I’ve received quite a few questions about this novella since releasing Fire & Frost, which included an excerpt of this story. So here are a few answers:

What is it about?

Frozen is a short paranormal romance that is completely unrelated to any of my other series.

Frozen by Meljean Brook

FROZEN

For a year and a half, Olivia Martin has tried to forget Erik Gulbrandr, the glacial man who’d scorched her mouth with a single kiss. But when Olivia finds herself snowbound with Erik on the winter solstice, she discovers that the man who set her body aflame is cursed by abominable needs — and a desire that might destroy them both…

Please see the content warning below!

So why the heck did I write it? Will it be a series?

When I realized the end of the Guardian series was coming, I tossed around a few other ideas for What Comes Next. One idea centered on exploring the effect of supernatural forces on consent and submission. Also, Michael’s book pretty much fried my brain, so I wanted to write something a little less mind-crushingly complicated than long novels with deep, deep worldbuilding.

So basically, I thought about writing a series of novellas where the hero is cursed, and when he meets the right girl they have to fuck or die. Whee!

And that’s what this story is — me, playing with the idea. But the more I considered the series, the more I realized that I’d already written this basic premise using my vampires in the Guardian series (and recently, too, but that is another novella). The second problem was that I’d placed the series in the normal world (albeit with supernatural elements) but using a modern, contemporary heroine isn’t the way I want to go.

So this is the series that won’t be. Sometimes, you just can’t know until you start writing a story that it’s not going to turn into something more. And that’s exactly what this is — a standalone novella which is basically all about two pretty people in a situation where they have to have sex. And, you know, love and stuff.

Content Warning: This isn’t my usual type of story!

If I had written this as a series, I’d have probably used a new pen name. But since it’s just one story, I’m not going to. I know readers become familiar with an author’s style and have certain expectations, however, so to avoid surprises, here are some things you’ll probably want to know:

It’s in first person from the heroine’s POV. I’ve never done that before. I wanted to try it. I know some readers don’t like 1st person POVs, though, so fair warning.

There’s no complicated worldbuilding. Readers familiar with my work have reason to expect it. But it’s not happening here. There’s a basic framework using Norse mythology, but really — see above about “I wanted to curse the heroes so they had to fuck or die.” If you’re familiar with my story In Sheep’s Clothing from the Under Her Skin antho, that’s about the depth of worldbuilding you’ll see here.

Trigger warning! (and spoiler warning.) As mentioned above, this was originally going to be about exploring themes of consent in a supernatural setting. Let me be clear: this story includes a scene of dubious consent, because the curse takes away choice (for both characters, though in different ways). I have zero interest in writing sexual violence between my characters, so you won’t find that here, but be aware that the threat is there and that the situation the characters are in is the opposite of awesome. It doesn’t matter that they want each other — this is a problematic scenario, and even if it doesn’t trigger a reader, there’s no way that’s going to be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. But I trust that readers know what they can and cannot tolerate in a story, so I just want to offer that heads-up.

Other stuff readers might want to know.

Cover image: Yes, yes — I know it’s also used on the cover of a popular New Adult book. But I bought it years ago (I have impulse control issues when I see an image I like on stock photo sites, and this one had the same feel to it as my other standalone short, Under Her Skin (and, haha, I used the same stock photo trees in the background!)) and I don’t feel like wasting the money I spent on the image. The overall design is different enough that it doesn’t really bother me. I did look through a ton of other photos and there weren’t any I liked for this as well, and all of THOSE photos were also used on other covers.

Example:

Not The Cover

Not The Cover

So I went with the one that I originally wanted, because it was the one I liked the best.

Will I write any other stories like this? I don’t know. I have quite a few other stories outlined for the original series idea, and they’d be pretty fun to write. But it’s not going to be a priority (because: Scarsdale’s book and Work Under Contract). But it might be something I revisit when my brain is totally fried from my regular work and I want to write something that’s just dirty and/or fun.