

She tweets her reading picks @ReadThis4fun

Her current blog is
Fearless Fast-Paced Fiction


  1. Fascinating. It is always good to know where the inspiration and ideas come from. And wouldn't I just love a shot of those gorgeous sounding clothes.

    1. They do sound great, don't they, Shehanne? This story's got all sorts of great ingredients - sci-fi, paranormal, romance, drama - and great shoes!

  2. Really loved this post, thanks Antonia and Suz. Loved the richness of it all. Must admit location is probably my major inspiration - then plot comes a little later. Thanks for sharing a great article.

    1. Hi Noelle. I think you've got a great point about location. That's often the way with me, as well.