Genies: getting up close and inside the bottle.
When creating the story behind my paranormal creatures I like to use a little myth and mix it up. I need to know how my creatures came to be. My goblins and fairies all had creation myths (while the goblins are cursed Celtic warriors, my fairies have a more complicated past which is touched on in the Annwyn books). But I don’t always reveal everything I have made up in the stories because no one likes an info dump ;)
My genies were a little different. I give a really short prologue about their creation. I did this because my genies are not your average genie. And not all of them tell the truth about what they are to the heroine. Gage, the hero of Temptation in a Bottle never reveals what he is, but then he also forgets what he is at one point.
From research the general rules for genies seem to be:
They have a bottle (or lamp, or container of some sort)
They have to serve who ever frees them from the bottle.
They have magic of some kind.
They can be good or evil just like people.
But for a romance to work the heroine either needs to join the genie in his bottle (which would be very cozy) or he needs a way to get free.
I also needed to know why my genies existed. After all shoving someone’s essence into a bottle and making them servants isn’t exactly a great existence.
Add into that mix I wanted sexy genies. They were there not to grant wishes exactly, but to grant a woman’s fantasies.
Of course once done they go back in the bottle (and it’s a one shot deal with a genie—you don’t get to keep summoning them once you’ve had your share of their magic). Which kind of makes a romance with a happily ever after involving sexy genies quite difficult.
So I had to make an out clause.
The obvious one is falling in love. It sounds easy, but when the genie’s time with a woman is determined by how well he is doing his job of granting her most intimate fantasies he wouldn’t have the time to fall in love that often. Plus some genies might actually like being a genie and having a different woman every time they are summoned.
Like all people, or paranormal creatures, a genie is a product of their life experiences. Did previous women treat him well? Has his bottle been lost for years and is he now afraid of being lost forever? Perhaps he’s willing to risk death and break his bottle? Or perhaps he has learned how to play the system and get what he wants out of each summons.
While I plan to have four ‘In a Bottle’ stories (Boyfriend in a Bottle and Temptation in a Bottle are out now, Lover and Rogue will be out either late 2014 or early 2015), the options are endless. And the stories are fun to write
Prologue (or how I made sexy genies)
The Goddess Inanna raged, but her people turned their backs. The priest of the new religion called her a she-demon. He blamed her for the famine, the lack of rain and the wilted crops. He railed at the people—God was punishing them for worshipping Inanna. Only the good would survive his wrath. So her once proud people got on their knees and prayed to the new God.
Her temples were destroyed. Reduced to rubble. Her priestesses, who had once celebrated life with their bodies, were defiled. Women were denounced as evil, and sex became a sin. Her worship was banned. And still her people starved.
They scratched a living in the dust and stones and prayed on their knees at night for the promise of wealth and eternal life. Women bowed to men, and men forgot that without women there would be no life. They forgot to value the life they had here and now. They forgot to value the physical.
They forgot Inanna.
Inanna wept for the loss her people didn’t notice. Her tears fell in the barren dirt and under the moonlight, men sprouted. Each one unique, perfect, desirable. She breathed life into her sons and placed each one into a bottle spun from starlight. Then she threw the bottles into the world where her people would find them when they were most in need.
TEMPTATION IN A BOTTLE
His only wish is to be free…
For centuries Gage has existed only to fulfill the most intimate desires of the woman who holds his bottle. Now Gage has a wish of his own—to be a real man and a have a real life even though he knows it’s an impossible dream. This time he plans to take his bottle and break it just to see what will happen.
Paramedic Sasha Watts has seen the damage falling in love does to people and she had no intention of being another of Cupid’s victims. She accidentally frees Gage without knowing what he is. After one kiss he walks away and she never expects to see him again, but the goddess Inanna has other ideas.
As punishment for breaking his bottle she erases Gage’s memory of everything but Sasha. Only Sasha can give him the life he longs for and only Gage can be the man she’s always dreamed of, but first she’ll have to open her heart and he’ll have to finish the job Inanna gave him. If he fails, he’ll cease to exist.
Three time ARRA finalist Shona Husk lives in Western Australia at the edge ofthe Indian Ocean. Blessed with a lively imagination she spent most of her childhood making up stories. As an adult she discovered romance novels and hasn’t looked back.
With stories ranging from sensual to scorching, she writes paranormal, fantasy and sci-fi romance.