Forged in Fire
Witch World Series, #2
by Lyn C. Johanson
Date of Publication: November 17th 2016
Cover Artist: Renu Sharma
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Lyn C. Johanson continues her scorching Witch World series with a new story of a human fighting to survive in Hell, and a dangerous beauty who might cost him his soul.
AN EXQUISITE PUNISHER LIVING ON BORROWED TIME…
Desiree ruled a domain swarming with the worst sinners ever to walk on Earth, until her dual nature became too dangerous for the Demon Council to ignore. Now banished, she finds herself intrigued by an enigma she encounters—a decent soul in the land of rotten scum.
A FIGHTER DOOMED TO HELL…
To save his newborn nephews, Ciaran sacrificed his life to spend eternity in the Underworld. Yet becoming a plaything to be used and abused is a fate he is determined to avoid.
A PASSION FORGED IN FIRE…
Temptation stokes the flames in both their hearts and bodies, but when faced with the reality of their circumstances, those flames might burn them both to ash. For in a demon world defined by supernatural abilities, a human must remain a slave, and she—free from any weakness her enemies might take advantage of.
Buy Link: Amazon
Please note that although Forged in Fire can be read as a stand-alone story, I would strongly recommend reading Till Death and Beyond first, as the world builds from one book to another. Available on Amazon
“Bow before your master!” One of the guards spat an order.
“I bow before no one,” Ciaran muttered without turning. That was one thing he refused to do. Ever. No matter how many whips sliced his flesh.
Instantly, he felt a fierce blow to his inner knee. His leg bent, and he went down. Ciaran gritted his teeth at the impact with the hard floor, and before the guard could deliver another blow, grabbed for the nearest weapon.
Suddenly fire flashed through the space. As one, the guards sank to the ground, bowing their heads.
“Enough!” Huge eyes appeared in the air, above them.
Ciaran frowned. Stood up.
The eyes narrowed. Green flames consumed the irises, and for a second he thought the room would catch fire.
“Out!” A sharp order rang out, and was followed before the echo subsided.
The moment Ciaran was left alone, shadows began swirling, the eyes got smaller, until a figure stepped out of the darkness. He thought he was prepared for whatever was coming. A two-headed ogre wouldn’t have surprised him, but when the shadows dissipated, and his eyes locked with those of the creature he’d been summoned by, he forgot whatever it was he wanted to say.
Her eyes were no longer round, but almond-shaped, slightly tilted downward toward her straight but narrow nose. Those eyes missed nothing—and right now, they were focused on him. Not burning, but the way her irises caught the glare of light, it appeared to glow with a cat-like luster.
In vibrant copper-red, the strands that escaped her knee-length braid danced like flames against her flawless, porcelain skin, conjuring up an image of a fragile, ethereal beauty.
One look at her, and Ciaran knew there was nothing fragile about her. She radiated power, and he had no trouble seeing why the guards bowed before her. Why everyone was afraid to even mention her name. The raw energy flowing around her was nothing he’d ever experienced. No demon he’d met possessed a smidgeon of it.
He was screwed, he concluded, determined to get this over with as quickly as possible.
“What do you want from me?” he demanded, finally coming to his senses.
She approached, no hesitation in her lithe, tall body. It moved with hypnotizing grace, accentuated by her simple leather pants and top that hugged her like a second skin. If he thought she had power before, it was nothing compared with the sizzle of energy that shot through him when she stretched out her hand, and gently touched his cheek.
It took everything he had to keep his body stone-still. He dared not even breathe. He felt if he did, she could actually bring him to his knees. And as seconds ticked by, her lips curled into a lazy smile, transforming her face from beautiful to stunning. She was a vision—a vision he expected to morph into a nightmare at any moment.
That’s when she whispered, “I want to play.”
Buy Link: Amazon
MY INTERVIEW WITH LYN C. JOHANSON
How would you describe your style of writing to someone who has never read your work?
My readers have described my stories as thrilling and captivating. Even intense. And that’s what I strive for – I dig deep into the characters’ heads to flesh out their emotions, to show their highs and lows. And when it comes to romance, I like to make the pages sizzle!
What mindset or routine do you feel the need to set when preparing to write (in general whether you are working on a project or just free writing)?
I try not to force myself if the words are not forthcoming, because if I did, whatever I wrote would also feel forced. I simply find something else to do, be it jogging or Photoshopping. And the story comes.
Once it starts spinning in my head, it’s usually all I can think about, and I have to put it on paper. That’s where the notepad I keep at a hand’s reach comes into play.
Do you take your character prep to heart? Do you nurture the growth of each character all the way through to the page? Do you people-watch to help with development? Or do you build upon your character during story creation?
It all depends on the character. Some come to me and reveal their life stories, letting me into their hearts, and when I write – they shape their stories. Others, like Ciaran (the hero of Forged in Fire), show me just a small facet of themselves, and I experience the getting-to-know-them part as the story moves forward. But even then, he himself shaped the story – he just didn’t tell me why he did what he did.
It can be frustrating – not understanding your own creations; and yet, the discovery of who they are is an amazing experience that only makes them more real. In the end, character development and story development go hand in hand, each influencing the other until they’re more than just a figment of my imagination.
Have you found yourself bonding with any particular character? If so which one(s)?
It is impossible to tell a story without bonding with its characters, because only through bonding do I experience their joys and heartaches so that I can show that to the reader. If I didn’t feel what they felt I wouldn’t be able to put it into words.
I bond with each character I introduce into the story – with some more strongly than with others. Ciaran, for example, was first introduced in Till Death and Beyond (Book 1 in the Witch World Series), so I knew him, and still he managed to take me on a journey; while Desiree, his heroine – she appeared just before I started writing Forged in Fire.
I wasn’t sure about her at first. I thought they would clash on every imaginable level – both being proud and headstrong individuals – but while they did, they clashed just right. And in the process Desiree won me over. I can definitely say that I feel a particular affinity with her. There is so much inside her – so much she hides – I cried when she cried.
Do you have a character that you have been working on that you can't wait to put to paper?
I have been working on a few characters I can’t wait to put to paper.
There is Dazlog – he plays an important part in both the first and the second book, and his character has so many possibilities – in becoming either the hero or the villain – but there are a number of events that need to occur before I can delve into his story.
Dacian – Raven’s brother. (Raven is the hero of Till Death and Beyond, Book 1 in the Witch World Series.) I wanted to tell his story after finishing Raven’s, but Forged in Fire happened. And now, I feel that Dacian is not ready yet. It is Hadrian who wants his story told. I can’t wait.
Have you ever felt that there was something inside of you that you couldn't control? If so what? If no what spurs you to reach for the unexperienced?
Since my characters are a figment of my imagination – something coming from inside me – and I can’t really control them, I have to say yes, there is.
A computer science major, Lyn C. Johanson discovered her passion for writing romance stories during the long and stressful months spent finishing her master‘s thesis. It encouraged Lyn to open a new blank page and let her imagination take flight. Several years later, her first romance novel was born.
Her stories transport the reader into the darkly sensual world where the magic of romance meets fantasy. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and sons.