Thursday, July 21, 2016

Guest Post - 7/21/16 - "Dominus: God of Yule" by J. Rose Allister #RomanticFantasy #MFRWAuthor

Today, I've got J. Rose Allister over for an interview discussing her writing process along with giving us an excerpt from her new release "Dominus: God of Yule."

How long did you write before you were published?
When the fiction bug bit me back around 2001, it was no fairy tale. I didn’t plunge into a novel and come out with a book contract soon after. In fact, I never dreamed I’d be able to write a whole full-length story. I’d been so entrenched in non-fiction writing (articles and humor essays) that I had to learn how to make the switch. I read everything I could get my hands on about crafting fiction, did months of writing exercises, workshops, etc. before anything else. My earliest stories were never published, but I kept trying. I got my first acceptance in 2003 by a small magazine, then I won a story contest in 2004. By then, I had a plot idea that kept growing until I realized I had a novel on my hands. It took me two years to finish that first book, then another eight months to shop it around before a publisher picked it up. Visions, written under my first pen name, came out the following year in 2007.

So the short answer is that I spent almost two years writing fiction before seeing my first story in print, but almost six years before I held a novel in my hands.

What were the challenges you faced (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing your latest book to life?
Honestly, the biggest challenge in writing Dominus: God of Yule was that it was the first book I wrote after an unplanned two-year writing hiatus. I’d shelved another book, the last in a werewolf series, when I started battling the inexplicable (at first) writer’s block, so it was my first natural choice when I went back to writing. I wasn’t ready to do that finale justice, however, so I needed something different. Sons of Herne was nothing more than a vague series concept sitting in a slush file of random writing ideas, and when I was browsing for inspiration, I saw it and jumped. Writing about nature, honoring ritual/routine, and personal power was right where I was at, so I tasked myself with the challenge of writing a year-long novella series, releasing one book for each of the eight sabbats.
I won’t say it was a simple matter, rolling with Dominus: God of Yule after two years. The writing began slowly, awkwardly, with me only writing a few hours per week. But the tale started coming together, and much like a reader who keeps turning pages, I had to write faster in order to find out more about the characters and learn what was coming next. The writing flow kicked in again, and that book marked the official end to the “writer’s block”.

What or who inspired your main characters?
The Sons of Herne series came about as a result of thinking to myself that it would be intriguing to learn more about the pagan sabbats. For me, there is no greater avenue of learning than through writing, so creating stories based on old celebrations brought the rituals and symbolism to life. Many of the sources I sought out for research focused on goddess-centered practices, and one of the books acknowledges Brighid, goddess of the Imbolc sabbat. In the long run, however, I wanted to focus on male aspects of pagan symbolism, horns and hunters, fertility gods and reapers of harvest. So the series revolves around fictional sons of the pagan god Herne, who embodies many aspects of male deity.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Yes! I am both plotter and pantser, sometimes identifying more with one or the other. I went through a phase where pantsing was all I wanted to do, challenging myself by starting with a vague concept and launching into Chapter One. For the second book in my Immortal Paradise series, I announced a contest asking readers to come up with the hero’s line of work and why he goes to the island setting the series was based on. The winning entry was written into the book during NaNoWriMo. I’ll have to say, Tropical Heat was great fun, with the winner’s suggestion of a private eye coming to the paranormal island to investigate a cheating husband. Since then, however, I’ve found it much easier for me to work off a story outline, and for this I find Scrivener’s corkboard feature indispensable. I create virtual index cards, each with a quick blurb summarizing the high points of a scene and what needs to happen to move between one and the next, and I arrange them on the corkboard. This is not to say I don’t ever go off script, as sometimes a story takes a much more intriguing direction than originally planned. But I do like having a general idea of where the story is trying to go.

When do you write, morning or night?
I used to be a devout midnight oil burner for writing, sometimes pounding keys until first morning light. Nowadays, I prefer mornings. I set my alarm clock seven days per week, rising well before the rest of the household to write, edit, and do writing “biz” stuff. Although admittedly, I’ve been known to shut that alarm off a couple times per week and catch an extra half hour of zzz’s.

What are you currently reading?
I’m never only reading just one book, much like I’m typically writing multiple books at the same time. I’m notorious for reading across the spectrum, everything from Jane Austen to Stephen King to sci-fi, but the in-progress books on my Kindle all happen to be erotic romance at the moment. I’m reading Dirty Sexy Saint by Carly Phillips, Claimed by Evangeline Anderson, and the Downfall boxed set by Colleen Charles.

What inspired you to write your first book?
My first novel was inspired by a dream! I’d had this dream about a man (who may or may not have been a major celebrity heartthrob, ahem) who bumped into a strange woman and suddenly inherited her psychic powers. There was a sense of drama about it, a dream knowledge that these visions would cause trouble for his public persona, but would ultimately turn a movie star into a real-life hero. That became the basis for Visions.

How did you come up with your title?
Well, there’s the title I first came up with, and the title that ultimately became a stronger choice to convey the theme of the story. The book was initially “soft released” under the title Season of Light, the title referencing the Yule light released during the plot. When getting feedback on that soft release, it was pointed out that the Sons of Herne books are ultimately stories about gods, not the sabbats, and that the titles should reflect this. So Season of Light became Dominus: God of Yule, and the series covers were changed to showcase the strong, sexy gods who find love despite stubborn flaws, sacred duty, and outside influences.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I just finished Mrs. Dumont by Alessandra Torre, which was smoking hot awesomeness. Couldn’t put it down. She’s got something like eleven books out, most are bestsellers, all within the past few years. She’s a breakout hit for contemporary erotic romance, and I can see why. Hot sex, complex characters, and plots that pile on the complications. I recommend grabbing one of her titles ASAP!

What are your current projects?
The sixth Sons of Herne book, Feillor: God of Lammas, released this month, and two more are coming to wrap up the series. Plus I’ve got a ninth planned that will become an exclusive. Aside from Sons of Herne, I’m working on another series involving hot, naughty gods! This one is a three-book urban fantasy/BDSM called Bound to Her Master. Maddie is pregnant and on the run when she stumbles into a strange realm where seductive gods practice ancient traditions of sexual dominance. Her best chance of getting by involves posing as the slave of Lord Stepanyan, a ruling class god in the midst of his own troubles. Their “arrangement” will not only threaten his rise to rulership over the high seat, but could jeopardize Maddie’s safety should the true nature of their relationship be discovered.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would certainly have used the current title and cover art from the beginning! And as I’ve continued on in writing the series, seeing how the arc has unfolded, I would have loved to expand Dominus’s story into a full-length novel rather than a novella, elaborate more on the budding romance and the issues surrounding his choices and his influence on Lorayna. Who knows? This would be fun to write up and offer as bonus content.

Thanks for stopping by J. Rose. Now on to Dominus, and check out the giveaway being offered below.


            Dominus thought of his last visit to Lorayna, how he had stood at her bedside, whispering ancient secrets while her hair spilled across her pillow and her round curves beckoned. His male need flared into a sharp ache at her beauty, and how he longed to plunge his fingers through that silken hair, run his tongue over every sultry dip and swell on her body. He never touched her. He could not. He had stayed overlong on that visit, for he knew the time had come—a time he both longed for and resented. The time when his visits to her, unwanted though they had begun, would be at an end. A lump in his stomach punctuated the thought.
            A figure passed by the sheer curtain drawn halfway across the front window, and his pulse quickened.
            He heard the name dance through his thoughts, and try though he might, he could not wave it away. He typically preferred not to know the names of the women whose light he released. There was little point in it, for he would not see nor know anything of the females once his mission was complete. For their part, the women would know nothing of him, either. The majority of humans were blissfully unaware that their world sat tightly against a realm of immortals and magic, nor did they care to know just how much their gods were still at work to this day, walking the woods, tending to fields and lusty lasses, and generally keeping the balance of their worlds at peace.
            Laughter rose to his ears, and he drew back instinctively behind the cover of trees. Humans would not see him while he wore the veil charm, rare few, anyway, but best not to chance it. The door to the cottage opened, and several people spilled out, happy and carefree and followed by a waft of alcohol that was apparent to his keen, supernatural senses. Then there she was, Lorayna, standing in the doorway with a wide smile that tightened Dominus’s chest. She wore a pure white sweater, oversized and yet clinging to her ripe figure, and while she chatted to her departing guests, she tucked a silken strand of dark brown hair behind one ear. Blue and silver bells tinkled on her earrings, jingling as she nodded and laughed. Her lips, painted pink and glossy, caught his eye, and he found himself staring at how they puckered and released with every syllable she spoke. Long, well-manicured nails had been painted to match.
            His cock throbbed in earnest, already impatient with the guests who were lingering far too long at the threshold for his tastes. He was eager for their time together, yearning to see his months of attention to her physical and emotional well-being come to fruition.
            One of the males leaned close to kiss Lorayna on the lips, and a swell of unpleasant heat rose in Dominus’s stomach. She was not his to own, of course, and he had no cause for jealousy. She would no doubt sleep with other men in the future, probably many others. But she had kept herself pure since May Day, because she knew deep in her subconscious that she was fated for no other until Dominus helped her birth the shining light he saw inside her even now. The sun’s energy pulsed from within, a bright, glowing force like a singular joy that was at the apex of its power. He alone would bring back that light, coaxing it from her in an explosion of climax. She would feel exquisite pleasure as she returned that energy to the universe, followed by a temporary sense of loss. She would move forward, however, unaware of her crucial role in the wheel’s turn of the coming year. 
            The overly attentive male turned to a man beside him and laid a suggestive kiss on him, complete with a sweep of the tongue while squeezing his ass. Dominus relaxed his fists. So, the male had other inclinations. Good.
            “Try not to be a stranger,” the other male said with a flourish. “Make a New Year’s resolution to come out into the world more than once a month.”
            “It’s not New Year’s yet,” she said.
            “Before you know it.”
            “I just can’t believe it’s already over,” Dominus heard Lorayna saying to the two men who were now holding hands. “I’ve felt such a holiday spirit this Yule.”
            She glanced over the man’s shoulder, looking straight at Dominus while those perfect nails raked strands of her hair smooth. “Of course. It just feels like it tonight, is all.”
            He held her gaze, fully aware that she did not truly see him. At most, perhaps, she was aware of a by now familiar presence. As her dark eyes penetrated him, however, he began to wonder. 


Loving Lorayna could cost him his sacred power...

It is the time of Yule, and Dominus, god of the sabbat, should never have had to spend half the year nurturing the latest light bearer himself. Now, months of visiting Lorayna, present only as a whisper, has sparked a yearning inside of him that he cannot shake.
Lorayna has felt herself drawn to the pagan path by a presence she has been unable to resist. When she discovers her “holiday spirit” is in fact a mouthwateringly sexy god, she’s ready for whatever sabbat ritual he chooses. To her disappointment, his intentions are strictly hands-off.

Giving up her light is not as easy as surrendering to his will, however. Dominus is forced to break the rules and give into his urges before the Yule power consumes her from within. The ripples of their passion will alter many sabbat unions to come—and Dominus must defy his father, Herne, to follow his desires and prove to Lorayna that she was not merely another light bearer.

About the Sons of Herne series:

The god Herne has appointed eight of his most virile, headstrong sons as keepers of the pagan holidays. To honor their sabbat, each must join with a mortal female in a ritual to maintain the balance between worlds.

The Fates have conspired to grant the gods one thing they lack--a true union of male and female that will last beyond the fleeting passion of a sabbat joining.

Herne’s sons will wrestle with the conflict between sacred duty and their own yearnings, a struggle that will not only challenge their beliefs, but may threaten the success of rituals that must be observed lest the mortal and immortal worlds collide in chaos.

Buy Links:

About the Author:

J. Rose Allister has penned over twenty-five novels and numerous short stories from her home in Southern California, including ten publisher bestsellers. She is a TV and movie buff, enjoys the bittersweet discord between obsessing over chocolate while striving for the benefits of a fresh, organically-influenced diet, and is a firm believer that daydreaming, people watching, and yes, chocolate are the greatest fuel for the writing imagination. That and coffee. Or coffee with chocolate stirred into it. She has more books in her to-be-read pile than she can ever hope to find time to sit and enjoy, but this never stops her from adding more.



I’m spending my birthday month giving away gifts during my blog tour! I have some fun magnets, an ebook giveaway from my Sons of Herne series, and one grand prize of a $25 Bath & Body Works gift card! Chances to win every day of the tour, July 11-31. Get the full details and sign up here!

Also, because I want EVERYONE to come away a winner, I’m offering a free gift on your own special day to all who join my birthday club. Sign up here: 


  1. Hi ladies, wonderful interview, I enjoyed reading this :) Interesting premise and excerpt, This sounds intriguing. Thank you both for sharing :)


    1. Thank you for your comment, Roz! And thank you to Kathryn for hosting me here today.


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