Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Megan Derr for taking the time to talk with us today about their retro title from Less Than Three Press Dance with the Devil. Prism Book Alliance® recently reviewed Dance with the Devil. You can find the review here.
Retro Reads Spotlight with Megan Derr
We are here today to talk about the the Dance with the Devil series. What can you tell us about it?
The whole thing actually started with Chris’s mother. I’d read a lot of ‘fall in love with a ghost’ type stories lately and I was disappointed they always ended with A) living person dies and become a ghost too or B) ghost finally is free and gets reincarnated. I wanted to see the ghost and person stick it out as is, and then I went what if they managed to have a kid. And that was Chris.
My favorite title in the series is Dance in the Dark, but I loved the entire series. Which title in the series is your favorite?
It’s a tie between Midnight and Dance in the Dark for me. I’m very pleased with both stories, they had some unusual characters I enjoyed playing with, and they were amongst the hardest to write for various reasons and the hard ones always stick with me most.
Tell us more about our some of our main characters?
Chris will always be the central central character in my head, it all started with him and someday it will all end with him. He grew up poor, half-ghost, bullied and harassed, and has grown up with a low tolerance for such things. He’s probably one of the most powerful figures in the whole series, and the least interested.
Johnnie is my little brat who likes pretty things and being adored but would never admit it. He was fun just because he’s so severe and serious and aware of the kinds of things I never notice. Though he was a bitch to write in the way he doesn’t use contractions and all the quotes x_X
Jackie is probably the most chill of my modern day detectives, an experienced sorcerer who mostly just wants to be left alone to a quiet life but seldom gets that, especially with the crew he runs with now :3 After Devlin, he’s the most magically skilled.
And Devlin is my old school witch, sulking about dreary manors and doing it rather prettily though he wouldn’t want to hear that. He’s extremely talented magically, and the older he gets the better he gets. I’m also not done with him by a longshot, as a few sharp eyes have noted :3
Then of course there are my dragons, which I’ve always been proud of and pleased with. Ken is the central figure here, and he’s got some of my temper and histrionics. He is the one most responsible for shaking up the dragons’ corner of the world, especially in Shield of the Dragon, which will come out sometime in 2016.
What about the Dance with the Devil series makes you the proudest?
That I haven’t completely mucked them up yet. It was meant to be a one off with Dance with the Devil (that’s why his stories are written out of order, they were originally posted as separate stories, jumping back and forth in his life)
If you could change one thing in the Dance with the Devil series what would it be and why?
If I’d known it’d become a long, convoluted series I would have done Chris’s differently and tried to write the series in better order.
What was the inspiration for this series?
Chris, like I said, started with his mom. But it turned into more of a series when I had the idea for the dragons and then realized I could fold them into my DwtD verse. Then someone won an auction and asked me to write a story about a draugr, and that became Devlin’s story, and after that it was all over.
What else do we have to look forward to in this world?
First up I have a list of short stories to write: Tori’s brothers, Wyatt’s story, Phil’s story, a couple more dragon stories that need to be updated, and some of Chris’s that I want to update. After all of those are done, and assuming nothing else springs up, I’ll finally work on the last novel.
If the world were going to end tomorrow, how would you spend your last night on earth?
With Sasha and my family, having all the fun together that we could, be it doing crazy shit or sitting at home cheating at Uno.
Tell us about some of your other titles.
I love vampires and fantasy, so not so long ago I said fuck it and combined the two. Princes of the Blood is a trilogy about high fantasy vampires, the kind of series I figured would not get much attention but people have really loved it and that makes my little author heart happy
Title: Dance with the Devil
Author: Megan Derr
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Cover Artist: London Burden
Rating: of 5 Stars
Genre: M/M Romance, Paranormal
In a world of demons, goblins, witches, sirens, werewolves, vampires, and so much more, it can be difficult to determine who is guilty of what and why. Chris White is a detective who fearlessly investigates this supernatural world, himself a unique product of it. He will take any case brought to him, but has a particular affinity for helping those who inhabit the poor districts of his city. From strange rituals and runaway vampires, to fighting sorcerers and confronting a demon lord, this paranormal detective will face any challenge—even a dance with the devil.
Leaving the riverside district, Chris made his way northeast back to the business district. Well, the barest edge of the business district, so low rent that realtors were grateful for whatever they could get. Chris smiled as he saw his own little office. It wasn’t much, but it was his. A rundown corner building, it still smelled like the cheap corner store it once had been. He’d spent weeks just tearing out all of the old crap and turning the bottom floor into a set of office rooms—an actual office, a sitting area, a storage room, and a little break room. It was only a two-storey building, but that meant that he and Doug could live above it without having to rent an apartment.
The door was wood—good wood, from before the whole area had gone to hell—with a glass panel across the top half. Chris had stenciled the current letters across the glass himself, with stuff picked up from a hardware store: White Detective Agency. He’d been in business just four years now. Far from famous and successful, but he wasn’t starving or dead either. He’d take it.
Two beat-up desks, bought for cheap at a junk shop, filled the actual office room. They took up most of the space, in fact, but it wasn’t like they needed much else. When he slipped inside, Chris was surprised to see Doug already there, going over notes and sipping cheap coffee. “You’re back earlier than I expected.”
Doug nodded. “Easy enough interviews. Did yours show up in the afternoon and mid-evening?”
“Yeah, the wet sisters and The Foreman, respectively. Sisters described the book as ‘weird’. Foreman says she didn’t touch him. None of them knew who SB could logically be.”
“I spoke with a vamp and a witch, both from slightly uptown. They both said the same thing—book felt weird, but they couldn’t peg exactly how. Neither saw any of the other visitors. No one knew who SB might be, other than to be smartasses. I don’t think they did it.”
Chris drummed his fingers on his desk. “We need to know the identity of SB. Those initials mean nothing to me, not in the Woods.”
Doug nodded, finished his coffee, and stood up. “Guess we need to go see Chez again.”
Groaning, Chris stood up. “Just what I need, to go see my mom. Let’s get this over with.”
Snickering, Doug took his arm. His magic flared and they vanished from the office. They reappeared in front of an old, stately, and beautiful house. It was one of several in the area that had been standing since not long after the city had truly taken hold and started to expand. This historic district was all that remained of that original city. This particular house was one of the few which had weathered the years well—or it seemed that way, at least. The truth was that his mother had worked on it slowly and steadily for as long as Chris could remember. Every time they’d had extra money, she’d squirreled it away until she had enough for her next big project.
For years in the city’s earliest thriving times, the city had stood proud amongst so many others. But when the city had suddenly declined, this house and its neighbors had almost all fallen to pieces as the formerly wealthy owners had moved on to better, safer places—then had come the murder. Once the city had fallen, the criminals had taken it over for the most part, the honest citizens few and far between. Two hundred years ago, right around the time they said the demon lord had first moved in to take the territory over, a talented thief had worked the streets like an urban Robin Hood—until the night he saw the then-mayor of the city and two of his aides murder a man. The thief had run for his life, but to no avail: they’d eventually tracked him back to the abandoned house where he’d been living and stabbed him to death. After that, no one went near the house at all—not for another hundred years.
Chris strode up the cobblestone walk, up onto the wide, elegant porch that had been his mother’s first project. A figure stood there, just in the shadow cast by the porch roof. He was pale of color, wispy—and translucent. He was far from the only ghost in the city, but the one Chris knew best. After being brutally murdered, the thief’s spirit had become a ghost that would never leave the house where he had died.
“Christian, Douglas,” the ghost greeted.
“Hey, Dad,” Chris said. “We need to speak with Chez again. How’s Mom?”
His father shrugged. “She is devastated, of course, but you know your mother.”
Chris nodded and followed as his father passed through the door and into the house. He turned back to normal inside the house and unlocked the door so Doug could get inside. Growing up, his mother had forever railed at them for simply going through them, because she had all too often followed them, not realizing until too late that the door was closed.
Inside, he could just hear voices coming from the back rooms—the kitchen, most likely. Unsurprised, for his mother most often was found in either the kitchen or the study, Chris motioned to Doug and headed for the kitchen.
Like the rest of the house, the kitchen might have almost fallen out of the pages of a history book. Even modern conveniences, where possible, were disguised to keep the old-fashioned feel. Although his mother had never said, claiming only that she was interested in preserving a piece of history, Chris knew damn good and well that she did it for his father, who felt more comfortable and less out of place surrounded by as little of the modern world as possible.
His mother looked up at his arrival and smiled warmly. “Christian. Hello, Douglas.”
“Glenys,” Doug greeted.
“Hey, Mom,” Chris said. He sat down in one of the empty chairs and motioned for Doug to take the last seat.
“I made an apple pie this morning,” Glenys said. “Would you boys like a piece? The coffee is fresh.”
Chris rolled his eyes. “No—”
“I’d love some,” Doug said, drowning Chris out and beaming innocently when Chris glared at him.
Laughing, Glenys patted Chris’ hand, then stood up and began to fix them pie and coffee.
“We’re working, Mom,” Chris groused.
“You can work and eat at the same time,” Glenys replied as she set their plates of pie and mugs of coffee on the table. “You’re smart enough to multitask, sweetie.”
Chris scowled at her, but at the look she gave him in return, pulled his plate and mug closer, and obediently ate. Shooting Doug a warning look for what sounded suspiciously like snickering, Chris finally turned his attention to Chez, who had sat quietly throughout.
“Chez,” he said quietly. “We need your help. We went and spoke to everyone on that list you gave me—but there’s one person we can’t figure out. See … ” He pulled out the piece of paper with the names and initials on it from his pocket. Only ‘SB’ stood alone, circled to make it stand out. “Gentry had five sets of initials written out as potential buyers. Four of those corresponded … ” He stopped at the look on Chez’s face, then asked, “Who is SB, Chez?”
Chez shook his head furiously, expression mutinous as he said, “Don’t know.”
“You’re lying,” Chris said, gentle but firm. “Who is he?”
“He didn’t do it!” Chez burst out. “He almost never comes! No! No! No!”
Chris shared a startled look with Doug and his mother. Chez was clearly terrified of naming the man—whether or not the man had killed Genry, Chez did not want to drag him into it. Who could it be, that Chez would forsake identifying Gentry’s possible killer?
Glenys moved closer to Chez and draped an arm across his shoulders, hugging him. “Chez, it’s okay. Shh, don’t be scared. You can tell Chris. If he’s responsible—”
“No!” Chez said. “He could hurt others.”
“He can’t hurt a ghost,” Chris said. “Chez, please. We want to find Gentry’s killer. If this person didn’t do it, he could still tell us who did.”
Chez started crying again, but after some more coaxing from Glenys, he finally said in barely audible tones, “Sable Brennus.”
Silence fell for a moment, and then Chris said, “Shit.”
“I don’t believe it,” Doug said. “Why the hell would a demon lord be involved in this? What are we supposed to do?”
Chris stood up. “We go talk to him, of course.”
Doug blanched. Glenys let go of Chez, frowning as she said, “You most certainly will not, Christian White.”
“I’m going to speak with him,” Chris repeated. “I don’t give a damn who or what he is. Gent is dead and I’m going to find out why even if that means going to speak with Sable Brennus. I’m not scared of a stupid, fucking—”
“Watch your mouth.”
Chris turned, making a face. “Sorry, Dad. Mom.”
“Chris,” Glenys said. “I really don’t think it’s wise—”
“I don’t care,” Chris interrupted. “He’s not going to get away with sh—murder just because he’s a demon lord. I’m not going to cower and hide. I’m a detective and I’m on this case and I’m going to see it through. Doug, stay here and keep an eye on everyone for me.”
“I’ll be fine, Dad,” Chris replied, meeting his father’s stern, worried gaze. “No one can touch me, thanks to you. I can handle one stupid demon lord.”
“Just be careful and come back home,” his father replied. “Don’t keep your mother worrying.”
“I won’t,” Chris said, and left.
About the Author
Megan is a long time resident of LGBTQ romance, and keeps herself busy reading, writing, and publishing it. She is often accused of fluff and nonsense. When she’s not involved in writing, she likes to cook, harass her cats, or watch movies. She loves to hear from readers, and can be found all over the internet.
One audiobook of winner’s choice from: Dance with the Devil, Dance in the Dark, or Midnight
Winner will be randomly drawn from comments on Sept 14th, 5:00 EST .
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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