Thank you to Elizabeth Coldwell for stopping by today and bringing an exclusive Guest Post for her new book, The Leprechaun Next Door. Johnny is a little naughty, so you know I like him. 🙂 Congrats to Elizabeth on the new release, and make sure you leave a comment, and you could win a copy of the book!
Happiness might be waiting at the end of the rainbow, but will it come with a price?
Devon’s down on his luck—he’s lost his job and discovered his boyfriend is cheating on him. His neighbor, Johnny, is not only cute, he also has a big secret: he’s a leprechaun with a pot of gold… and the ability to grant wishes.
Can Devon wish his way out of the hole he’s found himself in? He’d like a new job, some revenge on his lying ex, and maybe even love. Johnny can give him what he wants, but it won’t come for free… or in the ways Devon expects. Can he trust a sexy leprechaun to help him make a new start and wish himself into the arms of the man of his dreams?
Love That Leprechaun
When you’re thinking up the paranormal love interest in an urban fantasy novel, a leprechaun might not be high on the list. Other, more popular creatures definitely have the edge when it comes to being a supernatural bad boy. Vampires are a given – they’re dark, brooding and danger lurks behind their handsome, sophisticated façade. Shifters may be charming, but they could unleash their animal side at any moment. As for elves, just think Orlando Bloom in the Lord of the Rings films and it’s easy to see why they have their many admirers. But leprechauns?
It’s fair to say the leprechaun suffers from an image problem. They’re always depicted as no more than three feet high and grumpy, dressed in a green suit, buckled hat and knee britches, and almost homicidally attracted to protecting their stash of gold. If you’re American, you may also find it hard to separate them from their caricature on a breakfast cereal packet (Lucky Charms have never reached the UK in any quantity, which means an awful lot of jokes on The Simpsons passed us by over the years…). But the fact they’ve never really been regarded as sex symbols means there’s a lot more scope to get creative, and unleash a side of them the reader has never considered. Part of the fun of writing The Leprechaun Next Door was riffing on that unflattering image and the opportunity it gives Johnny, the leprechaun of the title, to hide in plain sight in a world where paranormal beings exist alongside humans – if only you know where to look.
Leprechauns are, as I’m sure you’re aware, one of the staple figures in Irish mythology. Stories about their misdeeds date back to mediaeval times, though their green clothing is a more modern invention. When I started researching them for the novel, this being one of those books where the title came first and everything else followed, I discovered one of the alternative spellings of their name was lubrican. And if that doesn’t make you think of sex, what does?
So as I worked on creating Johnny, I gave him most of the main traits of the classic leprechaun. He’s protective of his gold, which is safely stashed away from prying eyes, and has the ability to grant three wishes. However, because leprechauns have a streak of malevolence and love practical jokes, those wishes have to be carefully considered because they’re likely to come with a sting in their tail. Plenty of the old folk tales about leprechauns involve them tricking simple Irish folk into making foolish wishes that will dog them with bad luck. When Johnny grants Devon his wishes, Devon is in a low place, and as one of his wishes contains an element of revenge, that’s all Johnny needs to wreak a little havoc.
The classic leprechaun occupation is making and mending shoes, but in the modern world, the cobbler’s shop has all but disappeared from our high streets. So instead Johnny is a bartender who knows how to throw a great party. Rather than fitting the leprechaun image of being quick-tempered and solitary, he’s friendly, garrulous, and great fun to be around, which is part of the reason why Devon is so attracted to him. And like all leprechauns, Johnny loves to drink and adores music, especially that played by Devon, who’s been forced to hide his dreams of being a singer and songwriter since his ex was never very supportive of his talent. I like to think that Johnny would be a good friend but one you wouldn’t want to cross.
Now that I’ve done my best to reclaim the leprechaun, maybe it’s time to shine a light on other less popular supernatural creatures and make them sexy too. Once you start looking, there are so many to choose from. Try Jimmy Squarefoot, a creature from the Isle of Man who walks on two legs but has a pig’s head and the tusks of a boar. Or Jack Frost, the King of Winter, who’ll freeze you as soon as look at you. Bring on the dwarves, the pixies and the sprites – in the world of urban fantasy and paranormal romance, each one of them is just waiting to find the right man to love.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I set a leprechaun trap for St Patrick’s Day, and I need to check whether I’ve caught anything. If I have, my wish is simple – that you all have as much fun reading The Leprechaun Next Door as I had writing it.
I am Rotherham’s foremost (okay, only) writer of quality erotica and erotic romance. Though I’m now based in London, family and football take me back North on a regular basis. Indeed, if you’re ever at a Rotherham United match (I know, what are the chances?) and you spot a small blonde with a large ‘London Millers’ flag, that’ll be me. Originally from South Yorkshire, Elizabeth Coldwell has been making up stories for as long as she can remember, only now she gets to people them with hot men. When she’s not got her nose in a book, she’s reviewing or trying to stop one or both of her cats from walking over her keyboard. She spends her time following her home town football team and baking the best brownies in East London.
Leave a comment for Elizabeth, and you could win a copy of the book.