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A Character Interview with Trini from JASON’S AWAKENING plus a conversation with author Remy Marie!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. I know it’s been a while since we did one of these. If you remember, we interviewed Linda Diane Wattley’s character back on October 24th, and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Remy Marie, the author of Jason’s Awakening, on my author journey and I asked if I could borrow a character, Trini Davos, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Remy in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Trini!

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

Character Trini Davos:  Thank you for having me, Marie.

Marie:  Of course! It’s my pleasure!

We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?

Trini:  Sure.

Marie:  So, what is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it?

Trini:  Right now I work in the Meekins sheriff’s department. I am a deputy sheriff; however, before I moved to Meekins I worked in retail, selling video games and comics at a store call Geek Haven.

Marie:  Cool!

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Trini:  It’s a typical American family. I’m an only child, so it was always the three of us. My mom is very supportive of my lifestyle, however my father, not too much. While he’s not supportive of my life choices, I know he loves me. It comes with the territory, I guess. I miss them, though. Since my change, we’ve been forbidden to visit anyone in our past lives to keep the werewolf secret.

Marie:  Oh, no! How unfortunate! 😦

Let’s try something else, okay?

If it doesn’t bother you at all, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?

Trini:  I grew up in a trailer park. My parents still live in the same double-wide that I grew up in.

Marie:  All right.

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

Trini:  I am huge geek, like my friends Mohinder and Jason. Therefore, I love playing video games, watching movies, and reading comics and drawing my own heroes. Jason and I once had an idea to start our own comic book. I would do the drawing, while he would write it. We couldn’t come up with anything original, but it was fun just to hang out with him. I’m a huge fan of punk rock as well. If you looked on my Ipod right now, it would contain Fall Out Boy, Green Day, and Blink 182.

Marie:  Nice! 😉

So, what is your greatest dream?

Trini:  That’s a good question. Before everything that happened to me, I was unsure. I was with a deadbeat boyfriend working a retail job that was going nowhere. However, after my transformation, I feel like I can do anything now. You know? I see myself settling down. I wouldn’t mind having kids, but also I wouldn’t mind becoming sheriff of Meekins. I sort of like being a cop.

Marie:  (Nods.) Well, I think you can do whatever you put your mind to…

Let’s try another question.

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

Trini:  I want to be able to protect the ones I love. I never want to see one of my friends or a loved one die again. What’s stopping me? Well, it’s harder to do than explained. If I could be everywhere, I could. Even I’m not fast enough for that. Perhaps it’s a job for Superman or the Flash, depending on who I think is faster.

Marie: It’s understandable to want to keep bad things from happening. I guess the reality is we just can’t. 😦

Okay, I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

Trini:  I would have to say Tobey Maguire from the first Spiderman. However, my first kiss was with Ben Thomas, in sixth grade underneath the bleachers.

Marie: Aww. So sweet. I remember those young crushes. ♥

So…not to be a downer, but I do have a pretty deep question next.

What’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Trini:  I would have to say that night in the woods, when we were attacked by the werewolf in white. I’ve never been so afraid before. We lost a good friend that night.

Marie:  Oh no! 😦 I’m so sorry. That must’ve been difficult.

[Briefly touches her guest’s hand.]

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

[Trini 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?

Trini:  As a kid I always wanted to be an astronaut; it was a dream of mine to travel through space and discover planets and such. My dad was a huge Trekkie, so naturally, I liked Star Trek as well. That is where the dream originated. However, over time, I realized that to be an astronaut you have to learn multiple levels of science and math. Something that I’m terrible at. So that dream was dead. After high school, I started working at Geek Haven, and my dreams sort of disappeared until I met Jason. Jason and Mohinder got me out of that funk, made me see past my current life, towards the future.

Marie:  Nice! So, who is your role model, Trini?

Trini:  Jason Barton; he’s the love of my life, and I thank God that I’ve found him. However, he’s not only that. He’s the sweetest person you could ever meet. His compassion for others is one I strive to copy each and every day.

Marie: How admirable!

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

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Trini:  I would have to say Rose, but that’s a long story I don’t feel like getting into.

Marie:  All right.

Let’s try another question.

What is your deepest desire?

Trini:  I would love for everyone to find their happiness. That includes Greg when he gets in his moods, Jennifer and Mohinder when they have their child, and Jason and me as we begin our new life together.

Marie:  Can’t blame you there! I think we all want our loved ones to be content in life…

So, tell me something, Trini. What is your greatest fear?

Trini:  That’s easy. Death. I know it sounds taboo, for someone who can now live up to four hundred years, but my life is suddenly so violent. Before the transformation, I’ve rarely ever got in a fight. Now it’s seems like every month, there’s a new deadly challenge that threatens the people that I love and me.

Marie: A lot of people fear death. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. The unknown is often scary. And, of course, for your situation, it increases tenfold. I understand that it must be extremely difficult to feel so uncertain about life.

But, I’m so glad you were comfortable enough to tell me everything.

Well, it looks like we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Trini. 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 Remy Marie on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to have you here! Hello, Remy!

Author Remy Marie:  Hi, Marie! Thank you for taking the time to interview me.

Marie: Of course! I love to have authors on ILRB. 😀

So, we just got to talk to a female character from your story, Trini Davos. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about her?

Remy:  When you first get a look at Trini Davos, you will typecast her as a goth/geek. However, there’s a lot more to Trini. Each tattoo she has tells a story. For instance, her Powerpuff girls tattoo, on her left arm, is the first tattoo she’s ever gotten. She’s a huge geek who isn’t afraid to talk comics or superheroes with anyone. Her favorite video game is Street Fighter vs. Marvel, and she was ranked in top 100 in the game online. She loves to listen to punk rock, and has a strong sense of adventure. If you ever dared Trini to do something, she would try it without thinking of the consequences.

Marie:  Nice!

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Remy:  That’s easy. It’s her bravery. Trini will jump in a burning building without thinking for one of her friends.

Marie:  Wow! Such loyalty…

And what are your character’s greatest weaknesses?

Remy:  I would have to say her trust in people. When Trini first meets someone, they instantly become friends, due to Trini’s friendly nature. However, Trini is often blindsided by the people she trusts, and she takes it hard on herself.

Marie:  I see.

Let’s try something fun, shall we?

What are some of Trini’s favorite foods?

Remy:  Trini is a fan of anything with Nutella on it. A typical breakfast for her is a banana covered with Nutella, along with toast covered in Nutella.

Marie:  (Laughs.) I am a chocaholic too!

How about another question?

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

Remy:  I think the one quality that Trini is unaware of is her loyalty. If you’re friends with Trini, she will have your back no matter what. She will take a punch and throw a punch for any one of her friends in a heartbeat.

Marie:  That’s commendable!

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Remy:  I think many people would like Trini. She was one of my favorite characters to write. She was easy to write due to how many layers she has in her character.

Marie: Great!

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

What first gave you the idea for Jason’s Awakening?

Remy:  Honestly, it started off as a superhero novel. The three characters, Jason, Trini, and Mohinder were all still there, but the entire plot was different. My wife gave me the idea, of making it a paranormal romance novel instead. So, I rewrote the entire plot and came up with other details as I wrote it.

Marie:  Intriguing!

Let’s try something else.

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

Remy:  I would say it’s a little of both.  Jason’s Awakening was a mixture of plotting and just writing. I feel like that’s a perfect combination. I like to let the story flow without having a structured outline. When I’m writing the rough draft, sometimes what I write there is better material I came up with than when I outline it.

Marie:  (Smiles.) I know what you mean…sometimes I think the characters are directing the story more than I am.

How about another question?

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

Remy:  I would say getting the funds to have it professionally edited and beta read was a challenge. As an indie author, you have to pay for all of it. It’s even worse, when it’s your debut novel, and you don’t have a name for yourself. It seems like I spend more time marketing my book than actually writing it.

Marie:  (Groans.) Oh, me too!

Remy:  What I would do differently is have more beta readers. I only had three for this book, and at the time, I thought it was enough, however some reviews have been blunt on my mistakes and I wish I would have caught them before I published. With more beta readers, I think we could’ve made a good book amazing.

Marie:  Right! The editing stage is quite a challenge. 

Thanks for the additional tips aimed toward our aspiring writers out there!

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 Jason’s Awakening appears to be.

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this paranormal romance by Remy Marie, a very talented author! :)

Here is the blurb for Jason’s Awakening:

Jason Barton isn’t your typical hero. In fact, his small frame, high IQ, and deep compassion for others keeps him in the friend zone most of the time. But despite his anti-hero traits, he still has a one-track mind when it comes to women – mainly the one who has been by his side for the last five years.

Trini Davos is the polar opposite of Jason. She’s a brave, Goth geek, who never met a problem she couldn’t solve. But a brazen attack by a group of rogue werewolves changes everything for her and her long-time friend. They narrowly escape death only to discover that wild beasts are the least of their troubles. An unlikely romance may prove to be the biggest challenge of all for them.

Jason’s Awakening offers a fresh take on the paranormal romance genre. Filled with non-stop action, steamy romance, and twists no one will see coming, this book will keep the reader hooked from start to finish.

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

Gradually, the couple neared a lingerie boutique. Jason couldn’t help but to look inside as he saw the mannequin bust of women displaying the latest lingerie style. There was a particular underwear brand that caught Jason’s attention. It was a pink lace thong with a strappy front and cheeky back. The longer Jason stared, the more he imagined Trini wearing the same article of clothing. Trini suddenly broke Jason’s attention by squeezing his hand.

“You know I have that one. It’s in black,” she added with a devilish grin.

“Wait, a what?” Jason muttered as he was awkwardly awakened from his sexual fantasy.

“I have that style in black,” Trini repeated. “I bought it two weeks ago when it went on sale. It’s a nice fit. I got this month’s catalog yesterday too. Did you want to go inside with me to see their new styles?”

“Are you not hungry?” Jason asked nervously.

“Food can wait. I just got paid this week. Come on, it would be fun. We are just going to take a quick look.” Trini proceeded to drag Jason into the store.

There were countless women in the boutique. There were some men. Most looked annoyed as they watched their partners search for the latest deals. Jason was the opposite. All of his life, he had always walked past this store and not ever gone in, he never had a reason to; today changed that reason.

Trini dragged Jason to the new arrivals section of the store as Trini browsed the new undergarment line. She muttered to herself as she brought up each underwear style and held it up to the light. She finally decided on a black satin push up bra laced with gold trimming and a golden laced black thong.

“What do you think about this?” Trini asked as she placed the bra and underwear over the clothing she had on.

Jason felt his heartbeat quicken. The longer he stared at the outfit, the more he felt his sexual desire grow for Trini. Jason finally managed to stutter, “It looks good, and do you like it?”

“I do, but you can never be too sure about these things. Come with me,” Trini said as she grabbed hold of Jason’s arm. She brought him to the fitting room location where a store clerk stood waiting.

“Men are not allowed in the dressing room,” the store clerk barked. She was an average size woman. She looked like she had already worked two full shifts as her hair was lazily placed into a ponytail.

“Actually, I wanted to come over and say that there is a woman over there who said she needed your help,” Trini said as she pointed to an older lady at the corner of the store.

“Why didn’t she come and ask for help directly from me then?”

“I don’t know? Listen, I work in retail. I know how customers are. Total bitches. I’m just trying to help you get a sale for the commission.”

A smile appeared on the woman’s face. “I do need the extra money, thanks for looking out,” she replied as she left her post.

Trini smiled darkly as she watched the store clerk approached the older lady.

“Okay, the coast is clear. Come on,” Trini said as she dragged Jason into the dressing room.

“Trini, we shouldn’t, what if we get caught,” Jason replied, worried.

“Oh, come on, you wuss. Where is your sense of adventure?” She dragged Jason into an open dressing room and closed the door right after they entered. She gave a flirtatious smile to Jason. “All right, now turn around.”

“Wait, what about Kyle?”

“It’s cool; you’re not seeing me naked or anything. It’s like seeing me in a two-piece. You’ve already seen that before. We’ve known each other for five years. That’s five years of seeing me in a bikini, right?”

“I guess.”

“You see? Nothing to worry about, now turn,” Trini commanded as she grabbed Jason’s shoulders and turned him in the opposite direction. Jason stared at the white wall as he waited for Trini to change. Jason began to stare at the sloppy graffiti written on the wall when he started to notice Trini’s articles of clothing being thrown to the ground. First, it was her tank top, followed by her bra.

She’s topless right now, Jason thought as he felt the sexual urge grow deep within him. Her dark blue skirt and underwear were discarded next. Jason felt his blood pump faster as he realized she was completely nude behind him.  Jason felt his manhood grow stiff as he fantasied about turning around and seeing what Trini’s body looked like at the moment. What I would give to see her now. Jason heard shuffling and the sound of Trini trying on the undergarments.

“All right, you can turn around now. What do you think?” Trini asked as she placed her hands on her hips, modeling the outfit.

Jason had to clench down on his teeth to keep his mouth from dropping. His throat grew dry as he looked at her desirable figure. Jason looked at every curve of her body as his eyes scanned her breasts being pushed up by her bra. Her pale bosoms looked twice as large in her satin bra. His glance made his way down to her stomach. Jason noticed she was trembling as he looked at her flat stomach. Her belly button was pierced with a black U shaped piercing.

I always liked that piercing. He finally made it to her thong, which displayed her toned shaped thighs. She slowly turned around and showed the cheeky backside of the thong. Her pale legs trembled with anticipation, as Jason inspected her. He ogled her sculptured buttock as it gently curved into a muscular shape. The thong fit her body perfectly as it showed a healthy amount of skin but still kept the mystery.

God, she looks sexy, Jason thought as he fought the temptation to touch her.

“So?” Trini asked once more.

“Ugh, you look amazing, or as Mohinder would say smashing,” Jason replied, using Mohinder’s British accent. Trini let out a small laugh at Jason’s comments. “It suits you. I think you should get it.”

“Thanks, I like it too, but I think I’m going to wait till it goes on sale. Are you ready to head out?”

A part of me wants to stay and watch her model more, but I have broken so many friend codes today. Slowly, Jason nodded in agreement.

“Let’s go and get some dinner,” Jason suggested.

“Yeah, let’s go.” Trini gave an irresistible grin to Jason as she used her finger to tell him to turn around. Once Trini was done changing, she placed the undergarments back on a return hanger and left the dressing room. As they left the store, the store clerk gave the couple a dirty look as she realized that she was duped in Trini’s scheme. The couple snickered as they left the store together.

After passing a few more stores, they were at their final destination. G&Fs was a large chain restaurant with a large arcade section in the restaurant as well. Jason loved this restaurant but didn’t eat there often because of how expensive it was.

Mohinder’s twenty dollars should help with the cost, though, Jason thought as he walked inside with Trini. After greeting the hostess, she led Trini and Jason to their table. Once they sat down, she smiled and placed the menus on the wooden table.

“Your server should be with you soon.” She smiled at the couple as she walked away.

“Thank you,” Jason replied as he opened his menu. “What did you want to get?” Jason asked Trini as he searched the menu.

“I like their beer and play special. You know the one where you pick two appetizers and get a bucket of beer and fifty tokens for games. Did you want to do that?”

“Yeah, that sounds amazing,” Jason replied.

“Great, I was thinking of getting the mozzarella sticks.”

“Nice choice as usual. Let’s add chicken spring rolls.”

“Yum, sounds good to me,” Trini responded. When the waiter arrived, Jason placed the order while Trini checked her phone for messages. Once he was done ordering, Jason placed his attention back to Trini.

“Everything okay?” Jason asked

“Yeah, it’s just Kyle is a literal asshole. I swear the man can’t function without any help.” Jason nodded in response and noticed the server returned with the bucket of beers.

“Well, here comes something to put out those flames.” A wide smile appeared on Trini’s face as she grabbed a beer. She managed to chug half a bottle before she placed the bottle back on the table.

“I fucking hate working retail.”

“Why is that?” Jason asked as he took a sip of his beer.

“It’s just too many damn policies to start with. Plus, people are plain rude. They treat you like shit. I’m proud of Mohinder and you, though. It sounds like you guys are kicking ass in school. Congrats on finishing another semester,” Trini said as she held out her beer bottle for Jason to cheers.

“Thanks,” Jason replied as he clashed the beer bottle with Trini’s and took a long swig. Once Jason was done, he placed a beer bottle on the table. “Why not go to school again? You know, for instance, you could go to community college.”

Trini created a fake laugh at Jason comments. “Unlike you, I’m not a genius. I don’t belong in college. I barely passed high school. I don’t really have any special skills. That’s why I’m stuck at some no-name job in the mall,” Trini replied as she finished off her first beer. She reached for a new beer from the ice bucket and swished down a third of the bottle.

“Easy with those. You realize you’re driving back, right?”

Trini raised her eyebrows at Jason.

“I’m fine once I get some food in me, mom,” Trini snapped back in an unusual tone. Judging by the tone, Jason knew not to push the issue further.  The couple was silent until the food finally arrived and Jason grabbed a small plate and placed two mozzarella sticks on it along with one chicken spring roll. Jason took a bite of the hot spring roll and tasted the savory cabbage as he washed it down with his beer.

“Listen, Jason, I’m sorry for snapping at you. I know I need to work on that.”

“It’s okay, we all screw up sometimes.”

Trini nodded as she dipped her cheese stick into her marinara sauce. The couple ate in silence until the two appetizer baskets were empty. “Hey, I know that were supposed to play some arcade games after this, but did you want to get a rain check? We can always come back later.”

“Yeah, sure, I’ll pay for this,” Jason signaled the waiter to pay for their meal.

“Are you sure?” Trini asked.

“Yeah, I got it. I had a great time with you today. You looked great in that lingerie set.”

A grateful smile parted her lips. “I had a great time with you too.” Trini reached across the table and rubbed Jason’s hand. She passionately looked into Jason’s eyes. “I’m sorry I ruined the moment. I didn’t mean to be an asshole. I think Kyle is starting to rub off on me.”

“It’s fine, like I said I had a good time,” Jason said as he took the bill from the waiter. He frowned as he looked at the bill.

“What’s the damage?” Trini asked.

“It’s not too bad. I got it,” Jason lied to Trini as he dug in his pants for change. This is going to set me back for a week, Jason thought as he laid two twenty dollar bills on the check.

“Are you ready to go?” Jason asked.

“Yep, lead the way,” Trini replied.

A half-hour later, Trini and Jason arrived outside of Jason’s apartment complex. Trini kept the engine running as she looked at Jason with a smile. She reached across the vehicle and rubbed Jason’s knee and looked passionately into his brown eyes. Her lips quivered as she gave a flirtatious smile to Jason.

“Listen, I had a great time. We should really consider doing this again. You know, just the two of us,” Trini said as her upper chest clenched forward as she seductively looked at Jason.

Jason gave Trini a strange look. Does she want me to kiss her? Is this the moment that everyone talks about? Jason felt himself moving forward towards Trini’s lips and noticed that Trini was inching closer to him as well. Jason placed his hand on the side of Trini’s face and felt her body slightly tremble from his touch. She let out a soft moan as she embraced his hand on her face. Jason continued to lean towards Trini until he stopped suddenly.

Wait a minute, she has a boyfriend. Don’t be stupid. Kyle may be an ass, but I don’t want to be the guy to cheat on him, Jason contemplated. Jason rejected his movements and reached for the door handle instead. As the door handle unhatched, Trini’s face showed confusion.

“Trini, I had a good time with you. I’ll be back to pick you up around eleven,” Jason blurted out as he hopped out of the car.

Trini shook her head in a negative motion as Jason got out of the car. “Yeah, whatever. I’ll see you at eleven,” Trini said, slightly depressed as Jason closed her car door.

Jason watched as Trini’s car backed out of the parking spot and zoom away.

“What have I done?” Jason whispered as he watched her taillights disappear into the distance.

Wow! Love the sexy tension. ♥♥♥ Can’t wait to read this book…🙂

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B077SFKGQL

B&N:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jasons-awakening-remy-marie/1127616332?ean=9781981472369

BAM:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Jasons-Awakening/Remy-Marie/9781981472369?id=7157917489570

IndieBound:  https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781981472369

We’ll be sure to get a copy of this paranormal romance! ♥

About Remy Marie

Remy Marie is a paranormal and urban fantasy author who loves to write about charming heroes and brave heroines. His passion for creating stories and world building originates from him creating fantasy realms with his toys when he was five years old. While writing never came naturally for Remy, he continued to strengthen his craft, by constantly reading and writing. If he is not writing or reading, he is usually watching TV with his supportive wife, aggressively cheering for his college and professional sports teams, playing video games, or crunching numbers at his daytime job.


And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Remy Marie, here are some author links:

Website/Blog:  https://manlymanromance.blogspot.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/remymarieauthor

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Remy-Marie/e/B077YL6734/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17373475.Remy_Marie

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/103932048666368939790

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/remymarieauthor/

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

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Trini, a female character from Jason’s Awakening, and Remy Marie, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by! It was a pleasure to have you here! 😀



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

Radio Interview!

For our lovers of paranormal romance, you’ve gotta check this out…

Later today, I’ll be chatting with awesome author team and radio hosts of the Haunted Nights Live! show, Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross. This radio show is quite popular, and the Thorne & Cross team has seen some very famous authors on there. Check out the list of past guests here.

Check us out at 8PM EST to get some sneak peeks of two books I have coming out later this year, a futuristic paranormal romance/urban fantasy, Blood Instincts, book two of the Blood at First Sight Series, and Awakening, a paranormal romantic thriller collection.

Plus, for those who have a fascination with the supernatural, we’ll be talking about that too. 😉

So stop by tonight! You can call in with questions or sit back and listen in. I’m not sure if the interview will be posted right away on the site, but you should be able to hear it as it airs.

Here is the official link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/authorsontheairradio2/2017/04/07/marie-lavender-joins-thorne-cross-haunted-nights-live

Follow the Haunted Nights Live! duo on their Facebook page here, or check out their Twitter handle and blog.

As always, thanks so much for being great readers on the I Love Romance Blog! ♥♥♥

Happy reading, and have a wonderful day! 🙂


Filed under Authors, Books, coming soon, Event, Fiction, Interview, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Radio, Readers, Romance, Thriller/Suspense, 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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