Tag Archives: Wicked Apprentice

Pliant, Helpless, & Half Naked: Excerpt from Wicked Apprentice

10 May

Wicked Apprenticeby Madeline Iva

Time for a scrumptious bit of fantasy romance, my lady vaginas.

Here’s an excerpt from WICKED APPRENTICE, Book One in the Wicked Magic Series. 

Prin has captured a “uncanny creature” and brought him back to her mistress’s castle.  She did it under orders, not knowing what the sorceress Hulgetta planned to do with the gorgeous, tall stranger and his pointy ears.  Yet as she notices how his eyes change from black to green and back again, she starts experiencing strange feelings–feelings that begin to challenge her obsession with learning magic.  She suddenly wants to know more about her prisoner–she wants to know him intimately.

“They all called you Prin,” he said at last.

“Yes.” He wasn’t going to mention how they behaved. Thank you. She took a bigger breath.

“That’s… an odd name.” His Berbainwick was strangely accented, his words all stretched out instead of clipped off. He kind of gargled them sometimes at the back of the throat. To her ears the language had never sounded half so charming before.

“It’s a nickname,” she explained, and then stopped, not willing to explain more. Touchy ground here.

“What does it stand for?” he asked. His voice was lilting and gentle, another tone entirely from before. “Princess?”

“Bet you say that to all the girls,” Prin replied. In fact, it was an abbreviation for ‘apprentice’ and a way of making fun of Hulgetta’s speech. She wasn’t going to tell him that, of course. Everything about him was gentle and refined. She kinda wanted to muss him up a little bit.

“I said nothing to them at all.” He looked puzzled.

She wrinkled her nose. “Never mind.”

“You are a princess then?” he said. He asked her a question in a language she didn’t understand. She looked down at her calloused fingertips and didn’t reply. Let him think what he liked. The silence stretched on. She looked up and his attractiveness hit her again like a physical blow.

His eyes had gone dark again, and he was a vision of sensitive torment. She felt herself involuntarily reaching towards him. Then, alas, the eyes changed back, and she regained a modicum of self-control. She stood up and paced around the cell, her heart still thudding about inside her chest.

“Who has imprisoned me?” he asked. “A murderous wizard? An evil enchantress?”

I did. “Technically speaking, she’s a sorceress,” Prin replied. “You don’t remember?”

He sniffed at the water in the tumbler.

“It’s not poisoned or tainted,” she said. “I freshened it with herbs myself. See?” She drank from the cup and then held it out to him to show him the sage leaves and borage blossoms. “Perfectly safe.” He took a tentative sip on his own, letting her hold the cup for him. The feel of his fingers sliding over hers. Her eyes widened, but he moved abruptly, pulling the cup away. As if he didn’t want to touch her.

“Thank you,” he said, not looking at her. Then he must have changed his mind about something. He looked up at her again, his eyes flickering black. “I thank you,” he said, this time with a tone of grave respect.

“You’re welcome,” she said, using the same formal tone. And did you know you’re smoking hot?

Lying there pliant, helpless, and half naked, he was so scrumptious her body itched to crawl on top of him. Moreover, all her fairy dust was up and screaming for him, and that just never happened to her with a guy. Ever.

She put the tumbler back on the wooden tray with the pitcher and stood there twisting her fingers up in her skirt. Nervous. Her mind strained for something to say. Her body looked for another excuse to bend over near him and reveal her cleavage. Get a grip, woman.

“And what are you called?” she asked, forbidding her fingers to play with her braids. The traitorous fingers took to the lacings on her corset instead, and she bit her lips a little to make them red. Where was her apprentice side? The scholarly side that wanted to learn? Pathetic.

“Princess, help me,” he whispered.

How was she ever going to refuse him anything when his eyes were all big and noble, yet softly luminous? She had felt loyal to Hulgetta. ‘Had’ being the operative word. Her loyalty was wobbling, big time. This was so wrong.

“Are you okay?” she said, filled with dread and concern. She leaned over the bed and put her hand on his brow again. Yes. It was warm now. She felt his cheek. It was hot. Spell all gone. Reluctantly, she took her hand away.

“Can you move your legs?”

He took her hand again and placed it back on his cheek, his lips parting a little. She went a little gooey and just stared at him, unable to think or move. He took that hand and kissed it.

“Help me escape.”

She stood up straight, breathless. Whoa. There it was. Bright needle-thin fear suddenly pierced the bubble.

“It would mean my life,” she said, simply.

You want more don’t you, reader? I don’t blame you — here’s a 100 page excerpt to entice you.

Also Wicked Apprentice is free right now on KU–so check it out!  🙂 

The Science Behind Dark Gothic Feels

12 Mar

by Madeline Iva

Hello lovely people! How are you? I’m pretty obsessed these days with one thing and one thing only: dark, gothic feels.  I like all aspects of suspense–preferably set in intriguingly gloomy surroundings, and chock full of complex, morally ambiguous or hard to read characters.  I love how gothic reads make the heart race from a pinch of fear, a heaping amount of romantic tension, and a bit pit of secrets. But that obsession has branched off into more basic question: If you’re feeling a bodily reaction to someone — is the other person feeling it too? This is often an underlying question in gothic romance, where Things Must Not Be Said.  But how can we not question this in the times we’re living in?

I’ve had moments in the past where suddenly out of the blue, my radar begins pinging around someone.  I’ve later found out that the other person was *really* into me at the time.  Because of that, I’ve come to trust my inner radar–and my advice to friends is always: if you’re feeling it, it’s cause there’s something there.

Of course, I always add, the knowledge may not do you any good whatsoever.  Most of us are not ruled by our heart or groin.  With most of us, our head is firmly in charge. There can be multiple reasons–exponential reasons even–why the guy or girl in question may decide not act or want to act on the vibe between you.  They may be committed elsewhere, they may think that despite chemistry you’re a dork, or crazy, or difficult, or for whatever reason you just don’t match (either inwardly or outwardly) what their head requires in a date, mate, or f*ckbuddy.  😦  And they may deny that there is any chemistry at all if you try to initiate something.  SEE BELOW.)  The last thing you want to do is start off a conversation asking for an admission that ‘there’s something going on between us.’  Trust me, more than half the time that conversation is not going to go well.

But am I even right that if you’re feeling it, then the other person is too?  Science has been bending the microscope towards this question as well, and so far the answers are hacking big chunks out of my theory.  For one thing — if you present a sense of danger and even mild stimulants, it will raise levels of sexual attraction in men. (Artificially?)

The Science of How Thrills Leading To Feels: the article below from Scientific American reveals how men are much more likely to risk engaging with an attractive woman out if they are near a high suspended bridge and have had a major shot of caffeine.

How We Misinterpret Emotional Arousal

In fact, both men and women are very susceptible to mixing signals of danger for emotional feels towards another person.  The TED talk below explores the dangers of SSRI’s like Prozac in our society — because they inhibit dopamine.  Without dopamine, we have a hard time feeling attraction, or falling in love.  But we also get a dopamine rush from a sense of thrilling adventure, or danger.

The Brain In Love

And finally, science is starting to reveal that as more men and women feel it’s acceptable to form mixed gender relationships, a very high proportion of men assume that at the core of the friendship is a mutual attraction for each other that is being deferred for some reason–like one of them is in a committed relationship.  Women however, do not report similar assumptions at anywhere near the same rate.  They see the guy friends more often than not as “just friends” and there is no attraction on their part.

Dubious Aspects of Cross-Gender Friendships

What can we understand from these limited studies?

The bad news: just having a vibe around someone all of a sudden is not definitive proof that they’re feeling something too–even just sexual chemistry.  One hopes that men all across the world will take this message to heart and that many of them who do assume this will immediately stop being creeps.

The good news: men are REALLY susceptible to having feels for women they’re around. If you *are* feeling something for a cis-man, and you’re a woman–the chances are pretty high he could be feeling it too. Again–he may not want to do anything about it–or even acknowledge it.

In the face of this scientific news–and compounded by the sexual harassment issues we’ve been facing lately as a society, I simply must revise my theory:

Here’s my new version: If you’re feeling vibes coming off someone, can you assume they’re feeling it too? No.  But they *might* be. And the best thing you can do in that situation is hug that knowledge to yourself.

Because there are a ton of reasons a person can be sending out the sparky feels.  The passion of what they’re engaged in–career, hobby, or creative endeavors–can explain so much of why you’re getting those tingles down low.  The truth is men benefit from women’s company and friendship in so many ways — from the feeling of being able to confide in someone, to basic career assists, to the care-taking that women often provide.  There are TONS of reasons why a man may be in a state of high anticipation around you that has nothing to do with actually being into you–either sexually or romantically.

Which brings me back to the glorious wonder of Dark Gothic Feels. What we can no longer assume in the real world we can heartily assert in the fantasy world of the gothic.  Is he a vampire? He’s totally into you.

Is he a reclusive member of the upper class, harboring dark secrets in his decayed castle mansion? Into you.

Crimson Peak

Secrets….LOTS of secrets…

Is he an elf lord amidst rotting splendor and magic, cursed with the power of bespelling women? Oh he wants you.

Is he a nice guy who happens to be ridiculously hot and because of some misunderstandings between you early on, sincerely wants to help you fight the vicious demon eating your soul? Yeah, he not only wants dirty sex with you–asap–he luuuuvs you.

Retreat with me to these fantasy fictional worlds where every twinge of a vibe means something hot, pure, and true.

I’ve got a free novella you can check out — about the hot guy and demon infected heroine.

I’ve got a brooding elf-wizard in his lonely tower — sample the first 100 pages of WICKED APPRENTICE.

If your pleasure poison is the reclusive guy with dark secrets and a mouldering castle follow me and you won’t miss out on the glorious gloom.Wicked Apprentice

 

 

 

What’s Your Name, Princess?

8 Jun

 

WICKED APPRENTICE – Your perfect summer fantasy read.  Only .99 cents.

ONE LINK TO RULE THEM ALL: https://books2read.com/u/4DAgNd

“What’s your name?” She asked, nervous. She had to get his name and go. She was in over his head.

“But you haven’t even told me yours, Princess,” he said in his quiet voice. She gave a little curtsey in response.

“I know not. Hulgetta has taken it from me.”

Her name and her tears were the fee Hulgetta demanded in exchange for learning magic—and a bargain at twice the price.

“Hulgetta? her magic is cruel then.”

He looked at her as if dazzled. The way he said the world cruel and the look he gave her, it was as if he was really saying that she was the cruel one, not Hulgetta.

She smoothed the front of her dress, feeling all feminine and cruel. She wished she’d laced her bodice tighter. He lay there enticing, helpless, and yet a corner of her mind still pricked with the need for caution.

Madeline Iva writes fantasy and paranormal romance.  Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, featuring a magic geek heroine, is available on AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo, and through iTunes.  Sign up for Madeline Iva news & give aways.

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