Friday, October 28, 2011

Bewitching Trick or Treat Blog Hop : Is Dracula Really Irish?


Bram Stoker

There are those who argue how Bram Stoker came up with his infamous tale of Dracula. Many believe since he never traveled to Eastern Europe, he would not know about vampire lore there.

Bram Stoker could not read Irish, but his it is possible his Sligo-born mother and Kerry maids told him about the legend of the vampire-king and the strong tradition of blood-drinking Irish Cheiftains and nobles. Dracula was also written during Ireland’s great “Celtic Revival”. It is believed Bram Stoker actually took the name Dracula from Dreach-Fhoula, which is pronounced droc’ola. It means tainted blood or bad blood. The Du’n Dreach-Fhoula or the Castle of the Blood Visage is supposedly a fortress guarding the pass in the Magillycuddy reeks in Kerry where the blood-drinking fairies live.

My tale, The Love’s Eternal Embrace takes place in Ireland, weaving the tale around the Dearg-due, another blood-drinking fiend in the form a fair lady.

For the Bewitching Trick or Treat Blog Hop, I’m giving away a Smashwords’ gift certificate for an e-book copy of Love’s Eternal Embrace.  What do you need to do? 
1. Tell me why you like vampires.

For extra chances to win:
1. Facebook the event and Tweet it!

Tweet: (copy and paste) 
Come join us and win some frightfully wonderful prizes! http://kmnbooks.blogspot.com #KMNBooksBlogspot  #BTOTBH @KMNbooks

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 You can use the handy share button to tweet but you'll have to remove the link in the box and only add what I have above or it will be too long. :)

***For more prizes, I'm at:
The Romance Studio Spookaluza --Oct. 26-31st!  

 Enjoy a short excerpt of Love's Eternal Embrace:

Her lips curved and her eyes glowed red. He blinked and her eyes were blue once more. It must have been a trick of the light, the unnatural light surrounding her and her only.


“You braved the forest at night. I’m impressed,” she said as she came to her feet in one fluid move.

He decided he wouldn’t reveal it was his drunken boast that led him here to slay a fiend. Surely, the villagers did not mean this lovely creature. “Do I have something to fear, fair maiden?”


She seemed to consider his question with the utmost care. “Not at the moment, I suppose.”

He glanced around, wondering where Loucetios had run off. In truth, this fair maiden’s sudden appearance made him question his safety. A beautiful woman could not live alone in the forest and if she did, there were others.


It would be best to leave the woods at once and live to tell the tale than to linger and mayhap fall prey to this fair maiden’s men. Perhaps they lay in wait as they spoke, buying their time before leaping from the shadows. He opened his mouth to tell her of his regrets for leaving her, but closed it again when in a blink of an eye she stood close enough to touch, the glow surrounding her blazing brighter. Her dress was of fine velvet befitting royalty, not of a peasant in need of robbing to survive. Her fine boned features were both delicate and strong. She possessed a straight petite nose, high cheekbones, and lips made for kissing. In truth, she was the most beautiful woman he ever laid eyes on and one he would feel honored to court. He frowned at where his thoughts had taken him, but somehow this woman befuddled his judgment. Aye, she was a comely lass, whose brazen stares spoke of desire, or so he believed.


As a Knight Templar, he took an oath to follow the religious rules, the Rule of Benedict. He wore the white vestment, the symbol of purity and the life of celibacy, but he was no longer required to follow the Order’s rules.


Her direct look set his blood coursing through his veins, hot with lust. Wed her or ravish her seemed to be one and the same as his thoughts pictured her in his bed and beneath him.


As if she could read his mind, her full red lips curved. “You look like a strong and able man.” Her gaze traveled the length of him in appreciation. It was too bold a gaze for a woman who was untried. 

Liam was pleased rather than not. Someone should know what they were doing in the marriage bed. The church may condemn such pleasures of the body, believing bedding a woman should be left for child bearing, but he didn’t believe it for a moment that the maker of man would not want his creations to enjoy each other. Why bestow the magic of touch if they were not meant to reap the rewards. Nay, his God gave man a special gift. The sin was only in the act of abusing it.


His gaze traveled over her, admiring her curves, the smooth porcelain color of her skin. This woman was meant for pleasure, giving and taking. He must convince her to be his.


“I am most curious, Sir Knight, how would you please me?” she asked him.


“How…” His brows furrowed. “You can read my mind.” He didn’t ask, but stated the obvious.


“Among other talents, I assure you.” Her hand touched his and he shivered. Her touch was like ice, but it also increased his desire to have her.


“You are cold, milady.” He drew off his mantle and draped it around her. Her eyes widened in surprise at the gesture.


“You are too kind, Sir Knight.”


“Liam, please. My friends call me Liam.”


Her smile curved wider, revealing straight white teeth. On his journeys many women over the age of ten and nine had begun to lose their teeth, but not this woman who lived among the trees. His gaze focused on two of her teeth that appeared pointier than the others. The villagers claimed a female fiend lived in the forest, but surely this woman with thick dark hair could not be such a creature. He didn’t fear her, but longed to hold her. As her gaze slid over him, appreciation gleamed in her eyes. The wind still blew about them in a fury. A storm threatened the night, not ghosts or fiends. “And what may I call you, fair maiden?”


“I was once called Glamis Drui.”


“Lady Glamis Drui.” He raised her hand to his lips. Her flesh was still cool, but she didn’t shiver. The wind seemed not to bother her in the least. “Do you have shelter, milady? We must wait out the storm.” His gaze swept over her comely figure with appreciation.


She stepped closer as if to inhale his essence. “Will you break your vows of celibacy and warm me this night then?”


She knew he was untried, but he failed to wonder how and question her further. He wanted nothing more than to be with her. “Aye, I am yours.”

Thank you for coming by. 

Blog Hop List of Participating Authors:
Drea Becraft * Lee Brazil * Avril Ashton * Kellie Kamryn * Elizabeth Black * Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy * Lacie Nation * JoAnne Kenrick * Daisy Dunn * Cassandre Dayne * Jessica E Subject * Sara York * Wendy Smith * Anne Holly * Lucy Felthouse * Kiki Howell * Julie Lynn Hayes * J.S. Wayne * Robin Badillo * Karen Erickson * Cari Quinn * Mahalia Levey * Dawn's Reading Nook * Raine Delight * D.B. Moon * Kay Springsteen * Jillian Chantal * Cindy Jacks * Ashley Lucas * Rose Anderson * Eden Gleen * Beth Barany * D. Renee Bagby * S.L. Danielson * Ella Jade * Elizabeth Morgan * Rawiya & BL * Jean Joachim * Jambrea Jo Jones * Trinity Blacio * Debra Dennis * Natasha Blackthorne * S.J. Frost * Jaime Samms * Tabitha Shay * Sandra Sookoo * Kristyn Nicols * Roz Lee * Billi Jean * Dyanne Davis * Kharisma Rhayne * Erotic Diaries * Fiona McGier * Pender Mackie * Lily Sawyer * Roxanne Rhoads * Jodi Redford * Angel Martinez * Mary Absire * Sandy Sullivan * Kaily Hart * Dakota Trace * Lindsay Klug * Marie Rose Dufour * Stephanie Beck * Cara Bristol * B.A. Tortuga * Nicole Morgan * Missy Lyons * Secret Cravings Publishing * Marie Sexton * W. Lynn Chantale * Gabrielle Bisset * Karenna Colcroft * Lia Fairchild * Naughty Between The Stacks * Lelani Black * Wendi Zwaduk * Megan Slayers * Karen Michelle Nutt * Kinley Baker * Paty Jager * Katherine Kingston * Beth D Carter * E. Jaime * Elizabeth Noble * Sarah Makela * Gracen Miller * Kerry Adrienne * Staci Brush * Cynthia Arsuaga * Kelly L Lee * Melisse Aires * L.K. Below * Selena Kitt * Ana Hart * Naughty Night Press * Kianna Alexander * Ami Blackwelder * Gabrielle Evans

Monday, October 24, 2011

Interview with Sandra Sookoo

Sandra Sookoo pens tales that will make you laugh, cry and fall in love. Whether you're looking for a sweet tale or a spicy tryst, she has all the ingredients to conjure up just the right romantic story you've been waiting for. Let's give Sandra a warm welcome. Feel free to ask her questions or leave a comment. She'd love to hear from you.

 Sandra, it's so wonderful to have you here today. Please tell the readers about your upcoming release Courtesans and Thieves that will be released on October 31st.

The time period is in the 1880s and set in Noblesville, Indiana.  I love setting stories, whether historical or modern times, in and around the area I live.  With this story, I thought it would be fun to have a jewel thief in the midst of polite society, and I wanted a pumpkin patch featured in the story as well.  This tale accomplishes both, plus the cover is gorgeous!

Here’s the blurb:  Where pumpkins and midnight meet that’s where love can be found.

Audrey Harper wants nothing more than to experience life before she consigns herself to taking care of everyone else in her family.  A Halloween masquerade fits the bill.  As a French courtesan she intends to lure an unsuspecting man into her bed, find a few moments of bliss and leave before the clock strikes midnight.

Justin Redding’s life as a junior accountant is as far from exciting as he can get.  As a result, he supplements his income and thirst for adventure by stealing jewelry from the area’s wealthy upper crust.  He’s admired Audrey from afar and convincing her father that he’s good enough is uppermost in his mind.  Disguising himself as a masked avenger is the only way to win her heart.

What happens next is a heady jaunt through a crowded 1880s ballroom, a shadowy pumpkin patch and perfumed sheets.  But unraveling lies and secret identities might trap the pair in a sticky web, dissolving the moonlit love affair before love’s bloom can take root.

Book video:  


Tell us about your heroine, Audrey Harper. What is she like? What are her strengths? Weaknesses? What is her first impression of Justin Redding, the hero of the story?

Audrey has spent her life more or less taking care of her family.  She’s a nurturer at heart, but she longs to have one lasting, unforgettable moment just for herself, that no one would infringe upon.  Her weakness is the same as her strength—her family.  At times she feels they stifle her.  Her first impression of Justin is that he’s handsome, charming and full of a life she’s never experienced.  Her father wasn’t so vehemently opposed to a match between them, she’d take full advantage.

Tell us about Justin. What are his weaknesses? Strengths? What is his first impression of Audrey Harper? Would you want to date him?

Justin has one goal—get to a point in his life where Audrey will notice him.  The problem is he works as an accountant for her father, and in his eyes, Justin will never be good enough.  So, to accumulate enough wealth to satisfy Mr. Harper, Justin has become a jewel thief.  He’s good at it and likes the thrill and challenge.  He also has a heart for veterans from the Civil War, and uses a portion of the cash to support them.  His weakness is loving thievery.  It might jeopardize his chances with Audrey, whom he’s loved from afar all his adult life.  Would I date him?  In a heartbeat.  He’s mysterious and sexy, a real charmer.

Do you have a favorite reference book or website?

That largely depends on what genre I’m writing in, but if the story is set in Indiana for historicals and I can’t find what I need, I’ll email the Indiana Historical Society. Those people rock!

What are your current projects and works in progress?

Right now, I’m finishing up a re-worked fairy tale then will spend the next few months writing a full-length sci-fi romance.  Can’t wait to dig in!

Tell the readers where they can find you:

Believing is Seeing blog:  http://sandrasookoo.wordpress.com/

Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers?

I often run contests on my blog and post the links on Twitter and my Author Page on Facebook.  It’s worth your while to check in.  Also, I always love to hear from readers.  If you have something you’d like to see in romance, let me know and I’ll see what I can do about making that happen!

Excerpt from Chapter One:
1880 Noblesville, Indiana
“I am not a child!” Audrey Harper resisted the urge to stomp her foot as, once again, her father ushered her from his office and closed the door behind him, leaving her in a smaller, outer reception area, staring at his door. A soft snicker filled the air and a heated blush crept into her cheeks. Justin Redding, her father’s junior partner in the bookkeeping business, was undoubtedly watching every moment of her humiliation.
Well, he could choke on his own tongue for all she cared. She wouldn’t give him the time of day let alone the satisfaction that she heard him. There was one thing she wanted in the world and it did not involve him.
In spite of her resolve, she cast a glance over her shoulder and gave him the tiniest eyebrow arch, daring him to say more. A conservative, brown-tweed suit fit his lean frame to perfection with the collar of his linen shirt so starched she was surprised he could move his neck at all. When he caught sight of her gaze, he stood, and the strong morning sunshine winked off the links of a silver watch fob on his waist coat. An expensive trinket on an accountant’s salary. She tore her focus from the accessory to his face.
“Did you need something further, Miss Harper?” His voice, deep and smooth as her father’s imported brandy, flowed over her and was just as warming. A mocking grin lifted the corners of his lips and one of his eyebrows quirked in query. “I believe your father has asked you to go along home.”
She narrowed her eyes. “I’m aware of what he asked, thank you, Mr. Redding. The last time I checked, I wasn’t deaf, nor am I dumb. I can decipher commands, especially if they come from my parent.”
Justin chuckled and the rich notes tickled places deep inside she’d rather not give life to--at least not here. Maybe in the privacy of her room. He’d ignored her awkward teenaged advances when she’d been a stupid girl of eighteen and him a young man of twenty-three. Granted, he probably didn’t remember her as that shy, slightly overweight, freckled girl. She kept close to the house much of those years, especially following after her brother’s death. Now, Justin didn’t deserve a response to his casual flirting--yet he never missed an opportunity and she always looked forward to his attempts.
“Well-spoken as always. No wonder your father is about to tear his hair out keeping you in line.” Slowly, as if he prowled the outer office like a panther, he came around the polished, cherry wood desk.
“I don’t need any man to keep me in line, thank you.” Swallowing hard, she turned around, her hands behind her back and resting on the cool metal of the doorknob.
“Be that as it may, isn’t your father planning to match you with an unwilling victim, I mean beau, at the Halloween party this evening?”
“How can you know that?” Even though it was true, she held his limpid brown gaze and dared him to contradict her.
“Your father becomes chatty during lunch.” Justin’s grin flashed even white teeth. “He also invited me to the bash should I wish to attend.” Another few strides brought him close enough that she felt the heat rolling from his body.
“Will you come?” Her voice sounded breathless to her ears and she wondered how she came across to him. Did she appear a desperate twenty-seven-year old woman, on the edge of a trapped life yet wanting so much more?
“I haven’t decided, but I am considering it.” He edged another foot forward until his knee bumped hers, so close the tiny gold flecks in his eyes danced in amusement at her. “I don’t have a costume.”
“Ah, that is a problem.” Her heart thumped against her ribs, trying to escape, beating out a warning, yet even as it did, gooseflesh rose on her arms. Her chest clenched and tiny pulses of pleasure curled in her belly to be in such proximity to him. The doorknob slipped under her suddenly sweaty palms.
“Indeed.” A tiny trace of a Southern drawl clung to his words, but he didn’t possess the consummate charm of a gentleman. He was a rogue to the core.
Another step brought him so intimately close a mere inch of space separated their bodies. Audrey couldn’t breathe. It felt as if the confining corset would snap her in half. She greedily swept her gaze along the strong cut of his jaw, the rugged face that spoke of hard work and secrets, the dark, sloping brows. His raven black was kept short and held rigidly in place by slick pomade. As a rule, she didn’t care for beauty products on men. Why couldn’t they embrace their masculinity and be confident in it? A thought niggled its way into her brain that he’d be much more handsome if that hair were allowed to meander over his head in gentle waves, free so she could run her fingers through it.
Stop dreaming, Audrey. He works for your father and is no good besides.
“Do you want to know what I think, Miss Harper?” His warm exhalation caressed her lips like heated silk, recalling her attention to the conversation.
“I’m not sure.” The common sense part of her mind urged her to slap his face for his intrusion, but the part of her that begged for adventure compelled her to hold her ground.
His grin was slow and sensual, and very much that of a jungle cat on the hunt. “You don’t need a man to keep you in line. You need a man to be your equal, one who will give you as much as you’ll take and demand you give just as much.” His eyes darkened to the hue of black coffee. “You need a man who will satisfy your every desire, even those locked away in your heart of hearts--the ones you never tell a living soul.”
“What makes you think I have hidden desires?” It was all she could do not to throw her arms around his neck.

Thank you, Sandra for joining us today and sharing your new release. I wish you much success.  

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cheryl Pierson's Angels, Demons and Cowboys!

Cheryl Pierson pens wonderful tales with heroines you'll admire as worthy matches for her strong rugged heroes. Let's give her a warm welcome as she tells us about her journey in publishing Time Plains Drifter. Though I've enjoyed all Cheryl's tales I've read, this one is my personal favorite. There are angels, demons and cowboys. What's not to love. lol


**Contest: Cheryl is giving away a copy of her Time Plains Drifter. Read on to find out how you can be a winner!

TIME PLAINS DRIFTER


By CHERYL PIERSON

Did someone say ‘paranormal time travel historical western’? That’s what my novel, Time Plains Drifter, is—a very different kind of romance novel than anything I’ve ever read.  I think that’s why I enjoyed writing it so much.

The publication of Time Plains Drifter is a story unto itself—but it has its very own ‘happily ever after’ ending.  Here’s what happened. After being released in December of 2009 with an unscrupulous publisher, I took my rights back after only three months and spent the next year searching for another home for it.  Just this past spring, it was placed with WESTERN TRAIL BLAZER, an imprint of PUBLISHING BY REBECCA J. VICKERY.  This is a marvelous company that handles some much “bigger” names than I have, such as Peter Brandvold, Jory Sherman, and Madeline Baker, among others.  Print books are important to me, although I understand that e-publishing is growing by leaps and bounds.  I’m sure that WESTERN TRAIL BLAZER will prove to be the perfect place for Time Plains Drifter, and I’m glad to say I now have the sequel in the works.

That being said, let me tell you why Time Plains Drifter is so hard to pigeonhole and why that may be a bit scary in today’s market.

I knew Time Plains Drifter was going to have to be classified as a time-travel romance; that’s how the H/h meet one another.  She’s from 2010—he’s from 1879.  That was the easy part.  The part that was a bit harder to work around was that he was dead.  I just couldn’t get past the premise that Rafe d’Angelico was going to be the “paranormal element” of the story.  I didn’t want him to be a werewolf, vampire, or shapeshifter.  So that left angels, demons, zombies and so forth.  I chose for him to be an angel.

Working with Rafe—an angel who didn’t want to be an angel—was a challenge.  I told him he had a pretty good deal going.  He told me, “I want to be human again.”  In the end, I realized he was right, and that was the only way to resolve the issue of time-travel-paranormal-angel-demon-human issues.

Jenni Dalton, the heroine, was completely unsuspecting in all this.  She went out on a stargazing field trip with seven of her high school students one night and they never came home.  Instead, they ended up in Indian Territory, 1895; one hundred-fifteen years in the past.

Jenni’s got it rough, trying to deal with her seven charges, four of them the senior class troublemakers.  It takes Rafe to bring them to heel and get them to toe the mark, until the gravity of their situation causes them to all make some surprising adjustments.

As Rafe and Jenni realize their growing attraction to one another is fated, they also understand there is no way anything can come of it on a permanent basis—Rafe is an angel, and Jenni is human.

The twists and turns that finally bring the book around to the HEA were the most fun to come up with for me.  But the story itself, being so unique, is tough to categorize.

Time Plains Drifter is special to me because it’s the first project my daughter, Jessica, and I have had the chance to work on together.  She designed the cover art. I absolutely LOVE what she did.

Time Plains Drifter was the recipient of The Reviewer’s Top Pick Award by Karen M. Nutt, PNR reviews.  It also received a 4.5 star review from Romantic Times Magazine.  I was selected as the recipient of the Honorable Mention—Best New Paranormal Author category in PNR’s PEARL Awards last year (March 2010), for Time Plains Drifter.

The sequel has been a delight to work on, with a different twist than the first book, and some familiar characters will be the stars of the show this time around since the story is built around Rafe’s brother, Cris, and Jenni’s sister, Victoria.

Time Plains Drifter is now available in all formats, including print, Kindle, and Nook. I’ve also written some short stories that have a paranormal twist to them: A NIGHT FOR MIRACLES, SCARLET RIBBONS, HOMECOMING, (these three are Christmas stories) ALWAYS AND FOREVER, (Halloween story) and THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS (THE TRADITIONAL WEST ANTHOLOGY). Take a look at my Amazon page to order. (See link below.)
 Cheryl's Amazon Author Page:

I’ve included the blurb and an excerpt of Time Plains Drifter below.  Please leave a comment!  I always love to hear from readers and other authors.  Visit my website at http://www.cherylpierson.com



Enjoy!


***Contest: All you have to do to be entered in the contest is to ask a question or leave a comment. One lucky winner will receive a digital copy of Time Plains Drifter for their very own. Don't forget to leave your email address so Cheryl may contact you if you should win! Good Luck! 

BLURB:
Trapped in Indian Territory of 1895 by a quirk of nature, high school teacher Jenni Dalton must find a way to get her seven students back to 2005. Handsome U.S. Marshal Rafe d’Angelico seems like the answer to her prayers; he is, after all, an angel. In a race against time and evil, Rafe has one chance to save Jenni’s life and her soul from The Dark One—but can their love survive?

EXCERPT from TIME PLAINS DRIFTER:

He closed his eyes, letting the pleasurable feel of her wet mouth on his body wash over him, along with her voice. “Some things never change,”she’d said earlier. Her Oklahoma accent was a slow waltz to his mind, its lilting cadence urging him to accept what they had between them. Still, he couldn’t let it go. Couldn’t ever be dishonest with her, of all people.
“Don’t you want to know—”
She stopped him, placing two cool fingers across his lips, smiling at the tickle of his moustache against her skin. The smile faded as she absorbed the worry in his expression, the smoldering fire in his eyes, and made it her own.
“Not now, I don’t. You asked me—earlier—if I felt it. Whatever it is between us. I do.” Debating with herself, she hesitated a moment before coming to a decision. “I want you, Rafe,” she murmured. “I trust you.” She nuzzled his neck.“It doesn’t matter now, who—or what—you are.”
His hand closed in a fist around the shimmering satin of her copper hair, his chest filling with a sweet peace at her quiet words.
Dead...alive...Mexican...American...man...ghost...angel...
His mind churned as Jenni kissed him once again. Accepting him, for whoever he might be. She loved him. She hadn’t said it yet, but he knew it by the gentle way her lips grazed across his, then claimed his mouth completely, as if that was the only way she had to let him know how she felt. They breathed together, as one.
He answered her wordlessly, his tongue going into her mouth, fingers splaying and tightening against her scalp as he pulled her to him.
She came across his bare chest, the stiffness of the material of her own blouse gliding with gentle abrasion across his nipples. He groaned in pleasure and felt her smile against his mouth. She made the move again as she lifted her lips from his, emerald eyes sparkling into his searing gaze.
“We’ll talk later,” she assured him.
“It’ll be too late to change your mind about me then,” he said, half-jokingly.
“I won’t change my mind, Rafe.”
The sweet sincerity in her voice and the promise in her eyes reassured him. He pulled her down silently. As their mouths melded once more, he rolled, taking her with him, changing their positions so he lay atop her.
She gasped, yielding to him, her cool palms sliding over the fevered heat of his skin, across his chest and shoulders. He began to unbutton her blouse as he kissed her, his fingers moving deftly. He pushed away the first layer of material with his customary impatience, then started on the stays of her corset.
She twisted beneath him at the loosening of the undergarment. He pulled her upright momentarily, whisking blouse and corset over her head, dropping them in a heap on the floor.
In silent invitation, Jenni lifted her hand to him. She touched his side, and he flinched slightly as her fingers lingered over the very place the Bowie had gone into him earlier that day. Even though a red scar marked the spot, there was no pain for him, and he saw no puzzlement in her eyes...only concern.
“Does it hurt?”
It was as he had suspected. She’d seen what had happened, how bad it should have been...but wasn’t. And she had accepted it, unconditionally. They would talk later, as she’d said, but somehow, he felt he would find the words he needed to explain things to her. He shook his head slightly. “No.”
A vulnerable uncertainty crossed her face for a moment. “Well, then, Marshal—what’re you waiting for?” He unfastened her skirt and petticoat, then made short work of the stockings and underpants.
God. Rafe swallowed hard, reaching to trace the faded tan lines across her shoulders. He moistened his lips, his teeth sinking into the lower one momentarily. His pulse raced as his gaze moved over her face—then lower, to her breasts, her flat belly, and the triangle of soft hair, below.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Urban Fantasy Investigations: Guest Blog & Giveaway: Karen Michelle Nutt

Contest ends Oct. 20th. So if you haven't entered to win, pop on in and join the party. What's your favorite vampire legend, story, or movie? We'd love to know.Urban Fantasy Investigations: Guest Blog & Giveaway: Karen Michelle Nutt: UFI welcomes Author Karen Michelle Nutt. Thanks for Joining us!! How to Kill a Vampire by Karen Michelle Nutt The legend of the vampire h...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Interview with Eden Baylee



 Eden Baylee is an erotica author who pens tales from the heart. Let's give her a warm welcome. Comments and questions are always welcomed.


** Contest: Two Readers will have a chance to win copies of Eden Baylee's new release. Read on and find out how. Sorry, this contest is for 18 yrs and older only.

Eden, why don't you tell the readers a little about yourself:

Karen, thanks so much for having me on your blog. I’m a former Canadian banker who quit my job after twenty years to pursue writing full-time. In February 2011, I launched my first book.
 
Your new release, Fall into Winter is an erotica anthology with four tantalizing tales. Tell us a little about the stories.  

Two of my stories take place in the fall and two in the winter—thus the title.  Here’s a synopsis:

In “Seduced by the Blues,” Ella trades self-control for a stolen moment of unbridled passion with a younger man. She’s left wondering if he could become more than just a boy toy.

“Act Three” explores Stella’s desire for a ménage à trois with two men. Though her fantasy comes true, she finds herself excited and terrified in ways she never imagined.

In “The Norwegian,” Leah isolates herself in a cabin to complete her latest book, but she’s soon distracted when she reunites with a man from her past.

Finally, “The Austrian and the Asian” spans ten years in the life of Elena and Stefan following the end of a torrid love affair in Austria.

 What inspired you to write the tales? Are any of the affairs of the heart based on true experiences?

I love the format of the short story and felt it would be the ideal way to give readers a taste for my writing style.

Ha! Yes, each story has a snippet of a personal experience, but more than that, I’d say each female character has something of me in her. I write for strong, independent women, so every character reflects these traits.

I love women who are headstrong and fearless, have an adventurous spirit, and though they are sometimes vulnerable, they are never weak.  Most women will know what it feels like to be all of these things—it’s what makes them so wonderful and complex!  

 Why erotica romance? Was it difficult for you to write the explicit love scenes?  

What attracts me about erotica and romance is how it makes me feel when I write it. It’s a sensual experience for me, not an intellectual one.

I don’t believe explicit love scenes are any more or less difficult to write than explicit death scenes for a horror author. The overriding criteria has to be relevance to the story and the ability to convey the scene in a realistic manner. Erotica is not just explicit scenes strung together. Like all stories, the requirements for strong characterization, plotlines, and pacing are paramount.

The most difficult element about writing a love scene for me is choosing the right words. There are only so many words to describe the male or female body parts and only so many positions they can get into. It’s important to make the correct word choices or the story will seem more parody than erotic.

What do you find most rewarding about writing? 

Writing is an opportunity to be creative in a medium that I love. I’ve always adored words, reading, and wordplay. I find language to be infinitely fascinating, and English is the one I have greatest fluency and fun with. To be able to use my imagination to fabricate stories that people enjoy is what gives me the greatest pleasure. 

What are your current projects and works in progress?  

Spring into Summer is my second book, and it is also an erotic anthology with four stories – two that take place in the spring, and…you guessed it, two in the summer. I hope to have it out by year-end or early 2012. After that, I’m switching over to full-length novels—dark erotica/thrillers in the style of John Fowles, one of my favorite authors.
  
Ultimately, the most important thing for me as a writer is to continue learning, and to do that, I have to constantly challenge myself.
 Tell the readers where they can find you:

The easiest way to find me is via my website at www.edenbaylee.comhttp://www.edenbaylee.com

I also maintain a very active blog where I write about music, promote authors & books, & post erotic stories. It’s http://edenbaylee.wordpress.com

From my blog or website, readers can connect to me on Twitter and Facebook as well. I’m always available to chat, so feel free to contact me.
 Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers?

Yes, firstly, my thanks to you, Karen, for your kind invitation to your blog. You’ve been a gracious host, and it’s been lovely chatting with you.

Secondly, I’d like to invite all readers to comment—2 commenters will win a coupon for a free ebook of Fall into Winter. Just be sure to include your email address or I won’t be able to contact you. I’ll draw for the winner October 16th and personally email you.

As my site is adults only, I’ve chosen not to post an excerpt here on your blog Karen, and I appreciate your invitation to do so. Readers are more than welcome to visit my Books page on my website to read an excerpt. There, they will also find links to all the sales sites such as Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.



Monday, October 3, 2011

Interview with Michelle Rodriguez


Michelle Rodriguez is no stranger to the operatic stage. It's no wonder her passion for the Phantom of the Opera drew her into the world of the macabre. As one of the authors at The Wild Rose Press, she's here today to shed some light on her characters in her new release, Opera Macabre. Please give her a warm welcome. Comments and questions are always welcomed. Read on to find out how you could be entered to win your own copy of Opera Macabre.

Michelle, let’s start with you telling the readers a little about yourself:  

I am a classically trained singer with a BA in music from St. Xavier University in Chicago.  I love to perform and try to be onstage as much as I can.  Thankfully, my university has provided me with a lot of opportunities, most recently playing Yum-Yum in the Mikado this past spring.


Singing and writing have always been my passions.  Whenever I am not practicing or onstage, I’m usually writing.  I’ve written a couple dozen novels, but this is the first time I decided to be brave and try to publish one.  Now add into that two little ones, and that is the chaos of my life!

Your new release with The Wild Rose Press is Opera Macabre. What inspired you to pen this Gothic vampire tale?

Insomnia!  Truly!  But I’ve always been a little obsessed with vampires.  I blame Buffy the Vampire Slayer for that!  I actually started writing Opera Macabre in 2003, wrote about the first 60 pages, and then put it aside.  After my son was born in 2006, I had chronic insomnia problems, and I thought going back to writing would help.  Strangely enough, it was the only thing that helped!  So literally, writing is my sanity, and writing Opera Macabre saved me from insomnia!  Since I wrote it, I haven’t stopped writing.

Does this vampire tale follow the traditional legends? Can sunlight and a stake through the heart kill them? Give us a back story about your creatures of the night.

Yes, my vampires are traditional vampires.  They can’t go out in the daylight and a stake through the heart kills them.  They’re immortal, deceptively beautiful, and by human terms, dead.  No heartbeat, no breath, no soul.  My hero, Aiden, also has a special ability; he can shape-shift into other creatures, a bat or a wolf.  My vampire world is one where demons exist as well.  One of the other main characters, Rufus, is a demon.  Demons have their own special abilities and are immortal as well, but unlike vampires, they can go out in the daylight.
 
Tell the readers about the hero, Count Aiden de Lazarus. What is his first impression upon meeting the heroine, Bianca? Why does he fear her? What are Aiden’s weaknesses and strengths?

When Aiden first comes upon Bianca, she is a means to prove himself.  He has just been taunted for not being a real vampire anymore, and he’s out to establish that he is still a valid threat to the mortal world.  He simply wants something to kill, and Bianca is the one who crosses his path.  But one look at her, and he can’t go through with it.  He feels, and that is the part that scares him.  Bianca never sees Aiden that first night, and in lieu of killing her, he uses her to his advantage and gives her to another vampire, Alexi, as compensation for a debt.  His belief is that Alexi will do what Aiden can’t and kill her.


Aiden’s weakness falls in the fact that he’s a vampire.  Living as long as he has, he’s grown apathetic to life, and the fact that he sees Bianca and feels anything makes him weak.  And yet, eventually, that is also the very thing that makes him strong.

What is Bianca like? What does she think of Aiden? What are her weaknesses and strengths?

Bianca is really the tragic victim of the tale.  She lives a cursed life among the vampires.  Alexi has built an elaborate enterprise with her as his star, making her sing onstage and then auctioning her off to other vampires for a “taste”.  Living such a nightmare leaves its scars, and Bianca plays constant roles to avoid being herself.  She’d rather be the prima donna than ever let anyone see the real soul beneath.


She hates Aiden at first sight because she thinks he is just another vampire about to abuse her.  Her first impression doesn’t see past the fangs, but he confounds her and shatters her views of what a vampire is supposed to be.

Her strength comes from leading a horrible life and yet enduring every trauma the world throws at her.  She’s determined to survive and isn’t afraid to go against conventionality.  Her weakness is the fact that Alexi considers her to be his possession, and she is too afraid to challenge that.

How much research went into creating the story? Do you have a favorite resource book or website?

A lot of my research was real life.  The opera and music part of the story come from my background in music as well as a healthy obsession with The Phantom of the Opera.  And the vampire part is really a lot of fantasy and too many Buffy episodes!

What are your current projects and works in progress?

I am working on an entire series about angels and demons.  Four of the novels are finished with at least 3 more planned.  I have to find a publisher yet for those (fingers crossed!).  I’ve also written quite a few other vampire books I wouldn’t mind sharing someday.  My latest finished novel was my 24th, and it was another vampire tale.  Next, I go back to angels!  And in the midst of all of that, I’m in rehearsals for a vocal recital at the end of October!  I must be crazy!

Tell the readers where they can find you:   


Facebook page for “Opera Macabre”:
Phantom of the Opera stories:

Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers?

Yes, I am also addicted to The Phantom of the Opera.  I post stories online and have a worldwide following.  I have 24 stories posted thus far, two of which are novel length, and I have written over 60!  Anyone who is interested can find them on my website or on fanfiction.net under the penname michellemybelle25


Blurb:

Count Aiden de Lazarus has grown apathetic to the world around him and the monotony of immortal life. Determined to regain his zest for vampiric pursuits, he chooses a mortal girl and bites her with the intent to drain her. Instead, her intoxicating taste and enchanting beauty stirs feelings he has long buried. Scared by such mortal feelings, he gives her to another vampire as payment for a debt.

After eight long years, Bianca is still living a cursed life—singing on stage in Alexi's profitable opera and enduring the bites of the undead as part of his undercover auction when the stage lights dim. Doomed to become Alexi’s vampire bride, her future is bleak.


Aiden is horrified to find Bianca still alive and Alexi’s prized possession. Her image has continued to haunt him. Now he must find a way to free her from the life he unwittingly condemned her to and prove that he, unlike the vampires she has known, can be a man worth loving.


Excerpt:

“Bianca,” he whispered provocatively near her ear, and felt her entire frame quiver in his grasp. With a wolf-like grin curling his lips, he bent nearer to that tempting pulse of her throat, but instead of biting her as he so ached to do, he grazed his lips against it, a feather light kiss, eliciting a soft, strangled gasp from her. Unable to help himself, he grew bolder in his endeavors and let the very tip of his tongue trail the same path.

Unwelcome and yet uncontrollable heat filtered through her body as it arched against him, desperate to get closer to that devil’s mouth. The voice in her head that should have been screaming at her to stop was only muttering fragments of musings, lost as well to the sensation, as she found herself unable to do anything but surrender.

Aiden burrowed his mouth against her throat, covering the sensitive flesh with seductive kisses. His tongue darted between his lips, teasing, tasting as she writhed fervently against him.

“Bianca,” he breathed again between kisses, “what is it that you want?”

“You!” she heard herself gasp out as though someone else had spoken.

“Oh? And what do you want me to do to you?” He gently nipped at her pulse, hinting at his desire, his hunger tearing at him to be satiated.

“Bite me… Oh, please devour me, Aiden!”

To own a copy of Opera Macabre by Michelle Rodriguez: 
To buy links are:

The Wild Rose Press:




Amazon:


***For a chance to win a copy Michelle is running a contest on Good Reads(Ends Oct. 10, 2011.) : http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/14520-opera-macabre

Michelle, thank you so much for coming by and sharing your new release with us. I wish you the very best.