Today I’m very excited to announce my latest release, the first in a new urban fantasy series: Dark Studies (Arcaneology Book One).

This book, and its upcoming sequel, started about three years ago as a sexy little short story that I intended to write purely for my own enjoyment. The idea was sparked by a brief bit I saw on a television show. A vampire was feeding on a woman he’d obviously hired, and she was saying, “Ooh, baby, yeah” with about as much emotion as a bowl of cold oatmeal. When she realized he wasn’t enjoying her performance, she asked if he’d rather she pretended not to like it. The vampire’s answer? “Only if you’re very good at it.” (She wasn’t.) But that got me thinking…what if someone was? How much would a vampire pay if he could actually hunt and torture someone who could convincingly play the role of a victim? That’s how Angeline Devereaux was born.

The first bit I wrote was a negotiation between her and a client, laying out what he was and wasn’t allowed to do. After that, I wrote the hunt itself, and figured that would be it. But then I got some plot ideas. The story grew not so short. An entire world began to take shape in my head, of Vampires, Elves, Djinn, Fallen, Merfolk, and other creatures. The story turned into a novel. Once I’d caught the world-building bug, I went on a research binge. Anthropology, psychology, folklore, mythology and a thousand other odds and ends started swimming around in my skull. What if Angeline Devereaux had another life? She could be a grad student, working on a doctoral degree in…hmm…supernatural anthropology? But anthropology literally means the study of humans, so I couldn’t call it that. Instead, I came up with arcaneology, the study of sentient supernatural beings and their societies.

After that, the novel grew to massive proportions. I started referring to it as the Beast. When I finally finished the first draft, it was big enough to be a boat anchor. Lucky for me, I had some great beta readers who were willing to wade through the whole thing. (One suggested I use less sex. Two others suggested I add more. Guess which I chose?) With their help, I tamed the beast and sent it off for several rounds of rejections. In February of this year I was thrilled to receive an offer from Etopia, asking that I split my beast into two less-beastly sized novels, and create a series.

As of today, book one (Dark Studies) will be available in digital format at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance, and other e-book retailers. Book two is slated to be released sometime this fall. After that? I guess I’d better get to work on book three!