Today I am featuring author Andra Shine, who has been a big help for me while I wrote my short for Bewitching Desires.
Andra’s story is called The Heart of a Hunter.
With all her power, most things in Ashley’s life come easy, but when her aged aunts cast a true love spell on her, the spoilt young witch must learn to think of someone other than herself. When she rescues a hunted man, she doesn’t know if she will end up at the hands of her enemy, or in the arms of her true love.
Ashley must choose between lust and love, self and others, hunted and hunter. It should be like taking Halloween candy from a baby; after all, it’s only her heart at stake.
What is your favorite thing about Halloween?
I love dressing up on Halloween. I love that everyone decorates and all the things spooky are allowable and desirable.
What is your favorite Halloween movie?
My favorite Halloween movies the The Nightmare Before Christmas. I love Jack and the creepy and naughty.
Have you written paranormal romance before?
I’ve not written paranormal romance before, but I have written horror, science fiction and love poems. Humans are strange and unusual creatures, so it didn’t seem much of a leap for me.
Andra, tell me about your heroine Ashley.
My heroine is sad and spoiled. She is lonely, bossy and kind. She wants to help and to heal people, but she also likes attention and getting her own way. As she says, she’s a work in progress and is trying to learn to be a better person.
Tell me a little about your Hero.
My hero is driven. He doesn’t want to be involved in the paranormal work, but he is motivated by his need to protect his sister. He feels guilty and sad too and will do anything to remove the curse from her, even if it means risking his own life.
Where did you get the idea for your story or what was the inspiration for your story?
Once, I wrote the aunts, who cast a love spell on the heroine, the story started writing itself. It’s these magic moments as a writer when the characters are speaking to you ad launching themselves into the situation you’ve written for them that I love. Ashley got her own way at every turn, and letting her have free reign, running after her for all I was worth and writing what she did was really all I could do.
What was the hardest part in writing this short story?
The hardest part was keeping the word count down. Ashley really likes to express herself and she’s got a comeback for every occasion. Half the time I had to tell her, she just didn’t have the words for that speech. She had to be quiet and kiss the hero already.
Do you see yourself continuing this character(s) into another project?
I would love another project with Ashley and her aunts. I could see myself writing her backstory for a start. I also like the idea of what happens after the happily ever after, because that’s the real trick when it comes to love. How to keep the romance alive when the dishes are done. (Though Ashley may just use magic to clean them, she doesn’t have time for such mundane chores.)
Are you working on anything new currently?
I’m working on a nonfiction book about a relationship full of domestic violence. I think it’s an important book to write and to help women in this situation. My co-author is amazing, to have lived through that time and survived, but it’s not exactly a happily ever after.
Is there anything you want to say to the reader?
To the reader I say thank you. Thank you for your heart, your optimism, your idealism and your passion. People who read romances are usually beautiful people who believe in both love and magic. You are the people who clap to save Tinkerbell and wish upon the star and know that love at first sight is real. So thank you for being who you are. Without you, I’m all alone, but knowing that you’re there, making sure love and magic exists. All those hours making up characters and worlds, and hoping you will read my words and get me, well you make it all worthwhile. Thank you.
Excerpt from The Heart of a Hunter
The aunts sat on the bed like a pair of sweetly smiling bookends.
“I know that look you two. You’re up to something.”
They exchanged blank looks, a perfect picture of innocence, albeit a rather wrinkled one. As if the picture had been scrunched up and shoved into a pocket.
Ashley watched them with suspicion; she pointed an accusing finger.
“Don’t. I don’t know what you’re going to do, but whatever it is, just don’t.” She didn’t trust them not to meddle in her life in extreme and embarrassing ways. Ashley backed slowly out of the door a suspicious eyebrow raised at them
To their credit, the aunts waited until she was well out of earshot before they burst out laughing again.
“I’ve a good mind to put a spell on that one, show her the trouble with throwing your sex magic around,” Esmeralda declared.
“Go on, then.” Agatha’s mischievous eyes lit up. “I dare you. But do it right. Make her fall in love. That’ll put a cat amongst the pigeons.”
“You know I can’t resist a good dare.” A wicked smile broke out over Esmeralda’s crinkly face, and for a moment she was more wrinkle than witch. She stood unsteadily, waved her hands in the air, more for balance than spell work. Then she turned around a few times, shouted a few garbled incantations then fell on the bed and started again. She rounded off the bizarre process with a chant, “Anusin, anusin, atetin, atetin, atelin.”
Esmeralda beamed at her sister. Agatha’s expression stole her certainty and the smile faded.
“What? Wasn’t that right?” Esmeralda asked.
“Well, not the first bit obviously, that was ridiculous. But the end was disastrous.”
“I thought the end was good.”
“You said atelin!”
“Surely not,” Esmeralda said, she frowned and studied the ceiling as if she would find her memory hidden in the chandelier.
“I heard it, atelin. Right at the end, like you meant it.”
Esmeralda sucked her breath through her teeth. “Well, true love then.”
“Definitely overcooked it.”
“No doubt about that.”
“Not just any old love spell.”
“Your actual true love spell.”
“Not much I can do about that.”
“You think she’ll be cross?”
“What? That she’s got around six hundred years on this earth and you’ve gone and called her true love to her when she’s only 23?”
Andra became a writer after a failed career as a pirate. She lives with her two children and their ninja father on the edge of the forest path to grandma’s house. She has been published under the name Andra Jenkin, in television, radio, film, cd, newspapers, theatre reviews and comics, and has travelled as a performance poet.
Words are her passion and she writes eclectically in fiction and non-fiction genres. She is published in The Douglas Adams Liff trilogy, Afterliff, Three Words, and various online literary journals. This is her first short story available to the public.