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A Character Interview with Eryn O’Malley from THE GANGSTER’S WOMAN plus a conversation with author Ginger Ring!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Isobelle Cate’s character on November 10th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Ginger Ring, the author of The Gangster’s Woman, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Eryn O’Malley, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Ginger in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Eryn!

 

Eryn

Marie Lavender:  Hello, Eryn.  Please have a seat.

Character Eryn O’Malley:  Hello.  Thank you for having me.

Marie:  Of course. We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?

Eryn: All right.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Eryn: I’m a waitress. Am I any good at it? I guess so. Do I like it? It’s a job. With the depression on, we are lucky to have any work. It’s not easy but it’s a job.

Marie:  Forgive me. I didn’t mean to sound uncaring. I completely understand. 

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Eryn:  I have a beautiful daughter named Vivian and a brother named John.

Marie:  All right.

What did your childhood home look like?

Eryn:  I’m from Ireland and grew up in a loving family. When our parents died, my brother and I came to America.

Marie:  I’m so sorry to hear about your parents…:(

(Pauses.)

Let’s try a different question.

Do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

Eryn:  I garden and go to movies when I can. What do I enjoy doing? I love to dance and I work hard to pay for dance lessons for Vivian.

Marie:  You’re a good mom. 🙂

So…what is your greatest dream, Eryn?

Eryn:  To have a stable home and for Vivian to become the star she is.

Marie:  Okay.

What kind of person do you wish you could be?  What is stopping you?

Eryn: Law-abiding. What is stopping me? We need the money and I am always one step in front of the law and the outlaw, Ed Killian.

Marie:  Intriguing…I just know there’s a story there, but I sense you won’t tell me right now.

No problem. I respect your privacy.

All right, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

Eryn:  Scott Killian.

Marie:  All right.

So, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Eryn:  When Scott was killed and I knew my daughter would grow up without her father.

Marie:  Oh, no! I’m so sorry to hear that! 😦

Let’s move on to something a bit lighter now, shall we?

[Eryn nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Eryn: To be an actress. I wanted the excitement. Did I achieve that dream? No. Things changed. I had a daughter to raise.

Marie:  That’s understandable.

So, tell us…who is your role model, Eryn?

Eryn: My brother John.

Marie:  All right.

Let’s try something else. Well, you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Eryn:  All the men that I have to pretend to like and let them kiss me before I drug them and take their money.

Marie:  Yikes! What a situation you’ve got yourself in. I hope you find a way out…

Let me ask you a different question.

What is your deepest desire?

Eryn:  To find a loving husband to take me away from everything. To be safe.

Marie:  I would say that’s not too much to ask.

So…

What is your greatest fear, Eryn?

Eryn: That Killian will find me and take my daughter.

 

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Marie: I  can certainly understand that worry.

Well, we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Eryn. It was so interesting getting to know you! 🙂

(Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Marie:  Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have author Ginger Ring on the stage today. It’s so lovely to see you again, hon. I remember when you visited us on the I Love Romance Blog last year, and we covered the first book in your series. Hi again, Ginger!

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Ginger:  Hello!! Thank you for having me!

Marie:  My pleasure!

We just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Eryn. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

Ginger:  She was mentioned in the first book, The Gangster’s Kiss. Her brother was searching for her but never found her. When I started the second book, I really had no idea where she had gone. When I found out about a painting at an old gangster hideout in Madison, I went to see the photo. It was of a half-naked woman and it hung above the fireplace. I wondered who she was, why had she posed for the painting, and what had become of her. I had found Eryn.

Fascinating! Isn’t it interesting where the muse takes us?

So…what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Ginger:  She will do anything to survive. She never gives up.

Marie:  That’s certainly admirable!

Now, let’s take the opposition on that. What, do you feel, are Eryn’s greatest weaknesses?

Ginger:  Her innocence for falling for the wrong man.

Marie:  Well, it does happen sometimes…

Let’s try something else.

What are some of her favorite foods?

Ginger:  Sweets.

Marie:  (Laughs.) I guess I can’t blame her there! 😉

So, what’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Ginger:  Her strength to love and work hard.

Marie:  Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Ginger:  I think they will like her. She does what she can and most will understand the struggles she has of raising a child alone.

Marie:  For sure!

So, now that we have a real taste of Eryn, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for The Gangster’s Woman?

Ginger:  It is the second story in a trilogy. They are all connected by the Gangster, Ed Killian.

Marie:  All right.

What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Ginger:  A little of both.

Marie:  Okay.

Now, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing The Gangster’s Woman or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Ginger: No, it was just tricky to mix real historical events with the story. What would I do differently the next time? Write faster. (Laughs.)

Marie:  (Chuckles.)  I know what you mean!  😉

Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog!  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story The Gangster’s Woman appears to be.

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Ginger Ring, a very talented author! 🙂

The Gangster's Woman

Here is the blurb for The Gangster’s Woman:

Now that prohibition was over, FBI agent Michael Flynn hoped to enjoy the quiet life and a chance to finally concentrate on finding his best friend’s sister. He’d been in love with her since he first laid eyes on her picture. Unfortunately, the more he searched the more he realized she wasn’t just missing. Eryn was hiding from one of the most notorious gangsters around. One who wouldn’t rest until he knew she was dead.
Eryn O’Malley had been moving around for years, doing whatever legal, or illegal job she could find to survive. No time for romance or a normal life. A one night stand with a handsome man at the county fair seemed like just the ticket to escape for a moment from her troubled life. However, finding out he was a G-man wasn’t part of the plan. Now he was on her trail. Whether to arrest or rescue her, she wasn’t sure, and she couldn’t wait around to find out. If he caught her, would he forgive her checkered past or would he always think of her as the gangster’s woman?

Ginger is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!

He took a seat on the bed, crossed an ankle over the other, and rested his back against the cheap headboard. Interlocking his fingers behind his head, he observed the woman in his room. Her back was toward him as she poured the liquor in the glasses.
The woman could be a movie star or one of those girls in the magazines who held a soda pop in an ad. Tall and elegant, nice round ass, and slender calves and ankles. If she was indeed John’s sister and he slept with her, there would be hell to pay, but it would be worth every glorious second. A wolf call whistle left his lips.
Eryn turned, a glass in each hand, and a slight tilt to her head. “Now, what was that for?”
“Just enjoying the view.” He winked.
“Well, then I better get closer so you don’t strain your eyes.” She took a few steps closer and handed him his drink. Damn, she was a pistol. If he didn’t calm down soon, he’d be firing off a shot of a different kind.
Eryn strolled to the other side of the bed and joined him on it. Her slender legs crossed out in front of her. He swallowed and his fingers itched to slide down that silky skin.
“Cheers.” The click of her glass touched his and he forced his eyes from her legs to the graceful fingers holding her drink.
“Bottoms up.” He downed his in one sip. Eryn took two sips and licked the rim of her glass. This time a groan escaped his mouth and he took her glass and placed both of them on the bedside table.
“Don’t want another drink?” Eryn’s gaze dipped to her hands and then back to his face.
“No, I’d rather do this.” To hell with John, he was kissing his sister.
His fingers framed her face. Her skin soft as velvet and her full lips waiting to be kissed. They didn’t have long to wait. His mouth settled on hers. She tasted sweeter than candy. The hint of alcohol lingered and made for a stimulating mix. Nipping at her lower lip, Eryn moaned and threaded her fingers through his hair. Michael deepened the kiss and echoed her appreciation.
It killed him to break the contact, but he did. Her green eyes smoldered like emeralds in the dim room light. “Stay the night with me.”
“Aye, I will,” she whispered. Her response was in an accent and words so familiar to her brother’s. He could already feel the beating John would be giving him for making love to his sister, but it would be worth it.
Michael slid down the bed and drew her across his chest. Her auburn curls framed her heart-shaped face. Auburn curls? It finally dawned on him that she didn’t even know she had a niece that looked identical to her. Taking in a deep breath, he slid his fingers through her hair. “I always had a thing for redheads, but I’ve never slept with one.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll be gentle with you,” she ribbed.
He burst out laughing. “You are something else, doll.”
“You have no idea,” Eryn promised and lowered her lips to his.

Ooh…sexy! 😉

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00VBZQE6C

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-gangsters-woman-ginger-ring/1121745401

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/5423263

About Ginger Ring

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Ginger Ring is an eclectic, hat-loving Midwestern girl with a weakness for cheese, dark chocolate, and the Green Bay Packers. She loves reading, playing with her cats, watching great movies, and has a quirky sense of humor. Publishing a book has been a life-long dream of hers and she is excited to share her romantic stories with you. Her heroines are classy, sassy and in search of love and adventure. When Ginger isn’t tracking down old gangster haunts or stopping at historical landmarks, you can find her on the backwaters of the Mississippi River fishing with her husband.
Ginger’s Books:

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The Gangster's Woman

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And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Ginger Ring, here are some of her author links:

Website/Blog:  http://gingerring.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/romancewritergingerring

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/GingerRings

Amazon Author Page:   http://www.amazon.com/Ginger-Ring/e/B00FOXTYYG/

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/118019623261583234943/posts

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7325608.Ginger_Ring

Publisher:  http://www.beaucoupllcpublishing.com/ginger-ring/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/Gingernovel/

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Eryn O’Malley, the female main character of The Gangster’s Woman, and Ginger Ring, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so much fun to have you here! 🙂

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Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Event, Fiction, Historical Romance, Interview, Mystery, Readers, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Thriller/Suspense, Writing

A Character Interview with Colin Butler from MY HAVEN, MY MIDNIGHT plus a conversation with author Isobelle Cate!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Linda L. Picl’s character on October 20th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Isobelle Cate, the author of My Haven, My Midnight, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Colin Butler, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Isobelle in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Colin!

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Marie Lavender:  Hello, Colin.  Please have a seat.

Character Colin Butler:  Hello.  Thank you for having me.

Marie:  Of course. We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?

Colin: All right.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Colin:  I am the Dux of the Leeds Cynn Cruors. I am one of the best recons the Cynn Cruors have. Most of the time, my right hand, Craig Shaw and I are assigned to missions with the Manchester Cynn Cruors. Sometimes, it’s the other way around. Call it a symbiotic relationship. When I’m not busy fighting, I’m busy making money. I have a club and restos, and organize raves. Do I like it? Oh yeah, especially when I see so many pretty young things. Am I any good at it? It would appear so if we’re raking in hundreds of thousands a night just in one club, Le Club Cinq Mille.

Marie:  Okay. Great! 

So, what is your family like?

Colin: My family? Ahh, Marie, we are treading on deadly ground here. And I mean truly deadly. If it weren’t for the woman I love and Blake Strachan, a Cynn Cruor brother who said something to The Hamilton, I might not be here talking to you. That’s all I can say and it’s already a lot. I’d rather keep the rest to myself.

Marie:  All right, I respect that. But, your response is intriguing, to say the least.

Let’s try something else, okay?

What did your childhood home look like?

Colin:  Much better. It was beautiful, it still is. I have returned to where I was born to raise my family and raise my son as a future immortal warrior.

I have built a home close to Loch Awe in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. There are majestic mountains that buffer my house not from the cold because I don’t feel the cold, but it separates us from the outside world. It’s a haven for my wife and my son away from the life I left behind when I was banished.

We used to have a longhouse where my parents, Makenzie, my brother, and I lived. Da was often with the Hamilton fighting the Scatha as far as I can remember so oftentimes it was Mam, Mack, and I who tilled the lands and watched over cattle with the help of the people who lived with us. These people had been driven away from their homes by the Duke of Cumberland during the Highland Clearances. The longhouse is long gone, but I haven’t built my house over it. I have kept it as a memorial of my parent’s sacrifice.

Marie:  All right, I can see it pains you to admit that…

Let’s try a different question.

Do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

Colin:  Hobbies? The only hobby I had for the longest time was to decapitate as many Scatha Cruors I could find. (Grins.) Now that I have a family, I enjoy spending every moment with them. When my son is older, I will enjoy teaching him how to be a Cynn Cruor the way my father taught me and my brother.

Marie:  All right. So, what is your greatest dream?

Colin:  My greatest dream is to see my brother once again and the end to the Cruor wars.

Marie:  Can’t blame you there…

Okay, so, what kind of person do you wish you could be?  What is stopping you?

Colin:  I wish I could be the best Dux for the Leed Cynn Cruors. What’s stopping me? Let’s not go there. I don’t want to talk about something that continues to be a dull thorn on my side.

Marie:  No problem. I respect your privacy.

All right. I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

Colin:  The woman I married. Amaryllis Hart.

Marie:  (Sighs.) I love romance…

My Haven, My Midnight

All right. So, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Colin:  The loss of Mackenzie, my brother.

Marie:  I’m really sorry to hear that. 😦

Let’s move on to something a bit lighter now, shall we?

[Colin nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Colin:  To be a great Cynn Cruor warrior. With The Hamilton training me together with Craig and the rest of the Manchester Cynn Cruors, I fulfilled that dream. Sure, there is a lot of fighting, but that was what I was born to be.

Marie:  All right.

So, tell us…who is your role model, Colin?

Colin:  My Da. He gave up his life to save a family from the Scatha Cruors who fell on them when they were thrown out of their lands by the Crann Tara.

Marie:  Wow…so sorry. I didn’t realize that’s how you lost one of your parents. How horrible for you, but I can understand why you’d respect the honor he exhibited at the time.

Let’s try something else. Well, you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Colin:  No. If I don’t like a person, I just won’t give him the time of day. So far, the only beings that fit that mold are the Scatha Cruor.

Save for one.

Marie:  Okay. You have me curious now…

Tell us. What is your deepest desire?

Colin:  My deepest desire is for the Cruor wars to end so that I can live in peace with Amaryllis and my son, Duncan.

Marie:  That’s understandable.

Let’s try a different question…

What is your greatest fear?

Colin: That I die before my son comes of age. I have seen many Cynn Cruor children who have become orphans so early in their lives. I don’t want that for my son.

Marie: I  can certainly understand that worry.

Well, we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Colin. It was so interesting getting to know you!

Colin: It has been a pleasure, Marie.

(Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Marie:  Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have author Isobelle Cate on the stage today. It’s so lovely to talk to you again, hon. I remember when we interviewed you on the Writing in the Modern Age blog back in March. Hi again, Isobelle!

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Author Isobelle Cate:  Hi Marie! Great to see you again. 🙂

Marie:  Thanks! We just got to talk to the hero of your story, Colin. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about him?

Isobelle: Oh yes, he was difficult to write. Colin Butler is a crack shot and one of the best Cynn Cruor scouts. He and his team do the recon for many of Cynn Cruors’ missions. He often has a ribald sense of humor and loves women…a lot. But he has a secret that can lead to his and his team’s death. Literally.

Marie:  I see…that’s quite intriguing, though. 

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Isobelle: He’s reliable, dependable, loyal to a fault, self-sacrificing.

Marie:  Nothing wrong with that!

Now, let’s take the opposition on that. What, do you feel, are Colin’s greatest weaknesses?

Isobelle: His being loyal to a fault and self-sacrificing is both his weakness and his strength. It’s how he and Amaryllis, his mate, lost his life.

Marie:  I see.

Let’s try something else…

What are some of his favorite foods?

Isobelle:  Beef and spicy garlic sausages. Sure, he has the vampire DNA inside him, but he doesn’t get affected by garlic.

Marie:  (Laughs.) That comes in handy! 😉

So…what’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Isobelle:  Colin believes that he has to keep proving himself, to show his loyalty because of the secret he had kept hidden for so long.

Marie:  I see.

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Isobelle:  Readers will definitely like Colin, maybe even love him for the sacrifices he has made through the centuries. He will stay with readers even after the last page of the story has been read.

Marie:  Can’t go wrong with that description! I’m dying to learn more about the book.

Now that we have a real taste of Colin, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

Isobelle:  Okie doke. Fire away!

Marie:  What first gave you the idea for My Haven, My Midnight?

Isobelle:  I was writing Midnight’s Fate and there was a battle scene. In that scene, Finn Qualtrough, the hero in Rapture at Midnight tears through a horde of Scatha Cruors and werewolves – the first time the Cynn Cruors fight the weres since the series began. Colin watches from his vantage point high up the Silver Cave and sees how his fellow Cynn Cruors viciously kill as many Scathas in the same way he does. It was at that moment that I thought, I needed to make Colin more interesting. He has always had this devil-may-care attitude when he battles the Scatha Cruors, he has an incredible zest for life, but he has a tendency to be suspicious. So while I was mulling over the scene, it suddenly hit me that Colin Butler has a reason why he was this way.

This is how My Haven, My Midnight was born.

Marie:  Genius!

So, what is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Isobelle:  I am more of a pantser than a plotter. I do try to plot, but am unable to write down just the plot. Later on, the dialogue will come to mind and I have to write that down lest I forget. I am trying my hand again at plotting. It’s a slow process for me.

Marie:  All right.

Now, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing My Haven, My Midnight or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Isobelle:  Yes. Writer’s Block. I thought I was immune. Wishful thinking! I had it for a while and I was so worried I wouldn’t be able to finish writing the manuscript by my self-imposed deadline. I had to push through that block – I actually imagine it as a moss-covered wall I have to climb to get to the other side. I kept reading the drafts and I was not satisfied until maybe after the 7th draft. When I felt that it was the best that I could make it, then I sent it to my publisher, Beau Coup Publishing. Luckily, they liked it as well.

If there was anything I could do differently? Oh, gosh, I wish I had the luxury of time to write so that I can fully concentrate on writing continuously. And maybe do more plotting that pantsing particularly because the series is getting more complicated.

And to aspiring authors – never give up. All of us now have an opportunity to become a fantastic writer. There are so many readers out there who want to read the stories you are inspired to write. Do not think that just because one reader may not like your writing, the rest will follow. For every disparaging reader, there will be four to five readers who love what you give them. If there are naysayers, separate the constructive criticism from the I-love-to-troll-your-books attacks. There will always be people who have nothing better to do except to put people down. These are the people you don’t need to listen to.

Finally, believe in yourself. If you do, your characters will too, and they will give you the inspiration to be the best storyteller you can be.

Marie:  All of that is awesome advice!

Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog!  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story My Haven, My Midnight appears to be.

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Isobelle Cate, a very talented author! 🙂

My Haven, My Midnight

Here is the blurb for My Haven, My Midnight:

Amaryllis Hart has lived a hard life. Falsely accused of theft, she decides to live the life thrown at her until one encounter tosses her into a world she does not believe exists and into the arms of the immortal who steals her heart.

Colin Butler, Dux of the Leeds Cynn Cruors and his second, Craig Shaw, return to Leeds abruptly after a secret Colin has been keeping for centuries, returns. In their attempts to keep it under wraps, another situation blows up in their faces, bringing Colin face to face with his past and his future—a violet eyed beauty who heals his soul.

As luck would have it, Colin’s secret is unearthed. To top it all, Dac Valerian and Herod D’Argyl are in Leeds and the Ancients’ enforcer arrives to pass judgement on the Dux of the Leeds Cynn Cruors.

Colin has to make the hardest decision of his life. Either he walks away from the past that will forever haunt him or make up for a past he had no control of and lose the woman he loves.

Isobelle is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!

“Where are you?” Colin moved away from the group even as he opened his telepathic link with his men. He left the security room and made a beeline for the alleyway.
Keep Seth and the rest occupied.
“Wouldn’t you like to know.”
“Mackenzie—”
There was an angry growl. “I’m not Mackenzie. I haven’t been for a very long time.”
“Then why call me brother?” Colin knew he was goading Mackenzie. He could not help it. The need to know if his brother was still inside that Scatha shell was overpowering. He was desperate. He wanted his brother back. He wanted his fellow Cynn Cruor returned. Mack had always been a bit short-tempered, ever since their parents died. Colin pushed the fire door and walked into the alley.
“Fuck you!”
Colin’s hand rested on his hip and he looked up at the sky framed by the buildings’ rooftops. Yup, his brother was still there. A humorless smile crossed Colin’s mouth. “That’s quite a unique name you’ve given me.” When he heard a moan in the background, Colin lowered his head, his eyes narrowing at the brick wall in front of him. “Where are you, Mackenzie?”
“I’m not—”
“No matter what you think or do or say, you’re still bràthair to me.”
A painful moan.
“What the bloody hell did you do now?” Colin asked, his voice furious. He paced the alley.
“Always my fault, isn’t it?” Mackenzie accused. “I didn’t want to be a Scatha. You made it happen but it will always be my fault. Why can’t you get it through that thick skull of yours that you’re to blame?”
Colin’s chest tightened with the guilt that never left him since Mackenzie’s transformation. Now was not the time or place to dwell on it. “Where is she? I swear to God if you hurt her—”
“I’m the worse Scatha there is. I’ve got a fucking bloody conscience! I hate it!” His brother snapped before muttering, “I don’t know why the fuck I’m doing this.”
Colin kept quiet, his empty hand curling. “Where are you?” he repeated. “Let her go. Leave her in a place where we can pick her up. I won’t chase after you tonight.”
“No. I can’t do that.”
“Why the hell not?” Colin blazed, pacing the narrow alley. He bluffed. “We know where the Scatha lair is.”
“I’m sure you do, but I’m not there.”
“We’re just running in circles, Mackenzie.”
“I’m here. At the Faesten.”
“What?” Colin stopped dead. “Why?”
“Because I don’t want the Scathas to know about her.” He sighed, resigned. “She needs the Cynn Cruors’ protection.”

Ooh, riveting!

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B0106CTVCY

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-haven-my-midnight-isobelle-cate/1122241164

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/5588073

About Isobelle Cate

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Isobelle Cate is a woman who wears different masks.  Mother-writer, wife-professional, scholar-novelist.  Currently living in Manchester, she has been drawn to the little known, the secret stories, about the people and the nations:  the English, the Irish, the Scots, the Welsh, and those who are now part of these nations whatever their origins.  Her vision and passion are fuelled by her interest and background in history and paradoxically, shaped by growing up in a clan steeped in lore, loyalty, and legend.  Isobelle is intrigued by forces that simmer beneath the surface of these cultures, the hidden passions, unsaid desires, and yearnings unfulfilled.

Isobelle’s Books:

Coming Soon:

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Available Now:

My Haven, My Midnight

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And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Isobelle Cate, here are some of her author links:

Website/Blog:  https://isobellecate.wordpress.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorIsobelleCate

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Isobelle_Cate

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Isobelle-Cate/e/B00E5OD27K/

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/+IsobelleCate/posts

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7191925.Isobelle_Cate

Publisher:  http://www.beaucoupllcpublishing.com/isobelle-cate/

Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBbB7h0DL9CEVRPJqByDOzA/videos 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/clpardington/author-isobelle-cate/

Additional:  http://microcerpt.com/isobellecate/

https://www.authorgraph.com/authors/Isobelle_Cate

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Colin Butler, the male main character of My Haven, My Midnight, and Isobelle Cate, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so much fun to have you here! 🙂

3 Comments

Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Event, Fiction, Interview, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Romance, Writing

A Character Interview with Angel Bennett from ANGELEA’S DREAMS OF YESTERDAY plus a conversation with author Linda L. Picl!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Natalie Alder’s character on October 13th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Linda L. Picl, the author of Angelea’s Dreams of Yesterday, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Angel Bennett, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Linda in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Angel!

Angel

Marie Lavender:  Hello, Angel.  Please have a seat.

Character Angel Bennett:  Hello.  Thanks for having me.

Marie:  Of course. We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?

Angel: All right.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Angel: Hi, thanks for having me. I am an antiques dealer. Am I any good at it? Yes, I think so; I have many satisfied customers. Do I like it? Yes, I do. The hunt is the most fun, and then, of course, the sale…that’s a close second.

Marie:  Okay. Great! 

So, what is your family like?

Angel:  I don’t have much family, I have my brother Rick, a beach bum who likes to hang out at the local bars. He’s a great guy though. Then I have my cousin Missy and my fiancé. That’s it. My adoptive parents died in a car accident a long time ago.

Marie:  Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about your parents…

Let’s try something else, okay?

What did your childhood home look like?

Angel:  It looked like a foster home for quite a while until the Bennett’s came along, then it was the typical 3 bedroom ranch in the suburbs.

Marie:  Do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

Angel: Oh, I have a great hobby. I love to scuba dive, looking for lost pirate treasure. I enjoy mainly diving and reading about the local lost ships in our area.

Marie:  All right. So, what is your greatest dream?

Angel:  Probably to finally marry Nate and live on the Atlantic Ocean. I want a wide open house right on the beach.

Marie:  Can’t blame you there…I want a beach house as well.

Okay, so, what kind of person do you wish you could be?  What is stopping you?

Angel:  I wish I was more assertive. Don’t get me wrong, I can stand up for myself, but I hate to fight with anyone. What is stopping me? I’m deathly afraid of getting punched in the face.

Marie:  (Smiles.) Well, of course, no one wants that…

All right. I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

Angel:  Well, that depends if you’re asking about my present life or my past. My past life I was in love with Alexander; he was the captain of a pirate ship. Now I love Nate. He’s my partner in business and in life.

Marie:  (Sighs.) I love romance…

Angelea's Dreams of Yesterday

All right. So, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Angel:  Having Alexander come back and try to claim me as his wife now. Of course he’s dead, but he sure made his presence known.

Marie:  Wow, that’s a bit creepy! 😦

Let’s move on to something a bit lighter now, shall we?

[Angel nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Angel:  My biggest dream as a kid was to find parents that loved me and my brother. We had it for a short time until they died, but I know we were loved. It was everything I thought it would be. They were excellent parents, very vigilant with everything we did and very giving of themselves.

Marie:  I think we all want that kind of love in our lives.

So, tell us…who is your role model, Angel?

Angel:  I guess my role model is Nate; he shows me every day how to be a good person.

Marie:  Wow, that’s wonderful!

Well, you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Angel:  Some of my customers make me crazy, but most of them are sweet, so no, there’s no one I really dislike.

Marie:  Okay.

So, what is your deepest desire?

Angel:  Just to be loved, and I think I’ve found that with Nate.

Marie:  Happy to hear it! (Smiles.)

Tell us, Angel…what is your greatest fear?

Angel: Probably bringing up another item that has a bad spirit attached to it.

Marie:  Yikes! That fear is understandable.

Well, we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Angel. It was so interesting getting to know you!  (Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have author Linda L. Picl on the stage today. It’s so lovely to have you back, hon. I remember when we interviewed you on ILRB around this time last year. Hi again, Linda!

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Author Linda L. Picl:  Hello.  Thanks for having me today.

Marie:  My pleasure!  We just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Angel. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

Linda:  She’s a normal everyday girl who happens to get amnesia and think she’s married to a pirate. And she thinks her name is Angelea.

Marie:  Whoa!  Quite the predicament! 

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Linda: She’s stronger than she thinks she is. She’s not afraid to confront her demons.

Marie:  Nothing wrong with that!

Now, let’s take the opposition on that. What, do you feel, are Angel’s greatest weaknesses?

Linda:  She gives up too easily on the people around her.

Marie:  I see.

Let’s try something else…

What are some of her favorite foods?

Linda:  She loves burgers and fries, the greasier the better.

Marie:  (Laughs.) She must have great metabolism! 😉

So…what’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Linda: Bravery. There’s not much that frightens her.

Marie:  Great!

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Linda: They will love her; she keeps going when things get hard and manages to survive an almost insurmountable problem.

Marie:  Can’t go wrong with that description! I’m dying to learn more about the book.

Now that we have a real taste of Angel, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Angelea’s Dreams of Yesterday?

Linda: I wanted to try paranormal romance, after doing two previous romances.

Marie:  Sounds like a plan to me!

So, what is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Linda: A plotter, although there are times I just start writing to see what comes out.

Marie:  All right.

Now, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing this book or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Linda: The only thing I would do differently is really examine my book for problems. Once it’s in edits there are no rewrites.

Marie:  You’re right about that. And that’s great advice, for sure.

Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog!  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Angelea’s Dreams of Yesterday appears to be.

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Linda L. Picl, a very talented author! 🙂

Angelea's Dreams of Yesterday

Here is the blurb for Angelea’s Dreams of Yesterday:

Nothing short of a miracle will convince Angelea she’s the person everyone claims she is. She thought she was just waking up from a nightmare, but her nightmare is just beginning. Her doctor tells her she’s someone named Angel Bennett, someone she’s never heard of and the bruises on her body tell her something horrendous has happened to her, but what? That’s something no one can figure out.
Nate Matthews knows who Angelea really is. She’s his lover and he’d hoped his future wife. But when she awakens in the hospital after a routine surgery and she claims she’s married to a man named Alexander from a time long ago, he knows they will both be up against something no one has ever had to face before. Maybe something evil. How will he convince the love of his life she is not married to a pirate?
Linda is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!

“I’m not sleeping in there, it looks like a Valentine card threw up all over that room.” She threw him a slight grin and turned to drop the pillow and blankets she clutched on the couch.
Nate exploded with laughter, “Thank you I’ve been telling you that for years, maybe now we can change it?”
“You can if you want, I’m not stepping foot in that room, and it’s all yours.”
Forgetting the situation for a split second he told her, “Babe you don’t like to sleep out here, it’s drafty and noisy. You always complain about it.”
Then it hit him. The reason she refused the bedroom was not the décor…it was him.
Her next statement confirmed his fears, “No, the couch will be fine, thanks.” He felt the air rush out of his lungs and his heart crush in his chest. The night she was in the hospital was the longest night of his life, he missed her so much. Now she wasn’t sick and gone, she didn’t want to sleep with him and refused of her own free will.
“You don’t mean that? Really?” He never had to before, but now he was pleading with her. Raw pain filled his eyes. This couldn’t be happening. They’d worked so hard to get their relationship to this point and now it somehow evaporated right before his eyes.
“Yes, I’m sorry I do.” He could tell she tried to soothe things over and understand his feelings when she replied.
“Listen Nate, I know, I know we’ve been together forever, but in truth I just met you. I’m not kidding when I say that. I can’t jump in bed with you. I am sorry. But the couch will be fine for now unless you want to take it.” He was beyond furious and had an angry fiery look in his eyes that made her cautious of what she said next. What he didn’t want her to know was the truth…he was heartbroken.
He dropped the bag of food on the kitchen table, “Fine. Here’s lunch, enjoy.” He turned, grabbed his keys and without a look back in her direction slammed the door on his way out of the apartment. He literally shook everything in the place to its foundation, including her.
He wondered what he was going to do now as he headed to his car. Everything they’d worked for and built was suddenly gone. Their life together obliterated in one day.
Ooh, love the tension…

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00TWPIOEI

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/angeleas-dreams-of-yesterday-linda-l-picl/1121279321

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/5331960

About Linda L. Picl

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Linda L. Picl was born in Illinois and got her love of reading from spending time in a tiny library under a police station in a small town there. From there she went on to work at many of the libraries in suburbs all around the Chicago area, which only fired up her love of romance novels.

Following her favorite authors Robyn Carr and Nora Roberts, she went on to write sweet romance books and produced her first book, Next Time Love Comes, and then Solitary Dreamer, both second chance at love romances. Not everyone gets lucky on their first try at love.
Those are the types of books Linda loves to write. She has just published her third book, a paranormal romance, Angelea’s Dreams of Yesterday, released by Beau Coup Publishing, and more books are on their way.

Linda lives in a suburb of Wisconsin with her husband.

Linda’s Books:

Angelea's Dreams of Yesterday

Solitary_Dreamer

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And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Linda L. Picl, here are some of her author links:

Website/Blog:  https://lpicl.wordpress.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lindal.picl

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LindaLPicl

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Linda-L.-Picl/e/B00L5MBE98/

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/106195602678238404498/posts

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8329651.Linda_L_Picl

Publisher:  http://www.beaucoupllcpublishing.com/linda-picl/

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Angel Bennett, the female main character of Angelea’s Dreams of Yesterday, and Linda L. Picl, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so much fun to have you here! 🙂

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Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Interview, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Romance, Writing

A Character Interview with J.P. Ryan from CREWEL WORK plus a conversation with author Natalie Alder!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Katherine Rhodes’ character on September 29th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Natalie Alder, the author of Crewel Work, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, J.P. Ryan, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Natalie in a bit, but now we have on the stage…J.P.!

J.P. Ryan

Marie Lavender:  Hello, J.P.  Please have a seat.

Character J.P. Ryan:  Hello.  Thanks for having me.

Marie:  Of course. We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?

J.P.: Sure.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

J.P.:  Race Horse Trainer. I love it and I am damn good at it.

Marie:  (Smiles.)

Great!  So, what is your family like?

J.P.:  My mom passed away from breast cancer when I was seven years old. My dad passed away from emphysema when I was seventeen years old. He smoked a lot. I didn’t have any brothers or sisters. The foreman, Tanner Ford, at Bridgeton Pass Farm, where I work, is my cousin.

Marie:  Oh, so sorry to hear about your parents…

Let’s try something else, okay?

What did your childhood home look like?

J.P.:  A small, dingy two bedroom apartment in a nowhere suburb.

Marie:  Do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

J.P.: I like riding. I don’t get to do it as often as I’d like. And I like hanging out on the porch drinking beers with my cousin, Tanner, on the occasional Friday night.

Marie:  Okay. So, what is your greatest dream?

J.P.:  I’m living it. I didn’t know it until I got the apprenticeship to be a race horse trainer, but this is a dream job. And I got the girl. (Smiles.)

Marie:  (Sighs.) I love romance…

Crewel Work

Okay, so, what kind of person do you wish you could be?  What is stopping you?

J.P.:  I want to be a good father, one who’s there for the kids, teaches them things, someone they can look up to. What’s stopping me? I don’t have one yet. I’m working on that, though. (Laughs.)

Marie:  All right. I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

J.P.:  Nellie Watson in the first grade. I think she’s a teacher now…

Marie:  So, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

J.P.:  My mom died.

Marie:  Again, I’m so sorry you went through that. 😦

Let’s move on to something a bit lighter, shall we?

[J.P. nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

J.P.:  My dream growing up was just to have a good, steady job and not worry about money. Didn’t matter what I did. I’ve more than achieved that dream.

Marie:  That’s great! And I think we all want that for ourselves.

So, who is your role model, J.P.?

J.P.:  My cousin, Tanner. He’s level-headed and easy-going. I tried to be like him.

Marie:  Wow, that’s wonderful!

Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

J.P.:  No.

Marie:  Okay.

So, what is your deepest desire, J.P.?

J.P.:  To have a child.

Marie:  Well, I can certainly understand the urge. And I’m sure you’ll have that some day. (Smiles.)

So, tell us, J.P…what is your greatest fear?

J.P.: Getting hurt so that I can’t work – doing hard physical labor – have kids or provide for my family.

Marie:  That’s understandable. No one wants to be out of commission like that.

Well, we’re out of time, Thank you for visiting us today, J.P. It was so interesting getting to know you!  (Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have author Natalie Alder on the stage today. Hi, Natalie!

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Author Natalie Alder:  Hello.  Thank you for having me here.

Marie:  My pleasure!  We just got to talk to the hero of your story, J.P. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about him?

Natalie: He’s an all-American, good guy who was raised in a home without much love and is a hard worker.

Marie:  Nothing wrong with that package!  😉

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Natalie:  His natural talent with horses, patience and sexy good looks.

Marie:  (Fans herself.) Oh, do tell us more…

(Clears her throat.) I mean, let’s take the opposition on that. What, do you feel, are J.P.’s greatest weaknesses?

Natalie:  He can fly off the handle at times.

Marie:  I see.

Let’s try something else…

What are some of his favorite foods?

Natalie: Pizza and BBQ.

Marie:  Can’t blame him there.

So, what’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Natalie:  He isn’t aware of how gorgeous he is.

Marie:  Love that!  Conceited ones aren’t appealing…

So, will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Natalie:  They will like him. He’s the boy-next-door cutie and a good soul.

Marie:  Can’t go wrong with that description! I’m dying to learn more.

Well, now that we have a real taste of J.P., we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for your book?

Natalie:  Daydreaming as a teen.

Marie:  All right.

What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Natalie:  Pantster.

Marie:  Now, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Crewel Work or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Natalie:  I had a bit of difficulty being sure to keep the timelines straight. I’d probably use a computer program that can help with that.

Marie:  I hear you. I think with each project, the writer stumbles across a new set of issues. And that’s great advice. Being organized is never a bad thing!

Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog!  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Crewel Work appears to be.  I certainly want to learn more about the hottie J.P…ahem, I mean, the story! (Chuckles.)

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Natalie Alder, a very talented author! 🙂

Crewel Work

Here is the blurb for Crewel Work:

The key to a successful horse farm is the trainer. At Bridgeton Pass, J. P. Ryan is that key. William Becker is determined to protect his farm and keep Ryan on the job.
That goal is threatened by two things – a sinister act by another employee and the fact that his only daughter has fallen head-over-heels in love with J. P.
Becker can’t allow either of those things to threaten his legacy.
Audra grew up around the handsome trainer and fell in love with him at a distance, enchanted by his kindness and honesty. When they began stealing private but innocent moments, she found that she didn’t want to live without him. Audra is heartbroken when she has to choose between honoring her father and pursuing love.
J.P. wants Audra by his side, but he finds himself with a hard decision.
He is forced to choose between his career and the love of his life. Between the problems caused by the trouble-making barn hand and the frustration caused by his desire for Audra, J.P.’s job has become a ‘crewel’ work.
The story of the Becker family is woven as an intricate Tapestry. It is beautiful as a whole, but like any tapestry, you have to turn it over and look at the back side to see how the threads of love and family relationships are woven together into one intricate whole.
Welcome to the Tapestry series…

Natalie is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!

“Audra, don’t.” J.P’s voice was sharp. He was on edge. He was afraid to look at her. He knew he’d have no control if he did. And he didn’t want to see her cry. Grabbing her upper arms, he pushed Audra against the wall. When he did, his left hand grazed her breast. They stood for a moment, neither moving. J.P. let his thumb trace the curve of her breast, then slide over her pebbled nipple.

A small moan escaped her. She arched her back, wanting to feel more. He swallowed hard. Silently, she begged for him to kiss her, touch her, anything. Her need and desire were evident.

Inwardly he hated himself for touching her so intimately and bringing them to this emotional place where they shouldn’t be. He closed his eyes, dropped his arms and left the tack room.

Crewel Work Teaser

Ooh, I definitely want to read more!  😀

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00OFCK10S

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/crewel-work-natalie-alder/1120965561

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/5189626

About Natalie Alder

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I write stories about romance. They center on learning about the characters backgrounds, personalities and life circumstances that mold them into who they are and how they love.

I am a sassy 40-something year old. I live in a quiet farming town in New England with my husband of fifteen years and our three rescued cats. After college I facilitated improvement in the physical abilities of children and the elderly, then took the opportunity to enjoy my creative side. I love to sew, knit, write…sing and drink martinis (not necessarily at the same time).

Natalie’s Books:

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Crewel Work

And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Natalie Alder, here are some of her author links:

Website/Blog:  http://www.nataliealder.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorNatalieAlder

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/NatalieRomance

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Natalie-Alder/e/B00OG20DOG/

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+NatalieAlder/posts

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8473636.Natalie_Alder

Publisher:  http://www.beaucoupllcpublishing.com/natalie-alder/

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, J.P. Ryan, the male main character of Crewel Work, and Natalie Alder, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so much fun to have you here! 🙂

 

3 Comments

Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Interview, Readers, Romance, Writing

A Character Interview with Nick D. from NOT QUITE JULIET plus a conversation with author Katherine Rhodes!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Palessa’s character on September 22nd and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Katherine Rhodes, the author of Not Quite Juliet, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Nicholas Dovadsky, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Katherine in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Nick D.!

NickD

Marie Lavender:  Hello, Nick.  Please have a seat.

Character Nicholas Dovadsky:  Hello.  Thanks for having me.

Marie:  Of course. We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?

Nick: Sure.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Nick:  By day, I’m a mild-mannered chemist. I work with the coroner for Allegheny County and get to blow stuff up. I’m good at blowing stuff up. I do rather enjoy it.
By night I’m the lead singer in Silver Soul. Damn straight I’m good at it—and I wouldn’t be up there if I didn’t like it.

Marie:  (Chuckles.)

Fair enough. So, what is your family like?

Nick: My mother and father are gone, but my sweet Morgan and her sister make up for it. By extension, my band is my family, too and they rock. Literally.

Marie:  All right. What did your childhood home look like?

Nick:  It was very similar to what I live in now, a gorgeous old home my parents took time and pride in restoring. I loved growing up there; probably a great measure of why I bought my current place.

Marie:  I can’t blame you there…

So, do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

Nick:  Writing music and playing with the guys. I also love giving my Morgan private piano concerts. Those are ‘invite only’.

Marie:  Okay. So, what is your greatest dream?

Nick: I kind of think I’m living it. I have my band, my music, my awesome full time job, my girl, my house… I mean, it doesn’t get better than this.

Not Quite Juliet

Marie:  All right.

What kind of person do you wish you could be?  What is stopping you?

Nick: A little more involved with charities. I know I’ve got it good and I want to spread that around. What’s stopping me? Well, time at the moment. Full schedule all the time.

Marie:  So I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

Nick:  Her name was Casey Line.

Marie:  All right.

So, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Nick:  My first love.

Marie:  Okay…I would push for more information, as I’m dying to know, but this looks delicate.

Let’s move on to something a bit lighter, shall we?

[Nick nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Nick:  To be a chemist. I always loved finding out what was in things and what made things up. And I’m happy to say I got there.

Marie:  Great!

So, who is your role model?

Nick:  Go ahead and laugh- Hedy Lamar. The woman was a walking sexpot and genius. Did you know that she invented spread spectrum technology that we use in our cellphones? In 1940! Damn. I’d love to have lunch with her.

Marie:  Interesting!

Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Nick:  Vatori’s brother, Simon Garabaldi. Dude is straight-laced and as boring as they come. He’s always on duty even when he’s not.

Marie:  Okay.

Let’s try something else…

So, what is your deepest desire, Nicholas?

Nick:  Children. I had that for just a moment once…

Marie:  What is your greatest fear?

Nick: Having that child ripped from me again…

Marie:  I’m so sorry. 😦  I know nothing I can say will take your pain away…

Well, we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Nick. It was so interesting getting to know you!  (Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have author Katherine Rhodes on the stage today. Hi, Katherine!

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Author Katherine Rhodes:  Hello.  Thank you for having me here.

Marie:  My pleasure!  We just got to talk to the hero of your story, Nicholas Dovadsky, or Nick D. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about him?

Katherine:  Well, he’s the kind of guy I would have loved to date and/or marry when I was younger. Someone who had a crazy creative side, but utterly laced with intelligence and humor.

Marie:  Nothing wrong with that!  😉

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Katherine:  He’s loyal and dependable. He was betrayed badly by his ex-fiancee, so he really doesn’t mess around with that stuff.

Marie:  Well, that’s certainly understandable.

Now let’s take the opposition on that. What, do you feel, are his greatest weaknesses?

Katherine:  His past. He’s had a time getting over that betrayal.

Marie:  Well, as a recipient of certain betrayal in the past, all I can say is that is does take time to trust again.

Let’s try something else…

What are some of his favorite foods?

Katherine:  Italian, but he loves good Asian—Japanese, Asian, Indian, Korea. But never balut.

Marie:  Can’t blame him there. Yuck! But I can agree with the rest.

So, what’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Katherine:  His perfect timing. He has no idea that somehow he manages to always say or do the right thing at the right time for everyone.

Marie:  Very nice!

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Katherine:  I hope they like him! He’s fun to write and fun to find out about.

Marie:  I’m sure they will! I already do, and I’m dying to learn more.

Well, now that we have a real taste of Nick D., we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for your book?

Katherine:  I wanted to write a rocker romance and decided to go with a rom com feel to it. I love books that make me laugh, and rockers seemed like the perfect place to do it.

Marie:  Good idea!

So, what is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Katherine:  I’m a pantser! I start writing on the fly, and about three or four chapters in, I should really write down the ideas that I’m messing with!

Marie:  (Laughs.)

Now, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Not Quite Juliet or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Katherine: I didn’t, actually. This one of the books that fell off my fingers. But I have had trouble with others that wouldn’t finish themselves. I have to walk away from those for a while. I just walked away from a book for eight months because I couldn’t figure it out. Then I realized I was making it too hard, dissected it, and saw exactly what I was looking for.

So for a new author? It’s okay if you can’t see the end right away or have to walk away. It WILL come to you!

Marie:  I agree. We can always use those tips of encouragement, at any stage in our careers! Thank you for that, Katherine!

Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog!  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Not Quite Juliet appears to be.  I certainly want to learn more!

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Katherine Rhodes, a very talented author! 🙂

Not Quite Juliet

Here is the blurb for Not Quite Juliet:

One fateful night, by the grace of beer and peanuts, Morgan Kirkbride–the self-professed super fangirl of Silver Soul– falls for the sexy rock god, Nick D. Literally.

Lands on her ass right in front of him.

Morgan is sure the lead singer of Silver Soul thought she was a graceless flake, but instead asks her to a midnight diner and winds up back at her place. She’s captivated, but sure it’s just a crazy one-night fling… Imagine her shock when the very next Monday at Allegheny County Courthouse, the highly respected, well-credentialed chemist Dr. Nicholas Dovadsky is called as a witness — and Morgan recognizes him as the rock god who rocked her bed.

Sparks fly between them, but things get complicated – fast. When an ex-boyfriend returns to haunt Morgan and her roommate, no one takes him seriously. But when the simple threats become violent, perverse and horrifying, she realizes someone is out to get her.

Nick doesn’t intend for anything or anyone to stop him from getting to know the spunky, curvaceous, if clumsy, woman. He just keeps coming back…because there’s one thing he knows: he wants Morgan in his life, for good.

**Content Warning: Contains explicit content and adult situations that may not be suitable for all audiences. 18+ Audience**
Katherine is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!

I took the offered hand and nearly swooned. Swooned. Who the hell swoons? I stood up and followed him through the mostly empty club as the staff was sweeping and pushing tables around. He didn’t let go of my hand as we wound through the tables to the door stage right.
This time, the little bitch in my head slapped me. I was being led backstage by the man I had a severe fangirl crush on, and we were going out for food and a chat. I almost dropped my cider at the realization. I was walking backstage with Nick D. I realized I had an obligation to women everywhere at that moment–and I fulfilled it.
I dropped my eyes and I gazed upon the most gorgeous denim-clad backside I had ever seen. He walked just enough to press those firm globes into the denim and release them a moment later with the next stride. The cloth hugged him, and it was one of the most delicious sights I’d ever seen in my life. Squeezable Tush. I wondered if I could bottle it.
“Enjoying the view?” he asked.
My eyes shot up to his, where he was peeking over his shoulder at me about to push the door open. Fire rushed into my cheeks. Let’s see, I had proved I was graceless, easily flustered, worked at a BDSM club, and had absolutely no stealth to even grab a glimpse of the World’s Most Fantastic Backside. I’d probably dump the soup down the front of my shirt.
His eyes sparkled mischievously, though, as he looked at me. I took a chance. “Hmm. It could be a little better. Could you just turn to the right a little?” He laughed, and obliged me.
Oh, it was a perfect ass.

Not Quite Juliet Teaser

(Laughs.) I definitely want to read more!  😀

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00JJARYYM

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/not-quite-juliet-katherine-rhodes/1119943535

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/4892036

About Katherine Rhodes

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Author of erotica, light BDSM erotica and paranormal erotica. Expert in the profundities of bad movies and awful literature. Armed with her Bachelors of English, Literature she has set her mind to writing erotic romances which are kinky, dirty, and fun. A lackadaisical laundry goddess, Katherine resides in Philadelphia with her husband, three cats and a betta named Fishtian Grey.
Katherine’s Books:

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Not Quite Juliet

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And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Katherine Rhodes, here are some of her author links:

Website/Blog:  http://katherinerhodes.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/katherinerhodesauthor/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Mistress_KayR

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Katherine-Rhodes/e/B00H693JXS/

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/108748357441081849146/posts

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7091498.Katherine_Rhodes

Publisher:  http://www.beaucoupllcpublishing.com/katherine-rhodes/

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Nick D., the male main character of Not Quite Juliet, and Katherine Rhodes, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so much fun to have you here! 🙂

3 Comments

Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Contemporary, Erotica, Event, Fiction, Interview, Readers, Romance, Writing

A Character Interview with Devereaux from DEVEREAUX COX plus a conversation with author Palessa!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Tracy Kincaid’s character on September 8th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Palessa, the author of Devereaux Cox, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Devereaux, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Palessa in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Devereaux!

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Marie Lavender:  Hello, Devereaux.  Please have a seat.

Character Devereaux Cox:  Hello.  Thanks for having me.

Marie:  Of course. We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?

Devereaux: Sure.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Devereaux:  I play football for the Atlanta Mercury, in the Steinger Football League. It’s a semi-professional league with about 20 teams from all around the country. It’s like the pros, but we have a different way to play the game and I think our fans are more intense that the pro league. Am I any good at it? Do I like it? Well let me put it this way, they call me the Mercury Juggernaut. Plus I get to knock guys on their asses on a regular basis. Who wouldn’t love this job?

Marie:  (Laughs.)

All right. So, what is your family like?

Devereaux:  There’s a lot going on right now, that I’m sorting out or at least trying to wrap my head around. If you’d asked me that question six months ago, I would have had a much clearer response. Right now, all I have is ‘complicated.’

Marie:  Okay. What did your childhood home look like?

Devereaux: It was pretty good. My parents were good. I can’t complain. I was their only concern for seven years until Bryson showed up. (Chuckles.) I always remind him how he ruined my childhood. Nah, I’m kidding. Bry is cool. He’s my little bro and my best friend.

Marie:  Aww…

So, do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

Devereaux: Well, right now, my hobbies are on hold because I’m in school. Doing my masters in chemistry so I’m basically on lockdown. I was able to finish up my assignments before the season started so that’s off my chest, but if I’m not practicing or playing or hanging out with my folks for dinner, I’m studying. I know, I know, the exciting life of a football player.

Marie:  All right. So, what is your greatest dream?

Devereaux:  A family. I thought I would have one by now but, things don’t always turn out the way you plan, do they? I suppose one day…

Marie:  I honestly believe everything happens when it’s supposed to.

Lets try something else, okay?

What kind of person do you wish you could be?  What is stopping you?

Devereaux:  I wish I could be one of those guys who just goes home to his wife and kids and just lives that contented life. A lot of people think that’s boring, but there’s something about being with the right person all the time that just makes things click and work. As far as what’s stopping me…something like that doesn’t just happen with anyone. So I guess you could say when I find the right one, it’ll work out.

Marie:  Good point. So I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

Devereaux:  She was this girl I met in college. Rebekka. She was just this hard working smart girl and I got to know her and…I’d never felt like that before. But I found out she did something and I tried to look past it, but it was just too much. Funny enough, we found each other again but, it’s like history repeating itself with her and my parents…again, it’s complicated.

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Marie:  All right.

So, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Devereaux: I’ll tell you all about it when it’s over.

Marie:  Okay…

Let’s move on to something a bit lighter, shall we?

[Devereaux nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Devereaux:  My dream was to be a football player, a professional one. Back then the NFL was looming large but when I learned more about the SFL, I just felt like this was the place for me. It’s like a big family and the fans are an extension of that. I’m glad I’m here.

Marie:  Great!

So, who is your role model?

Devereaux:  My Dad. He’s one of those chill guys. The way he is with my mom, it’s like he just lets her do her thing and then does his. It’s not that they aren’t partners, it’s that they complement each other so well. My Dad is just calm and likes to see all sides first.

Marie:  I can respect that.

Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Devereaux:  (Shrugs.) I don’t have time for that. I figure, if you like me, fine. You don’t, fine. I’m too busy to play pretend.

Marie:  I agree.

Let’s try something else…

So, what is your deepest desire, Devereaux?

Devereaux:  Just being happy, like I was…back then. I want that kind of happiness.

Marie:  What is your greatest fear?

Devereaux:  Losing my family. I just don’t want to miss a thing. Those moments you just can’t get back and they’re important.

Marie:  That’s true.

Well, we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Devereaux. It was so interesting getting to know you!  (Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have author Palessa on the stage today. Hi, Palessa!

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Author Palessa:  Hello.  Thank you for having me here.

Marie:  My pleasure!  We just got to talk to the hero of your story, Devereaux Cox. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about him?

Palessa:  Dev is this big guy with a big heart that packs a punch on the field. Off the field, he’s got his priorities, which is to build on his natural athleticism. Smart guy, really smart and disciplined enough to look ahead to life after football and take care of his business now.

Marie:  I can certainly admire that!

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Palessa:  Dev’s smart and fairly well-balanced. He’s not one to fly off the handle.

Marie:  Now let’s take the opposition on that. What, do you feel, are his greatest weaknesses?

Palessa:  For Dev, it’s this blind trust he has that comes with being such a big-hearted guy. It also makes him take a bit more time to absorb certain things, which is the opposite of what he’s like on the field, where reaction/response time is critical.

Marie:  All right.  What are some of his favorite foods?

Palessa:  He’s a clean eater for the most part. His body is a well-oiled machine and he’s highly regimented about what he eats and needs to eat to achieve a certain result. That doesn’t mean he’s boring. He’s just got his focus on taking care of his body.

Marie:  Okay. What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Palessa: He’s a lot like his father, Jeffrey even though he may not realize it. Calm but determined to understand when he feels it’s necessary.

Marie:  Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Palessa: I think they’ll like him, but they’ll remember what he did or didn’t do. He’s human, not perfect and he’s made mistakes that he’s trying to put right. For some, it may be hard to forget and maybe even forgive completely.

Marie:  All right.

Well, now that we have a real taste of Devereaux Cox, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for your book?

Palessa:  The world of American football is fascinating. I’ve always wondered what some of these guys were like off the field because they are these intense, hulking figures that ram against each other for a paycheck and accolades. Of course, we know what some of these guys do, as is evidenced by Michael Vick and Aaron Hernandez and OJ Simpson, but I think that with the sheer number of players in the NFL, it’s like an iceberg. I wanted to create a league where I could go behind the game and see some of these guys and the league itself. It won’t all be love and roses, but I’m prepared to see what I can of the SFL world.

Marie:  Interesting!

So, what is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Palessa:  My writing style is evolving. Not sure what it’s become yet, but I do some kind of an outline so I can form the idea more clearly. Then I write. Sometimes it’s from start to finish in sequence but lately, some later scenes have come on strong so I’ve had to write those out first and go back. It’s a process.

Marie:  Isn’t it strange how that works out? Only the muse can tell us where to go.

Now, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Devereaux Cox or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Palessa:  This book was blissfully smooth. It took me longer to write this than Tobey Fine because it’s a more emotional story and I wanted to really work on that. As far as getting it published, while I’m with Beau Coup, I’m not taking it for granted that they’ll like everything. I just take it one story at a time. What I am doing is I’m working on drafting out a few books in the series at a time. I wrote Tobey Fine and Devereaux Cox together. I did have half-a-draft of book 3 (which is not a full draft), but I’m going to take the time and really work on book 4 and maybe see if there’s a book 5 before I tackle this series again, no pun intended. So just really writing out the first few books of the series is now my game plan. It may take me some time, but I’m more concerned with getting the stories right so it will take as long as it takes.

Marie:  That’s a great plan!

Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog!  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Devereaux Cox appears to be.  I certainly want to learn more!

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Palessa, a very talented author! 🙂

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Here is the blurb for Devereaux Cox (Sacked & Tackled, Book 2):

As the six-feet-five juggernaut of the Atlanta Mercury, Christopher Devereaux Cox knows how to make his impact felt on the field. Off the field, he’s the devoted son of a prominent family with ties to presidential history, as well as one of Atlanta’s most eligible bachelors. He is a credit to his family, his team, and his name. Nothing could be more perfect.
Within the SFL, a problem threatens to spread through the organization. Cast as an unwitting scapegoat is Rebekka Stallman, a physiotherapist for the league and the only woman Devereaux ever loved. Seeing each other again after all those years ago when her life took a devastating turn was unexpected, and Rebekka wasn’t about to miss the chance to unleash her fury on her former boyfriend, who turned his back on her when she needed him.
But things aren’t what they seemed then or now.
Secrets and lies will be exposed as Rebekka forces Devereaux to question everything and everyone he ever trusted, including himself. As the dust settles and some facts about the league’s doping scandal come to light, Devereaux must decide whether the life he yearns for with the woman he still loves is worth the price of holding onto his family.

Palessa is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!

“I didn’t do it,” she screamed. “I would never do anything like that.”

The man’s voice just as loud but harsher replied, “You were the only one who handled both of them. And one of the other physios told me specifically that you gave him the stuff with a wink and a nod.”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean? A wink and a nod.”

“I don’t know but until this investigation is done. You’re suspended without pay.”

“You can’t do that. I’m entitled to plead my case.”

The man’s voice was low, mostly inaudible to outsiders, but it was enough to draw out a mighty curse from the woman.

Devereaux slowly walked past the door. Suddenly it opened and a woman bumped into him and seemed to bounce back. Devereaux actually felt the impact of her which caused him to wobble slightly, which was a feat unto itself.

“Sorry,” he apologized, partly for the eavesdropping. “I didn’t—Rebekka?”

When she heard her name, she tilted her head slightly to look at him and he saw the color drain from her face.

“It really was you,” he muttered and he saw her face move from shock to annoyance.

“And this day just keeps getting better, doesn’t it?” She chuckled mirthlessly as she put her hands on her hips and looked at the ground.

“How—”

“You’re seriously going to ask me how I’m doing right now, Chris?” Her voice crescendoed as she spoke, attracting stares from some of his team mates who were exiting the locker room. “I’ve just been suspended, probably fired or worse, for something I didn’t do or even have a clue how to do or whatever. Some asshat claims I gave him some stuff with a wink and nod. Then I bump into you. So this day is just not…it’s going to shit really. Yeah. Total crap.”

She harshly pulled the rubber band that was holding her hair up and shook it out. It was longer than he remembered. Then she stepped past him and briskly walk away.

Stopping midstride, Rebekka turned on her heel and declared, “Give your mother my best.” The sarcasm in her voice was biting. “Oh,” she exclaimed, putting her finger to her temple as if she were trying to remember something. “Wait a minute. She probably wouldn’t want to hear my name after she sandbagged me back at Kenton, would she? So, never mind, Chris. Been fun.”

Devereaux visibly flinched at the bitterness he heard in her voice. He watched the woman he once loved stalk away and shook his head. For the first time in his life, he felt as if he had been run over by a tank.

And he didn’t like the feeling one damn bit.

Riveting! I definitely want to read more!  😀

Purchase Link:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B015C5UR3M

About Palessa

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Palessa started reading her first romance novel at the age of 11. Then she got introduced to V.C. Andrews, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Anne Rice and many more notable contemporary authors, as well as some of the classics, A Tale of Two Cities, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Great Gatsby and others. It was during her teenage years that she dabbled in writing. First, it was in her diaries, then she started creating characters, stories about romance, the supernatural and much more. Being an I.B. student as well as entering college, left little time for writing and so she put it and the ideas aside to pursue a career. It would take almost 20 years, a radical move from the city she grew up in, Miami, FL back to her Caribbean birthplace, and a chance Facebook meeting with Sable Hunter to start the juices flowing again. After some fits and starts, the Baxter Family Saga was born. Unchained Hearts is Palessa’s first published fiction book with Beau Coup Publishing.

She considers herself just a storyteller that sees no reason to shy away from the juicier romantic elements. She currently lives in the mountains of Jamaica with her crazy, cracker-munching-mutt Ivy and a farm, primarily managed by agribusiness partner, also known as Dad.

Palessa’s Books:

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And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Palessa, here are some of her author links:

Website/Blog:  https://authorpalessa.wordpress.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorPalessa

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/authorpalessa

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Palessa/e/B00IMLM4VW/

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/100266014519625067283/posts

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7765546.Palessa

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/authorpalessa/

Publisher:  http://www.beaucoupllcpublishing.com/palessa/

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Devereaux, the male main character of Devereaux Cox, and Palessa, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so much fun to have you here! 🙂

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Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Interview, Multicultural/Interracial, Readers, Romance, Writers, Writing

A Character Interview with Thomas Andrews from CHANGING LIVES plus a conversation with author Tracy Kincaid!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Viv Drewa’s character on August 18th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Tracy Kincaid, the author of Changing Lives, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Thomas Andrews, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Tracy in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Thomas!

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Marie Lavender:  Hello, Thomas.  Please have a seat.

Character Thomas Andrews:  Hello.  Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Marie:  It’s good to have you visit. We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?

Thomas: Of course.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Thomas: I build ocean liners for the White Star Line. I think I am pretty good at it. But I think some people may feel differently about that. I do like it very much.

Marie:  Interesting!

So, what is your family like?

Thomas:  I don’t have much family. My parents and two brothers have long since passed on. I am starting a new family with my wife Natalie; we are expecting our first children soon – twins!

Marie:  Wow, that’s great!

Do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

Thomas:  I enjoy building things, so I guess you could say that is my hobby.  I enjoy learning more about the world I now live in. So much has changed in the past hundred years. And I enjoy working with David in his search to find those who are lost.

Marie:  All right. So, what is your greatest dream?

Thomas: To have a long and happy life with my wife and children.

Marie:  Sounds like a good plan to me!

So, what kind of person do you wish you could be?  What is stopping you?

Thomas: I wish to be a good man to my family and friends. Nothing is stopping me from doing this.

Marie:  All right, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

Thomas:  I have only ever loved my Natalie. Since the very first day I set eyes upon her.

(Sighs.) I love romance…

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Let’s try something else, okay?

So, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Thomas:  Being stuck on a ship for one hundred years. And losing Natalie for most of that time.

Wow! There’s certainly a story there. And I’m sorry to hear about that.  😦

Let’s move on to something a bit lighter, okay?

[Thomas nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Thomas:  My dream has always been to build ocean liners. Did I achieve that dream? Yes, I built the Titanic and I also took part in building the Olympic. I did not expect what happened to the Titanic to happen. I thought it would travel near and far for many years to come.

I did achieve my dreams; I just wish I could have done more to save her.

Marie:  So, who is your role model, Thomas?

Thomas:  My uncle, the Viscount Pirrie. He was my mentor during my time with Harland and Wolff.

Marie:  All right.

Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Thomas:  No, why would someone do that?

Marie:  Indeed! Let’s try something else…

So, what is your deepest desire, Thomas?

Thomas: To have many children and teach them how to build things.

Marie:  Okay.

What is your greatest fear?

Thomas:  Losing Natalie, again.

Marie:  I see. I can’t blame you for feeling that way. (Pats her guest’s hand.)

Well, we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Thomas. It was so interesting getting to know you!  (Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have Tracy Kincaid on the stage today. Hi, Tracy!

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Author Tracy Kincaid:  Hi.  Thank you for having me here.

Marie:  My pleasure!  We just got to talk to the hero of your story, Thomas. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about him?

Tracy:  Well, Thomas, as I am sure he has told you, was one of the builders of the Titanic. I have always loved stories about the Titanic. The ship of dreams, unsinkable. But of course we all know what happened. Or I should say we think we know what happened.

Marie:  Ooh, nice hook! I’m definitely interested to know what happens in the book.

Let’s try a new question. So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Tracy: He has been through hell and back for over one hundred years. It’s not easy waiting for your loved ones to come back. But he stuck it out and in the end, it all worked out.

Marie:  Now let’s take the opposition on that. What, do you feel, are his greatest weaknesses?

Tracy:  Thomas has to learn everything as he goes. Everything is different from the time he was from.

Marie:  All right.  What are some of his favorite foods?

Tracy:  He’s Irish so he eats a lot of corn beef and cabbage. But I think I actually saw him eat some haggis once.

Marie:  (Laughs.) Okay. What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Tracy: He has the strength to keep up with Natalie and learn the way of the new world fast. He will need to learn fast to keep up with her.

Marie:  Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Tracy:  I think they will love him. He is kind and caring and is willing to do anything for Natalie and her friends.

Marie:  Great!  Well, now that we have a real taste of Thomas Andrews, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Changing Lives?

Tracy:  I had been laid off from work. I was at home alone a lot, looking endlessly for a new job. One night I had this crazy dream so the next day I woke up and the dream stuck with me all day. So I sat down and wrote it out. I thought that would get it out of my head. I had finally found a job, then we moved cross country a few years later. I didn’t pick it up again until we were settled in the new house. I started to write it again and it just all came to me. I never thought I would do anything with it until I let my friend read it. And the rest, I guess you can say, is history.

Marie:  That’s great! Isn’t it strange how that works out?

So, what is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Tracy:  Pantster, for sure. When I sit to write, I write what the voices in my head say to write. If I sit long enough, it just goes through my hands to the keyboard. I think the plotting stuff is hard.

Marie:  Yeah, I hear you. I do both, but it’s definitely easier when the ideas flow naturally.

Now, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Changing Lives or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Tracy: I think everything with this book, once it was done, went really fast. I had at least three different people edit it before I even sent it off to the publisher. Once that was done, I sent it in and heard back within two days that they wanted it. I have no idea if my friend (also an author with the publishing house) had anything to do with it or not. Whatever happened, I am grateful. What would I do differently the next time? I’m not sure if I would change anything, except for maybe making a longer book. I am almost done with a book called Freeing Lost Souls that I am trying to make longer than Changing Lives was. That was one of the biggest complaints I’ve heard about it, that it needed to be longer. That’s not always easy to do.

Marie:  I agree; it isn’t. These days, I try not to worry so much about word count and just let the muse take me where it wants. Later, I can think about cutting something if necessary.

Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog!  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Changing Lives appears to be.  Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Tracy Kincaid, a very talented author! 🙂

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Here is the blurb for Changing Lives:

What if love-at-first-sight was not the “first-sight” after all?

Natalie Star is a modern woman, with modern sensibilities. Practical and realistic, she finds herself falling for a man named Thomas Andrews. Thomas is a perfect gentleman, but his love for her seems to be old, solid, staid– the kind that grows after years of love and life together. He speaks in riddles when she asks why he seems to know her so well–they were together in a time she can’t remember yet.

Thomas longs to tell Natalie everything he knows about her, about them. But it’s time that is the problem yet. There is a tragedy that they must endure before she can fully accept who they are, and why they are destined to be together. A tragedy that Thomas has been through once, and will go through again to find the piece of his heart that has been missing all these many years.

That tragedy is the Titanic…

Tracy is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!

As I touch it, I feel nothing but cold everywhere—in my bones, in my blood, in the room. I close my eyes, trying to touch the iceberg as long as I can, as the instructions say. This is what it felt like that night the Titanic sank. With all of those people dying in the cold water. As I stand with my eyes shut, I start to feel very cold and wet. I open my eyes and realize that somehow I’m in a small boat on the ocean at night with a life vest on and hundreds of people floating around me. Some dead, others screaming. Where am I? And where’s Thomas?
I start to yell Thomas’ name. How did I get here?
“Thomas, Thomas, Thomas? Help, anyone help!” I cry.
At that point, Thomas grabs me and pulls me away from the iceberg and back into the exhibit. His heavy breathing matches mine. We are the only two in the room as he grabs me and holds me tight. After a few moments as our breathing slows, I ask, “What just happened?”
“Like I said, you are not like the other people who walk through here. You are special. You were there,” he whispers.
“How is that possible? None of this makes sense.” I’m still shaking, and the room is very cold. “Can we please leave this room? I can’t stop shaking.”
“Yes, of course.” As we walk out into the lobby and through the front doors into the sunlight, I run to the first bench under a tree I can find. I want to be far away from everyone, from everything, from Thomas. I do notice that Thomas has stayed away from me for a while to allow me to breathe and try to figure out what the hell was going on. Thomas is sitting not far away, just watching me. And I’m thankful for the distance.
I start to recap the events of the past two days to myself. How is all of this happening to me? And why now? Who is Thomas Andrews really, and what does he want from me?
After what feels like hours of just sitting on the bench, I look up at Thomas, who’s just staring at me. He stands and walks over to me. “May I?” he asks.
I nod and he sits.
“Look, Natalie, I know this is a lot to take in—” he begins as I interrupt him.
“A lot to take in!” I shout. “You have not explained anything to me. You come to me and tell me we know each other from a long time ago. Yet you have told me nothing. I know nothing about you. I have no idea why I passed out in that room. And I have no idea what the hell happened when I touched that iceberg. Would you please just tell me what is going on, please?”

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B0121SF1PW

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/changing-lives-tracy-kincaid/1122374297

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/5628593

About Tracy Kincaid

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Tracy Kincaid is a native Southern California girl who recently transplanted to South Western Pennsylvania. A wife and mother of three. When she is not writing you can find her reading or crafting. She enjoys the outdoors, whether it be working in the garden or hanging out with family and friends.
Changing Lives is her debut novel.

Tracy’s Book:

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And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Tracy Kincaid, here are some of her author links:

Website:  http://www.tkincaidauthor.com/

Blog:  http://www.tkincaidauthor.com/blog.html

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/tracykincaidauthor

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/tkincaidauthor

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Tracy-Kincaid/e/B0121XT1W6/

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/+TracyKincaidauthor/posts

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1218428.Tracy_Kincaid

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/pub/tracy-kincaid/15/344/316

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/tkincaidauthor/

Publisher:  http://www.beaucoupllcpublishing.com/tracy-kincaid

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Thomas Andrews, the male main character of Changing Lives, and Tracy Kincaid, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so much fun to have you here! 🙂

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Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Historical, Historical Romance, Interview, Readers, Romance, Writing

A Character Interview with Francine Hunter from THE ANGLER AND THE OWL plus a conversation with author Viv Drewa!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Carole McKee’s character on July 28th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Viv Drewa, the author of The Angler and The Owl, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Francine Hunter, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Viv in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Francine!

France Hunter

Marie Lavender:  Hello, Francine.  Or shall I call you France? Please have a seat.

Character Francine Hunter:  Hello.  Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Marie:  It’s good to have you visit. We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?

France: Of course.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

France:  I work as an ornithologist and specialize in owl species. I have written three books on them and, yes, I am good at what I do. I enjoy it immensely.

Marie:  That’s great!

So, what is your family like?

France:  Your average family really. Dad, Mark, worked as a pediatric physician at a local hospital, and Mom, Karen, was a homemaker. My kid sister, Karla, is a Veterinarian.

We vacationed every summer at our favorite camping grounds. Sis and I always looked for animals and even rescued a few that were injured.

Marie:  All right.

Do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

France:  I never got into the domestic hobbies like my sister did. What I love is longs walks, reading, and working with my guys on our next trip.

Marie:  Okay. So, what is your greatest dream, Francine?

France:  Oh, I already accomplished it! I discovered six new owl species in the first five years I’ve been working.

Marie:  Wow! That’s pretty amazing!

So, what kind of person do you wish you could be?  What is stopping you?

France:  I’m very happy with who I am. Though at times I wish I was a princess with a handsome white knight to come and take me away.

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Marie:  All right, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

France:  Jeremy Clark, a physics student I met at the university. It only lasted a couple of months because he couldn’t understand my obsession for owls, or why they took precedence over him.

Let’s try something else, okay?

So, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

France:  I was attacked by a bear on my first trip to the Smokey Mountains, Tennessee. That’s where I met up with three fellows who would become part of my team. They are Jason “Doc” Bradley and his twin cousins Tony and Andy Bradley.

Sorry to hear about the bear attack.  😦

Let’s move on to something a bit lighter, okay?

[Francine nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

France:  When I was growing up I wanted to be a Veterinarian like my sister. As I got older I learned I could research owls. It was everything I could have hoped for! Traveling to foreign countries, or even here in the US, I was able to do exactly what I had hoped for.

Marie:  That’s wonderful!  🙂

So, who is your role model, France?

France:  My dad. He has always been a go-getter, follow your dreams, kind of fellow. This rubbed off on my sister and me.

Marie:  I can certainly admire that! 😉

Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

France:  No, but I was brought up to treat everyone in a Christian spirit.

Marie:  All right. Let’s try something else.

So, what is your deepest desire, Francine?

France:  To maybe find one more unknown owl.

Marie:  Okay.

Let’s switch to another question.  What is your greatest fear?

France:  I’m terrified of bears.

Marie:  I can’t blame you!

Well, we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, France. It was so interesting getting to know you!  (Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have Viv Drewa on the stage today. Hi, Viv!

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Author Viv Drewa:  Hi.  Thank you for having me here.

Marie:  My pleasure!  We just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Francine. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

Viv:  France has always loved birds, especially owls. She and her sister, Karla, had talked about starting their own veterinary clinic.

She’s single, never had time for a relationship because of her work. She wrote three books and was invited to give talks at various universities.

Marie:  All right. So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Viv:  She’s a determined woman, 55, and nothing can stop her. Not even the bear that attacked her on her first outing.

Marie:  Now let’s take the opposition on that. What, do you feel, are her greatest weaknesses?

Viv:  That bear made her very leery of bears. Others animals don’t bother her, though.

Marie:  All right.  What are some of her favorite foods?

Viv:  She’s crazy about Thai food, Chinese and pizza.

Marie:  Okay. What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Viv: Her ability to finally fall in love. France put this behind her to be able to concentrate on her work.

Marie:  Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Viv:  I think she’ll be liked more than disliked. Her determination and obsession with her work is a positive for her.

Marie:  Great!  Well, now that we have a real taste of France Hunter, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for The Angler and The Owl?

Viv:  Since I have loved owls my whole life I wanted to write about a mature (older) woman, who dedicated her life to the study of owls. I wasn’t planning on it to become a romance novel, though. I was trying for a paranormal twist but it just took off on its own.
I had trouble with the male protagonist until one night we were watching River Monsters.
There was my guy! Jeremy Wade, known as John Sinclair in my book, was perfect. He is always attracted to the Amazon, just like France, and that was that.

Marie:  (Laughs.) Isn’t it strange how our characters surprise us?

So, what is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Viv:  I start out as a plotter, but always end up a pantster. LOL. I know what I want to write but it takes on a life of its own.

Marie:  I hear you…

Now, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing The Angler and The Owl or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Viv:  I first tried going the agent route but got discouraged. Then I read up on Indie Authors and thought,”That’s the way I’ll go.”

Marie:  Yes, why not? 😉

Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog.  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story The Angler and The Owl appears to be.  Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Viv Drewa, a very talented author! 🙂

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Here is the blurb for The Angler and The Owl:

Before retiring France Hunter decides to go to the place where she found her first new species of owl: The Amazon. Her group follows a well-known angler, John Sinclair, and his team, along with a reporter who wants to do a story on Hunter.

Once arriving at the site, Sinclair leaves to go further up the river. He has a show to record and is hoping to catch an even larger fish this time.  He hates having to leave France; he’s fallen in love with her, but he has a show to tape and hopes to finish quickly to get back to her.

Hunter, and the group with her, run into a gruesome nightmare with the satellite phone destroyed and one man fighting for life. Sinclair is not due to pick them up for another week.

Will they survive?

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:   http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00HQP60OW

Kobo:  https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-angler-and-the-owl

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/403751

About Viv Drewa

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I am a Michigan native who has enjoyed reading and writing since 1963. Though I studied medicinal chemistry at the University of Michigan my passion has always been writing.

I had been awarded third place for a nonfiction short story about my grandfather’s escape from Poland. Later, rewrote this story and was published in the “Polish American Journal” as “From the Pages of Grandfather’s Life” and republished it on Amazon.com as a short story.

I took creative and journalism courses to help transition to fulfill my dream of becoming a writer. I worked as an intern for Port Huron’s “The Times Herald”, and also wrote, edited and did the layout for the Blue Water Multiple Sclerosis newsletter “Thumb Prints.”

I also write a blog promoting my fellow authors.

Viv’s Books:

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And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Viv Drewa, here are some of her author links:

Blog:  https://theowlladyblog.wordpress.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/viv.drewa

https://www.facebook.com/vivdrewa.author

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/vivdrewa

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Viv-Drewa/e/B00J1PTJ20/

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/vivdrewa

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/116036733827614528465/posts

https://plus.google.com/111517233233824739640/posts

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7800701.Viv_Drewa

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Francine Hunter, the female main character of The Angler and The Owl, and Viv Drewa, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so much fun to have you here! 🙂

4 Comments

Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Interview, Readers, Romance, Romantic Suspense

A Character Interview with Kyla Stanford from TESTOSTERONE POISONING plus a conversation with author Carole McKee!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Grey Francis’ character on June 16th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I meant to interview a character a bit earlier, but I got pretty busy with a new release that is not romance-related. Anyway, I had the pleasure of meeting Carole McKee, the author of Testosterone Poisoning, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Kyla Stanford, from the book. You can check out a past interview with Carole McKee here. We’ll get a chance to talk to Carole in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Kyla!

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Marie Lavender:  Hello, Kyla.  Please have a seat.

Character Kyla Stanford:  Hello.  Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Marie:  It’s good to have you visit. We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?

Kyla: Of course.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Kyla:  I am a professional freelance photographer. Yes, I’m good at it. I’ve been called a superb photographer. I love my work. I have the freedom to come and go as I please, I make my own hours, and choose what jobs I want to do. And I really enjoy the sense of accomplishment I get when I complete a project. I photograph anything from models to nature and wildlife. I have a darkroom in my home, and I love creating and perfecting photographs in there.

Marie:  That’s impressive!

So, what is your family like?

Kyla:  I’m the only child of wealthy, dynamic parents, who jet-set all over the world. I love them dearly. They are lots of fun. But if the truth be told, I was raised by the house staff. My parents were loving and indulgent with me when they were home, but they traveled almost all the time. I did get to go with them a few times, when schooling didn’t interfere.

Marie:  I see. What did your childhood home look like?

Kyla:  It is a monstrosity! I grew up on an estate. There are 26 acres of manicured and well-cared for lawns and shrubs, and the house itself has 62 rooms, I believe. That doesn’t include all the bathrooms. There’s an Olympic-sized pool, a cabana, sauna, and hot tub there as well. We were always fully staffed with at least one cook, three kitchen helpers, four housekeepers, a chauffeur, and three grounds keepers.

Marie:  Wow!

So, do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

Kyla:  I’ve been told by someone, who will remain unnamed at this point, that my photography is a hobby. Well, I guess it would be, if I didn’t make money with it. When I’m not working, I love being with my best friend, Zippy. We’ve been best friends since the seventh grade. We also enjoy hanging out with our new friends.

Marie:  Okay. So, what is your greatest dream, Kyla?

Kyla:  My greatest dream? Most people’s greatest dreams are to have what I have–to grow up like I did. Don’t get me wrong–it was a terrific life; but my dream has always been to have a normal family, including a loving husband and a few kids, a dog and a cat. Do you know what I mean? I always wanted the life like in those old TV shows like ‘Father Knows Best’ or ‘Leave it to Beaver’.

Marie:  That’s a perfectly understandable dream.

So, what kind of person do you wish you could be?  What is stopping you?

Kyla:  I believe I am exactly the person I wished to be. I’m independent and strong, but I’m also caring and loving. I have a strong sense of good values, and those who are my true friends know this, and they love and respect me for it. But I’m also a free spirit. Only those who love and understand me can appreciate that. There was one, who shall still remain nameless, who did not appreciate it, but he’s not in my life any more.

Marie:  All right, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

Kyla:  I believe my first and only love is Storm Galloway. I never fell in love easily. Being home-schooled and then sent to a private girls’ boarding school didn’t expose me to a lot of the opposite sex. I dated in college, but nothing really serious. Then I met Storm, and WHAM! That was it.

Marie:  I know know you mean. (Sighs.) I love romance.

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Let’s try a different question, okay?

So, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Kyla:  Oh, wow. I still have nightmares, even after all this time. It’s when he, who shall remain nameless, abducted me to carry out revenge for breaking up with him and finding Storm. He did terrible things to me while he held me captive. He said things that still give me goose bumps. Even when he was being nice, there was something off about him. I get chills just thinking about it. I almost lost my life. It was that bad.

I’m so sorry to hear that.  😦

Let’s move on to something a bit lighter, okay?

[Kyla nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Kyla:  I am so lucky. All my dreams came true. I wanted a lovely home, a loving man, great friends, a lucrative career, and wonderful children. I got it all. It’s everything I ever wanted, and it’s better than I expected.

Marie:  That’s great!  🙂

So, who is your role model, Kyla?

Kyla:  My mom. She’s elegant, attractive, and she loves to have fun. Mostly, she’s a joy to be around, so I try to imitate her ways. No matter how miserable someone is, they don’t stay that way for long when my mother is around. She is like sunshine that makes even the most wilted flower unfold. It’s a good way to be. But to be fair, both of my parents are wonderful people. They give a lot to a lot of people.

Marie:  I can certainly admire that! 😉

Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Kyla:  Yeah. Polo Pony Peter. Sorry, that’s the name we had for him–behind his back, of course. He was always such a pompous little shit when we were growing up. His parents and my parents, along with other rich parents, belonged to the same country club. He played polo so we nicknamed him. Now he’s grown, and I saw him when I spent some time at home after…after the abduction. He seems less asinine now, and while I was totally polite to him, I just don’t like him.

Marie:  Yeah, I think we all have certain people that rub us the wrong way…

Let’s try something else.

So, what is your deepest desire, Kyla?

Kyla:  Dare I say this? I want at least six children. I was an only child. I want my children to have lots of company. Storm has two brothers and a sister. I see how they interact with each other, and I know I missed that. I don’t want my kids to miss that.

Other than that, well…I think it’s safe to say I’ve always been lucky enough to have everything I’ve ever wanted.

Marie:  Six? (Gulps loudly.) But, it’s great that you’re so content!  🙂

Let’s switch to another question.  What is your greatest fear?

Kyla:  Losing Storm. It almost happened once, and I was really in emotional pain. I don’t ever want it to happen again. Just remembering how I felt brings tears to my eyes. My world depends on Storm still breathing.

The other fear I have is if and when he-who-shall-be-nameless gets out of prison.

Marie:  I see.

Well, we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Kyla. It was so interesting getting to know you!  (Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have Carole McKee on the stage today. Hi, Carole!

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Author Carole McKee:  Hi.  Thank you for having me here.

Marie:  My pleasure!  We just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Kyla. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

Carole:  Kyla is a down-to-earth girl born with a silver spoon in her mouth. She comes from quite a wealthy background, but you would never know it when you meet her. She’s pretty, with a trim athletic build, very talented and very nice. She has good values, too.

Marie:  Okay. So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Carole:  Her independence, for one thing. She’s very self-reliant. She’s a free spirit, too. I wish I had her confidence.

Marie:  I know what you mean…

Now let’s take the opposition on that. What, do you feel, are her greatest weaknesses?

Carole:  Sometimes she can just be too nice to the wrong people. Like Derek, for example. She should not have given him the time of day, but she did, and it almost cost her life. And she loves hard. That’s a good thing, but it can also be painful.

Marie:  All right.  What are some of her favorite foods?

Carole:  Burgers. With French fries. Steaks on the grill. If the truth be told, Kyla loves food. She manages to stay slim because of what she refers to as Nikon-aerobics. All the different positions she finds herself in when photographing is like an exercise routine. Genetics are also in her favor as well.

Marie:  Okay. What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Carole:  Her beauty. She does not see herself as beautiful. Actually, she’s relatively unaware of herself. That’s one thing that makes her so special.

Marie:  That is certainly admirable.

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Carole:  Oh. Well, they should be intrigued by the fact that she is free-spirited. Most readers should appreciate how down to earth she is, in spite of having the means to buy California, if she so desired. She’s a good friend to Zippy and she’s great with Storm’s dog. She becomes a wonderful mother later on.

Marie:  Great!  Well, now that we have a real taste of Kyla Stanford, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Testosterone Poisoning?

Carole:  I don’t know where the idea came from. Just like with all my writing, the idea just appeared. The only exception to that is my first book, Perfect. That’s based on a true story. By the way, I’ve recently just republished that one as a new edition.

Marie:  Awesome!

So, what is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Carole:  My books are all based on characters and emotions. Because of my psychology background, there is usually a psychological twist where the villains are concerned. Believe it or not, most of those characters are built from people I’ve dealt with in real life.

Marie:  Wow! You must have led quite an interesting life, Carole. 

So, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Testosterone Poisoning or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Carole:  I really didn’t run across any problems. I don’t ever have a problem writing, and I used CreateSpace for publishing. I would recommend CreateSpace to anybody. I’ve been very satisfied with them.

Marie:  Thank you!  Yes, they are a good book printer.

Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog.  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Testosterone Poisoning appears to be.  Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Carole McKee, a very talented author! 🙂

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Here is the blurb for Testosterone Poisoning:

Books 1–2–3

Complete Trilogy! Who has Testosterone Poisoning?

Book 1“It’s What you Do”: After ending an unpleasant relationship with Derek, Kyla meets Storm Galloway, the man of her dreams; and they could not be happier. When Derek sees them together, he becomes enraged. He must have his revenge. Kyla must pay! He devises a plan and abducts her. Will Storm find her before it’s too late?

Book 2 – “Come Back to Me, Love”: Storm and Kyla Galloway are happily married with two adorable, bright children–a son and a daughter. Soon there will be a third. Kyla continues her work as a photographer and Storm remains an undercover narcotics detective with the County Special Forces. For more than five years he and his partner, Donnie have been lucky. With lots of drug busts under their belt, they have remained healthy and safe…UNTIL NOW. Could this be the end? Will Kyla ever see Storm again? But Kyla and the unborn baby are in danger. Who will save them?

Book 3 – “As Long as You Still Breathe“: Storm and Kyla’s new baby, David, is introduced to his two older siblings when they return from their long vacation in Florida. It is a fun trip, planned and carried out by their grandparents, but they can’t wait to get home to meet their little brother. But Storm’s past comes back to taunt the happy family with another disaster. Is there a happily-ever-after for Storm and Kyla?

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00XS8HC1G

Amazon Print:  http://www.amazon.com/Testosterone-Poisoning-Books-Carole-McKee/dp/151212950X/

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/testosterone-poisoning-book-1-its-what-you-do-carole-mckee/1121283353

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/521781

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/5489208

About Carole McKee

Carole McKee is originally from Pittsburgh, but has resided in Florida since 2002. Most of her contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels take place in the Western Pennsylvania area, the place she will always call home. Carole is a passionate writer, making readers feel the emotions of her characters. One reader exclaimed, “Carole McKee’s books help cleanse the tear ducts!” Her first novel, Perfect, brought out so much emotion that she got phone calls from people who were in tears when they finished the book. Another reader says that she laughs and then she cries with every one of McKee’s books.

Carole’s writing career actually began in 1995 when she wrote a tribute to her beloved black Labrador Retriever when he passed away. The tribute was published in a veterinary magazine a few months after it was written. Although the stories were in her head, she didn’t begin writing seriously until 2006 with her first novel, Perfect. It was published in 2007. She entered Perfect into a contest and the book won an award, which was just the encouragement she needed to seriously pursue a career as a writer. Perfect has since been republished in 2015 with a new cover and an affordable price. Her second novel was Choices. Readers loved the characters in the book, so, using the same characters, she wrote The Bushes are Red, and then The Full Nelson. She finished the series with Consequences. “Choices” lead to “Consequences,” eventually. In addition to these books, which are available in paperback and eBook formats, Carole also published these four eBooks:

Kisses from the Heart, Second Chances, Maddie’s Garden and Going Home.

And now the trilogy Testosterone Poisoning, available in paperback and eBook format.

Another book, Angelface, is in the works. More on that later.

Carole’s Books:

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http://www.amazon.com/Consequences-Choices-4-Carole-McKee/dp/1482734370/ref=la_B0082D3810_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402898660&sr=1-3

http://www.amazon.com/Going-Home-Carole-McKee-ebook/dp/B00A619IUG/ref=la_B0082D3810_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402898660&sr=1-9

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http://www.amazon.com/Maddies-Garden-Carole-McKee-ebook/dp/B006WRG9TQ/ref=la_B0082D3810_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402898660&sr=1-8

http://www.amazon.com/Full-Nelson-Carole-McKee/dp/1438989830/ref=la_B0082D3810_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402898660&sr=1-4

http://www.amazon.com/Bushes-are-Red-Carole-McKee/dp/143896076X/ref=la_B0082D3810_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402898660&sr=1-2

http://www.amazon.com/Choices-Carole-McKee/dp/1434369641/ref=la_B0082D3810_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402898660&sr=1-1

And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Carole McKee, here are some of her author links:

Blog:  http://author-carole-mckee.blogspot.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carole-Mckee-Author/218075198224440

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Perfect/153710188036065 

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/CaroleMcKee

Amazon Author Central:  http://www.amazon.com/Carole-McKee/e/B0082D3810/

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CaroleMcKee   

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/113263704195429219303/posts

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Kyla Stanford, the female main character of Testosterone Poisoning, and Carole McKee, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so much fun to have you here! 🙂

4 Comments

Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Interview, Readers, Romance, Writing

A Character Interview with Cassandra Monteclaire from BOUND TO A VAMPIRE plus a conversation with author Grey Francis!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Nina Mason’s character on June 9th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Grey Francis, the author of Bound to a Vampire, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow on of her main characters, Cassandra Monteclaire, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Grey in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Cassandra!

Cassandrapic - Grey Francis author - Bound to a Vampire

Marie Lavender:  Hello, Cassandra.  Please have a seat.

Character Cassandra Monteclaire:  Hello.  Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Marie:  It’s good to have you visit. We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?

Cassandra: Of course.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Cassandra:  I am an obstetrician, specializing in high-risk pregnancies. I perform both human and vampire deliveries.

As far as how good I am at my job… Well, I’ve been doing it for over three centuries, so I guess you can say I have more experience than your average OB. I also have the advantage of being a Healer, which in the vampire world refers to someone who can heal any injury or disease with their hands. With my touch, I can fix virtually anything — from stopping hemorrhages to keeping a baby’s heart beating. I’ve never lost one yet.

I love my work. My mother was a midwife and in my human life, I followed in her footsteps. It’s all I ever wanted to do. For years afterwards as a vampire, I wanted to make a difference in the human world. I’ve lived a long time and I’ve seen a lot of suffering. But I’ve learned you can’t save the world. Now, I work exclusively with my own Kind and the human blood donors who live among us. Every birth for us is a miracle but every birth is high risk for the vampire mother. I like to be challenged and helping bring more of my Kind into the world is very rewarding. I am also doing research on the vampire biology to see how to make us fertile more than once a century. It’s a work in progress.

Marie:  That’s impressive!

So, what is your family like?

Cassandra:  Wow, that’s a complicated one. I have two mates and they’re completely different. First there’s Killian, my Sire. He is an eight hundred year old vampire who embodies both masculine and feminine beauty in one extraordinary body, resonating sex and power like a drug. He is as elegant as he is deadly. He’s a commanding leader and brilliant businessman with an incredible intellect. He also has unfathomable powers that even I don’t understand. Killian is Dominant and our Master in the bedroom – and a true artist in the practice of Bondage and Discipline. When he looks into my eyes, he sees me all the way down to my soul. I never have to tell him my needs. He knows them better than I do. He has always been my touchstone and the hand the guides me. For a long time, while he was gone, a big part of me was missing.

Then there is my other mate, our Third, Alastair. We are from the same time in history and when we met, he was our human Protector with no intention of ever becoming a vampire. Alastair has a dark savage masculine beauty about him. We’ve always had an uncontrollable, sexual heat between us and were undeniable mates from almost the beginning. A great deal has happened since those early years, which I won’t get into here, but Al is now our King and carries the Arm of Power, making him feared, respected and untouchable. But in the bedroom, he is Killian’s submissive and my Dominant. He is the perfect switch. Outside the bedroom, however, there’s no question Alastair can be stubborn and arduous, definitely the dark brooding type. But he is also the funniest person I’ve ever known. No one is more fun or makes me laugh like Al. But as I said before, he never wanted any of this. In his heart, Alastair has always been, and will always be, a ruthless and talented warrior. The spirit of the wolf lives inside him, making him difficult to control, yet utterly impossible not to love.

These two males are my mates and my heart. Together, we have brought four children into this world—extending in ages from three hundred years old to one hundred. Each possesses a gift of their own that makes them a vital part of the empire we rule. But regardless of their individual powers and talents, I see each as a beloved child, a miracle, and an expression of the love that exists between myself and my mates.

Marie:  I see. What did your childhood home look like?

Cassandra:  Well, you’re talking the 1640’s, so from the little I remember it was a cottage with stone walls, a thatched roof and a dirt floor. It was small and had a stone hearth. I recall only a table and one straw bed I shared with my mother. The most distinct thing I remember about my first home was my mother’s work area where she crushed herbs and made tonics. It smelled of lavender and mint and chamomile flowers. To this day, when I smell these scents, I think of my mother.

Marie:  Do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

Cassandra:  I’m a bit of a workaholic. Much like my mates, none of us rarely stops. But when I do have down time, I enjoy curling up with a good book (I read everything from medical research texts to romances), but my true passion is watching movies. I love science fiction, political intrigues, family dramas, and good romances. But no horror. I’ve had enough of that in my real life! I’ve seen vampires films and find them amusing, if not annoying. But I admire the human imagination. For years, when Killian was gone from our lives, Alastair and I would spend our weekends locked together away in our flat listening to music and watching every film we could get our hands on.

Marie:  So, what is your greatest dream, Cassandra?

Cassandra:  My dream is for my children to what I have been so miraculously blessed with– to be with bonded with a True Mate (or mates as the case may be.) Our children have not been so fortunate. Each has found their True Mate, but for reasons too complicated to get into here, they stay apart from their mates and suffer from the empty void it leaves in their lives. It has been rumored that my disregard for fate and my restoring of lives destined to end, has left a curse upon my family. I do not know if I believe in these superstitions. But I do believe in the power of love and it’s ability to conquer anything. Even curses. My dream is for each of my children to overcome their personal demons and then knock down the barriers between themselves and their mates, and let themselves be loved.

Marie:  What kind of person do you wish you could be?  What is stopping you?

Cassandra:  Hmmm, that’s a tough one. I’ve had almost four centuries to become who I want to be. And yet I remain a jealous and possessive creature. So much bad came from my inability to accept the vampire nature. By that, I mean we are not strictly monogamous. We live too long to not exchange sexual energy with other vampires. But for me, my mates have always been more than enough. Alastair, much younger than Killian, needed sexual conquests as a form of nourishment. I was counseled to accept this by every vampire I respected. Because I was not able to share my mate, even in this fleeting, meaningless way, my actions led to my own capture by the Torians and Killian’s decision to go to the earth for over two centuries. All those years lost, all those years wandering in search of him, stem from one single act of defiance. Defiance that came from a jealous heart. And yet, to this day, I still tell Alastair he is free to take his pleasure with any male, but I will not tolerate another female in his bed. Alastair, only recently, has obliged this wish in an attempt win me back by his side. But he gave up a great deal of personal power in order to do so. Remember, sex and blood feeds the immense power inside of him. And it is that power that protects us all. I realize now I was asking him to go against his nature and jeopardize his strength as King. So to answer your question, I wish I did not care. I wish my heart beat more like a vampire’s and less like a human’s. Nothing is stopping me. I try everyday, century after century…

Marie:  All right, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

Cassandra:  That’s an easy one. I had no real notion of love until Killian took me to his bed that first time. He took ownership of me–body and soul. And I, in turn, understood the ecstasy of surrender. It was as if I was finally awake for the first time, every inch of my body alive with pleasure. He deflowered me as a vampire and showed me how to truly make love. But he also showed me the depths of my heart by sharing his own with me. No matter who came before, it was all washed away when Killian claimed me as his.

Marie:  (Sighs.) I love romance.

Bound to a Vampire - Front Cover

Let’s try a different question, shall we?

So, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Cassandra:  Not to sound overly dramatic, but there have been so many horrific events in my long life, it’s hard to pick one. I’ve been captured by Torians and kept in silver manacles, my skin constantly burning and peeling, never knowing when I’d be killed. A century later, my son was captured and tortured for weeks on end before we found him. Friends have been hacked to pieces before my eyes by our enemies. How do you live in this violent world for over three centuries and pick the most terrible event? But in truth, there was one thing more terrible than all the horrors I witnessed. And that was losing Killian. When I escaped the Torians and found Alastair, we thought we’d find Killian in a matter of days or weeks. When Beaumont, his attorney, read his will, we realized Killian had no intention of coming back from wherever he’d buried himself. It was that moment, and the hundreds that followed when we wandered across Europe for decades in search of him, hitting one dead end after another, that we realized we’d lost him. Nothing can replace a mate, especially one like Killian. We were two lost souls without him. We had to learn to be for each other what we’d both lost.

I’m so sorry.  😦

Let’s move on to something a bit lighter, okay?

[Cassandra nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Cassandra:  My dream has always been to help people. Not just as a midwife, but as a healer. As a human, I had the ability to take away pain with my hands. Seeing the relief and peace I could bring people with my touch, I knew it was my calling. But back in those years, a simple healer did not aspire to too much. I only knew I wanted to help as many people as I could before someone called me a witch and had me killed. That came soon enough. It wasn’t until I was made a vampire and my gift turned into the ability to heal that I saw the bigger picture. I wanted to help humankind on a grand scale. Of course, that was impossible. Killian made certain I only used my healing on humans in our own inner circle. Otherwise, I would have caused mass hysteria. It was hard for me to understand that then. I felt only that I was being held back and that my great gift was being wasted. I swore one day, I would break free and find a time and place where I could heal without superstition and fear. That time was the 20th century. With the liberation of women, I went to medical school and opened a medical practice. Of course, I had to put an ocean between my mate and myself in order to do so, and that was horribly difficult, but I lived my dream.

But you ask an interesting question: was it not what I expected? The answer is no, it was not. I was finally able to help people but the price was too high. I was separated from my own Kind – my mate, our children and all our friends. I was living in exile. In time, I realized my own Kind, our warriors fighting nightly battles and our females struggling to bring life into this world, needed me more. The human race would struggle on with their medications and machines. But my place was among my own Kind where I didn’t have to pretend to be something I wasn’t.

Marie:  I see.

So, who is your role model, Cassandra?

Cassandra:  Strangely enough, because I barely remember her anymore, my role model continues to be my mother. My memories of her are of being awakened at all hours of night, sometimes in the worst of weather, and dragging herself, and me, to wherever farm or village a woman was giving birth. There was never a consideration of herself or her own discomfort, only the purpose she served. It is that blind dedication that inspired and molded me into the healer I am today.

Marie:  That is certainly an honorable calling.

Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Cassandra: Sadly, there was, but she is no longer with us. She was a selfish, short-sighted human and a ruthless vampire. I had the misfortune of being her Sire, and as such, I had to pretend to care for her well being. But it was always difficult knowing I’d brought a monster into the world. As I said, she is no longer with us. The French Revolution and the rampant violence and anarchy of the streets took care of her, so I will not speak ill of her any more other than to say some vampires are their own worst enemies and bring about their own demise.

Marie:  Very true.

So, what is your deepest desire?

Cassandra:  My deepest desire has always been, and continues to be, making love to both my mates at the same time. There is a deep connection and a euphoric flow of power that inhabits us when the three of us become one. Whether we are in the bedroom or our dungeon, whether we are using leather restraints or we are just flesh-to-flesh, I am nourished by their uninhibited, ravenous passion, not just for me, but also for each other.

Marie:  Okay. What is your greatest fear?

Cassandra:  Loss. I know it well and I don’t want to feel it ever again. I know that’s impossible, but I do whatever is necessary to protect my own. With the return of Killian, I have been given an extraordinary gift. But there are so many others close to my heart who put their lives in jeopardy every night and there are only so many times I can bring them back from the edge of death. But that’s what I do. I keep everyone alive. Or at least try.

Marie:  Well, I hate to say it, but we’ve run out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Cassandra.  (Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have Grey Francis on the stage today. Hi, Grey!

Grey Francis - Author Photo

Author Grey Francis:  Hi. Thank you so much for having me here, Marie! 🙂

Marie:  My pleasure! 

As you know, we just got to talk to the hero of your story, Cassandra. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

Grey:  Cassandra is a passionate character – not only in her relationships with her mates, but in her quest to save each of them. But like many women, Cassandra is torn between her career and her family. In the past, she struggles between wanting to do more as a healer and being obedient to Killian and the Triune. In the present, she must choose between her medical practice in New York and returning to her vampire clan in London. Ultimately, love always wins out with Cassandra. Her deep love for her mates is the very fabric of who she is. When she discovers Killian is alive, after being missing for over two centuries, she stops at nothing to find him, including using Forrest and his Sentient resources to track him down before they do. She does this despite the strained relationship that has developed between these former allies and Vampire nations. She also pursues this dangerous route against her mate’s wishes. Cassandra can be headstrong and stubborn and rebellious this way.

Cassandra also goes to great personal lengths to calm the overwhelming power that churns inside Alastair that ultimately threatens to destroy him. At one point in the story, Alastair describes Cassandra as “pure love.” She is sensitive and intuitive in regards to Killian and Alastair’s deep but fractured love for one another and stops at nothing to mend their relationship. Early on in the story, Cassandra has a vision of the three of them together and acts as a conduit to bridge the gap between these two complicated males. Three and a half centuries later, she must do this again despite the festering betrayal that haunts Alastair. Cassandra is not only a healer of the body, but she heals the emotional scars of the ones she cherishes and forces them to work it out. What I love about Cassandra’s character is her personal growth throughout the story. She is always a strong woman, but her willingness to act ruthlessly when necessary and act independently of her overpowering Master Vampire mates, shows how she really comes into her own as a woman and as a vampire.

Marie:  That’s great!

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Grey:  Cassandra’s greatest strength is her compassion. Even as a newly turned Vampire who feels betrayed by the human race for attempting to execute her as a witch, she still feels a great deal of compassion for the suffering of human women and children. Despite being forbidden to do so, Cassandra goes to great lengths to help abused women or pregnant women who would not otherwise survive birth without her intervention. Killian calls this quality Cassandra’s “human stain”, but it is more of a gift than any of them realize.

Marie:  Now let’s take the opposition on that. 

What, do you feel, is her greatest weakness?

Grey:  Cassandra’s strength is also her greatest weakness. Her compassion for humans, a world she has been sworn to not interfere in, is something she is willing pursue, even if it means betraying her Master’s wishes. There are disastrous consequences resulting from Cassandra’s unwillingness to stop delivering human babies and she almost loses everything she holds dear because of her recklessness.

However, I think it’s a toss up between Cassandra’s human stain and her possessiveness of Alastair. Her unwillingness to share him sexually, a common practice among vampires, causes turmoil in the Triune and makes her act out irrationally, again with disastrous results. As Killian tells her at one point in the story, “Your problem, my darling, is you love him too much.”

Marie:  Okay. So, what are some of her favorite foods?

Grey:  Even though my vampires can eat and enjoy solid food, they really prefer blood. When Cassandra does eat, she appreciates a very rare steak.

Marie:  Let’s try something else.

What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Grey:  That would be a quality in the bedroom. Although Cassandra is a natural submissive, she at certain points, in order to help her mate, must take on the role of the Dominant. As a Mistress, she is commanding and knows how to use bondage and controlled pain to banish Alastair’s demons and release the unwieldy power that builds up inside him. She believes she cannot completely tame him, but when she really needs to, Cassandra can transform herself and take control, bringing her great King to his knees.

Marie: Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Grey:  Readers will like Cassandra and probably identify with her on many levels. Cassandra starts her journey in a pretty dark place. Women, especially midwives and healers, were persecuted throughout history. Watching Cassandra become vampire, we see her rise from the ashes of being a victim of violence to being a strong powerful creature who will never let a man abuse her again. Cassandra projects a sense of empowerment with her choice of human prey, gravitating almost exclusively to rapists and abusive men. Readers will certainly sympathize with Cassandra as a strong, intelligent female in a historical context, struggling to have a say over her life and her powers. They may even recognize her success as a doctor in the modern world as a feminist journey through time. And lastly, as a creature of passion, Cassandra fulfills our fantasies of being mated to not only one scorching hot, seductive and powerful male, but two. But it is her emotive nature and her compassion that make her the most human of all my vampires, and I think readers will find themselves relating to her over and over.

Marie:  Great!

Now that we have a real taste of Cassandra, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Bound to a Vampire?

Grey:  The story has really changed a lot from my original idea. When the book was born in my head, I was thinking about the women in my life and some of our more adventurous sexual histories. Everyone has a history, some more extensive and interesting than others. Who didn’t have that great love that vanished from their lives? Or that big mistake we’d rather not think about. As humans, these adventures usually take place over a relatively short period of our overall lives. Then I started wondering about vampires. I was already deeply entrenched in vampire literature for years and I was frankly, a little tired of the male perspective. I wanted to know what a female vampire’s sexual/romantic history would look like after several centuries. Would it be a long messy trail of great loves and tragic losses? I found this idea fascinating. I wanted to go into the past and document a female vampire’s love life. But once I began, Cassandra did not cooperate and took on a personality of her own, dedicating herself to only two lovers. Two very disarmingly sexy, complicated, charismatic, powerful lovers. In the end, it allowed me to explore a very deeply complex triad that was far more interesting than a parade of characters coming in and out of her life.

Marie:  Wow, that is fascinating! Isn’t it funny how things turn out not only different than you planned, but better? 😉

So, Grey, what is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Grey:  I am definitely a plotter. I create long, detailed outlines, sometimes including dialogue (whenever it comes to me, I write it down, even in the outline). I follow my outline, but inevitably as the characters develop, the story evolves and new scenes are added, often taking me in unexpected directions. A book, at least for me, is almost a living, breathing thing. I give it life but then the characters take over.

Marie:  Yes, I know what you mean. Some of my characters really go their own way. (Laughs.)

So…I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Bound to a Vampire or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Grey:  This is my first book and I tried for months to get an agent. I rarely got past a form letter from an editorial assistant. It was very disheartening, especially as someone who worked in both publishing and film, having written screenplays that have been represented and working with hundreds of authors — I knew I had something. After a lot of research I decided to self-publish. It’s a lot of work, but I liked having the control over who designed my cover and having input and I liked working directly with my editor. I have no regrets. I worked with the options that were available to me and these days, as writers, we definitely have options. The biggest challenge has been marketing and making the world aware of my book. I think next time I would definitely start the marketing and publicity end of things much earlier in the process.

Well, it was such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog.  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Bound to a Vampire appears to be.  Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Grey Francis, a very talented author!  🙂

Bound to a Vampire - Front Cover

Here is the blurb for Bound to a Vampire (Into the Dark Woods Series).

Cassandra Montclaire is a three-hundred-and-sixty-year-old vampire living in modern-day New York. Her human life ended three centuries earlier when, condemned as a witch, she was rescued and turned by a Master Vampire named Killian. Bonded in a passionate trio with their Protector, the three lived an exciting and dangerous life full of love, decadence, and dark passion. But then Killian vanished without a trace. Until now.

A human ally of Cassandra’s has proof Killian is alive and is killing off members of his organization. Killian is now a marked man, and Cassandra must find him before time runs out and he is eliminated.

But Cassandra must first journey into her torrid past and face her demons before she can fight for what was lost.
Filled with erotic passion, great tragedy, and dark mystery, Bound to a Vampire is a turbulent thriller that delves into the history of vampires and the dramatic events that shaped them into who they are. For fans of Vampire Mistress by Joey Hill, author Grey Francis creates a vibrant world where secrets abound and the BDSM power exchange between mates is as essential to their survival as the blood they drink.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00TKOBMDQ

Tower Books:  http://www.tower.com/bound-vampire-into-dark-woods-grey-francis-paperback/wapi/135326373

About Grey Francis

Grey Francis - Author Photo

Grey Francis, a native of Los Angeles, has been writing since she was a teen, penning stories about ghosts, witches and vampires, among other denizens of the night. After graduating with a B.A. in Journalism from San Diego State University, Grey was employed in the New York publishing world before relocating
back to Los Angeles to work in the film industry. She later explored her fascination with the paranormal as a screenwriter, but it wasn’t until the birth of her series, Into the Dark Woods, that she found her voice as an erotic novelist. When Grey isn’t writing her next book, she is a busy full-time mother of two children.

Grey’s Book:

Bound to a Vampire - Front Cover

And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Grey Francis, here are some of her author links:

Website:  greyfrancis.com

Blog:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/13504371.Grey_Francis/questions

Facebook:  facebook.com/greyfrancisauthor

Amazon Author Central:  http://amzn.to/1JHSssN

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13504371.Grey_Francis

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Cassandra, the female main character of Bound to a Vampire, and Grey Francis, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so fun to have you here! Readers, don’t forget to check out Grey’s latest release!  🙂

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