Somewhere around this time last year my editor at Pink Petal Books and I discussed the possibilities of a shared world. The ideas simmered and in the spring of this year we starting setting major plot bunnies loose. Last month the first of the Spellbound Treasures books released. Each novella is by a different PPB author. This week sees the release of my Spellbound Treasure book, Unbreak Me.
A year in the making, Unbreak Me isn't a pretty romance. The darkness of this plot has been cooking for a long time and neither the hero nor the heroine are pretty people. Set in a world filled with warriors who wield magic as often as weapons, the main characters are all soldiers. They've all been betrayed and suffered horrendously. Finding all their betrayers becomes part of their quest to discover the truth. In the end, only part of the conspiracy is revealed. This sets things up nicely for two sequels.
With Unbreak Me, I've felt like a pregnant woman. I've been carrying this new world around in my head for months. It grew slowly in the beginning and then more quickly when I began to actually write the scenes for the book. It's a little sci-fi, a little fantasy, and a little paranormal all mixed together and slapped between two urban fantasy chunks of bread. And really, the filling is more fantasy than anything else I've been told, but it's very heavily spiced with sci-fi rom.
In the world of Estep Realm I've mixed magic with modern weaponry, fantasy infused cities with technology, and romance with grit. My heroine is scarred all over her body. She was a sniper, an assassin with an elite fighting force, a beautiful woman, a decorated officer, and the daughter of a beloved General. Betrayed, imprisoned and tortured, she becomes a contract killer for hire after faking her own death in a prison fire. The hero is bitter, vengeful and angry, but it's he who regains hope first once he discovers some of what really happened. Then he sets about trying to right the wrongs that have been perpetuated against the woman he loves.
Birthing this world wasn't without pain. This is a darker love story than the ones I've told in the past. These characters have suffered physically and mentally. And more than that, they've been underestimated by the enemy, who in the end is no match for their combined skill set. Yet another enemy lurks in the conspiracy against them and he is the one who draws out the hero of the second book who is even more dark than the heroine of Unbreak Me.
The realms I created for Spellbound Treasure are unique and infused with my current addiction to sci-fi rom and urban fantasy. However, I can't quite leave behind my paranormal roots either. I've mixed all of these volatile elements together in my melting pot and I've said my prayers over the bubbling mixture. It's up to the readers to tell me whether they like this concoction I've come up with.
Unbreak Me will release at Pink Petal Books later this week. I hope that all of you enjoy it as much as I did giving birth to it.
Have a great Tuesday!
Sharon Buchbinder and Obsessions @sbuchbinder
3 hours ago