When is a demon not a demon? & a #Giveaway by Barbara Monajem

Barbara Monajem here. When you read the word incubus or succubus, what springs to mind?

Demon? Probably. Maybe sexy demon, but demon all the same.

For me, this is a bit of a problem, because I’ve written some Regency romances with succubi and incubi as characters, and THEY ARE NOT DEMONS! I had a similar problem with my contemporary paranormals about vampires WHICH ARE NOT REALLY VAMPIRES – or at least not in the usual sense.

A fine young lady who might just be a succubus. (But not a demon.)
A fine young lady who might just be a succubus. (But not a demon.)


I guess it’s my fault for not sticking to what people are likely to assume, but I don’t seem to be able to do that when it comes to paranormal elements. I like to drift along the edge of possibility much of the time. Vampires who aren’t undead, just sexy people with fangs. Incubi and succubi who are normal humans, except that they can send erotic dreams. Telepaths, aura-readers…

Which leads me to wonder if there should be a new sub-genre of paranormal, neither dark nor light, just something in between. In other words, not the dark kind peopled with evil monsters, nor the light kind that is basically romantic comedy with monsters. These are both fun genres, but most of us don’t really expect to encounter vampires and werewolves in our daily lives. Telepaths and aura-readers, though, are not that unusual; you may have met someone with one of these abilities. And from there it’s just a step to human beings who are just a bit different in other interesting ways.

But maybe we have enough genres and sub-genres. Maybe what we need to get rid of is our assumptions. Is that even possible?

Let me know what you think. One commenter will win a copy of The Rake’s Irish Lady (which isn’t rated paranormal at all, although it has an eensy-teensy-weensy touch of it), or another of my books –winner’s choice.



So anyway, one of my succubus stories is in a boxed set, Rakes and Rogues, which just went up for pre-order! It’s a set of first-in-series Regency romances. My story, The Reluctant Seductress (who hates being called a succubus), is the only new one; all the other stories have been published before. Even if you have already read a few of the stories, at only 99 cents, this is a great chance to try several other authors.

Here is the blurb for The Reluctant Seductress:

When the lady in distress is a rogue…what’s an honorable gentleman to do?

Forced to work as a spy due to her uncanny seductive powers, Lettice Raleigh emerges from the war with her virginity intact and her reputation in tatters. When she is sent for a month to the estate of England’s starchiest marquis as a step toward reentering polite society, Lettice knows it’s a hopeless cause—but she doesn’t reckon with Lord Hadrian Oakenhurst, a younger son with a strict sense of right and wrong and an agenda of his own. Will Hadrian succumb to her seductive wiles—or has Lettice at last found the one man she can’t resist?


I’ll have more about the boxed set as a whole on Saturday. 🙂

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Again, for a chance to win a copy of one of my books, please leave a comment below — on vampires, demons, succubi and incubi, on what you’ll try reading and what you won’t (and why), or whatever. 🙂


Follow Barbara Monajem:

Barbara Monajem started writing at eight years old. She has wandered from children’s fantasy through mystery to paranormal and historical romance. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays.

24 Responses

  1. Linda

    I’d be willing to read anything if it falls within any murky, grey area of fantasy romance or paranormal romance that has a HEA, & is well written. I wouldn’t read anything that is horror even if it were written by an author whose writing I like. I would also steer away from anything zombie.

  2. Barbara Monajem

    LOL, Linda. I don’t read about zombies either. They’re just a little too icky for me.

  3. tamarahughes

    I’m with you. My science fiction/fantasy romances are always made with my own creatures and my own rules. I like to explore the possibilities instead of using what’s already out there.

    • Barbara Monajem

      Yes!! I like to be surprised by new interpretations, but unfortunately many people make assumptions before even trying a book. I have to admit, though, I’m a lot like that when it comes to zombies! A friend just sent me a zombie book, and because I trust her judgment, I’m going to try it anyway.

  4. Ashley York

    I do not choose to read “paranormal” so avoid anything that states that genre. Maybe if it’s not a whole-hearted paranormal (in the accepted sense?), it shouldn’t be labeled that way. I’ve read plenty of historical romances with magic stones and see-ers (sp?) that weren’t labeled paranormal and totally enjoyed them. There are accepted deviances that don’t require that labeling unless you’re vying for the “paranormal” readership…but then you’d lose me 🙂

    • Barbara Monajem

      Exactly! Such as, for example, in The Rake’s Irish Lady where the heroine has a sort of magical way with horses. It’s not a major part of the plot, and it’s not really paranormal, but it’s not something modern science can explain, either. I like the idea of an accepted deviance, because I tend to have a lot of those. 🙂

  5. Barbara Bettis

    I enjoy stories with a touch of difference, and I like the way you use that difference in your books. speaking of which–I love your blurb of The Reluctant Seductress! Terrific.

    • Barbara Monajem

      Thanks, Barb! I’m glad the blurb works. 🙂

  6. Cecilia Rodriguez

    I’ve read Laura K. Hamilton’s books. Also Emma Holly. Both have a blend of supernatural and fantasy while also being erotic.

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Cecilia. I’ve read some of Laurell K. Hamilton but not Emma Holly. Thanks for the recommendation. 🙂

  7. Diane Eberly

    Hello Cecilia.
    I love to read about mostly anything. Have always loved vampires and succubus (watched tv shows Moonlight with Alex O’laughlin as a detective (loved It) and succubus (lost girl) really enjoyed them so I feel I’d love to read your books. They look so good, would really enjoy them.

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Diane. I’ve never heard of that TV show but it sounds great! 🙂

  8. Glenda

    I’ll read pretty much every subgenre out there. However, I’m not a fan of books where infidelity is involved on the part of the hero or heroine.

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Glenda. Generally, I agree with you, but I have an unpublished novel in which the heroine, who has an abusive husband, is unfaithful in the hope of getting pregnant (because her supposed barrenness is the reason for much of the abuse). This takes place before the story begins. I hope she comes across as a desperate woman trying to improve a horrible situation… One of these days, I may revise and finish it.

      • Glenda

        Hi Barbara. There are some exceptions to the rule… Infidelity with good reason can occasionally be forgiven, in my mind. Your book sounds like it would work — I hope the husband gets his just ‘rewards’ though. I realized one of my favorite historical novels includes infidelity but the husband encourages it to protect his wife and his legacy (Grace Burrowes’ first published Lonely Lord novel Darius Lord of Pleasure).

  9. Elaine Carlson

    I’m okay with books that have a little of the weird in them. If a book is way far out there I won’t read it.

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Elaine. I’m OK with any degree of paranormal — just depends on the book — but I have to say that a little bit of the weird appeals to me particularly because it just might be real.

  10. Joanna M.

    I’m a lover of paranormal and historical so I’d probably read either or, that is either version of the succubus. I think authors need more creative license but we as readers have encased historical authors in what should or should not be allowed, and I’m guilty of that as well. I say if in your historical, there happens to be a character with “special” talents, as long as you explain why you’re naming it one way or another (i.e. the word psychic/telepath wasn’t around back then) then we should be ok with the world you created, as long as it’s somewhat believable or at least feasible. Unless it’s a paranormal that just happens to be set in another time then you do what you want 🙂

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Joanna. I’m always alert for period-inappropriate vocabulary. Some writers have internal critics sitting on their shoulders, but mine is a vocabulary freak. He’s always saying ‘uh-uh-uh!’ in my ear if I use a word he doesn’t approve of. 😉 Not sure whether he gets them all, though. Probably not. (ducking)

  11. Barbara Monajem

    And the winner is… Joanna M! Joanna, I will email you about how to claim your prize. Thanks for the comments, everyone!!