Creating a sense of wonder…
… with Author Tina Donahue
One of my fave movies of all time is Avatar. I loved the romance between Jake and Neytiri. However, it was the wonder of the Na’vi’s Pandora that took my breath away. It also allowed me to suspend disbelief, to be a part of that world.
That’s what all great fantasy, sci-fi, futuristic, and time travel tales must do. Your audience needs to believe in the world you’ve created as much as they do your characters. If they don’t, then your story is nothing more than a romance with cardboard props.
While I was plotting my Outlawed Realm series, I wanted to create worlds like nothing I’ve ever seen or read about. Rather than having my characters populating other planets, I decided to keep everything close to home, with a twist. Earth, you see, isn’t only the dimension we experience every day. It actually has five realms, layered on top of the other, like this graphic.
All of the dimensions are populated. However, because of time differentials, the inhabitants don’t know the other realms exist…unless they go through a portal.
In Unending Desire, book one, Nikoli travels from E2 (the second dimension on Earth where emotions and love aren’t allowed) to E1, specifically Seattle, to rescue Regina from certain death. His love for her makes him a traitor to his realm.
Illicit Desire, book two, takes place on E4, a twilight world filled with jungles. Within them is the Pleasure Palace built by the rulers of E2. These ruthless men have populated the Palace with pleasure slaves. Young men and women who weren’t born, but were grown in artificial wombs. Lukan and Arez, two of the slaves, have fallen in love and will do anything to escape.
Book three, Shameless Desire, takes place in Seattle. Kuma, a shifter from E4, has crossed over through a portal. Like Nikoli in book one, Kuma is hell bent on saving Gwen from harm, which puts them both in danger.
Stolen Desire, book four in the series, take place on E5, a land of fire and ice. Fire because E5 is closest to the Earth’s core. Ice, because it’s also farthest from the sun.
I have to say, creating E5 was a blast! I came up with strange creatures such as insects that resemble snowflakes, ice tsunamis, and an underwater world of astonishing beauty. Here’s a blurb to give you a taste of the story.
Her freedom depends on one man. A criminal to his realm…
One minute, Paige Ross is outside a Seattle bar, grieving a failed engagement. The next, she jerks awake in a weird, candlelit room with velvet walls, black silk sheets, and a man who motions for silence.
Paige has little choice but to trust the powerful stranger who promises a way out of what looks like Satan’s brothel. And pray his promise to keep her safe is as real as the heat burning in his eyes.
Banished from E2’s ruling elite for supposed crimes against the realm, Zekin risks everything to rescue those brought to E5 for the guards’ carnal pleasure. Paige will be leaving this inhospitable realm of fire and ice—if he can somehow forget the way her trembling body melts in his arms.
Safe—temporarily—in an underwater world populated by strange creatures, Paige’s sexual awakening explodes into an unquenchable need that consumes them both. But the guards will be looking for her. And Zekin’s plan to send her home is a dangerous journey she cannot—will not—take without him.
Tina Donahue is an award-winning, bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance for Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, and Kensington. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. Three of her erotic romances (Adored, Lush Velvet Nights, and Deep, Dark, Delicious) were named finalists in the 2011 EPIC competition. The French review site, Blue Moon reviews, chose her erotic romance Sensual Stranger as their Book of the Year 2010 (erotic category). The Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books was created specifically for Lush Velvet Nights, and two of her titles (The Yearning and Deep, Dark, Delicious) received an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition (2011 and 2012). Take Me Away and Adored both won second place in the NEC RWA contest (different years). Tina is featured in the 2012 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. She was the editor of an award–winning Midwestern newspaper and worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company.