Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hunted Dreams

Today's special guest is Elle Hill. An inveterate fan of fairy tales, particularly the darker ones, Elle pens paranormal romance. Her urban fantasies envision an alternate Los Angeles (or is it?) in which Leeches -- scheming psychic vampires -- and Hunters and Psychics -- the beings that exist to thwart them -- fight fierce, primal battles in the land of movie stars, silicone, and sunshine.

Born in Idaho during the height of disco, Elle Hill now chicken-pecks at the keyboard while rocking out to Donna Summer and KC and the Sunshine Band. She worked in Idaho for several years as a secretary and journalist before moving to California and selling her soul to academia. After receiving her PhD in Sociology, Elle Hill became a not-so-mild-mannered college instructor by night and a community activist during the remainder of her waking hours. Always a journalist and writer at heart, one of her favorite pastimes includes publishing commentary on the political and social states of the world; some of her thoughts are posted on her blog at

Elle welcomes visitors to her website at She also urges everyone to become a superhero and adopt their next non-human companion from a local animal shelter.


The plot of Hunted Dreams is very intriguing. What inspired the plot?


My family, particularly my oldest sister, likes to tease me because I always lock my fictional characters in some kind of confined room. I always patiently explain to her that shutting out distractions helps my characters delve right in to the interpersonal tension and character development. After one of these conversations, I started thinking, “What if I stranded one of my characters not in a physical prison but a mental one? What if we could jump right into her mind?” Thus began my cruel torture of Katana, Hunted Dreams’ main character.

There is a strong dream element in the book. Do you have vivid dreams?

One of my sisters (I have three, all of whom profess to be my biggest fans) jokes that my dreams are especially surrealistic. Hers, apparently, tend to unwind like a TV drama. I admit I was intrigued by the idea of having a playground where my creativity – and my weirdness – could swing and slide and engage in all sorts of bizarre games.

A couple of the dreams in Hunted Dreams I plucked directly from my own sleeping noggin, but most of them I had way-too-much fun constructing on my own.

Tell us about the Broschi - who they are and what they're like.

Ooh! You bet. I like talking about them.

In my prior two books, Hunted and Hunted Past, the Broschi (called “Leeches” in these stories) played villains without much back story. The Broschi are a race of superhuman, super strong genetic mutants who have been around for several centuries but who continue to live in secrecy. They’ve developed a unique method of sustaining themselves: in addition to consuming food as we know it, they also eat painful human feelings. In fact, they have a talent for evoking it in average humans. As far as they know, it doesn’t hurt humans to eat their “life force”; however, when they’re hungry, which is most of the time, some of them have been known to inflict harm on humans in order to nosh on their misery.

The Clan (made up of Hunters, or female warriors, and male Psychics) exist to oppose the Broschi and save humanity. As a result, a centuries-long war has raged between the two groups, all under humans’ noses. Because I’m not so keen on war, I hoped I portrayed the one-sidedness of the Clan’s perspective in my previous novels, but I know it was subtle. In Hunted Dreams, the pointlessness of the war, the arbitrariness of labeling one side “heroes” and the other “villains,” emerged onto center stage.

What are you working on next?

I just finished writing my latest novel, The Tithe. I’m in the middle of revising it a second time before submitting it to my editor. I’m enormously excited about this novel and look forward to chatting with you about it in a year or so.

Thanks so much for featuring me on your site. I spent a couple of weeks in North Carolina this summer and found it stunningly beautiful.

I wish you much happiness and chocolate!


Her history, her whereabouts, her name: She knows nothing. Nothing but her current reality: a constant stream of horrific, surrealistic scenarios in which she fights not only monsters and unseen attackers but also her own pain and despair.

Reed Jayvyn is an ex-Army vet, penniless and living in his truck. After saving a young man from attackers, he finds himself embroiled in a superhuman drama between the Broschi and the Clan, two groups engaged in a centuries-long war. Worse, he finds he is one of them—a Broschi, a psychic vampire that feeds off the pain of humans. But Reed’s greatest surprise comes each night, when he finds himself dreaming of a fierce, nameless woman.

She is dreaming. So says the handsome man who uses his heretofore latent psychic ability to flicker in and out of her dreamscape. With Reed’s help, she slowly learns more about who she is, why she is here, what trauma in her past keeps her locked inside her mind. Meanwhile, Reed explores his own heritage, discovering enemies and allies in unexpected places.

But most important to Reed is freeing this woman caught in an endless loop of nightmares, someone he considers in every way to be the woman of his dreams.


“I know you’re not bad,” she reassured him, smiling.

“You don’t know anything of the sort,” he said.

“Don’t you dare invade my dream and then question my judgment!” She meant to snap it but couldn’t manage anything beyond a biting edge to her tone. “We’ve been in some, um, challenging environments, and I think I know you pretty well.”

“Says the woman who only recently started thinking of me as real,” he said.

Katana felt the cold of the rock under her behind wind upward into her head. “Recently for you,” she said quietly, all teasing gone. “You have no idea how long it feels in here. I’ve spun from dream to dream, always fighting, always endangered, always waiting for the pain and the terror. I haven’t had a lot of time to think, but I’ve done what I can when I have a moment or two. I feel I’ve known you for months and get to see you every few weeks, even though I know it’s once per day for you.”

Reed exhaled once, slowly. Then, gently, he placed his hand against her cheek and helped guide her face upward.

Knowing what to expect, Katana closed her eyes and stretched upward. Reed wrapped both arms around her, and she flowed against him.

After a moment, Reed pulled away very slightly and kissed her nose. “You feel warm and . . . good,” he murmured against her lips. She felt his moist breath against her face and inhaled the mintiness of his toothpaste.

“You feel real,” she whispered.


Elle will be awarding a $50 Amazon Gift Certificate to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: