Friday, November 16, 2012

Guest Post: Susannah Noel + Word and Breath

Today I'm very excited to welcome author Susannah Noel to the blog to talk about the romance in her new-adult Wordless Chronicles series. Book one, Word and Breath, is available now and book two, Word and Deed, releases next month, so if you're a fan of paranormal stories that feature a strong romance, be sure and check these books out!

One of the things I like best about writing paranormal fiction is the opportunity to explore relationships—particular romantic relationships—on a whole different level. By writing characters with paranormal or supernatural abilities, I get to portray love and intimacy in ways not available to writers of realistic fiction.

Writing about vampires, for instance, allows you to portray love, sex, and temptation in a very visceral way—a way you couldn’t if you didn’t have vampires in your story. Werewolves let you to graphically portray the primitive, animalistic side of people. And other paranormal creatures—angels, demons, succubae, etc.—each heighten certain aspects of human nature, potentially making the portrayal more powerful. 

In the Wordless Chronicles, my paranormal creature is called a Soul-Breather. Soul-Breathers have the ability to tap into the feelings, memories, and motivations of other people just by touching them. They can also ease or intensify what someone else is feeling. Mikel, the Soul-Breather hero of Word and Breath, explains it this way: “What I do isn’t artificial or unnatural. It’s just human—revved up a bit.”

I’ve really enjoyed using the Soul-Breather to explore how people interact with each other intimately—not just sexually but also emotionally.

To show how this works, I’m including a short excerpt below from my upcoming book, Word and Deed—the second book of the Wordless Chronicles, which will be released next month. This scene shows Mikel using his abilities as a Soul-Breather to develop his relationship with Riana. It’s the kind of thing that we as humans do with each other—he just does it more tangibly because he’s a Soul-Breather.

Riana felt a tingling internal tug—Mikel opening a connection, breathing her in, stroking her grief away.

“Don’t take it,” she said. “I don’t want you to feel my pain as well as yours.”

“I want to. I need to… I need to be close to you.”

She didn’t know she could feel this way—so incredibly connected to another person, as if they were sharing one life. “Can’t you do it in a different way? Something that would make you feel better too?”

Mikel paused. Then he let out a breath and stroked his knuckles over her cheek. She felt a few experimental tugs from inside her.

“You’ll have to open up more,” he murmured. “Can you let me in even deeper?”

She swallowed, strangely nervous but excited at the same time. “Okay.”

When he touched her cheek again, she tried to lower all defenses. She closed her eyes, relaxed, allowed him inside her in a way he’d never been before.

Instead of taking her turbulent feelings and easing them like before, he instead searched until he found her affection for him—the warm, tremulous feelings that grew stronger every day. He found it, seemed to caress it, and then moved it to the front of her mind.

She sighed in pleasure as the feeling radiated between them, warming them both, relieving her of the worst of her distress.

It was temporary. He couldn’t—and she wouldn’t want him to—take her pain away, since it was so bound up with her memories of the man who had died today.

But it was a respite she desperately needed, and she knew Mikel needed it too.

She felt his body relax beside her as he gently stroked her face, deepening the connection—not with the building excitement of the other night but instead with tender intimacy.

She wasn’t aware when he broke the connection because she’d already fallen asleep.

Thanks so much for sharing that excerpt Susannah! More information on Susannah and her books can be found here:

Buy Word and Breath on Amazon


Riana has learned how to stay out of trouble. She spends her days studying written texts in the government’s Office of Readers, and she spends her nights taking care of her sick sister. She always—always—follows the rules. Despite her low profile, she has mysteriously become a target. Someone has kidnapped her sister. Someone else is trying to kill her. And someone has sent a Soul-Breather to beguile her out of her secrets.

Her help comes from the mythic leader of an underground rebel movement. A man who used to be her friend. A man who has silently loved her for years. He disappeared from her life without a word, and now he expects her to trust him again.

Then there’s the Soul-Breather, a man who can taste her spirit with only a touch. He makes her feel things she’s never experienced before, but she doesn’t know if the feelings are real. Hired to deceive and betray her, he offers to help her instead.

Without both men, she can’t rescue her sister. And she can’t discover the world-changing knowledge—buried in her memory—that has made her a target in the first place.


  1. Oh I really like the sound of a soul breather, I think every other paranormal creature is way overdone, so this definitely gives an interesting take on things! Thanks for sharing this little excerpt with us too Susannah I really enjoyed it! :)

    1. I really like the concept of a soul breather too:) As much as I love the classic paranormal entities, it's always fun to read about a lesser known one!

  2. I tend to enjoy paranormal romances for those reasons. It's interesting to see relationships play on in a slightly different way and I usually prefer it like that. Brilliant post! This sounds really interesting and I enjoyed the excerpt. :)

    1. I think she nailed what it is I love about reading paranormal fiction, particularly books where romance is a large part of the focus. There's just something fascinating for me about relationships that are "revved up" :)

  3. In my haste to delete a spam comment, I accidentally deleted Mary's comment, so I'm reposting:

    Very intriguing concept! The fact that these people can "rev up" emotions seems like both a good and bad thing -- lots of opportunity for conflict.

  4. Love the excerpt, this book sounds like something I could get into. Thanks for sharing :)

  5. I had not heard of this series but I am intrigued by the excerpt. It is a very thoughtful approach to paranormal. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Ooh...this sounds like a gerat concept...though it also sounds like there's a bit of a triangle which I might not love.

  7. A soul breather is something I haven't encountered before. I am always on the lookout for something fresh and new. Thanks for sharing today and Happy Weekend

  8. Love the excerpt and the synopsis. Oh I do think I'm going to have to read this one. It just all sounds so good! Thanks for bringing it to my attention Jenny!!

  9. Oh a soul-breather sounds cool! This sounds like a very unique series!

  10. I don't think I've come across this series before (my loss), but I am definitely interested and I love the idea of Sou-Breathers, I see so much potential there. And the cover is just gorgeous!

  11. That's an interesting take on paranormal romance.

  12. Word and Breath sounds amazing!!! I'm heading to amazon right now!!!!

  13. Oh wow, that sounds intense. I never really thought about how paranormal aspects could make romance more interesting and HOT! Great post ladies. I'm going to check this out. :)

  14. What a beautiful cover. While PR is not my usual genre I must admit I'm intrigued, especially by the idea of Soul-breathers!

  15. "One of the things I like best about writing paranormal fiction is the opportunity to explore relationships—particular romantic relationships—on a whole different level." I think this also describes why a lot of people read paranormal fiction. It's definitely one of the reasons I do.