This week's guest is the first of (hopefully) many from my new publisher, and Gayle Cranfield's The Forever Forest looks like a fabulous combination of paranormal and kink. Just what we all need a little more of, amirite?
A series of unusual, and unexplained murders in Bath, England, pushes Detective Sergeant Rebecca Leigh and Psychic Investigator, Gabriel Lewis, to work together.
They discover a link to a new Steam Punk nightclub, The Wolf's Den, where owner Darius Wolf, when interviewed, disorientates Rebecca. On exciting the club, Rebecca collapses, seemingly intoxicated, leaving Gabriel no choice but to take her to his home.
She has no memory of meeting Wolf, but attraction between Rebecca and Gabriel reaches boiling point as she discovers Gabriel is not as he seems. The timid psychic is a Dominant in the bedroom and turns her world upside down, as the normally strong willed Detective realizes what has been missing in her past relationships, the submission Gabriel requires from her.
Darius, now obsessed with Rebecca, gains access to her dreams when she is kidnapped by him, leaving Gabriel having to find a passage into Rebecca's dreams and save her from The Forever Forest.
Amazon US - ARe - Goodreads
"You mentioned Jekyll and Hyde earlier, I'd that how you see me?" Gabriel asked as they sat eating their pasta.
"A bit yes. You seem so quiet normally, but this morning, when we were in your bedroom, you were a different person. More forceful."
"I asked you this morning if that scared you and you said no, but when you walked in here today you seemed very nervous."
"Apprehensive I think is more the terminology you should be using."
"Why?" he asked casually.
"The word dominant conjures up many images in my head. I've read books, and I know what it means."
"Is that how you see me?"
"Yes." She gulped.
"You are a very astute woman. You've already worked me out from this morning?"
"Yes. I'm a Detective you know, it's my job." She tried to make a joke, but she knew it just sounded like panic.
"The term Dominant can mean all sorts of things in life."
"What does it mean to you?"
"I'd like you to look at yourself," he said, deflecting her question.
"In what way?" she asked.
"You are an extremely dominant woman in your work, and I presume you are like that because you are in a very male oriented world and have had to learn to be like that. Am I right?"
"To a certain extent, yes," she agreed.
"But I get the feeling that is not your natural personality." He took a long drink from his glass and refilled both glasses again.
"How so?" She nodded in thanks to the wine and picked her glass up and put it to her lips. The wine, along with the food that Gabriel had prepared, was a taste sensation. "Every now and then I see Alice falling down a rabbit hole, only fleetingly, but it's there."
"That's a strange analogy, explain." She smiled as she put her glass down and picked up her fork once more.
"I know you're good at your job and you are obviously very thorough, but I get the feeling that this persona, this hard woman, is not the real you. You have been dragged out of your comfort zone with this career and have had to learn to adapt."
"Keep talking." This man was good.
"You are an extremely foreboding personality and I wouldn't want to cross you at work, but last night and this morning I saw a different side to you, a timid side, and one I'd like to explore a little further." She went to open her mouth, but Gabriel put his hand up to stop her saying anything. "Before you jump down my throat, hear me out please."
"Ok." She was beginning to take offense at his hint that she was weak.
"You do not socialize with people from work, do you?"
"No, they're a bunch of arseholes. I like a few of them, but I still wouldn't choose to spend any amount of with them, Tanya is probably the only one I would see out of work."
"So is that because you don't want people to see the real you when you take your mask off?"
"When you get home, do you close the door behind you and lock the woman away and the little girl is released?"
Rebecca didn't say anything, visions of her unicorn pajamas folded on her bed suddenly flicked through her mind.
"I take it by that silence I'm correct."
"Let's take another avenue. Tell me about your last relationship."
"Er, ok, I met Harry when I was working on a stalking case few years ago. He was the victim before you ask."
"And you started a relationship with him?"
"After the case was over, yes, I did. He was a lovely man and wanted to marry me, but it wasn't what I wanted."
"What did you want?"
"And what was that?"
Silence reigned as Rebecca couldn't quite give him a reason why she didn't want to marry Harry.
"Did you ever take that mask off in front of him?"
"Why do you keep going on about a mask?"
"Because I think, and please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, that you are such a force in your work and all you want to do when you get home is curl up and lock the door with a book and a glass of wine. Am I right so far?"
"Harry met you in a work environment, didn't he?"
"When he was possibly at the lowest time in his life being stalked, making him jumpy and needy."
"And you were the strong Detective Sergeant Rebecca Leigh, crime fighter extraordinaire."
"Now you're taking the piss." She laughed. "You had me believing you then."
"Look at the situation. Was it the tough DS Leigh he fell in love with, or the little girl lost that escapes to her fantasy world in books or TV?" Silence again. "How was your sex life?"
She blushed. "Good, I think." She hated talking about her sex life as she'd discussed with Tanya that morning.
"Was it always you that took the lead, perhaps always instigated sex?"
She thought for a moment. "He was busy, always working long hours."
"And you weren’t?"
"That's not the point," she answered abruptly.
"It totally is the point. He saw you as the dominant personality in your relationship and in all aspects of it, and I don't think you are. Yes, you are dominant in your work life, but you want to be that woman who is taken care of, too."
"I think I get what you mean."
"So I want to explore that side of your quieter personality, not the tough CID Detective Sergeant."
"How do you intend to do that?"
"There is one avenue I want to explore with you, Rebecca. It will probably make you very apprehensive."
"What's that? You're killing me here, Gabriel. Get to the point will you?"
"I want you to submit to me."
"What, in everything I do?" She panicked.
"No, just in the bedroom or wherever sex occurs. Your life is your own. I would not try and change that. I like that side. It's feisty, but it is Rebecca I want to explore further, not Detective Sergeant Leigh."
"I'm not into whips and chains and things."
"Stop panicking. It's not all about that. It's about control. It can be, but that's not what I want from this."
"What do you want from it?"
"Basically, to Dominate you in our sex life."
"I'm not sure about this, Gabriel. Is this something you're used to?"
"It has been in the past, yes. It can make a very interesting relationship. Basically I want to pleasure you in every way possible, and I want to ensure that you have enough orgasms to make your ears bleed."
"And what do you get out of this?" she asked curiously.
"To take care of you. Don't worry, you will satisfy me, too, but my purpose will be your pleasure."
"The perfect man?" She chuckled.
"You said it, not me." His eyes looked over his wine glass, and although she couldn't see his mouth she knew he was smirking behind the blood red liquid.
(Ed. Comment: Pardon me while I ... *fans self*)
Gayle Cranfield was born in London and found her forever after, Mark, at the age of 14.
After nearly 30 years of being together, they have two children, both at a university, and now live in Wiltshire in the South West of England somewhere between Stonehenge and Bath.
Whilst on a road trip around California in 2013, she read some disastrous books and when she returned home decided to write one of her own. Having never creatively written a word since school, she picked up her iPad and hesitantly started to write in secret thinking she'd write a short story, before she knew it she had 97000 words!
That was four books ago. She has written three erotic thrillers for Siren Publishing and this time has written her first erotic/paranormal, The Forever Forest, and has chosen Evernight to publish it for her.
"It is great to see your work come alive," Gayle says. "Although you have various Beta readers telling you it is a great story and a real page turner until a publishing company says 'Yes we want your work' you only think your friends are being nice and trying not to hurt your feelings. Seeing the front cover being emailed to me for approval is always the best part and Jay Aheer has done the most amazing job, as she always does ,with all the Evernight Authors.
You can connect with Gayle at her website, gaylecranfield.com.uk, Facebook, Twitter, Bookstrand, Amazon UK, Amazon US, and Amazon Australia.