Keri Arthur is the author of Kiss the Night Goodbye, book four of the Nikki and Michael series:
Nikki James is just an ordinary, risk-taking, psychically inclined private eye until she hooks up with Michael Kelly. Now she is something more: one of the few, the chosen, the magic-wielding undercover operatives of the Damask Circle, an organization protecting humanity from a rising tide of evil. She wants nothing more than to pass the Circle’s strict entry exams so she can get on with the business of planning her wedding to Michael. But she quickly realizes that buying a wedding dress is the least of her worries.
One hundred years ago, Michael Kelly hunted down and killed the sorcerer responsible for murdering his lover. Now the brother of that man is out for revenge, and he intends to destroy all that Michael holds dear in the process. When Michael is kidnapped, the trail leads Nikki to a dusty ghost town surrounded by a potent magical barrier, leaving her to battle a madman alone with only her wits, strength, and the one psychic gift she cannot fully control. And to make matters even worse, Michael no longer seems to remember who she is.
What is so darned alluring about vampires? Why do we – as readers – keep coming back to this idea of a relationship with what would seem to be a terrifying monster? Do you think this scary but enticing relationship symbolizes the trouble men and women sometimes have understanding with each other and communicating?
I think the allure of the vampire is the same allure as that of the bad boy–and who doesn’t love reading about the bad boy who finds redemption in the arms of one special woman? It also helps that while they might be dangerous, ruthless, and arrogant, they’re also very sensual, powerful, and passionate. I think it’s has less to do with men and woman trying to understand each other, and more to do with wanting to believe that love really can conquer all–even if one of the people in the relationship is a century old monster who could kill you as easily as he could kiss you.
Michael isn’t the perfect man, given the troubles he has with controlling his nature, but Nikki isn’t perfect either. She’s been through some rough experiences in her life. Somehow these two characters work things out and have a more or less good relationship. It seems like this is a more realistic relationship than many I’ve seen in straight-forward fiction. Can fantastic fiction sometimes tell more truth than more prosaic stories?
I think it may seem more realistic simply because it’s a series, and we have more time to explore the ups and downs of the relationship. But I don’t think fantasy fiction is either more or less realistic than straight forward fiction. I just think that up until recently, it was less of an expectation when it came to fantasy fiction.
Nikki is gifted, and it isn’t always easy to be different. While you’re not a psychic warrior, you have your own gifts. Can you relate to Nikki’s story in any way?
I wish I had gifts! I actually a pretty average sort of person, so no, I don’t relate to Nikki’s story in any way. Although that said, I was always very shy, and found it hard to get to know people, so I can related a little to being something of an outsider.
While the Nikki and Michael series is drawing to a close, this is also launching a new series: The Damask Circle series. Will Nikki be returning, or is this the last time we’ll see her? Can you share any details about the new books?
Neither Nikki nor Michael appear in the Damask Circle series, though Michael is mentioned occasionally. The Circle is the organization Michael works for, and each book of the Damask Circle series will center around a different member of the team as they take on a Circle case. So we have shifters, witches, fire starters, werewolves and a nice assortment of really nasty bad guys