Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Date of Publication: July 30th, 2013
Word Count: 98,000
Cover Artist: Kanax
Love blooms across species, culture, and time.
Chronicles of Eorthe, Book 1
Stranded in another dimension, on a primitive version of Earth, Dr. Susan Barlow needs to find a way to survive. There’s no electricity, no cities, and to her shock, no humans. Instead, she faces a population of werewolves, vampires and incubi. The people are vicious but she must find her place among them. And live.
An illness is killing Sorin’s pack. As alpha it’s his responsibility to save them, but it’s a battle this warrior doesn’t know how to fight. Then a blue light in the sky brings a creature he’s never seen. She calls herself human, but to him she smells like hope.
Sorin offers Susan a safe haven in return for a cure, but she’s not that kind of a doctor. She’s a doctor of physics, not a physician. Yet as they search for a cure to save a dying people, they find something special—each other.
But even with Sorin’s protection, Susan can’t help but wonder how long she can survive in a world without humans…
Before Susan could explain anything about dimensions and gateways, the door to Kele’s chamber crashed open, and Susan jumped to the balls of her feet, prepared—to what, fight? Was she nuts?
A female blocked the entrance, her muscular physique hinting at enough strength to twist Susan into a pretzel without breaking a sweat. The newcomer flung her black hair over her shoulder.
Rising with grace, Kele straightened her dress before addressing the intruder. “Mother.”
“Daughter, I heard you’ve brought home a stray along with the Apisi alpha.” The female’s stare drilled into Susan, her sneer far from welcoming.
Susan’s breath caught in her throat. Black, soulless eyes ate her gaze. Her fingers clutched the lapels of her jacket as she pulled it closed. She wiped her sweaty palms on her pants and offered her hand. “I’m Dr. Susan Barlow.”
The female shifter narrowed her eyes, nostrils flaring.
Susan withdrew her untouched hand, then hid it behind her back and glanced at Kele. Maybe she should have sniffed her mother instead? She wished someone would give her the Dummies Guide to Shifter Society and a little time to study it.
Kele’s mother crossed the room in two great strides and swung her arm.
Susan did her best impression of a statue. She didn’t budge as the impact of the slap swerved her head to the side and dragged her gaze from mother to daughter. Both of them were flushed with emotion yet at opposite poles of the color spectrum—one dark as an oncoming storm and the other pale as the moonlight.
The back of Susan’s heel caught the edge of the cushion and she landed hard on her back.
The bitter flavor of blood swept over her taste buds. “What the hell?” She rubbed her jaw and glared daggers at the crazy woman looming over her. Just as quickly, she schooled her expression to something less threatening before she insulted the bigger shifter further. With the tip of her tongue, Susan explored her mouth. She didn’t encounter any big gaps, so no lost tooth. A small blessing.
Kele’s crazy mother hovered over Susan’s face and bared her teeth. In beast form, her expression would have appeared fierce, but in human form it seemed terrifying. With an easy grace, she flipped Susan onto her stomach. A bony knee pressed between her shoulder blades, making her kiss the floor. Pain shot across Susan’s upper back and neck.
“How dare you come into my den and not submit to me.”
“She’s not a shifter!” Kele shouted. “You can’t expect her to know how to be polite.”
Something ran over Susan’s hair, and the sound of sniffing followed. She tried to take a deep breath but the weight on her back made it difficult.
The nutjob exhaled in disgust. “What is she?”
“A human.” Kele peered at Susan’s throbbing face as she stroked her hair. “Please, I wanted to teach her how to behave before meeting you and father.”
“Your father.” The bitch snorted. “It’s bad enough he’s entertaining a vampire and dealing with trespassing alphas. We don’t need any more vermin within the den.”
Susan was jerked from the ground by her hair and dragged across the floor. Pain shot into her scalp while she scrambled to support her weight with her legs.
“Let go. Let go.” The shifter world was more brutal than anything she’d ever experienced. Susan slapped at the crazy woman’s hands tangled in her hair.
“My daughter took too many liberties in offering you shelter. You’ll need to find another den to take you in.”
At a loss, Susan yanked and squirmed but only made the pain worse. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Kele leap.
The petite blonde used her wiry strength to jump across the room and land on her mother’s back. The collision knocked them both to the ground in a knot of arms and legs.
Untangling her limbs from the struggling shifters, Susan could finally elbow the bitch in the face. The impact made a satisfying crunch. She pulled back her arm for a second shot, but Kele grabbed her and half carried, half dragged her out of the chamber.
“Hurry, we need to reach my father before she beats you into cinders.”
Not needing any further incentive, Susan ran after her new friend. “Your people are crazy.”
1. Where did you get the idea for the novel?
I love telling this story because it shows how twisted my mind is. LOL
Both my sons were very ill with strep throat. Fever for days. When one was awake, the other was asleep, and vice versa. In other words, I had slept more than a few hours in days. I felt like the Tylenol, Ibuprofen, and antibiotic dispensing machine.
About two in the morning, I had both boys in one bed so I could watch them together. My oldest’s fever was raging and I was waiting anxiously for the meds to kick in or I’d have to place him in a cool bath. Again. I was sitting on the floor and rested my head on the mattress and fell asleep.
In a matter of minutes, I dreamt of this whole world. I spent the next nine months writing book one and about a year editing it. If you’ve read where this story comes from and read the book, you’ll see much of the inspiration within it. By the way, my boys are fine. Thank goodness for antibiotics. :D
2. Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?
This book had so many titles. It started as Temple then became Smelling Human. An author friend suggested Scent of a Human. It remained like this for almost a year as it went through the rounds of submissions. It still didn’t convey what I wanted and I posted for help on romance writer forum. Salvation came up in the conversation and voila. Scent of Salvation made so much more sense.
3. Which came first, the title or the novel?
Novel. When I’m working on the manuscript they all have working titles but very rarely do they remain.
4. Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?
First, being included in author circles at conferences as if I always belonged while inside I’m fan-girling. Second, is when I got THE CALL from Angela James offering my first Carina contract. Third, getting the e-mail from my Samhain editor calmly inquiring if Scent was still available for acquisition.
5. What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?
Currently started Darkfever by Karen Marie Monning. Last book I finished was Flirt by LK Hamilton.
6. What was your first book that you ever wrote (very first one you wrote, not published)?
Amazingly, the very first book I wrote was the first one I published. Bait, book one of The Angler series. It’s free everywhere, by the way. I was lucky enough to final in a RWA contest which got me the contract.
7. What is your writing process?
I have very full schedule. I still work part time as a nurse and I have two very busy boys so I’ve learned to write anywhere. Whatever the noise level. What I do HAVE to accomplish first is to outline the book so when I have to set it aside it’s easy to jump back right in without having to figure out what to write next.
- Who are your favorite authors of all time?
Jim Butcher, Nalini Singh, LK Hamilton, Larry Niven, Robert Jordan, and CJ Cherryh.
9. At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say?
With each series, I come up with an original tagline that is not used on the cover. Such as for my Vanguards series I usually write, “Never moon a werewolf.” Or my Angler series I use, “Live bait makes all the difference.”
- What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I have been a critical care nurse for twenty years in level one trauma centers in both ER and ICU. There’s not much I haven’t seen or done.
11. How do you react to a bad review?
I scream, I cry, I tear my hair out. LOL
No. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion and I can’t expect everyone to love me. I write to my best ability and strive always to do better, but I am only human. What frustrates me is when it’s obvious the person didn’t read the story by their comments in either good or bad reviews.
12. How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
I’m pretty sure we ordered take-out. LOL I know, hang on to your hats. The party animals are here.
About the Author:
Annie Nicholas writes paranormal romance with a twist. She has courted vampires, hunted with shifters, and slain a dragon’s ego all with the might of her pen. Riding the wind of her imagination, she travels beyond the restraints of reality and shares them with anyone wanting to read her stories. Mother, daughter, and wife are some of the other hats she wears while hiking through the hills and dales of her adopted state of Vermont.
Annie writes for Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, and Lyrical Press.