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Posts Tagged ‘Paranormal Romance’

Esmae Browder is an ex-catholic school girl who loves romance and vodka tonics. When not reading a spicy novel, she enjoys creating them by combining elements of well-known tales and updating them for our modern world. She is the author of the Naughty Shakespeare series, as well as, the paranormal romance Bite Thy Neighbor—a sexy Dracula meets Wisteria Lane style novel.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

About the Book:

Some neighbors suck…literally.

Quirky Maisy Harker spends her time daydreaming about her sexy husband, Jensen Helsing. Though their marriage is one of convenience, Maisy wishes the sparks of heat she feels around him were reciprocated. Sexually starved, she also lusts after her mysterious neighbor, Adam. True, his incisors do look a bit sharp, and he never seems to drink or eat anything—but hey, maybe that’s how he keeps that yummy, drool-worthy physique!

Yet Maisy knows something’s not quite right, and it isn’t long before she learns Adam is a centuries-old vampire embroiled in a gypsy curse placed on the women of her family. All her female ancestors have been drawn to the vampire and bound by his desires, experiencing a terrible side effect of the curse and resulting in death.

It’s up to Maisy to find a way to break the curse once and for all before she, too, falls under his spell.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

Would you call yourself a born writer?

Absolutely!! However, I would say that I’m a born writer, but not a born storyteller. I love writing, always have! Something about putting words on paper and shaping them into an amazing tale that could potentially influence a reader’s feelings has always been very attractive to me. However, I am not an oral storyteller. I get tongue-tied and full of self-doubt if I have to verbally tell a story about myself or about a plot I’m working on.

What was your inspiration for Bite Thy Neighbor?

Have you ever lived someplace where the neighbors started out as great people, the kind you want to hang out with on Friday nights, but then they turn out to be psychotic, drug users who yell at each other in the street so that the cops have to be called? Yeah, that happened to me. Several times. Neighbors have certainly been the inspiration for this quirky little vampire tale about neighborhood wives gone bad. No, I’ve never had experience with actual vampires, but on more than one occasion, I have wished for one to swoop in and carry off one or two neighbors that no one would miss. Seriously though—this novel is dedicated to the neighbors in my life who keep things interesting.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

I love exploring the idea of perception in my writing, the idea that what we believe to be true isn’t always. I think most of the novels I write explore this theme at some point in the story line. Even an erotic, paranormal romance like Bite Thy Neighbor plays with the idea that not every story you’ve been told about the bad guy is accurate.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

About six months to write and then another six months once my editor at The Wild Rose Press got her hands on it.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

A typical writing day is getting up by 7:00am, forcing down coffee in order to be human, and then checking all my social media accounts. Once that’s done, I spend about two hours working on whatever project is on the books. I take a break and do all my social media checks again. Then I dive back in and start editing, writing, or doing whatever needs to be done. I don’t work on the weekends, preferring to spend time with my husband.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

I think the most challenging thing about writing Bite Thy Neighbor was keeping the backstory timeline correct while juggling the present story timeline. This book required some research into Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula, and I wanted to make sure that his frightening vampire came across as powerful, but sympathetic. Not just your typical bad guy, but someone more complex.

What do you love most about being an author?

I love being able to get the stories in my head out into the world. It’s cheaper than therapy and way more fulfilling!

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

I elected to publish with The Wild Rose Press. They have a solid reputation for putting out excellent work and are easy to work with. I adored my editor, Trish Owens, and loved all the input I had on my book cover. TWRP is the kind of place where you feel supported and are given lots of marketing information. I have published with a traditional publisher, but did not find it to be a great experience. I’ve also self published and enjoy doing that. I really liked to keep a foot in lots of different publishing worlds in order to grow as a hybrid author.

Where can we find you on the web?

Please come visit me at www.esmaebrowder.com or follow me on Twitter @esmaebrowder.

 

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MadisonsSong_medMadison’s Song is the latest addition to the Cassie Scot Paranormal Detective fantasy/mystery series. Though not the latest instalment, it is a stand-alone, companion book to the series and, though there are mystery elements in it, it is primarily a romantic fantasy.

So far I’ve read and enjoyed all of the books and this one didn’t disappoint. As usual, Amsden delivers a fast-pace, highly entertaining read with fully sympathetic and compelling characters. This time I was especially swept away by the romance between Madison and Scott.

Madison Carter is a sweet, shy music teacher from a small town. When her brother Clinton’s life is put in danger, she must unwillingly join forces with Scott Lee, a very alluring and dangerous alpha werewolf, to find Clinton and help him. Scott is slave to the moon, a vicious killer and man-eating monster, but he has a soft spot for Madison, whom he was forced to “mark”, make love to, two years ago in order to save her life. Since then, they’ve been bonded in more ways than both are willing to admit. Needless to say, sparks fly from the very beginning. As they follow the trail to Clinton, they find themselves thrown in a secret lab, prisoners of a psychopathic doctor with a very dark agenda. Romance, suspense, mystery, action and thrills abound, and then some.

Fans of the Cassie Scot series and romantic fantasy will gobble this one up. Amsden hooks us from page one and doesn’t let us go until the end. With minimalist descriptions, non-stop action, and skillful characterization, this author delivers a tale that both engages and captivates. I was also impressed by the world building and all the fascinating dynamics about werewolves and their packs. I was able to forget reality and immersed myself into the world of the impossible. Highly recommended!

Visit the author’s website or find out more on Amazon. You can also check out the publisher at Twilight Times Books.

My review was originally published in Blogcritics.

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LONE WOLF

Lily Peterson is a wolf who hunts alone. Haunted by the attack that left her best friend permanently human, she will do whatever it takes to catch her prey.

FATE

Jason North is one of the Neuri, a pack of werewolves with special abilities. He knows he’s never met Lily before, but his instincts tell him he has. He’ll keep her close until he figures out why.

EVERYBODY LIES

A war that has played out across lifetimes threatens to consume Echo Falls. Friends become enemies, and old enemies become allies. Lily fights against memories that aren’t hers, forced toward a fate she doesn’t believe in.

Fate is about to learn that Lily doesn’t like being told what to do.

Jaime McDougall is a chocolate-addicted paranormal romance author living in country Australia. She likes kidnapping her husband and jaimenaming her pets after science fiction authors.

When she is not writing or thinking about writing, she is baking all kinds of sweet concoctions. It’s been said that she makes the best brownies in Bendigo, but she couldn’t possibly comment.

She has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: High School: The Real Deal, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Campus Chronicles, Painted Words 2012, and Painted Words 2013. She has also published the paranormal romance novels Echo Falls, Fading Echoes, and Dark Echoes as well as the So You Want non-fiction series for authors.

Find out more at Jaime’s website: http://www.inkyblots.com

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MindGames_med
Mind Games
 is the much awaited third installment in the new adult mystery series, Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective. Talented author Christine Amsden keeps delivering a great story filled with interesting characters, romance, mystery, and the paranormal, lots of it.

In this episode, Cassie still doesn’t know why Evan broke her heart two months ago, and the mystery gnaws at her big time. She decides to keep busy and make herself useful at the sheriff’s department. She also meets charismatic mind mage Matthew Blair…much to Evan’s distaste. At the same time, Eagle Rock is teeming with hate from the religious community, a reaction to the recent murder of a much-esteemed pastor’s wife by what the people believe was a sorcerer. The town is about to snap, with tensions between the magical and non-magical communities.

And in the center of all this, is Matthew, whom Cassie finds irresistible. But can she trust him? According to Evan, no way. But then, Evan isn’t the most objective person when it comes to Cassie. Evan and Cassie have a history, as well as a secret connection, that keeps them bound in spite of themselves.

Will Cassie discover the real culprit or culprits behind the pastor’s wife’s murder, as well as the real face behind the anti-magical propaganda and demonstrations? Most importantly, will she wake up and see Matthew for who he really is…and find the courage to face Evan for what he did to her—when she finds out?

I love this series and thoroughly enjoyed this instalment! There’s something about Cassie’s voice that makes her really likable. She has a good heart and is witty, too. But best of all, she is just an ordinary girl next door trying to do her best in spite of everything that happens around her—which is usually pretty remarkable, as is often the case in paranormal stories.

Her relationship with Evan keeps evolving organically and there’s a major revelation in this book about their connection and the secret behind their rival families. Matthew is a great addition to this episode, adding tension with his charismatic personality and inciting sparks of jealousy from Evan. The conflict between the religious and the magical communities is also well done.

Mind Games kept me reading late into the night, wondering what would happen next. If you haven’t read any books in this series before, I urge you to pick up book one first, Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective. The books are best read in order. You won’t be disappointed.

Purchase links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Connect with the author on the web: 

Website / Newsletter / Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Google+

My review was originally published on Blogcritics

 

 

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P. Christina Greenaway

Christina Greenaway grew up in Cornwall, England in a small fishing village. One of her favorite pastimes as a child was to write a story, stuff it in a bottle, toss it into the sea, and imagine all her characters – pirates, kings, and others – come to life. Her life twisted and turned, however, in so many ways that she never ventured into writing until now, many years later. Her novels include themes generated from her life experiences including: trust, the fantasy parent, empowerment, work and travel and spiritual power.

Christina has worked at BBC radio in England, a NYC high-powered ad agency, as assistant to the president of a perfume company in France, as a partner for a frog farm in Costa Rica, and numerous other venues. She has traversed the globe.

She is the author of Written in Ruberah, published by Girl by the Sea Publishing, and Dream Chaser: Awakening, published by Girl by the Sea. You can visit Christina at www.christinagreenaway.com or her blog at http://christinagreenaway.wordpress.com.

 

Would you call yourself a born writer? 

Yes. I loved to write stories when I was a young child. I was never so happy as when I sat on the cliffs, stared into the sea and dreamed up tales of lost lands and princesses waiting to be rescued from one monster or another. I’ve written in fits and starts throughout my life, but it wasn’t until I came to that crossroad—that moment when you realize forever no longer lights up your future, that I settled into writing seriously. Should I have done it earlier? No. I’ve explored the world, met a wide range of people, tried my hand at different careers, loved and lost and loved again and again.  These experiences form the well from which I draw my characters and stories. 

What was your inspiration for Written in Ruberah

I wanted to set a story in Cornwall, UK, where I was born and raised. I felt the lush countryside, the moors, and the rugged coast would feed my imagination. They did. Lovers came to mind—lovers who must time travel to the ancient past to heal a rift that prevents them from being together.  I needed an immortal—a guide who would help them. I turned to an old Cornish legend that fascinated me as a child: the legend of the beautiful nymph Tamara and the giant brothers Tavy and Tawridge. Tamara’s father forbids her to meet the giants. Tamara disobeys him. Her father catches her with the giants and punishes her by turning her into a river of tears. Tamara forms the River Tamar. As a child, I travelled back and forth to boarding school by train crossing the River Tamar. I imagined Tamara as a water spirit who helped people.

Written in Ruberah is the first book in my Age of Jeweled Intelligence series about people who lived in the Time of Ruberah who made sacred promises to one day make amends for the disaster that brought about the end of that land. They tossed those promises into the River of Life. Many of those souls are alive on the planet today. As their promises come due they float into the River Tamar. Tamara, the luminous spirit of the river, guides those who come to fulfill them.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?Written in Ruberah  Cover

In my first novel, Dream Chaser:Awakening, I explore forgiveness. Sara Jensen opens her own ad agency with a goal to become a woman of capital before she turns forty. Sara lands the dream client Ross, head of a Hollywood studio. Love ensues. Love that draws Ross close to an early death. Love that asks Sara to risk her own to save his. Love that begs forgiveness. 

Written in Ruberah explores what lies in the chasm that sometimes keeps lovers apart. American lovers Miriam and Mitch travel to Cornwall for a romantic getaway. Miriam feels hard-wired to be in a committed relationship with Mitch, but she can’t realize that love due to a debt she carries from ancient Ruberah. 

How long did it take you to complete the novel? 

Five years.  It took many drafts to weave together the history of ancient Ruberah, the story of Tamara, and the present day dilemma between Miriam and Mitch. The second book in the series is moving along at a much faster pace.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

I am disciplined. I give thanks to my years in boarding school for that. I write every morning for about three hours, and I edit in the afternoons. While doing other things like yoga, hiking, going to the grocery store, I listen to the dream of the story whispering in my head.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

Keeping the characters grounded in their worldly aspirations while whisking them into the astral spheres of the jewel kingdoms or the Black Heart, Dark Master’s seat of power beneath the ocean.   

What do you love most about being an author?

The addage is, write what you know about. I write what I want to know more about. I treat writing as an act of trust. I come to the page and work with the story until that something greater than me kicks in. I write for the joy discovery.

Where can we find you on the web?

www.christinagreenaway.com

WRitten in Ruberah banner

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knight

Knight Blindness is the third installment in Karlsen’s The Knights in Time series. I have read the first two books and, as always, the author doesn’t disappoint.

The story begins at the Battle of Poitiers, France, in 1356. English knight Stephen Palmer charges into battle when he is suddenly struck by the enemy. In that instant, he plummets through time and when he wakes up, wounded and confused, he finds himself in a hospital in 2013. Not only that, but blind due to his wound. His manner of speaking, questions and claims force people to believe that he’s mad.

In a twist of fate, old friends of his who have also secretly traveled through time before, from earlier books, come to help. They assign him a tutor to help him adjust to the modern world: beautiful and warm-hearted Esme Crippen who, unfortunately, thinks Stephen adorable but also mad.

But unbeknown to Stephen, the man who struck him, French knight Roger Marchant, was also sucked into the vortex and ripped through time…and he has his own agenda and will stop at nothing to hunt his enemy down and bring him back to 1356.

This was a thoroughly entertaining and compelling read. Romance, adventure, intrigue, mystery and a touch of humor await you in Knight Blindness. With her close attention to historical detail, Karlsen brings the story to life. Stephen is a riveting hero, brave, loyal and stubborn, yet with a vulnerable, sensitive side; Esme is as sympathetic as heroines go, and I had fun watching their romance evolve. Roger is a character not many will like, but Karlsen gave him some redeeming qualities as well, making him a more complex and realistic villain. I should mention that although this is third in a series, it is also a standalone book, and the author does a good job in providing some light backstory that doesn’t get overwhelming. If you’re a fan of time-travel and historical romance, you’ll want to add this one to your shelf.

Purchase from Amazon.

Visit the author’s website.

My review was originally published in Blogcritics.

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Dina von LowenkraftPlease welcome my special guest Dina Von Lowenkraft, author of the tantalizing new YA romantic fantasy, DRAGON FIRE, jut released by Twilight Times Books!

Born in the US, Dina has lived on 4 continents, worked as a graphic artist for television and as a consultant in the fashion industry. Somewhere between New York and Paris she picked up an MBA and a black belt. Dina is currently the Regional Advisor for SCBWI Belgium, where she lives with her husband, two children and three horses. 

Dina loves to create intricate worlds filled with conflict and passion. She builds her own myths while exploring issues of belonging, racism and the search for truth… after all, how can you find true love if you don’t know who you are and what you believe in? Dina’s key to developing characters is to figure out what they would be willing to die for. And then pushing them to that limit.

Connect with Dina on the web:

Site: www.dinavonlowenkraft.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dina-von-Lowenkraft/551209381555837

Twitter: https://twitter.com/vonlowenkraft

ABOUT THE BOOK

Some choices are hard to live with.

But some choices will kill you.

When seventeen-year-old Anna first meets Rakan in her hometown north of the Arctic Circle, she is attracted to his pulsing energy. Unaware that he is a shapeshifting dragon, Anna is drawn into a murderous cycle of revenge that pits Rakan and his clan against her best friend June.

Torn between his forbidden relationship with Anna, punishable by death, and restoring his family’s honor by killing June, Rakan must decide what is right. And what is worth living – or dying – for.

PURCHASE ON AMAZON.

Q: Congratulations on the release of your debut novel, Dragon Fire. What was your inspiration for it?

A: That’s a bit complicated since Dragon Fire is the second book in that particular world since the first never got published. Originally, I wanted to write a book about two lovers who couldn’t be together because of their families, which then turned into two separate communities. From the desire to push the two groups far enough apart, and raise the stakes for the characters, I began developing two species, one became the Draak, a group of shapeshifting dragons who can manipulate matter and are very emotional, the other became the Elythia, angle-like beings who have gone the other way and can turn into light and are highly intellectual. Being a lover of series, I had imagined this story over the course of 4 books. When my first manuscript garnered no interest, even after several re-writes, I knew there was no point in writing the second book. Yet I wanted to stay in the world that I had come to love. So I pulled out a subplot from my vision of the second book and wrote that – and that subplot, the story of the shapeshifting dragon Rakan and the human Anna, became Dragon Fire.

Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist.

A: Rakan was forced to grow up on his own, which is a highly unusual situation for a Draak, a shapeshifting dragon. Because of this, Rakan’s first morph was particularly difficult – he had no way of knowing which of the three dragon forms (air, water or fire) he was going to turn into and he didn’t have the benefit of being mind-linked to a more experienced dragon who could help him. Although Rakan managed to morph without killing himself, it could have ended otherwise. Unable to control his rök, his dragon heart, completely, Rakan had to learn to keep it under tight control by repressing his emotions. This led to the explosive situation he finds himself in when he meets Anna who unleashes his emotions in a way he can’t control. And doesn’t really want to, even though it could kill them both.

Dragon Fire coverQ: What was your creative process like during the writing of this book and how long did it take you to complete it? Did you face any bumps along the way?

A: Since this wasn’t my first manuscript, I wanted to make sure to avoid some of the problems  that had made the previous one unsellable – such as keeping the length within market norms and making sure there was enough tension to keep readers going. In order to do that, I decided to plot my manuscript first. I spent the summer of 2010 plotting and getting each character’s motivation and inner landscape mapped out. Once I had a clear idea of where I was going, I wrote from the beginning up through the middle in a couple of months. At that point I realized I was missing a secondary antagonist. After quite a bit of hesitation, I went back and added T’eng Sten. The funny thing is that I can’t imagine Dragon Fire without him now – but he wasn’t in it at first! This was actually a rather challenging experience and it was hard to get the right balance for T’eng Sten’s overwhelming alpha male personality. Not wanting to re-write another character either in or out again, I took my time writing and re-writing Dragon Fire chapter by chapter. So it wasn’t until January 2012 that I felt like my manuscript was ready to be submitted, approximately 18 months after I had first started plotting it. Of course, once I signed with Twilight Times Books I also had several rounds of revisions and edits. So Dragon Fire wasn’t in its final form until 2013.

Q: How do you keep your narrative exciting throughout the creation of a novel?

A: You mean for me? I actually don’t think about that – my world is very much alive for me and I feel everything that happens. All the ups, all the downs. When I write I am on a permanent roller-coaster with my characters. The real challenge is trying to write what I see and feel in a way that brings it alive for the reader too.

Q: Do you experience anxiety before sitting down to write? If yes, how do you handle it?

A: I have to admit my writing style is a bit different from most. I write too much and all my problems are in cutting back and keeping things tight, making sure I don’t put in too many characters or subplots etc. All my characters have complete backgrounds and could get their own books, it’s just how my mind works. So I don’t get anxious, just excited. I do, however, get anxiety about marketing my book – so I certainly know how uncomfortable that is! And yet you have to push through it and do it. So I imagine it’s the same feeling, just in a different spot.

Q: What is your writing schedule like and how do you balance it with your other work and family time?

A: My best writing days are during the school year when I can do e-mail and social networking early in the morning, then write from say 8:30 – 12:30, have a quick lunch, ride my horse, pick up the kids, make dinner and have family time before doing some social networking and writing from 9:00 – midnight. In reality, I rarely get to have so much time writing since I am the Regional Advisor for SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Belgium and that takes a fair amount of time. Juggling writing my next manuscript, marketing Dragon Fire, setting up events for SCBWI, taking care of family and social networking isn’t easy and I often have to block set amounts of time for each – which means I always feel like I don’t have enough time. Summers are also harder since schedules are so varied and I want to spend time with family and friends – so I write when I can, often early mornings. But no matter what else is going on, I read for at least half an hour before going to bed.

Q: How do you define success?

A: Success can’t be defined without first defining success in terms of what. As a person, success for me means being happy, sharing things with friends and family, having – and enjoying – the freedom to do what I want. As a writer, success for me means feeling that creative surge and completing a project – whether published or not. As a business person looking at the profit a book will bring, then it will be financial. I personally am happy with the first two – being able to do what I want, enjoying my life with my family and friends, and having the freedom to write about the worlds that I create.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers whose spouses or partners don’t support their dreams of becoming an author?

A: Persevere. If writing is important to you, don’t let it go. If you try to cut out a part of who you are to please someone else, it will never work. Sooner or later, you will be unhappy. Try to explain to your partner why writing is important to you, and try to understand why he/she has a hard time understanding it. All long term relationships are based on mutual support and understanding – but that doesn’t mean that just because it doesn’t come automatically, it won’t come. If you are partnered with someone there is a reason why you chose to be together, and it may just take some time to work through it. So keep writing. And keep communication with your partner open.

Q: George Orwell once wrote: “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” Do you agree?

A: No. I am very happy with my life. I grew up with supportive parents, have a loving husband and kids, great friends and a roof over my head. I am free to do what I want to do. I don’t write because of a demon inside or to escape reality, I write because I love the creative process and am unhappy when I can’t. So, unless that creative urge (which I in no way see as a demon) is what Orwell meant, then I don’t agree. Writing is hard, I won’t deny that, but it isn’t a horrible, exhausting struggle either!

Q:  Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?

A: I’d love to hear from you!

Thank you for this interview, Dina! 

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