AAD Author Spotlight & Giveaway: Jeaniene Frost

Night Huntress fans, hold onto your seats. Once Burned is out this week and I can promise you, it does not disappoint.  The amazing Jeaniene Frost is here to chat with me today. Please help me welcome her to the blog.

Jen: What can you tell us about Once Burned?

Jeaniene: Once Burned is the first book in the Night Prince series featuring Vlad as the hero and a new character named Leila as the heroine. Vlad’s ability to manifest and control fire makes him one of the most powerful vampires in existence. Leila is human, but she has some unusual abilities as well; her whole body gives off electricity and she can pick up psychic impressions through touch. Right now, two books are contracted for this series, with the possibility for more in the future.

A little backstory: When I first started writing about vampires, I swore to myself that I would never touch the Dracula legend because that had been done countless times. Then while I was writing the third book in the Night Huntress series, Vlad popped onto the page. The first thing I knew about him was that he hated the Dracula legend. The second thing I knew was that he and my hero, Bones, were not friendly. I kept trying to take Vlad out of the scene because, again, I was not going to write about Dracula! However, I kept thinking about his character. It was as if he refused to go away. He ended up being a regular side character in the Night Huntress series, yet that still wasn’t enough. The more I thought about Vlad, the more pieces of his story came together in my mind. Finally, I gave him not only his own book, but his own series.S o much for saying “never,” right?

Jen: Vlad is my favorite secondary character in the Night Huntress world. What was behind the decision to give him multiple books, instead of just one, like Charles or Mencheres?

Jeaniene: First, thank you! Second, some stories are best told in only one book, like a movie. Some stories are too big for that and they end up taking place over multiple books, like a TV series. The reason behind the decision to give Vlad a series versus one book was simple: The story I had my head about him and Leila was too big to fit in only one book. That’s only happened before with Cat and Bones, so I pressed hard to give Vlad a series and happily, my publisher agreed.

Jen: I know a lot of fans have made noise about a book for Ian. Do you think that will ever happen? Are there any other secondary characters you’d like to develop?

Jeaniene: I get a LOT of requests for an Ian book. One reader even sent me plot ideas because she wanted the book so badly and thought the issue was that I couldn’t come up with a storyline on my own, heh. First, Ian isn’t ready to be shoved into the hero role yet, and I don’t want to write about him unless he can be a hero. Second, if he ever gets ready, I know exactly who I’d pair him with and I already know the main plot that story would revolve around. So, the issue isn’t a lack of ideas. It’s Ian. If he can grow up a little in the future, I’d love to give him a story. If he insists on remaining a slut, he doesn’t get one since I refuse to write about a hero who cheats on the heroine. I do have hope for him, though. Cross your fingers for him, Ian fans!

As for other characters, yes, I’d love to write about several of them. I’m tied up for the next two years finishing Cat and Bones’s storyline, plus finishing Vlad and Leila’s, so any new character stories would have to wait. By the time my schedule clears, it depends on which character is making the most noise in my head, metaphorically speaking (no, I don’t actually hear voices, so put down the white jacket with the really long sleeves! ;)). The character I can’t stop thinking about usually wins in the new story department.

Jen: Cat and Bones finally seem like they’ve gotten to the point where they are unshakably solid. Does it change your approach to writing their stories now that their relationship is a given? (Does that make sense?) Is it a challenge to keep them fresh?


Jeaniene: It alters things in some ways. Neither Cat nor Bones is going to abruptly change their minds about their feelings for one another, plus they’re past the “does he/she really love me?” stage. However, because their storyline is wrapping up and I have a LOT of things to pack into their final books, I don’t think it will be challenge to keep things fresh. It’s crunch time now and all the little breadcrumbs I’ve been dropping along the way in previous books are about to blow up. I can’t wait to share the final outcome with readers!

Jen: I can’t remember where, but I read something you wrote once about writing married love and your faith. I wish I could put my finger on it now, because I thought it was really interesting when I read it…

Jeaniene: Hmm. It might have been on Twitter when I said I wished that love scenes were not taboo in inspirational fiction.

Jen: That was it!!

Jeaniene: Married couples have sex. They can even have really hot sex (shocker, I know! *wink*). Sometimes I want to read an inspirational novel because it explores my faith in a way that many secular books do not. However, I’m a greedy reader, so I don’t want to give up on a hot love story, too. The two aren’t opposites in real life, but in most inspirational fiction (that I’m aware of, please correct me if I’m wrong!) they seem to be.

Granted, some readers prefer the bedroom door firmly closed no matter what the genre is, and some of the “hottest” books on the market don’t contain sex scenes. I’m not advocating for inspirational fiction or another other genre to always contain sex scenes. I am, however, a fan of variety, and therefore I don’t think secular novels should be the only ones allowed to showcase great sex in fiction. But I could be alone in this opinion. Reading tastes vary, as everyone knows.

Jen: Talk to me a little about writing love scenes. Does it come easily? Would you rather write a steamy sex scene or an action/fight scene and why?

Jeaniene: I’d rather write neither, actually (bet you didn’t see THAT coming!). Sex scenes and fight scenes are difficult and time consuming to write. There’s a delicate balance of emotional/physical/action/reaction in every single sentence. One wrong turn of phrase – or even one wrong word – can ruin the intensity for readers. Dialogue, on the other hand, is fun to write. I can hear what the characters are saying in my head, so it’s almost like taking dictation when I write dialogue.

If you gripe about it, then why do you write sex/action scenes? someone might ask. Well, because I write romance, sex is an important part of the emotional journey for my characters. Just because sex scenes are harder for me to write – or make me blush, as has happened often – it wouldn’t seem fair to readers to shy away from it. Fight scenes equally necessary because my characters live in a dark, violent world. Life and death struggles are going to happen, and again, if I shy away from showing those, I cheat the reader in my eyes.

Jen: Bones is one of the most beloved PNR heroes out there. What is it about him that makes him so incredibly popular?

Jeaniene: I’ve had many readers tell me that they love Bones’s honesty, his openness about his feelings, and his sense of humor. *grin* Descriptions of his body probably don’t hurt, either. But in all honesty, I don’t know why he’s so popular. I’m delighted by it, of course, but there are plenty of other amazing PNR heroes. All I can say to Bones’s popularity is, Thank you, readers!

Jen: Are you working on anything outside of the Cat & Bones world? What’s ahead for you?

Jeaniene: Right now I’m focused solely on novels set in my vampire world, whether it’s Cat and Bones or Vlad and Leila. After that, I’d like to write something entirely new, but then again, I’d also like to write more about side characters in my vampire world. We’ll see which idea/world demands the most attention once I’m finished with my current commitments.

Jen: What are you most looking forward to from AAD in NOLA this summer?

Jeaniene:My grown-up, professional answer? Meeting readers and other authors while talking about the genre I love. However, the inner 8-year-old in me is squealing, “Beignets and haunted tours and ancient cemeteries, yay!”

A big thanks to Jeaniene for taking the time to chat with me.  In honor of the release of Once Burned, I am giving away a copy! To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. This one is US/CAN only. In the meantime, be sure to visit Jeaniene’s website and the special page devoted to Once Burned. You can also follow her on Twitter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Bride of the Wolf

Reviewed by Jen

Aurelia’s father has given away her hand in marriage to Roderick, the heir to the Canis clan of wolves.  As a human, she only knows what rumors say about the fearsome shifters. She is afraid of what her husband will be like, and she is justified in her fears.

A small band of wolves, led by Roderick’s brother Raif, is sent to collect Aurelia from her father. One of the men attacks her on the way back to the Canis keep and Raif must fight him off… which is no small task, since Raif is missing one of his legs.  He rescues Aurelia and spirits her away, intending only to do his duty and bring her to his brother safely.  But along the way, he falls for her himself.

I really enjoyed their love story.  Raif is a damaged hero, but he is fierce and protective of Aurelia.  They do fall in love a bit quickly, but given their circumstances I can see why each could be swept away. Raif has been alone so long. To be seen as a worthy man again is wonderful, terrifying, and overwhelming for him. And as for Aurelia, Raif is this knight in shining armor, gentle yet loyal and strong in his own way.  Their romance is satisfying and it was impossible not to root for them to be together, despite the overwhelming odds against them.

Even though this is a novella, it was definitely a complete story.  It never felt thin or superficial. It’s a good, solid, shifter romance. It has a little heat, and a lot of heart.

Rating: B

*Book provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon 
Bride of the Wolf
by Abigail Barnette (Jennifer Armintrout)
Release Date: October 5, 2011
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing

AAD Author Spotlight & Giveaway: Abigail Barnette


Jennifer Armintrout is a USA Today best selling author. She’s published two successful series, with her Blood Ties books as well as Lightworld/ Darkworld. But Jennifer also writes romance under the pen name Abigail Barnette. Please help me welcome her to the blog!

Jen: You’ve been very successful writing under the name Jennifer Armintrout. What made you decide to write as Abigail Barnette?

Abigail: It was a matter of protecting Jennifer Armintrout’s “brand”. I wanted to write romance, but I was known for writing urban fantasy. I didn’t really know how or what kind of romance I wanted to write, either, so if I failed spectacularly, I didn’t want it to reflect badly on Jennifer Armintrout, I could let Abigail Barnette take the heat. Luckily, I did find my feet, and now I can be both!

Jen: Looking at your Barnette titles, there’s a wide variety there in terms of kink and genre. The novellas I read (“Beast” & “Bride of the Wolf”) were great stories, but on the tamer side sexually. And then I look at Striped, for instance, and see the other side of the spectrum. Which kind of story to do you enjoy writing more? Or perhaps, a better question might be –What is the appeal from writing in the different genres?

Abigail: I think the appeal, to me, is in the variety. I can never get burned out if I’m writing something new and different. I’ve written vampire romance for Samhain, the last book I wrote for Resplendence was a contemporary baseball romance, and now I’m working on a historical ménage for Ellora’s Cave. I have a lot of freedom to write whatever I want, and that’s attractive to me because it means I won’t end up bored with what I’m doing.

Jen: Mia Watts and Bronwynn Green have been here in the past for Author Spotlights. I see they’re also part of the Phases series. Talk to me about the concept for that series and the contributions from multiple authors.

Abigail: Bronwyn Green invited me to participate in that anthology in 2010, I believe, although I’m not sure whose idea it was originally. I thought it was so neat, to have so many different authors doing a take on a similar theme. Bronwyn Green writes what we call “Yooper ménage”, stories set in Michigan’s upper peninsula, and with her blessing I used the same setting for my stories in the Phases anthology. The concept was that each author would take two months, resulting in a novella for each month of the year in 2011. In different cultures, the full moons have different meanings, and we were asked to keep those meanings in mind when we wrote the books. I think Awakening Delilah was “Lightning” and Striped was, literally, “Tiger.” The only other requirement was that the stories have three or more romantic partners, because polyamorous stories are really a draw for readers. It was so exciting to see these books coming out, and everyone took the basic requirements and made stories that were so different from the other ones in the series.

Jen: You do a take on fairy tales with the Naughtily Every After and some steampunk with All Steamed Up. Will there be more in either of these series?

Abigail: Yes! All Steamed Up has one more story coming, Internal Combustion, which will be about the third Wallace brother, Richard, the man who invents all the wonderful sex toys in the club. That one doesn’t have a release date yet, because I haven’t written it, but I swear, it’s coming. I would like to do another set of stories in the Naughtily Ever After series, but I’d like to finish up my Canis Clan series and All Steamed Up before working on a second series of Naughtily Ever After. I can tell you that the second set of Naughtily stories will feature the northern half of the kingdom of Chevudon, with a focus on Germanic fairytales. Snow White will be one of them, as well as Snow White and Rose Red.

Jen: I’ve been very impressed with the depth of your novellas. So often, the shorter stories I read feel superficial, rushed, or incomplete. Is there any difference in how you approach a novella versus a full length novel? And how do you avoid the pitfalls so many other authors fall into with shorter stories?

Abigail: I think the fact that I don’t know how to write a novella is really helping out in my favor on this one. I just write the story the same way I would write a novel, but obviously there isn’t a lot of room for subplots or too many extra characters. I just hit the important points and try to fill in the rest with the relationship and emotions.

Jen: As someone outside of the business, I’ve often wondered how different is the experience in writing for a NY publisher and a small press publisher?

Abigail: Way different, at least, in my experience. There is a lot to like about New York publishing, but small presses do take more chances than the big houses do. I can just say, “I want to write a book about this,” and most of the time, I can find a small press who will pick it up. Meanwhile, in 2007, I proposed a zombie book to a New York publisher, and they passed on it because “zombies aren’t a thing.” Well, if they had just taken a chance…

Jen: What is coming up for you as Abigail Barnette and as Jennifer Armintrout?

Abigail: Right now, Jennifer Armintrout is just sending out the occasional proposal and waiting for a nibble. Abigail Barnette, however, has the second book in the Hard Ball series, Double Header, coming out on June 27th. Perfect for baseball fans!

Jen: How often are you confused with Jennifer Armentrout? That’s got to get old.

Abigail: Oh, it happens all the time, but I think it probably is more of an issue for her than it is for me, unfortunately. She writes YA, and I’m on twitter talking about smoking pot and writing three-way gay weretiger sex scenes. She gets held responsible for a lot of things I say, in a really unfair way. The only time I ever get a little shifty about it is when someone accuses me of intentionally stealing her name to ruin her. I’m like, “Um… I have a birth certificate in my desk that proves otherwise.”

Jen: What is the most meaningful thing you’ve ever heard from a fan?

Abigail: Honestly, there have been so many times that people will say really touching things to me, or send me really nice emails, but the one that always sticks out in my mind is one I got from a girl who was about fifteen. She learned to read really late, at the time she wrote me she’d only been reading for a year, and Blood Ties Book One: The Turning was the first book she’d read all on her own. She said she loved it so much, she read it in a day. The fact that she had any love for reading at all, after struggling for so long to just get by, and the fact that she loved my book, brought tears to my eyes.

Jen: What are you looking forward to most from AAD in NOLA?

Abigail: Seeing all the wonderful people from years past, and meeting new folks, as well. I love AAD. It’s gotten bigger every year, but it still feels small and personal. That is why it’s the only conference I go to every year. Well, that and the GRRWG conference in November.

If you haven’t tried an Abigail Barnette story, here is your chance. She is giving away a copy of Bride of the Wolf. To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below.  And to learn more about Abigail/ Jennifer Armintrout, just visit her website or follow her on Twitter.

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Review: Beast

Reviewed by Jen

Sometimes I think I am too hard on novellas.  I read a fair number of them, but most of the time, I fail to really connect.  Either it’s all action and the romance is back-burnered or it’s all relationship and no plot.    The romance is almost always rushed and I rarely feel like I know the characters.  They often feel superficial, but then I ask myself, How could I expect more out of something around 100 pages?  Well, novella authors of the world, thanks to Abigail Barnette, I now expect more from you.

This felt like a full and complete story.  It had depth. It made me feel things. The characters were three dimensional and I believed in their emotions.

Johanna was the beautiful daughter of a noble who was supposed to marry Prince Philipe. But an uprising after their betrothal burned out her family’s keep. It killed almost everyone and left her terribly scarred.  After the fire, Philipe broke off their engagement without so much as seeing her again. In the 15 years that have passed, Johanna has suffered both physically and emotionally. Her heart was broken, her home reduced to rubble… and the fire truly disfigured her. Her life has been miserable.

Now Philipe’s father, the king, is in the midst of a meltdown. He is convinced Philipe is trying to kill him so he has sent his men to take him down. An arrow to the shoulder has Philipe running for his life and he has no choice but to take refuge in what’s left of Johanna’s home.  He must finally face up to his own actions all those years ago and deal with repercussions.

The story is difficult to read at times. So often, a “scarred hero” can still manage to still be attractive in some way, but Johanna is not.  She is irreparably damaged both inside and out. And yet she can’t quite rid herself of the love she holds for Philipe.  At the same time, he finally accepts that he has never really stopped loving her. But how can she ever forgive him?  There were times I wasn’t sure I wanted her to.  The story is called “Beast,” but who are we really talking about?  What Johanna has become? Or the man Philipe was to abandon her the way he did?

This is definitely not light reading. But I thought it was very well done.  And I was happy with the ending.

Rating: B+

*Book provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon
Beast
by Abigail Barnette (Jennifer Armintrout)
Release Date: January 18, 2012
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing

AAD Author Spotlight & Giveaway: Tilly Greene

Erotic romances about women who are successful, confident and comfortable in their skin, the men who love them, and their twisting passionate path to each other. That’s what Tilly Greene says you can find when you open up one of her mega-hot books.  Many of her stories contain elements of bondage or varying levels of D/s relationships.  Please help me welcome Tilly to the blog today!
Jen: Talk to me about what it is about BDSM that appeals to you as a writer.

Tilly: Taking what looks to some as harsh, hard and painful and turning it into something sensual, enticing and yes, enjoyable is what I like to do. Toys and attire are things I’ll tinker with first and work to make them more accessible to the reader. An anal plug doesn’t sound nice, but make it out of Plexiglas with a delightful swirling design shaped like a carrot and a bunny in crystals decorating the base makes it a bit more fun. [No, I’ve never done that in specific, but I just might have to now…a bunny!] My goal is to make BDSM something that the reader or their best friend wouldn’t shy away from if the right person said let’s play.

Jen: What is it about it that you think appeals to readers?

Tilly: There are a few things that I think draw a reader to a BDSM story, but the one I thought of first is the old standard “Calgon, Take Me Away” concept. Days filled with poopie diapers or harsh bosses are reality and going someplace far away, where things are filled with hot ‘take me, pleasure me, make me come’ sex and romance, would be a nice place to visit for a few hours.

Jen: How did you begin to research the lifestyle? Were there things that surprised you?

Tilly: Ahhh, research, love that stage of writing. Research for me begins with reading, reading and more reading. I wasn’t surprised by what I’d learned, but from all the material I gathered, I figured out what areas my characters would explore further. BDSM is a broad genre and I’ve chosen boundaries to push further into the hot zone and love it!

Jen: What do you think is the biggest misconception about BDSM?

Tilly: That it’s all about dungeons, pain and humiliation. BDSM ranges from 24/7 lifestylers to an occasional or one off game. There are many paths to satisfaction and as individual as the players.

Jen: Do you think that the flash of national attention on the genre will have longer term effects?

Tilly: Unfortunately no, I don’t. Back in the mid-80’s a movie called Nine 1/2 Weeks which touched on a sexually dominant relationship was released to the same attention only it didn’t last. Maybe society has opened up to people being different, but I have a feeling it hasn’t – at least not in the US.

Jen: As a ménage author, what do you think about m/f/m versus m/m/f stories? Which appeals to you more and why?

Tilly: HA, the reader side of me doesn’t give a flying hoot what sexes are involved in the ménage, but the writer side does for one very basic reason. I don’t know how to write the m/m part. Okay, there are a few side characters I’ve written over the years that are gay only I’ve never had the balls – pun intended – to write their happy for now story. Maybe someday I’ll go there, meanwhile, I’ll read them and be entertained.

Jen: Is there any one of your stories that stands above the others as closet to your heart. Tell me about it –and why it means so much to you.

Tilly: Well, I love all the books I wrote so I can’t choose just one, so here are a few. The first that comes to mind is “Come Back” mainly because it’s the latest, but then “Call Me Lucifer” and always “Highland Heat”. What these three have in common is the hero – I adore my wounded imperfect heroes who make mistakes and try very hard to do everything right to help bring their love back into their lives.

Jen: Will you give us a snippet from one of your favorite scenes (from any of your books) to give us a taste of your writing? (We like ’em dirty, please.)

Tilly: Hmmm, dirty, yeah, I can do that!

A scene from soon to be released “Come Back”:

Yes, like Cassie had said earlier, silence often speaks louder than words, but sometimes action speaks even louder. Once she sat on his lap, he struggled to stay in touch with their conversation, and couldn’t do it any longer. When she gave him the opening, he took it, and set out to show her exactly what he was thinking about. Wrapping both arms around her waist, he held her tightly as he nestled his head against her soft neck. She was all silky flesh, smooth and tempting to the tenuous hold he had on his passion. But right there, where her life pumped through her, was where he was drawn.
Pressing his lips over the pulse point rapidly beating at her neck diverted him for a few moments. It was something he loved to experience. To feel her pulse beat for him, them, and their need for each other. He stroked the tip of his tongue along the vein, bringing cries rushing out from between her lips.
“Oh, yes!”
The sounds of her passion made him hungry for more. He used his teeth to gently scrape and tease her skin. She tasted perfect and he was ready for dessert. Mikhail knew exactly what he needed to do to indulge his desire for more.
Moving quickly, he shoved the plates to the ground, and laid her across the table. He didn’t care their plates and glasses went crashing along the floor, making a mess. The only thing that mattered was having her.
“Misha!”
“Yes!” Quickly, he used a hand to push her t-shirt up until he couldn’t reach any further and held her down. There was too much he wanted to waste time for niceties, wooing or teasing. Later there’d be time for being her gentle lover, but it wasn’t then. His need was too close to the edge of bliss for anything other than seeking satisfaction.
Mikhail moved his mouth down to her pretty curls and teased her clit out from its hiding spot.
Sucking the hard kernel into his mouth, he carefully held the tender flesh between his teeth, and taunted the bundle with his tongue. It wasn’t long before her legs shifted around and encircled his neck. The new position made it more difficult to tenderly torment the nub. To rectify the potential problem, he reached up and brought one limb back down to the table. With one hand holding her t-shirt pushed up, and the other pressing her leg against the table, he focused on his goal.
She tasted sweet and the relentless pursuit for her nectar grew. Releasing her leg, he reached over and pinched her clit, giving it a gentle tug while he thrust his tongue inside her slit. Pushing the muscle in and out of her tight channel, he caught and dragged out a taste of her essence and immediately dove back in for more. He growled with pleasure and kept digging his tongue in for more honey and was rewarded by her crying his name.
It was heaven to hear her calling out for him, to feel her leg flex and try to pull him into her pussy. He wanted inside her, to fill and possess her. Intense desire rode through his mind and body, quickly overtaking him. Right then, he wanted to experience her coming around his tongue. While trying to hold himself back, he tightened his hand into a fist, and her squeal high and loud echoed around them.
Immediately he pulled his mouth away from her mound, sure he’d harmed her in some way. Looking at her body, he was ready to apologize, only his gaze caught where his hand gripped her breast, trapping a nipple between two fingers.
“Don’t stop!” She cried and, because he realized she was experiencing pleasure and not pain, his concern was gone.
©Tilly Greene, 2012
Jen: That’s very hot!! What are you working on now?
Tilly: Projects a plenty! Between writing the second [“Come to Me”] and third [“Come and Stay”] books for my Come shapeshifter series, I’m reworking a couple of books and writing some new installments for my Passion for Fashion and Bondage series, adding to my Branded series and putting out a few standalone erotica pieces. Phew, yes, my plate is full, but you will never hear or read me complain about doing a day’s work – it’s all good fun!
Jen: What are you looking forward to most from AAD in NOLA?
Tilly: So much, but I guess the biggest bit is talking to readers…talking books, talking shifters, talking contemporaries and bondage, really talking about anything and everything. Writing can be solitary so when I get a chance to be with like minded folks – book lovers – I consider it all good fun! Woohoo! Come on August!

Tilly is giving away an ebook of Call Me Lucifer or Highland Heat, winner’s choice. Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below.  You can learn more about Tilly by visiting her website or following her on Twitter.  

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AAD Author Spotlight: Shayla Black

She’s a New York Times best-seller and she knows how to spice things up! Please help us welcome Shayla Black to the blog today!

Jen: I really enjoy the Doomsday Brethren series! It seems like forever since we’ve heard from these guys. Can you give us a little hint about what we can expect in Embrace Me at Dawn?
Shayla: More of everything! More adventure, more heat, more eye-popping moments. As I’ve been writing this book, I’ve said, “OMG, did that REALLY just happen?” more than once. I’m super excited about how this book has been shaping up.
Jen: I know Anka is supposed to be with Lucan, but will poor Shock ever find his own happiness? (Clearly, I am convinced he is one of the good guys.)
Shayla: Shock definitely has a story to tell…eventually.
Jen: When we get to Bram’s book, will we get the backstory we missed on him and his mysterious mate?
Shayla: Yes! In fact, you’ll get a little bit about her in EMBRACE ME AT DAWN. There’s a lot there that the reader—and Bram himself—doesn’t know.
Jen: Can you tell us a little about Project Alpha?
Shayla: Not too much, as I haven’t started writing yet. But they will be very sexy romantic suspenses about a very different breed of soldier facing a whole lot of danger to both the world and their hearts.
Jen: You write so many different kinds of romance books, with varying degrees of heat and sexual adventure. Do you have a favorite kind of book to write? Stand-alones, series, spicy, romantic?
Shayla: No, I really just write what’s capturing my imagination. Contractually, I have to write books in a certain order, but I made the decision to write each of these books because they grabbed me and made me smile or cry or clap or squirm in my chair. I can’t write something I’m not excited about.
Jen: At what point in your career did you finally feel like you’d “made it” as an author?
Shayla: I wouldn’t say that I really feel that I’ve “made it” even now. My job is to sit in front of my computer every day and type out the stories in my head. I truly enjoy the interaction on my Facebook fan page and the role play pages for both the Doomsday Brethren and Wicked Lovers series. Hitting the New York Times was a definite thrill. But I’m always aware that my job isn’t really about what I’ve written in the past, but what I’m going to write now and tomorrow. I simply think in terms of maintaining good work habits and hopefully more readers finding me so that my career can grow.
Jen: I’m sure you get a lot of feedback from your fans. What effect does fan response have on you personally and as a writer?
Shayla: Some emails from fans have touched me deeply. I’ve been told that I’ve saved relationships and helped people through personally difficult times. People have written to tell me that they’ve discovered things about themselves by reading my books or that they’ve found a deeper connect with their partner by reading my books together with them. I’ve had hate mail, love mail, and prison mail. People have told me what I’ve done right and wrong, in their estimation. In all cases, I figure that if I made the reader feel something, I did my job. I used to let negativity bother me, but the truth really is, not every book or every author is for every person. Every author has themes and characters that resonate for them. Some readers will understand them and others won’t. Frankly, there’s a book and an author for every reader out there. It may or may not be me. I accept that. The best thing I can do for the readers who do like what I write is to continue to be me and minimize the distractions. Trying to cater to readers for whom I’m just not their cup of tea is a waste of everyone’s time..
Jen: What is the draw for you to attend fan events and reader conventions?
Shayla: I love opportunities to connect with readers. Many writers are introverts, but I’m a people person, and I take many chances every year to meet readers and just have fun. Attending conferences like this are a great way to meet new people you’ll instantly have something in common with: love of books!
Jen: What are looking forward to most about AAD in NOLA this summer?
Shayla: The people, the parties, and the fun! It will be my first time to AAD, and I’m planning to make the most of it.
Jen: Thank you so very much for visiting the blog! I can’t wait to meet in New Orleans!
Shayla: Thanks for much for having me here. I’m looking forward to meeting in New Orleans, too.

To learn more about Shayla Black you can visit her website or follow her on Twitter.

AAD Author Spotlight & Giveaway: Kelly Meding

The fabulous Kelly Meding is joining us today, to talk about her Dreg City and MetaWars books.  Please help me welcome her to the blog!

Jen: I just finished book four in the Dreg City series and I am just not ready to let go of these characters! Tell new readers about the series.

 

Kelly: Dreg City is set in a fictional city where the paranormal nasties (vampires, goblins, etc…) are kept in line by small teams of human Hunters. The heroine of the series, Evangeline Stone was originally brought back to life temporarily to solve her own murder and help stop a war, and thanks to a nice little loophole, got to stay alive. But the threat of war is always there, and over the course of the four books in the series, the human Hunters are slowly being outnumbered by their enemies (and occasionally betrayed by their allies). Through it all, Evy’s trying to adapt to her second life, confront her own prejudices about the non-human beings she works with, and figure out her complex relationship with ex-boss Wyatt Truman.

 

Jen: Evy has a lot of internal conflict about who she is after she takes up permanent residence in another body. How much did the actual body transplant change her as a person? I guess what I really want to know is how much of her evolution is because of who Chalice is/ was and how much is really prompted by the events Evy goes through? (Please tell me that question makes sense.)

 

Kelly: Yes, the question makes sense. It’s something I thought about a lot as I was first writing Three Days to Dead. I had to decide how much of Chalice should be left behind in her body—for example, lingering sense memories and physical responses are still there, because they are imprinted in Chalice’s body, but the “soul” that made Chalice “Chalice” is gone. By the end of the first book, Evy has fully integrated with Chalice’s body and has embraced everything that was part of Chalice, including her physical attraction to Wyatt. Much of Evy is still there, including her temper, her own memories, and her loyalty to the Triads. The trick is finding a balance between Original Recipe Evy and Super Combo Evy.

 

Jen: Her love interest is Wyatt. It’s hard not to love Wyatt. Let’s talk about him for a minute.
Kelly: I adore Wyatt. He’s so complex, and yet his actions are really very simple in their motivation: he loves Evy. He’d do (and does do, several times) anything for her, including sacrifice his own soul. He starts out in Three Days to Dead as a bit of a mystery and some readers didn’t like him very much. But over the course of the series, we peeled back more layers of his past and got to see the things that shaped him, such as the violent deaths of his family and his hand in creating the Triads organization. And with his situation at the end of Wrong Side of Dead…well, things just keep getting complicated, don’t they? *grin*

 

Jen: Do you think their relationship would have ever moved forward had Evy not died and come back?

 

Kelly: No, I really don’t. Before Evy died, their relationship was completely different. Wyatt was her boss. She cared about him, certainly, and loved him in her own way. But Original Recipe Evy Stone was a very cold person, whose only vision of the future was a young, violent death. She didn’t make attachments. Super Combo Evy, however, got a good dose of Chalice Frost in the form of a physical attraction to Wyatt and emotions that she wore on her sleeve. Without those parts of Chalice, I think Wyatt’s feelings for Evy would have always been one-sided.

Jen: My favorite side-character is Phin! –At first I even thought that he might be a potential secondary love interest. Maybe I’m just projecting…

Kelly: Honestly? I had originally been thinking along those lines. Love triangles seemed to be the popular thing, and Phin definitely has the Alpha-hotness potential to be a love interest. But after discussing it with my editor and really considering the emotional impact of the Evy/Wyatt relationship, I decided against making Phin part of a triangle. Or even an Evy love interest at all. Evy needs the unconditional support that she gets from Phin, and she needs his brutally honest take on things. He becomes one of her best friends and in some ways, especially in Wrong Side of Dead, her Jiminy Cricket. Phin has lost so much and remained so strong. He deserves a woman who will love him back the way he deserves, and I hope to give him that one day.

 

Jen: I have to ask: Milo and Marcus… maybe?

 

Kelly: Oh Milo, I love him so. He definitely deserves some love (or at least a lusty distraction). Felia Pride politics are a big part of book five, so Marcus and Astrid are heavily featured. Evy and Milo have a heart-to-heart about relationships. We will definitely see more of both Milo and Marcus (how’s that for non-spoilery spoilers?).

 

Jen: (I take that to mean, “Yes. They will fall madly in love and have wild, passionate sex.”) Ahem… moving on.  When I read your blog post about Random House’s decision not to continue publishing the series, I was so disappointed. The last book set up so many great possibilities for future books. Are you shopping the series around for another publisher? Is there anything that fans can do?

 

Kelly: My agent and I have chosen to not shop the books to other publishers. Getting another house to pick up a series four books in is a long shot. Self-publishing isn’t my first choice, but I want to make the rest of the series available to fans and readers, so it is probably the best option at the moment. As for what fans can do: buy the books for yourself or for friends, recommend them to friends, and write to the publisher and let them know how you feel about the series being canceled.

 

Jen: I’ve got to say, I’m so glad the series will live on, even though self-publishing isn’t how you envisioned it moving forward. I know it’s soon but is there any chance we might see Dreg Series 5 in 2012 or 2013?

 

Kelly: There is a very, very, very good chance, yes. I have about a quarter of it written, and the rest of the story is mapped out in my head, so the question really is finding time to write the darn thing between other projects. If nothing else, I do hope to have at least one Dreg City short story out there this year, just to keep folks interested and engaged with the series.
Jen: How many more books would it take for you to give the series the ending you’ve envisioned?

 

Kelly: When we presented the last proposal, I envisioned ending Evy’s story after three more books. There is a definite plan in place, as well as a final outcome for her. And I say “for her” because there are so many secondary characters I’d like to explore, even after Evy’s story is over. But Evy has been through hell and worse, and in such a short space of time. Her suffering isn’t over (it would be a boring final three books, if it was), but I want to give her some peace when all is said and done. She deserves that.
Jen: You do have another series out there. Tell us about the MetaWars books.

 

Kelly: MetaWars is my take on superheroes. I’ve been a fan of superheroes and comics since I was a kid, and this is a concept I’ve been playing with since I was a teeanger. The series is set in a somewhat parallel, future society in which heroes and villains have nearly destroyed the world with their epic battles. Cities are ruined, the economy is in the toilet, and people are afraid. In the final moments before the last of the heroes are killed, everyone with powers suddenly loses them. Fast forward fifteen years later. Just when the world is starting to recover, all of those powers suddenly come back. Trance is the story of those scattered heroes coming back together. Changeling (which comes out June 26) takes their tale further by introducing a new kind of villain for the Metas to deal with.

 

Jen: Do you make it to many fan events? What are you looking forward to most from AAD in New Orleans?
Kelly: I don’t make it out to many fan events, and I wish I was able to do more. Mostly it’s the expense that keeps me home, but gosh darn it, I was determined to make it to AAD no matter what, and I’m really looking forward to going. It’ll be my yearly vacation, and I plan to take full advantage. From AAD, I’m mostly looking forward to meeting readers and bloggers, and to being able to spend an entire weekend just talking about books. I can’t imagine anything better. Thanks so much for taking the time to do this! I really appreciate it! Thanks so much for inviting me!

Kelly is giving away the book of your choice from her backlist. To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. (US Only.) In the meantime, if you want to learn more about Kelly, you can visit her blog or follow her on Twitter.

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AAD Author Spotlight & Giveaway: Theresa Meyers


PNR and Steampunk Romance author Theresa Meyers joins us today to talk about her sexy love stories and share of them with you! Please help me welcome her to the blog.

Jen: You’ve got a few different series ongoing right now. I’m a PNR girl at heart, so let’s start off by talking about the Sons of Midnight books. Tell new readers a little bit about them.

Theresa: It’s a vampire/werewolf world of my own construction that I write for Harlequin Nocturne as a mini series currently based in the Pacific Northwest in and around Seattle (close to home makes it easy to do research). I tried to make my vampires and Weres a little more biologically based so they are caused by a virus, which alters their mortal forms.

The vampires also have some fairly cool powers beyond the amped up power, strength and senses, including the ability to flux (turn invisible), phase (walk through solid objects via manipulation of the molecules), materialize objects at will, talk telepathically to one another, glamour mortals that are susceptible (not all are) and are able to smell various emotions. My Weres are able to shift at will, and have amped up power, senses and strength, longer than mortal lifespans, and can also scent and track things incredibly well in either form.

While they each have their own groups (the Cascade Vampire Clan in Seattle is located in the Seattle Underground and the Wenatchee Were Pack is over the mountains in eastern Washington) and are at an uneasy truce with one another, they have common enemies – the revier vampires (who are similar to the border reviers in Scotland) and the goddess of Chaos, Eris, who really doesn’t care where casualties and mayhem come from as long as someone suffers. It’s a fairly complex world, but I love writing in it!

Jen: With the latest book, we’re getting into the werewolf element quite a bit. Is that going to play a bigger role in future books?

Theresa: Yes (but there’s still plenty of vampires in it too!). The next book in the mini-series is actually titled Her Big, Bad Wolf out in March 2013 and deals with the secondary character Tyee (Ty) who was impacted by the change in Alphas of the Wenatchee Were Pack and goes out on his own. (Lone wolves are never happy wolves.) When a one-night stand turns into an unplanned pregnancy, Ty has not only a new pack to protect (his mate and his unborn child), but also has to work alongside the Cascade Vampire Clan members against a group of revier vampires creating their own army of amped up mortals with a hive mind (Thralls – very similar to the amped up mortal guards – Shyelds – the Cascade Vampires have, but totally different.)

Jen: Who has been the most intriguing character to you so far in this series and why? Could you give us a little snippet showing him in action?

Theresa: I’d have to say so far Slade Donovan, the half vampire half werewolf in, The Half-Breed Vampire, has been my favorite. He’s that bad boy with a golden heart. I mean, really, what’s not to love? He’s got street smarts, but he’s loyal down to his core, someone that once they trust you and know you will have your back every single time. He’s a bit snarky and just cocky enough to be fun to banter with, but he can also be incredibly tender and protective.

Slade’s jaw flexed as it tightened. He touched the center of the print with his fingertips, then sniffed them. Dirt heavy with iron, a fast flowing stream and saxifrage plant that only grew in high Alpine conditions. “The thing that made this print was here in the last two hours.”

A shiver shimmed down Raina’s spine, making her skin pebble. He could almost hear the small downy hairs lifting on her arms.

As much as she wanted to protect her friends and discover more about the wolves, she was still ultimately unsettled by them. Score one for his side. Wary was better than foolish.

“So are we just going to scout up the hill until dusk?” she asked as she readjusted the loaded pack on her back.

“No I was planning on heading out. Wasn’t it you who said we’d be wasting time if we didn’t get here sooner than later?”

“But it’s only a few hours until dark.”

“You afraid of the dark?”

“Hardly, but if we’re going overnight camping, then we’re going to need a tent and sleeping bags.”

“You have them in your car?” She nodded.

“Go ahead and grab them.”

“What about you? I know you didn’t bring that kind of gear and I’ve only got one sleeping bag.”

Slade gave her a bone-melting smile and materialized at his feet his military pack from the car. “Don’t need a sleeping bag or a tent, babe. Vampire, remember?”

Raina resisted the urge to roll her eyes. “So what’s in there?” she pointed at his black bag.

“Weapons. Explosives. Toothpaste. The usual.”

“Wait!” She made a grab for his bag, but he swung it away from her reach. “Explosives, what on earth makes you think we’ll need that kind of hardware?”

“Luck favors the prepared. You should know better than most. Wolves aren’t the only ones out on state land. Ever met a pissed off bear? Not anything you want to tangle with hand to hand.”

Raina harrumphed. “Bears,” she muttered as she turned on her heel and marched back to her car. “Poachers are more dangerous than bears. I’m going to get my overnight camping gear and see if Joe minds me parking for a night or two.”

Fifteen minutes later she was ready to go again and the shadows of the trees were beginning to stretch and grow longer as the day began to wane.

The overnight hiking pack weighed close to fifty pounds and was half as large as she was, extended up above her head. A bed roll and light-weight tent, as well as some freeze-dried supplies, a water purifier, a first aid kit, a few utensils and extra ammunition. He contemplated asking her if she’d like him to carry it. Given the stubborn tilt of her chin, he’d bet she’d take it as an insult.

Slade eyed the pack. “You sure you didn’t bring the kitchen sink?”

“Why, did you think we might need one?” she threw back at him, matching his sarcastic tone. “At least I didn’t pack explosives.”

Slade chuckled. “You’ve got spunk, Officer, I’ll give you that. What about jelly beans. Got any of those?”

“How would they help?”

“Sweet tooth.”

Rania rolled her eyes, then checked the heavily padded shoulder straps and made sure everything was adjusted correctly, then smiled. “Let’s go find the big, bad wolf.”

Jen: Your Shadow Sisters series focuses more on the Fae, right?

Theresa: Right. It’s a whole different world created around these four sisters, the O’Connel girls, who can see fae when other people can’t. They’ve been trained their entire lives to avoid and ignore the fae to keep themselves safe, but when one event happens and a friend of the eldest sister is abducted, it starts this chain reaction where they each become involved in the fae world (and with a seriously hot fae guy) in order to not only help one another, but to save our world from the attack to reclaim our world planned by the fae. Along the way they discover powers they never realized they had that help them change the world. The first in those stories, Shadowlander, is a novella that’s already out and the rest, Shadow Hunter, Shadow Seeker and Shadow Lover, will full-length novels and be coming out in 2013 from Entangled Publishing.

Jen: I see you also do steampunk. I have to admit, I’m not really well-versed on the genre. What is it about steampunk that appeals to you?

Theresa: LOL. Yes I like to do a lot of things! I write my steampunks for Kensington’s Zebra line. At it’s heart steampunk is really Victorian-set science fiction and fantasy. We’re taking modern technology (things like robots, computers, lasers, time travel machines, space flight rockets) and using Victorian-era components to make it possible. There’s also a spirit of kind of the underdog infused in many of these stories, where they are fighting against the establishment for the betterment of humanity, which I think kind of rings true for so many people today who want their own experiences of feeling like they are the disenfranchised 99% to be reflected in what they read and experience in the entertainment media. For me personally, I love steampunk because I’ve always been a bit of a Victoriana nut myself. I was sewing Victorian style dresses for my school dances when I was 15 and 16 years old. I live in a Victorian-styled house and am fairly obsessive about tea. The Victorian era has always just been a favorite of mine. What’s cool about steampunk is I get to blend that love of the Victorian era with my love of paranormal in my steampunk series.

Jen: And that series is the Legend Chronicles?

Theresa: Right. The Legend Chronicles revolves around three brothers all named after their father’s favorite guns, Winchester, Remington and Colt, who are paranormal Hunters. They protect the average citizen from the threat of Darkin, things like vampires, shapeshifters, ghosts, skinwalkers, etc. But when the arch demon Rathe is determined to open the Gates of Nyx (essentially an entrance to hell) and let the Darkin enslave humanity, they must work to find three scattered pieces of something called the Book of Legend (kind of a compendium of all Hunter knowledge about the Darkin) to seal the Gates closed. Their big problem is each of them has to work with a different female Darkin (a succubus, a vampire and a shape-shifting thief) to accomplish their missions. It forces each of them to look at the Darkin far differently and at the same time acknowledge that perhaps they are more than just brothers or Hunters, but possibly something more–The Chosen.

Jen: For me, a great hero makes or breaks a romance. What are the most important elements in your mind while crafting your heroes?

Theresa: First he’s got to be strong, not just in a physical sense, but mentally and with conviction. He has to know what he wants and what matters and have his own code of ethics he lives by. They’re smart, have a great (sometimes bitingly wicked) sense of humor, have gorgeous eyes and a body that’s big enough to make me feel little. They care about the world around them, and cherish the woman they are with, and most importantly they stand for something and aren’t afraid to fight for it.

I tend to write what I call gamma heroes. They combine the best traits of an alpha hero and a beta hero and I think they make the best romance heroes. Alphas are too into themselves and their own ideas of the world to really care about the heroine until it’s almost too late. Betas wait for her to make the first move, even thought they might be passionate about her. Gammas have enough self-confidence to be bold, but have that emotional core that allows them to love her, say so, and want an answer back. Now. For example, Tom Hanks and Hugh Grant often play Beta heroes. Bruce Willis and Steven Segal play Alphas. Adrian Paul, Taylor Lautner, Chris Evans, Harrison Ford and Mel Gibson often play Gamma roles. (Han Solo is the perfect example of a Gamma hero.)

Jen: Which other author really gets it right with a superb hero for you? Which character is it and what’s the appeal?

Theresa: Cherry Adair does a fantastic hero every time, so does James Rollins. They’re tough, tactically savvy guys, who could kill a man with their bare hands, but are aware of the woman in their sphere of influence and wouldn’t hesitate to sacrifice to protect her. They aren’t mindless meat-heads. They’re smart, have a solid core of ethics, and they fight and would die for what truly matters to them.

Jen: What made you sign up for AAD –and what are you looking forward to most from the event?

Theresa: I had so much fun last year, I wanted to go again! This is one of the few events I can go to where I really get a chance to just hang out with readers and talk about one of my favorite things–books! I’m also excited about getting to lead a number of field trips in and around the city. We’re going to have so much fun!

Theresa is giving away a ton of books today. She is offering a grand prize of five signed, print books: The Hunter, The Slayer, The Half Breed Vampire, The Vampire Who Loved Me, and The Truth About Vampires.  And five additional winners will walk away with an ebook of The Half-Breed Vampire. You can learn more about Theresa on her website or follow her on Twitter.

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AAD Author Spotlight: Allison Pang

If you’re looking for a fresh and funny Urban Fantasy, the Abby Sinclair books fit the bill.  Abby isn’t an ass-kicker, but she finds her strengths elsewhere.  Author Allison Pang joins us for today’s AAD Author Spotlight. Please help me welcome her to the blog!

Jen: Please tell new readers about the Abby Sinclair series.

Allison: When we first meet Abby in A BRUSH OF DARKNESS, she’s a former prima ballerina, still recovering from a terrible car accident that took the life of her mother and left her body crippled. With her dreams of dancing shattered, she ends up in the town of Portsmyth and stumbles into the world of the OtherFolk. When she becomes the TouchStone to the Faery Protectorate, her fate is forever changed and she’s forced to come to grips with her past as well as take a more deliberate role in her own future.

In A Sliver of Shadow, we find Abby coming a bit more into her own, as well as finding out more about her own past and family history. (And how entwined her family really is with that of the OtherFolk.) Along the way she’s assisted by friends in the form of a magical violinist, an incubus, an elven prince and a pervy little unicorn.

Jen: The world-building is revealed slowly in the course of Abby’s story. Talk to me about the decision to approach it that way.

Allison: I don’t think it was technically a cognizant decision. I tend to read a lot more standard fantasy/sci-fi books than PNR or UF – when I started writing BoD, that was the approach I was used to. (Let’s toss the reader into the world, whee!) I’m not fond of spoon-feeding details to the readers and while I will admit there is a LOT going on from a world-building perspective, the fact that it’s mostly set in the real world helps a little bit.

But I think a lot of it comes from the deep 1st person PoV. Abby knows what she knows (or doesn’t know). She’s not going to rehash her thoughts with things that are considered basic knowledge until there’s a reason to do so. When Abby goes to the Fae world in A SLIVER OF SHADOW, I realized that what I “knew” from the first book was just the tip of the iceberg.

Jen: How much of this world do you have floating around in your head that hasn’t made its way into the books? Or do the details come to you as you go along?

Allison: Eh. There’s quite a bit floating up there at the moment, but I only tend to pick out the pieces I need for a particular story arc as they are required. So, for example – I’ve got an idea of what the Hell Path is like, but until there’s a specific reason to head down there, I don’t worry about it. Otherwise, much of the detail does get fleshed out as I go.

Jen: The latest book introduces a love triangle with Abby, Brystion and Talivar. Did you always plan to give Brystion a rival?

Allison: Actually, no. The original ending to BoD did have Brystion staying with Abby, but for various editorial reasons, things ended up changing. I know there’s a love/hate thing with triangles among many readers, but it isn’t my intent to jerk readers around. A little competition isn’t always a bad thing and from a character perspective it’s actually pretty good for Brystion to realize things aren’t always going to be handed to him on a silver platter, so to speak.

Jen: And speaking of Brystion… so much about him is murky and mysterious. Tell us one thing about him that is true without question. And tell us one thing we don’t know about him.

Allison: *laughs* He’s a rather nebulous character, even for me – it’s very hard for me to sometimes figure out what he’s thinking. He plays things very close to his vest, even when I’m writing him. True without question? Despite whatever his actions may or may not be, he truly is in love with Abby. Even if he would sometimes rather not be. As far as what you don’t know? There’s a lot, but he is rather fond of poetry. (Probably has something to do with his mom. 😉 )

Jen: I never really “got” the reason he left at the end of book one. Help me.

Allison: Well, the short answer is like I mentioned above: Editorial reasons. The long answer is that it does actually work out better in the long run. BoD took place in the span of a few weeks – and while Abby and Ion are certainly massively attracted to each other, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be “true love.” Yes, Abby would have preferred for him to stay and try to work things out, no question. However, Brystion is scared out of his wits in a lot of ways, if you dig deep enough. He’s not particularly proud at some of his behavior in BoD, though he’ll never admit it directly. Given the circumstances of how he met Abby and his own past relationships turning out badly, I don’t think it’s unrealistic that he might bolt for a while. There’s also an element of “too good to be true” going on. Abby represents an awful lot to him – her Dreaming power, for example – there’s a certain jaded outlook that he possesses that he’s trying to break through.

Jen: As for Talivar, I feel like I do know him. But you’re probably giving me a false sense of security. Tell us one thing about him that would be surprising.

Allison: Heh. He really does like playing DDR, even if he thinks it’s a bit undignified.

Jen: You ended the last book on a cliffhanger. ^$%$#^^**! Let’s talk about that.

Allison: I did. But it was a good place to end it. I don’t want to spoil readers, but that last page did create a new set of issues for Abby and not ones I could realistically work through in the span of a few more chapters. Besides, that would have completely cheapened her actions.

Jen: As a reader, how do you feel about cliffhangers?

Allison: I don’t mind them, as long as I know there’s more coming. What *is* irritating is when the cliffhanger doesn’t pay off. If everything is resolved right off the bat then there is a certain WTF moment when I pick up the next book.

Jen: Book three is also coming out this year. What can you tell us about A TRACE OF MOONLIGHT?

Allison: Well, obviously it picks up fairly quickly after the end of SoS. The stakes are much higher than before, and there’s some rather interesting twists and turns coming up for some of the characters. Maybe a death or two. Or not.

Jen: Can you give us a little snippet?

Allison: Actually, I’m right smack in the middle of revisions for A TRACE OF MOONLIGHT so I wouldn’t feel completely right tossing up something I’m trying to edit. But I’ll see if I can get an excerpt up on my website at some point in the next few months.

Jen: What is the future for the series beyond that point? I read somewhere that you may choose to tell the stories of some secondary characters. Could you expand on that– and does that mean Abby’s story will be over? There are such great secondary characters in the series. I love Phin and I am so interested in Melanie’s backstory. (And Nobu…)

Allison: Yes, the secondary characters are definitely some of my favorites. As far as the end of Abby’s story goes, I’m not sure. I’m doing the best I can to wrap up this particular story arc in the 3 books – it’s up to the publisher if they want more, and depending on how that goes, it could very well be a Melanie story that’s written. There’s also a pretty good chance of a Melanie short story appearing in an upcoming anthology, but I can’t give you any more details than that. (Although if it does happen, I’ll be writing about how she got her violin.)

Jen: Do you get to make it to many fan events? What are you looking forward to most from AAD in NOLA?

Allison: I did 3 or 4 cons last year. I had to cut back this year due to a number of reasons, so no RT or RWA for one. AAD and WFC are the two main ones I’ll be attending, though I also hope to be at NYCC if I can swing it. As far as what I’m looking forward to most? Just being able to hang out in a smaller, more intimate venue with the readers and other authors. Sometimes the larger cons can be overwhelming.

A big thanks to Allison for chatting with me today. To learn more about Allison Pang, you can visit her website or follow her on Twitter.

AAD Author Spotlight & Giveaway: Stacey Kennedy

“Witty characters, dominant men, danger, action, romance and hot sex―oh my!”  You’ll find that tag line on Stacey Kennedy’s website and it’s what you can expect when you crack open one of her books.  Please help me welcome her to the blog today.

Jen: My first book of yours was Supernaturally Kissed, which I really enjoyed. Would you tell new readers a bit about the Frostbite series?

Stacey: Simply put, it’s about a woman who has the gift to see ghosts, and has been given the task to help them crossover. This doesn’t always come easy since Tess is pulled into the police force and has to solve cold cases. Things get even more crazy when Kipp—a ghost—enters her life, and not only is she trying to solve his case, but she’s trying to fight the attraction between them. Lots of fun!

Jen: Can you give us any hints about what’s coming in Demonically Tempted?

Stacey: Answers and lots of them! I enjoy reading reviews of Supernaturally Kissed and hearing all the theories people have about what will happen next. I always planned to make book two give all the answers to questions in Supernaturally Kissed, and that’s exactly what happened. But doesn’t life always get difficult and when one question is answered, another one appears.
Demonically Tempted shifts a bit more into fantasy, which will lead into the next two books in the series. Tess starts to learn more of her abilities and just all the trouble that comes along with that. Poor Tess, things are never easy for her!
Jen: These aren’t too racy, sexually. But some of your other books are a bit more erotic. Tell me about your process for writing some of your hotter love scene.
Stacey: Two things – depth and frank language. That’s the only difference between my urban fantasy romances and erotic romances. The scenes are always HOT, but in erotic romance you lengthen them. Every single detail is shown, each sexy moment, visuals, feelings, sensations, and body parts are given those naughty. LOL!
Jen: What about BDSM? Did you have to do a lot of research to portray this kind of relationship?
Stacey: Honestly, BDSM is the hardest thing for me to write. It’s getting easier as time goes on because I learn more. And yes, I have to do lots of research since I don’t live the lifestyle.
Making the transition to write BDSM wasn’t a huge leap for me because I tend to write dominate men, so it was pretty natural. But there’s so much to know about the lifestyle. Do I get it wrong? All the time. But I have a fantastic critique partner who knows more about BDSM than I do and always guides my way.
I’ll admit too that it’s the most draining. I’ve just written a 90K BDSM erotic romance, Sweet Submissive, and after that story I was done in for a few weeks. My brain was complete mush! They tend to be very emotional, character driven stories and that can be exhausting to write. But the outcome is awesome and I can hardly wait to get this story out there.

Jen: BDSM romance is getting alot of press these days with the whole 50 Shades hoopla in the media. Is there anything you feel like the talking heads (like Dr Drew) are getting wrong –or something you would like to clarify as an author in the genre?

Stacey: Yes, I’ve seen the buzz and read 50 Shades because of it. Loved it, by the way! You know, I can understand where Dr. Drew is coming from. He’s allowed his opinion. But the truth is what two consenting adults do in their personal life isn’t anyone else’s concern. BDSM isn’t for everyone and that’s why the stories come with warning labels.
Truth is, I love writing BDSM because of the emotional element that comes in this kind of lifestyle. I find it sexy and playing on the sensations a submissive feels makes even my cheeks warm. So while I think it’s acceptable for someone to have an opinion, it really drives me to the moon when I see things like, this book is wrong, or this book is terrible. While it might not be for everyone, there are readers and people like me who love taking time out of their busy, screaming kids day, and sit down with a naughty book to get my blood pumping!
My rule is if you don’t like something, don’t read it and leave it to the rest of us who do!
Jen: The first in your Magic and Mayhem series is coming soon, right?  What can you tell us about Werewolves Be Damned?
Stacey:  WEREWOLVES BE DAMNED is actually not coming out until Summer 2013 because it’s going mass market. So, while it seems like forever from now, I’m sure it’ll be here before I know it.
This series started out as ebooks published with Liquid Silver Books, The Magical Sword series. They were short novels, but I’ve rewritten the books and now they’re full lengths. Honestly, I don’t even recognize them anymore, and that just makes it more fantastic because they’ve developed into stories I never dreamed possible. I’ve always had a soft spot for these books because they were the first ones I’d ever written, and now I’m just floored by the outcome. My editor has taken my babies and brought out the best in them. It’s really exciting and I can hardly wait for them to release.
Click here to learn more –or check out the trailer below:
Jen: Any chance we can score a little snippet?
Stacey: It’s still in edits so I can’t share too much because who knows if it’ll remain in the book, but here’s a little sneak peek!
I’d come to my willow for as long as I could remember. I’d never seen a wolf in this forest before. And when had wolves become so bold to approach a human? Unless this one was rabid or starving…in which case, my odds of survival were looking less likely.
I scooted further along the grass, but was stopped when my back pressed against the trunk of my willow. “Dear God, the time to help me would be now.”
The wolf stopped a foot in front of me and sniffed the air. His dark eyes studied me. No fear held in their depths. Wet dog mixed with a rich aftershave filled my nostrils.
“I’m scary. I’m big. Get out of here,” I screamed and waved my arms in the air to frighten him.
He shook his head.
I stared, mouth agape.
“Did you just…answer me?”
He nodded.
What. In. The. Hell?
“How can you understand me, you’re a wolf. Oh my god, did you just shrug?”
He bared his teeth.
Jen: What is your favorite kind of supernatural and why?
Stacey: I love them all. Really, I do! Each supernatural is fun to write in its own way. I enjoy writing witches because of the magical element, but I also love writing werewolves. There’s just something so special about the mate bond that tugs at my heart.
Jen: Who is your favorite character created by another author?
Stacey: Jeaniene Frost’s, Vlad. I adore him, lust over him, and want him as my own!! He has a certain “something” that speaks to the very woman in me. I love his humor, but then he has this strength that makes me drool! Yes, Vlad is my book crush!
Jen: Do you get to make it to many fan/ author events?
Stacey: Sadly, no. I have two small children who keep me on my toes, so making long trips to the U.S. just doesn’t happen as often as I’d like. And that’s why I’m so excited to go to AAD. It’s my first conference, so yeah…I’m thrilled to be going! Plus, it’s in New Orleans and I’ve always wanted to go there so that just ROCKS!
Jen: What are you looking forward to most from AAD in New Orleans?
Stacey: Everything single darn thing! The tours, chatting with other authors, meeting all my book blogger friends…and the party! I love to have fun, so if there is fun happening, I’ll be there!
Jen: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me. I can’t wait to meet you in New Orleans… it’s going to be a blast!
Stacey: Thanks for the chat! I’m really looking forward to meeting you too!!

Stacey is giving away a copy of Supernaturally Kissed.  To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below.  To learn more about Stacey Kennedy, you can check out her website or follow her on Twitter.  


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