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Date Published: 12/20/12
 Being attacked by a demon in Philadelphia shouldn’t have been a big deal. Tarian Xannon is, after all, heir to the Dolphin Throne and the strongest magical talent in generations.

 Never mind that demons aren’t even supposed to exist. Never mind that the demon managed to swipe some of her blood. She’s never met her match before and she’s confident she can handle the situation.

 She creates a plan to find the demon, and kill him, before he destroys her, or worse, steals her power and the Dolphin Throne.

 Of course, she hadn’t counted on the throne insisting that now would be a great time for her to provide the next heir.

 She’s a modern woman with a demon to kill, and a baby to produce. What could possibly go wrong?

Guest Post

People often ask me where the idea for Stronger Than Magic came from. The short answer is I don’t know. The real spark for the story is lost in a whirl of time, space, memory, and an old notebook.

One day I was cleaning out a drawer and happened on a spiral notebook full of scribbles. In the middle of the notebook I found two pages that contained a snippet of a story. Just a scene; a hint of two main characters and a setting. The girl was sitting at a sidewalk cafe and watching a man across the street, and she was full of herself. Confident, cocky, and slightly arrogant. She was about to catch the guy and knew he’d be an easy mark.

The guy, on the other hand, had noticed her watching and was thinking to himself: “she has no idea who she’s dealing with.” Funny enough, the girl was thinking the exact same thing. They were two very strong personalities on the verge of clashing, with a hint of magic in the air. I leaned forward in my seat to see what happened when she attempted to arrest him.

And the story ended. That’s all I wrote. I was unbelievably frustrated, and felt compelled to finish what I’d started so long ago.

That little snippet of a scene never actually made it into the final Stronger Than Magic story, strangely enough. But the feeling of it did, and the idea of a very strong female protagonist who has enough magic power to take on just about anything is the foundation of the story. The guy? He’s there too, although as it turns out he’s not the one she’s arresting. She catches him in an entirely different, and steamy, way. After all, an initial clash like that can only be one thing…foreplay.

A few other things inspired parts of the story. The House of Xannon, Tarian’s home, is located on an island near Honolulu and is very similar to one that actually exists. Tarian has a love for Philly cheesesteaks and a certain coffee shop in Center City which does exist, although it’s not called what I called it in the book. The neighborhood where she is attacked by the demon is eerily similar to the one I lived in.

The answer to where the inspiration comes from is simple: it comes from everything I see and hear every day. Of course it gets twisted and turned on its head in the story, but that’s why it’s called fiction.


“Tarian, wait. Not like this. It shouldn’t be like this.”

Her shoulders slumped. Obviously she needed lessons in the seduction department. Usually all a girl had to do was flash a little skin and a willing smile. Damn the man for being more honorable.

“Don’t you get it? I need this. I need you. I only have right now, this moment. Tomorrow might never come for me. You answered the call. Now you’re telling me you don’t want this? That you won’t…help me?” Anger flooded her. “What was all that earlier, a tease?” She stepped back out from the comfort of his thighs.

Daric reached out and grabbed her hand, preventing her from getting very far. He pulled her back until she was close again, and his hand cupped her face. She saw compassion, lust, and uncertainty in his eyes and the worried way his eyebrows joined together. Her anger evaporated.

“That’s what this is? Part of the ritual?” His thumb gently caressed her cheek. “I’m going to help you get rid of this demon, Tarian. You don’t have to do this now. Let’s wait until after we’ve solved your problem, and then if you still want this…”

“If you’re trying to save my virtue, don’t worry about it. I never had any. It was up for grabs the minute I was born.” She’d always known this moment would come, but she’d never pictured it like this. She wasn’t sure what the ritual was normally supposed to be like, but she had a feeling she wasn’t supposed to know or care about the person she completed it with.

And she did care.

Melinda VanLone
Author Bio:

Melinda VanLone writes fantasy and science fiction, freelances as a graphic designer, and dabbles in photography. She currently lives in Rockville, Maryland, with her husband and furbabies. When she’s not playing with her imaginary friends you can find her playing World of Warcraft, wandering aimlessly through the streets taking photos, or hovered over coffee in Starbucks.

twitter: @melindavan


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