Its always interesting to find out where authors get ideas for their stories. I’ve chatted with Jaci Burton online on a number of occasions at a couple of Yahoo Reader groups and follow her blog regularly. Jaci enjoys television and I was surprised to find out that a number of ideas for the stories she writes and the characters she develops have come from that medium.
Angela: “How did you get the idea for the Demon Hunters series?”
Jaci: “I was watching a special on the making of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the movie with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. And the special dealt with how tough Angelina Jolie was and how she did a lot of her own stunts in the movie. And the idea came to me about this kickass action movie heroine, and what would happen if she was taken out of her element and thrust into a different kind of world. The idea just spiraled from there and I created the demon world and everything in it. Funny how that happens sometimes.”
I’ll say! IMHO Jaci Burton, has created an amazing paranormal world and series of stories based on this seed of an idea.
Surviving Demon Island
Gina Bliss, Hollywood’s top female action star is ready for a break. She has been filming movies for two years with no vacation and when she is approached with an opportunity to do a reality television series Gina initially declines. That is until her agent, Dee explains the show is called “Surviving Demon Island”, and is set on a tropical island where Gina will be able to use weapons to kill the ‘demons’. Gina prides herself on being a “kickass” action star. She is very competitive loving sports, weaponry, and martial arts, so filming the show sounds like just the “vacation”, she would enjoy.
A few weeks later Gina finds herself aboard a ship bound for an undisclosed island where the filming of the reality show will take place; there she is introduced to the host, “Louis” a distinguished older gentleman. She also meets the other competitors, Olivia, Ryder, Jake, Shay and Trace, all either extreme sports enthusiasts or martial arts experts except for Jake who is a laser specialist and the ‘odd’ one out in the group. Gina also meets “Derek Marks”, a ruggedly ‘ugly’ handsome man with a ‘bad boy’ aura who she is immediately attracted to.
Derek ‘works’ for Louis and it is explained to the eager participants that he will be running the competition; training them and making sure they followed the rules of the game. If you like your heroes Alpha, sexy as hell and tortured, you are going to love Derek Marks, and as the story progresses, he and the very competitive Gina with “diva” tendencies blaze up the pages.
There is also a second group of competitors on the island that don’t mingle with Gina’s group. This raises some suspicion for Gina, however her questions are answered in a vague manner if at all.
What the competitors don’t know is that they are being tested and weeded out as to their suitability to become demon hunters with a clandestine organization called the “Realm of Light”, which has been in existence since the time of Christ. Members of The Realm of Light were given the great power as guardians between heaven and hell; essentially they maintain the balance between good and evil. The evil in Jaci Burton’s paranormal world is some pretty scary demons known as “The Sons of Darkness”.
Following a period of intensive training and preparation, the competitors are paired off in teams to hunt demons at night, who in this mock exercise, were humans with specially marked clothing. The competitors are equipped with night vision wear and pretend weapons for the test and given specific rules as to how to score points in the ‘game’. However, the exercise and demonstration goes awry when actual demons invade the island and the under equipped and ill prepared hunters are faced with an all out war.
Gina and the rest of the ‘new recruits’ are now faced with a ‘baptism by fire’. Louis and Derek ‘fess up’, telling a very sceptical and angry group about the Realm of Light, and why they were brought to the island. Louis also explains he chose each of them as possible recruits because they have suffered immeasurable loss at the hands of the demons at some point in their lives. Gina and the rest of the group are given a choice, stay and join “The Realm of Light”, or have their memories wiped and leave the island. (Yes, Louis does have special powers.) Of course, they all choose to stay and join the cause.
This sets the stage for a life and death struggle against the demons who have invaded the island and come out at night in full force. The hunters have to battle different forms of demons that you will learn about if you read the book. I will say, some of them are more grotesque than others.
Gina’s character goes through a rapid maturation because she has to learn to temper her competitive ‘take charge’, demanding nature fostered by her movie star status and take orders, working with the team. She unfortunately learns the hard way.
So, with a demon war raging on a beautiful tropical island, Derek and Gina’s love sparks and flames. As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, Jaci Burton pens wonderful love scenes and this story is no different. The “Demon Hunter” series is published under Dell romance so the erotic scenes are not as graphic as say, one of Jaci’s Berkley Heat titles. However, they are nonetheless extremely sensual, hot and intense. Neither Derek nor Gina want to share their heart with another and when it happens they are forced to contend with dire circumstances because a demon lord captures her.
Here is a short piece of narrative just to give those of you who haven’t read any of these books a taste of the dialogue and erotic prose. Gina has come to Derek’s cottage unannounced and she finds him, just out of the shower, wrapped in a towel and nothing else.
” And I’ve had just about enough of your arrogant attitude. I don’t know why I bothered coming here.” She palmed his chest and shoved him, hard. He hadn’t expected it and stumbled back. The towel came loose and fell to the floor and her gaze shot south, widening with distinct interest.
Ah, hell. Instinct roared to life and he grasped her wrists, but instead of dragging her to the door and throwing her out of his room like he should have, he jerked her against him, wrapped one arm around her back, and crushed his mouth against hers.
He knew she’d taste hot and spicy, like carnal pleasures he wanted and shouldn’t have. But he had no idea just how hot she’d be.
God, he burned. He should have never touched her, never tasted her. His cock lurched between them now that he didn’t have the towel to hold it back. She whimpered and tensed, almost as if she was trying to decide between shoving him again or melting into his arms. He didn’t know which way he wanted her to decide.
She melted. He drew her closer, deepening the kiss, sliding his tongue inside to taste the whiskey that lingered there while he moved one hand over her back, jerking her dress up to her waist and balling the material in his fist.”
Surviving Demon Island © Jaci Burton
Derek also has to come to terms with some frightening revelations about his heritage that he is not sure he can live with.
“Surviving Demon Island”, is a paranormal romance, however I also found it to be a rollicking adventure story that I had trouble putting down. Jaci Burton has a wonderful sense of humor and the narrative of this novel is laced with wit that had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion. I am about half way through “Hunting the Demon”, the second book in the series and I hope to have a review posted for it this week.
The week of June 22, 2009, in honor of the publication of Jaci Burton’s latest Demon Hunter book “Taken By Sin”, I’m going to be hosting a Giveaway of two of the series books, winners choice. So, watch for an announcement closer to the date.