Izzy’s Insights – Interview with Character Dage Kayrs…Take 2

on January 26, 2012

 

Sergej Khakimullin
Shutterstock

My name is Izzy and I interview book characters.  Many people say I’m a character, myself.  *Snort*.  That’s nice of them.  I’m hoping Rebecca lets me interview a bunch of her characters–I can’t wait to be in the same room with all of the Kayrs brothers.  MEOW.

So, I tried interviewing the king once before, and his brothers showed up to cause havoc.  Talen is particularly tiresome when it comes to interviews…who knows why.  But Dage agreed to meet me again and this time we met at a very quaint coffee shop that’s off the grid.  The coffee is spectacular and there’s free WiFi, so even if our meeting got cut short, I was happy.  For those of you who haven’t met Dage yet, he’s about six and a half feet tall, packed hard, with black hair and incredible silver eyes.  Frankly, it shows he trusts us that he’s not hiding the odd color.  Here’s the transcript of the interview, with a couple of my thoughts thrown in:

ME:  So.  Thank you for trying this again.  I’m sorry about last time.

DAGE:  That certainly wasn’t your fault.  Sometimes my brothers are a handful.

If that wasn’t the understatement of the millennium, I don’t know what was.  But I nodded and gave him my most professional smile.  He smiled back…not fooled a bit.

ME:  So, I wanted to talk to you about Max’s mission – I believe he left the other day.

DAGE:  Interesting.  Why do you believe that?

Okay.  Vampires can be kind of scary and this one scarier than most.  Even though his tone stayed calm and no expression crossed his face, an odd tension made the air around us kind of heavy.  The king probably didn’t like his information getting out.

ME:  My sources are pretty good.  And this interview won’t run until Max has finished his mission (but about a month before TEMPTED, Max’s story, comes out—don’t tell the king), so there’s no reason not to talk about it.

DAGE:  Hmmm.  Okay.  We’ll discuss Max and then we’ll discuss your sources in my organization.  Basically, there’s a woman named Sarah Pringle who has created a blog and website about the Kurjans.  They’re after her, and we need to get to her before they do. 

(The Kurjans are the bad guys–pasty faced bad vampires afraid of the sun.  Unlike the good vampires).

ME:  You’re going to let her keep the website up?

DAGE:  No.  Jase already took it down and posted information about her writing a good book.  The website has been taken care of.  Now we just need to get her records from the insane asylum because I’m sure she told them all about the Kurjans.  We can’t have that information out there.

A bit of concern had me sitting back in my chair.  What exactly were the vampires going to do to poor possibly-crazy Sarah Pringle?

ME:  I find it odd you sent Max.  I mean, he’s Janie’s bodyguard now.  What did he used to be?

DAGE:  Max has always been part of the family…serving as my bodyguard as well as one of my best hunters.  The guy is a Russian bloodhound when it comes to hunting.

ME:  Ah…okay.

To be honest, I’ve met Max.  The guy isn’t just a hunter. 

ME:  But why Max?  Many of your people are scouts, including Conn.  Why send Max?

DAGE:  Let’s just say I think Max is the right guy for the job.

A really cute twinkle entered the king’s eye at this point and for a second, I could just stare.  Then I shook it off and got back to business, reminding myself that I was a professional and the guy had a mate.  I mean, really.

ME:  Are you matchmaking, king?

DAGE:  I’m sure I don’t know what you mean.

At this point, a barista sauntered up to give the king a free muffin.  I mean, seriously.  It’s a coffee shop.  You order at the counter and take your own food to your table.  Okay, I’m not just irritated that she didn’t bring me a muffin.  I’m irritated on Emma’s behalf.  Dage politely thanked the woman, keeping his attention on me.  She returned to the counter, her butt swaying the whole time.

ME:  I bet that happens a lot to you.

DAGE:  What happens to me?

Man, guys are clueless.  Even immortal deadly ones.

ME:  Forget it.  So, I have to know, does Max get a happy ending?

The peace was too good to last.  I should’ve started with the main question.  Guess who showed up?  NOPE!  It wasn’t Talen.  Jase, the youngest brother, hustled inside, his brown hair ruffled and eyes flashing.

DAGE:  What’s happened?

JASE:  Something’s going on with the witches…Conn is leaving now.  We have to go.

Darn it.  My source in the Realm hadn’t reported anything about the witches.  I mean, we all knew Conn was heading to Ireland to collect his witch soon (and I fully expect she’s not going to allow any sort of collection), but I hadn’t known it would be this quickly.

DAGE:  Izzy, I appreciate your time, but I need to get going.

The darn barista, who had somehow lost a couple buttons on her shirt, hustled over, her gaze on Jase.  So, yeah.  The guy is seriously hot.  But I mean, come on.

ME:  I’d like to talk about Conn and his mission to Ireland.

Dage flashed a smile as he stood to join Jase. 

DAGE:  I’ll arrange for an interview with Conn when he gets back.  You’ll enjoy meeting him.  And we’ll discuss your sources in the Realm next time.

Okay, it was kind of a threat.  Then, well…the coffee chick made a move.  Not a kill ya type of move.  But an almost genuine trip to basically land in Jase’s arms.  They got all tangled up, and he ended up just picking her up.  The woman beamed.  Then she pouted really pretty when he put her down with a smile and whispered something in her ear.  The Kayrs men left.  I took a look at the flushed waitress.

ME:  What did he say?

NEARLY TOPLESS WAITRESS:  He said he’d be back next week

Excellent.  So will I.  🙂

CLAIMED’s first Review…

on August 8, 2011

Hi all!  The fabulous Wanda over at Good Choice Reading just posted the first review for Claimed.  She seems to like the Kayrs brothers.  To quote Wanda, “all the brothers are sexy. If I were one of their mates, I wouldn’t let my mate out of my sight. The power they all possess will make any woman fall on her knees (Literally).”  🙂

Also…there’s a contest going on at Good Choice for an ARC of Claimed as well as a signed copy of Fated.  I think the contest runs until next Sunday.  Drop by here and comment to win.

Carina Press Author Bonnie Paulson is giving away a book!

on July 19, 2011

UPDATE:  Congrats to Maw25 for winning the copy of BREATHE AGAIN!  Bonnie will contact you with details. 🙂

!I’d like to welcome my friend, Bonnie R. Paulson, whose book BREATHE AGAIN will be released next month by Carina Press.  I asked Bonnie to blog a bit about emotion in contemporary romances.

I’d love to give away a copy of BREATHE AGAIN to one commenter today–there’s a question at the end, but you can comment on anything you want.

Romantic suspense and paranormal romances own a level of intensity to their emotions. Dark, deep, dramatic feelings with highs and lows and rare in-betweens pushed with urgency and fear.

Contemporary romances have the capabilities of exploring the subtle nuances of growing love among responsibilities, day-to-day difficulties and modern conveniences without the drama of fangs, claws or mind-reading (which I’ll be the first to admit I like a bite here and there).

World-building is important in the contemporary style but word count can be used more for scene building since the reader already understands the rules and idiosyncrasies of the time period. Plus, the laws of physics aren’t altered, so we don’t have to worry about the hero sucking her neck for sustenance, instead for pleasure – hello! And the heroine is strong but not enough to break a telephone pole in half. Characters are easier to identify
with… although let’s be honest. I ripped apart a telephone pole last week and no one, not one person, was impressed. I guess it’s been done.

There are still rules in contemporaries. You don’t want to read a book where the heroine sleeps with everything male. Too much sluttiness makes it hard to believe the sexual relation with the hero is special. And the hero doesn’t want to be too roughly physical because then wouldn’t he be physical with her or in jail all the time? And, let’s face it, wooing the heroine is difficult when he’s strapped to anger management classes.

My favorite aspect of contemporaries is the chance to take a controversial subject, spin it and then make my characters live it. Maggie deals with suicide in Breathe Again.

Breathe Again will be released August 22, 2011 from Carina Press.

Maggie Lachlan is struggling to get over the death of her husband. After being overcome by emotion during a shift in the E.R., she’s suspended indefinitely. Making things worse, she needs a place to stay after the quick sale of the house she shared with her late husband.

Fortunately, her friend, Ryan Stewart, offers her a room while she gets her life in order, much to the chagrin of his brother and housemate, Brodan Steele. Brodan doesn’t want to like Maggie, not when he questions Ryan’s feelings for her.. But it’s hard to deny the attraction he feels for her when she’s sleeping under the same roof.

Being so close to Brodan awakens something in Maggie, something she never felt during her marriage. But as long as she’s haunted by the past, she can’t open herself up to the future… 

Excerpt:  

I remembered my promise to stay away. Kneeling beside the pool spotted with lily pads, I pressed my fingers into the soft ground beside the mirror surface. Numerous large fish colored with brilliant orange, white and black highlights shimmered under the water. Lazy swimmers, the beautiful creatures hid in the shadows of the random leaves, the sparkling afternoon light finding their gliding bodies in the dark.

Watching the fish, I avoided being the first to speak. Why waste my time getting familiar when I planned to distance myself the first chance I got? I bit back a laugh. Not that I’d get the opportunity while I joined him on walks to sweet
settings.

My hair escaped again from the ponytail and fell past my shoulder. I pushed the mass behind my back.

“You’re part Irish, right?” Brodan’s deep voice fit in with the outdoor surroundings, rumbly and rugged.

“Yep. How’d you guess?” I smiled, lightening the sting my words could bring.

“Your mom or dad?” He stretched his legs out, crossing them at the ankles and relaxing his arm along the backrest.

“Dad.” I stood, feeling mulish for not sitting beside him. Wandering around the water, I asked, “Brodan sounds Irish. Can you claim the luck?”

“Not a lot. Dad drank Guinness, does that count?”

Humor between us, how odd. A few steps and I was beside him, attempting nonchalance.

We sat together, studying the man-made scenery, the silence long yet somewhat comfortable. A fish surfaced, poking its mouth into the air only to disappear into the shadows once more.

“I don’t want to like you, you know?” His quiet voice shattered the calm with more impact than a scream.

My favorite part of writing Breathe Again would be the fight Brodan and Maggie put up against the attraction between them. Sometimes I would laugh and call them both idiots
as I wrote. Other times, I would actually tear up a bit – no one thinks true loves should be apart. 

I was pregnant when I wrote it and tears came easily, but writing a scene at the end, outside the hospital, tore me up, even more than the Allstate commercials I’d been watching.

When you read a novel do you enjoy sad parts throughout or do they create bitterness toward the author?

Thank you so much to Rebecca for allowing me to swing by today. I would like to offer up a digital copy of Breathe Again for a randomly selected commenter today. Thank you again and I look forward to hearing what everyone thinks about Brodan. 

BIO:  Inland Northwest bred, Bonnie has a degree in radiology technology as well as multiple experiences in the medical industry. Four children and a terrific husband ground her as they rev around the countryside on their dirt bikes. Food, reading/writing romances and family make up just a small percentage of her favorite things. 

Interview and Giveaway with Danica Avet!

on March 7, 2011

UPDATE:  Congratulations to Yadira and Brans for winning the beautiful masks!!!

Today I was fortunate enough to interview my friend, Danica Avet, who I met in Orlando last year.  Danica is a spunky sweetheart…as you’ll see.  She born and raised in the wilds of South Louisiana (that would be somewhere around Houma) where mosquitoes are big enough to carry off small children and there are only two seasons: hot and hotter. With a BA in History, she figured there were enough fry cooks in the world and decided to try her hand at writing. For eight years she played at writing, but in 2008, she decided to get serious and began down the rocky road to publication.

Okay, admit it girl.  You like the alpha male.  And while Gerard Butler is, ah, taken, I’m sure there’s one out there for you.  What’s the draw?

I beg to differ, Rebecca, Gerard is my man! We have a connection that can’t be denied. I’m so sorry 😉  As for the Alpha male…hm. I think modern women have so much pressure on them to be just as successful, motivated, and powerful as men that the fantasy of a man who’ll make decisions and take the burden off our shoulders (in the name of love) is what draws us. To be honest, I’m not sure I could handle dealing with an Alpha male in real life. I’m too bossy and independent, but if I didn’t have to mess with it every day? Hells yeah, bring on the alpha!

Well, you know, most writers do live in a dream world.  If Gerard is in yours, I guess that’s okay.  So long as we both know that reality is a different story.  So, you will soon have two books in the wild:  RUBY:UNCUT AND ON THE LOOSE and SUCCUBUS IN WAITING.  Tell us what is different about your two heroines.  Do they share any characteristics in common?

Wow, that’s a great question! Ruby is physically tougher than Piper is. She’s an Amazon, after all 😉 Piper, on the other hand, is more open and out-going than Ruby. If they share any characteristics though, it would be their independence and ambition. They know what they want out of life and they’ll risk everything to have it.

I love an independent heroine!  Makes for such sparks when dealing with those alpha-males. How about your heroes?  How do they differ, and yet, why am I going to fall in love with both of them? (Gerard doesn’t mind.  He’s quite the free-thinker).

Again, Gerard needs no other woman when he has me waiting for him 😉 But…there are lots of differences between my heroes. Lucian is a bit wild, untamed, and ambitious. He won’t let anything get in his way (unless it’s Ruby). Connor, even though he’s a werewolf, is more cautious (except where Piper’s concerned), scholarly, and weighs himself down with responsibilities. I loved both of these guys. I don’t think I could choose between them because no matter how they act in the beginning of their relationships, they’re complete marshmallows when it comes to the women they love. And yeah, Connor was based on Gerard 😉

That is SO sweet of you to base your Alpha on Gerard.  I’ll be sure to let him know.  If you could be anyone in the world for just one day (living or dead), who would it be and why?

Mais, what a question! I really don’t know! I keep flipping through women and men of great historical significance and then I keep remembering how they died because with my luck, the one day I became them would be the day they kicked the bucket. Hm. Okay, I’d be Gerard Butler *laugh* because then I could lead him right where I want him – like to my bedroom 😉 *snickers*

Okay…I can’t think of a response to that one.  🙂  If you could’ve written any book out there (except yours or mine) what book would it have been and why?

Gah, another one! You’re killing me, Smalls! This question makes me flat out giddy to even think about. Any book…wow. Okay, it would have to be Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I had to read this damn book about a million times in high school and college and hated it, but you have to admire Mary Shelley. She was a very young woman (18) when she wrote this book and she managed to turn out a story that has survived over a century. This book has helped spawn movies, songs, games, and even more books. How could you not want to have that kind of influence on the world? And yes, I’m terribly jealous that she wrote this book at an age when I was more concerned about the drummers I was in band with in college. *cough*

With me it was the bass guitarist.  Always the bass guitarist.  Good choice with Mary Shelley!  I wonder what she dreamt about at night?  So, my friend, what can readers expect next from you?

My next book, Lifestyles of the Fey and Dangerous will be released by Siren in April. I’m really looking forward to that release. It’s about Noelani “Lani” Fayard and Malachi Cromwell – if you’ve read the other books, you’ll recognize Malachi 😉 That book is so different from the first two in the series; slightly darker, although I still have a good bit of humor in the story. It was a therapeutic book for me to write, so I hope others will experience the same spiritual release I felt when I wrote The End.

Thank you so much for being here today–this was a lot of fun!  Danica can be found at her website: http://www.danicaavet.com/ where you can link to her blog…which has more delusional dreams about Gerard Butler.

Here is a blurb for the awesome Succubus-in-Waiting:

It isn’t easy holding onto your virginity in a succubus Pleasure House, but Piper Foxgrove has managed for decades. As a rare succubus/weretiger, Piper dreams of true love to the consternation of her mother. Forced to work with a bad-tempered, good-looking werewolf looking for his nephew, she’s determined to ignore his sexiness. Unfortunately, her succubus half decides he’s the key to unlocking her powers, while her recently awakened weretiger half thinks he’s perfect mate material.

Connor Griffin needs to find his nephew. The Veil can be dangerous and worry makes him take drastic measures. His brother died because of one of the “soul suckering” succubi so he doesn’t trust them. But something about Piper calls to his wolf and has him doing things he never thought he’d do: like work with a succubus, or lust after a succubus, or fall in love with a sassy, sexy succubus with tiger-striped hair.

And…the fabulous Danica has offered to give away a handpainted Mardi Gras mask made especially for Piper’s book to one lucky commenter!  We’ll randomly draw a name in a couple of days.  Good luck!  If you’d like a question to answer…if you could be anyone in the world for just one day, living or dead, who would it be?

Bronwen Evans drops by for a Chat–and Givewaway!

on March 3, 2011

Today I was luckily enough to interview my friend, Bronwen Evans, whose debut book, INVITATION TO RUIN, was released from Kensington the same day as FATED. In fact, today I’m over on Bronwen’s blog…drop by and say hi.  In fact…we’re going to choose the name of one lucky commenter and send them BOTH books! 

Bronwen is a proud reader and writer of Romance! Any romance, but historical romance in particular, and the Regency period is her favorite. She lives in Wellington, New Zealand and is one of five sisters – and is a twin! So no surprise that her first book is about twins! She now spends her time immersing herself in love stories full of passion, desire and of course the happily ever after. But that’s not to say her characters don’t have a number of hurdles to overcome along the way.

Thanks for being here today, Bronwen!  Here are the questions…

Hi Rebecca, thanks for having me visit today. It’s so exciting to share a release day with you. Both our books were released on 1 March and it’s fun taking this journey with you.

First things first.  You live in New Zealand and just had that horrific earthquake.  How are you, your friends and family doing…and what has your experience been?

It’s been a very humbling experience. I live in Wellington 400km from Christchurch (as do all my family – so we are safe), but I have two critique partners in Christchurch who have lost their homes and livelihoods. It has been hard to celebrate knowing the death and destruction down there. But you only get a debut novel once, so even my friends who have lost everything are urging me to celebrate. I think it is a small ray of sunshine in the midst of such destruction.

It has made it difficult to write too. It’s hard to go to a happy, romantic place when you see the news each day. I’m hoping to get back into some writing this week. The Red Cross has a wonderful website if you want to donate or help in anyway.

I can’t imagine losing a home.  Best wishes to you and your friends.  Okay, down to the fun stuff now.  You’re known for writing spicy, exciting historicals.  Why are you drawn to the historical romance genre?

I love strong, dark, tortured heroes and the Regency period lends itself to creating the alpha, alpha male (as does paranormal). My voice tends to suits the formality of the Regency era and I love the history during that period – Napoleonic Wars, Colonial Wars (America and India), Smuggling, The Prince Regent and the decadence that filled their lives.

Oh yeah.  I love a good alpha male!  Tell us about your hero in INVITATION TO RUIN.  What makes him different than other heroes out there?  And, why am I going to fall in love with him?

My hero, Anthony, has had a childhood that would have broken many a man, but he survived. He survived and was strong enough to defy his upbringing. However, to do so he had to protect himself and he did that by locking away his feelings. He tries to make out that he has no heart and that there is evil flowing through his veins, but it’s so obvious he has the biggest heart of any man, and is worthy of love. You can’t wait to see him get his HEA.

There’s nothing like a struggle for an alpha to find happiness.  With the help of a heroine, of course.  So, tell us about your heroine in INVITATION TO RUIN.  Why do I want to be her?  What are her struggles with dealing with this hero?

Melissa is a woman who I’d be friends with. She is bright, savvy and compassionate. She has a brain and uses it for both herself and others. She runs the Women’s Freedom League. They buy slaves their freedom and find them jobs.

She has also had an unhappy childhood. Her brother is eight years older and her parents didn’t really want or need her (until they got sick). Her brother ignored her until he needed money and he tried to marry her off to any rich reprobate.

Melissa wants to matter to someone. She refuses to marry a man who doesn’t love her and so when she is forced to marry Anthony, she has only one option. Teach him to love and win his heart.  A formidable task when faced with a man who thinks he is evil and is unloveable.

I love that one of her key characteristics is that she wants to matter to someone…and hasn’t until she meets the hero.  So, let’s go for a question just about you.  If you could be anyone in the world for just one day (living or dead), who would it be and why?

I loved this question. I have so many people who I’d love to walk, for a time, in their shoes. As I need a bit of light heartedness at the moment and I write Regency historicals, and they have just re-released her first book, I’ve picked Dame Barbara Cartland.  She led an extraordinary life, mixing in Society as a reporter and a celebrity in her own right. She was, at one stage, Princes Diana’s step-grandmother. She always wore pink and pink is my favorite color too, although I don’t take it as far as Dame Cartland, and I would love to have the romance writing career she had.

In 1983 Cartland wrote 23 novels, and holds the Guinness World Record for the most novels written in a single year. Oh to be so productive!

Awesome choice!  I can’t even imagine writing 23 novels in one year!  If you could’ve written any book out there (except yours or mine :)) what book would it have been and why?

Wow – what a question. The mercenary in me says Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, then I could write whatever romance novel I liked.

In terms of a book in my genre, it would have to be – Whitney My Love by Judith McNaught

In terms of skill – anything by William Shakespeare or Oscar Wild (I’d love to have even 1% of his wit.)

Yeah, it’d be pretty cool to have a book not only made into a movie, but turned into a ride at Universal Studios!  So, what can readers expect next from you?

Strong alpha heroes, clever heroines and fast paced, sensual stories. Book two in my ‘Invitation to’ series is due out in early 2012 and is Rufus Knight’s story (he’s in Invitation to Ruin). I’m also currently writing book one in my new ‘Disgraced Lord’s’ series and I’m hoping the other three ‘Invitation to’ books get contracted!

Thanks so much! 

Pleasure – thanks for having me!

So, here is the wonderful blurb for INVITATION TO RUIN:

One Good Lady is About to Go Bad…

The only thing Miss Melissa Goodly has ever wanted out of a marriage is love. But any hope of that dissolves one wild night, when she loses herself in the arms of the most irresistible-and unobtainable-man in all of England. For when they are discovered in a position as compromising as it is pleasurable, she has no choice but to accept his proposal.

Avowed bachelor Anthony Craven, Earl of Wickham, never meant to seduce an innocent like Melissa. Yet now that the damage is done, it does seem like she’d make a very convenient wife. After all, she is so naive he won’t have to worry about ever being tempted. Or so he thinks, until the vows are spoken and they are left alone-and his new bride reveals a streak just as brazen and unrestrained as his own.

Don’t forget to drop by Bronwen’s blog today and say hi to us!  You can find Bronwen at:

http://www.bronwenevans.com

http://www.facebook.com/BronwenEvansAuthor

http://twitter.com/authorbevans