Hot guys struggling with their special powers while foiling dastardly plans and falling in love? Of course that would catch my eye. But would it hold my interest? Well, I’m a fan of Olivette Devaux’s Disorderly Elements series and I’m waiting eagerly for each new book – which makes that pretty obvious. The latest book, Like a Phoenix, has just been re-released after a lengthy rework, and I can highly recommend it. It left me with a proper book hangover, including the need for tissues and red wine.
Olivette Devaux’s books are a mix of hot and sweet, with an intriguing peppering of research, and I’m very happy to welcome her to the blog today to talk about her men and the inspiration for the series.
Olivette Devaux on Fairy Tales other Inspirations
Some time ago I had written a novella called Like a Phoenix. It featured four guys in contemporary Pittsburgh, who worked with their elemental powers while in pursuit of love. The book involved a hot threesome, and I got to fall in love not with just the concept of elementalists among us, but with the guys themselves.
Readers were swift to chime back. The general response was one of eager frustration: “But how did they meet? What happened before? Where did they come from?”
The origin of the “talents” as such was inspired by the fairy tales from my native Czech Republic. Children were always warned of not going near the river, because a Waterman would pull them under and capture their soul. Each body of water had a Waterman who ruled it, and his daughters, the Rusalka water spirits, lured the unvary into the water with their lithe bodies and long hair. As a result of this childhood trauma, I had not only been terrified to swim in rivers and ponds like other Czech kids, I was even scared to flush the toilet.
Those swirling waters were, after all, a body of moving water, and I had been convinced that a Waterman lived down there somewhere, and if I kept holding the water tank pull-chain long enough to flush, he’d pull me under.
Ash Ravenna is based on a Waterman. I modernized him somewhat and gave him dominion over the Allegheny River that flows through Pittsburgh. His love interest, Cooper Anneveinen, is gifted with earth-sense. Cooper needed a talent to match Ash, and I was inspired by my former training in geology to give him the ability to perceive underground structures. He is… interesting.
Then the other denizens of Czech mythos began to clamor for my attention: Krakonos, the Lightning-bringer, resulted in Paul’s bioelectric field as well as in Mark’s ability to control sound waves. The wind-master, David, surely comes from Norwegian heritage, where legends of mountain spirits and the North Wind prevail.
And what of fire? The Czech Fireman, a spirit in the form of a flaming skeleton, must have been an apparition our ancestors saw when some young fire elementalist happened to lose control.
Fanciful folk tales were spun to disguise the existence of talented humans. Nobody wanted to be caught by a village mob and burned at the stake, after all.
But back to the series. Inspired by my readers’ questions, I wrote a prequel, then another one. Then a third – and, FINALLY the original Like a Phoenix novella got expanded into a novel which reflects the character and plot development of the previous three. Thus, the original work is the seed of Book #4 of what I project to be a 6-book series, with tie-in stories of various lengths.
The concept revolves around a group of elementalists who fight pollution and try to set the world into a state of elemental balance. I’m afraid to stop writing and deprive them of the ability to help us fix our world, and I invite you to join me on this exciting journey where love runs true, where the ordinary becomes just a little more, and where even ordinary people like you and me might, perchance, possess the ability to change the world.
DISORDERLY ELEMENTS – CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
Zero Power Signature – Short Story
Like a Rock – BOOK 1
Forbidden Kiss of Life – Short Story
Like a Torrent – BOOK 2
Within a Crowded Blade – Short Story
(no name yet) – (Novella, in progress)
Like a Surge – BOOK 3
Like a Drumbeat – (Novella, in progress)
Like a Phoenix – BOOK 4
Three Solstice Gifts – Short Story
Like a Dervish – (BOOK 5, In Progress)
Like a Void – (BOOK 6, planning stages)
LIKE A PHOENIX
Sigmund Harte – army vet. Detective. A lucky guy pursued by unexplained fires and explosions. A sweet and loving man, crushing hard on his older P.I. partner.
David Rhea – wilderness guide. Wind master. Recluse. When the young Sigmund confesses his affections, he responds… poorly.
Lucky for Sig, Cooper and Ash adopt him, determined to teach him elemental control and love alike. Will their incendiary threesome last, or will David Rhea wake up and claim the man who threatens to slip away… forever?
Special appearance by the Sword that is Jared. Contains three hot men in a relationship, one dense wind-master, bloodshed, and dark, angsty themes