LAST CALL FOR LYCANTHROPES!!

I have slept late for the past two days.  Two thumbs up for stay-cation!

But you don’t really care about my R&R. Let’s just get these stories out! I’ve got fellow FF&Per, Cecilia Dominic, to review her novel, THE MOUNTAIN’S SHADOW. Today is your LAST DAY to pick this baby up for a steal!

Cecilia Dominic wrote her first story when she was two years old and has always had a much more interesting life inside her head than outside of it. She became a clinical psychologist because she’s fascinated by people and their stories, but she couldn’t stop writing fiction. (AND SHE SHOULDN’T!)The first draft of her dissertation, while not fiction, was still criticized by her major professor for being written in too entertaining a style. (LOL Imagine that!) She made it through graduate school and got her PhD, started her own practice, and by day, she helps people cure their insomnia without using medication. By night, she blogs about wine and writes fiction she hopes will keep her readers turning the pages all night. Yes, she recognizes the conflict of interest between her two careers, so she writes and blogs under a pen name. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with one husband and two cats, which, she’s been told, is a good number of each. (And if my sister-in-law still lived in the ATL, I’d invite Cecilia out for coffee or a glass of wine to talk shop while visiting.)

You can find her at:
Web page:  www.ceciliadominic.com
Wine blog:  http://www.randomoenophile.com
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/CeciliaDominicAuthor
Twitter: @RandomOenophile
Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/ceciliadominic/
Instagram: randomeonophile

To buy her books, you can get them in trade paper and all ebook formats from Samhain Publishing: https://www.samhainpublishing.com/author/1740/cecilia-dominic
Onto the review…

I WAS OFFERED A FREE COPY OF THIS BOOK FOR AN HONEST REVIEW:

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THE MOUNTAIN’S SHADOW is the first book of the LYCANTHROPY FILES, a series which approaches the topic of werewolves from a scientific point of view. I love when authors do this, and I think this is what I enjoyed most about this story. Dominic’s put her own spin on an old classic. While some mysticism remains, the concept of “werewolves” as recessive genes and sociological/mental disorders was fascinating. Most especially because my hubs works in human services, and I love when he breaks down social disorders for me. This totally speaks to Dominic’s clinical background, and I think she did a great job staying focused on the intricacies of the biological basis for the subject matter.

Let’s not think it’s all business here. Dominic adds in some real-world flavor with complicated relationship scenarios and some HOT alphas! I’m not gonna say who my favorite was, but needless to say I’m very excited he gets his own novel in the series.

Overall, this read was entertaining for sure… left me hungry for a gourmet meal, some fine wine, and a Scottish accent 😉  Again, SALE ENDS TODAY!!  Go get a copy!
https://www.samhainpublishing.com/author/1740/cecilia-dominic

How’s about a bit about Cecilia and her process…

  1. This is an interesting twist on lycanthropy. Please tell us a little bit about what sparked your inspiration for the premise?

When I started the novel, I was doing my predoctoral internship in clinical psychology at the Central Arkansas VA. I was one of the health psychology interns, so I was in a medical environment and was also fascinated with where mental and physical health intersected. I knew I wanted to do something different with werewolves, and so it seemed that making it a rare genetic disorder might explain a lot as to why it hasn’t popped up much until now. Plus I and my colleagues had noticed how childhood psychological disorders seemed to have waves of popularity with corresponding prescribing peaks for certain types of drugs. All of those components built into a “What if…?” moment.

(JC: Oh! Love the “what if” moment)

  1. What other projects do you have lined up?

I’m currently in the middle of my Aether Psychics steampunk series, which I have planned as four books, but I’m open to the story taking me where it needs to. The first book, Eros Element, will be out on August 25. My publisher, Samhain Publishing, came up with a great tagline for that one – if love is the ivy, secrets are the poison.

(JC: sounds sexy… take a peek at the end of this interview for a quick glimpse at this gorgeous cover and story)

  1. If you could have dinner with any of your characters, who would they be? (you may pick more than one)

There are several. I would like to have dinner with Lonna Marconi, the heroine of the second Lycanthropy Files book. She’s one of my favorites, being social worker but also a private detective. She also says whatever comes to her mind. Another one would be Doctor Forrester-Schmidt, a sort-of antagonist in A Perfect Man, my new adult contemporary that came out in May. She worked for a big publishing house but was laid off in a takeover and now teaches at a Southern university. I’d love to get her take on how she feels about it all and where she sees the industry going. Finally, in the Aether Psychics, there’s a character who’s only been alluded to, Claire McPhee. She’s been through analysis with Sigmund Freud but came out of it with somewhat revolutionary ideas about mental health, at least for that time. I’m so looking forward to writing her book and would like to just sit and talk to her.

  1. Is there a book that has made a lasting impact or an influence on you?

My shelves are full of them, but the one that most comes to mind is Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonsong. It’s part of the Harper Hall Trilogy, a YA-ish spinoff of her Dragonriders of Pern series. I really identified with Menolly, the main character, and it also brought me into reading science fiction and fantasy. I so wish fire lizards were real!

  1. If you could live in any other time, when might that be?

That’s a tough one. I really like my modern comforts and freedoms as well as the lack of cigarette smoke in most public places. I’ll say the Victorian era because of the music. I’d love to see Chopin or Liszt play the piano in person.

  1. What’s currently playing on your iPod/CD player/music app?

I have Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique cued up on my iTunes because it’s the inspiration for the fictional play my characters are doing in the second Aether Psychics book, which is in edits at the moment. Otherwise, I listen to a lot of U2, and I just had Death Cab For Cutie’s Codes & Keys playing in the car because I wanted something mellow. That reminds me – I need to get their new one.

And just for fun…

  1. Live without your phone?  OR  Live without your computer, iPod, and clean clothes?

Oh, live without my phone, definitely. I’m on it too much, anyway, and the only thing I’d lack with only my computer is Instagram. I also can’t imagine living without clean underwear, especially during our very hot, sticky Southern summer.

  1. Be a vampire?  OR  Be a werewolf?

I think I’d prefer to be a werewolf so I can be out during the day. Yes, I’m a vampire traditionalist – I don’t believe in sparkling daytime vamps. I would have to be careful, though, not to be tempted into vigilante-ism.

  1. Receive $5 a day for the rest of your life?  OR  Receive $50,000 right here, right now?

I just did the math. I’m going to be optimistic and say I’m going to live beyond age 65, so I’ll take the $5 a day for the rest of my life. Plus it’ll be easier to avoid paying taxes on it.

(JC: smart… that’s why you’re in science! LOL)

Here’s a few questions for Joanie: (switching mental gears)

  1. Do you think life would have been different if you hadn’t been so passionate about your CLS research?

I can’t imagine not being passionate about it, especially now that I recognize the connection between CLS and what happened to my brother. If I hadn’t gone into that area, I would have felt like I was missing something, some big piece of the puzzle of who I am and how I fit into my family. I also wouldn’t have pursued the research career I did, or at least not with as much determination. I might have settled for a more “normal” life, whatever that means.

  1. Would you have gone for that dream job that would have likely taken you away from all of this?

Definitely – I was really focused on my career, and I knew my position as a junior researcher at Cabal was a starter job. I would have loved to have a bigger lab, more resources, and of course a bigger paycheck. I am of course assuming I could have walked away from Robert. But I would have felt like I could get closer to the answer of what was causing CLS faster.

  1. Do you think of yourself as different from the others? Why?

We’re all kind of stuck with this problem and with no direction or tips on how to handle it. There’s not really a community to help us, at least not one that we’ve found so far. I should ask Gabriel about that since he’s had CLS his whole life, but he hasn’t said much about what it was like back home. Being able to use the aconite to spirit-walk rather than change could potentially set me apart, but I need more data. I know that Lonna and I can do it, but I don’t know how many of the others have tried it, or if any of them have. I definitely want to do more experiments to see if it’s a rare talent or if it’s a common variant of the main disorder.

  1. How do you possibly handle being pursued by multiple were-men?

It’s strange, but I won’t say I don’t enjoy it. I’ve typically been invisible to men. Lonna has the advantage – she’s beautiful, curvy, tall, and not afraid to let someone know she’s interested. I guess I’ll try to keep my options open, not commit too soon, and let my head have more of a say in what I decide. I’ve made the mistake of ignoring my instincts once. Whatever my next relationship is, it needs to be with a guy who’s able to commit to me entirely and without hurting someone else in the process. I won’t be the other woman again.

And now a few for Leo:

  1. If you knew about (and could go back in time to) the point of infection, what would you do?

It was a flu shot. Let me think… I would view it as sort of a Matrix thing – red pill or blue? Do you want access to that strange world or life as usual? It would have been nice to have a choice, although I don’t think I would have chosen life as usual knowing what I know now. I might have tried to keep Ron from doing it after how he ended up.

  1. Do you have a preference: human form or wolf form? Why?

I like both, but what I resent is being forced to change at the full moon. Given the choice, I’d prefer to be in control, particularly during that time of disorientation right after changing from wolf to human form. That’s the most dangerous time to be around us, and I’ve done some things I regret.

  1. Do you regret the circumstances, which have made you what you are?

I gave up a lot – I’ve wanted to be a doctor my whole life – but it’s been a huge adventure. At least it was once I saw it that way. That’s one of the things I love about Joanie, her curiosity. For her, everything is a big puzzle to be figured out. Even under the most difficult circumstances, she finds something to be fascinated about.

  1. Would you want to be cured?

Some days yes, some days no. Chronic Lycanthropy Syndrome isn’t a black and white thing. Unlike most diseases, it confers benefits. But to be honest, now that I’ve gotten a taste of what it’s like to indulge the animal side of myself and run with the pack under a full moon, to have that level of understanding of the animal and human worlds, I wouldn’t want to go back. I could see how it’s not for everyone, though.

Finally, Cecilia: Care to offer a few words of encouragement to fellow writers?

If it’s something you’re passionate about, don’t give up. I’ve always written, but I started taking my writing more seriously in 2002 when I experienced what I thought was a major professional setback. What followed were years of rejections, both for short stories and novels, but I kept working at it. It took me ten years of working and submitting to break in. Admittedly, I would send out five to ten queries, get rejected, and then sulk for six to twelve months, so maybe I could’ve progressed sooner, but everything feels like it happened at the right time. The most important things are to enjoy the little things about it, not compare yourself to others (like that’s easy), and to join a supportive community.

(JC: Thanks so much Cecilia. It’s been a real pleasure having you by the blog)

Now, check out her new steampunk coming out in August!

EROS ELEMENT – AETHER PSYCHICS series (Available August 25th)

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If love is the ivy, secrets are the poison.

After enduring heartbreak at the hands of a dishonest woman, Edward Bailey lives according to scientific principles of structure and predictability. Just the thought of stepping outside his strict routine raises his anxiety.

Adding to his discomfort is Iris McTavish, who appears at his school’s faculty meeting in place of her world-famous archeologist father. Worse, the two of them are to pose as Grand Tourists while they search for an element that will help harness the power of aether.

Iris jumps at the opportunity to prove her worth as a scholar—and avoid an unwanted marriage proposal—while hiding the truth of her father’s whereabouts. If her secret gets out, the house of McTavish will fall into ruin.

Quite unexpectedly, Edward and Iris discover a growing attraction as their journey takes them to Paris and Rome, where betrayal, blackmail and outright theft threaten to destroy what could be a revolutionary discovery—and break their hearts.

Warning: Allergen alert! This book was produced in a facility that handles copious amounts of wine, tea and baked goods. May contain one or more of the following: a spirited heroine, a quirky hero, clever banter, interesting facts both made-up and historical, and lots of secrets. It is, however, gluten free.

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It’s Getting Hot On Torth!

First day of my stay-cation… so let’s do a romance review… you know, to get in the mood!

I’ve got fellow FF&P member and award-winning author, Sharon Kay, stopping by to take a look at her latest novel, TAINTED KISS – just released yesterday!!! Romance readers will want to jump on this!

Sharon Kay writes HOT fiction and can never get enough reading time. She loves paranormal romance, with romantic suspense following close on its heels.  She loves winter and black coffee, and is endlessly inspired to write kick-ass heroines and the men strong enough to capture their hearts. Sharon lives in the Chicago area with her husband and son, and didn’t expect to write one book, let alone a series.  But WICKED WIND and the Solsti series formed in her head one weekend and refused to stay quiet until she put pen to paper.  Her characters tend to keep her up at night, as they banter, fall in love, and slay endless varieties of power-hungry demons. Don’t I know how pestering these characters can be! LOL

Sign up for Sharon’s newsletter to keep up with her demons, see early cover reveals and be entered in periodic giveaways.
www.sharonkaynovels.com
www.facebook.com/sharonkaynovels
Twitter: @sharonkaynovels
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/sharonkaynovels
Tsu.co/sharonkaynovels
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7114860.Sharon_Kay
Onto the review…

I WAS PROVIDED A FREE COPY OF THIS BOOK FOR AN HONEST REVIEW:

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TAINTED KISS is the first of the WATCHERS KISS series, which is actually a spin-off from her SOLSTI PROPHECY series. (Can you say this girl keeps busy?) With her current release, we delve in deep to Torth, a demonic realm very closely resembling our modern-day Earth, and a hot romance kept quiet for too long. Arawn is the Lash leader and cannot contain his feelings for one of his warriors, Ria, following a close call with death. Ria wakes from a month long coma with a new admirer by her bedside. Damn, it doesn’t take long for this story to heat up. Kay holds back no punches in the boudoir, not that I think Arawn or Ria would let her! These two are insatiable in this erotic PNR.

With some adrenaline-boosting action scenes and plots that carry through the series, anyone who likes stories that get the blood pumping definitely wants to check out Sharon Kay’s work!

Now one of my favorite things to do, let’s corner the author…

  1. Please tell us a little bit about what sparked your inspiration for the book?

Inspiration for this book struck when I was writing Wicked Flames (Solsti Prophecy #3). In the opening scene, Arawn and Mathias are discussing Ria’s role in a certain job…and all of a sudden I KNEW Arawn had a thing for her. He kept his thoughts to himself in that convo, but I knew it. (hee, hee.) I also knew that he wasn’t a full Lash demon, but NO ONE else knew, and that fact would come into play in his book.

  1. It’s an alternate universe, yet it’s not. Was it a conscious decision to make a demon realm so closely designed after the real world?

Absolutely. I wanted my characters to have the same modern conveniences as Earth, but also have all kinds of dangerous creatures roaming around causing trouble. And since I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of cell-phone towers placed in random spots on Torth, I decided to power the phones (and everything else) from the magic in ley lines.

  1. If you could have dinner with any of your characters, who would they be? (you may pick more than one)

OOOHH, this is tough! I want two dinners (pretty please?). I would love to sit down with the four Solsti sisters and Ria – have a big, boisterous girls night with drinks and of course, demonstrations of power. Then I’d like to hang out with the Watchers I haven’t written about yet, listening to their tough guy smack talk, flirting, and jokes (and there’s the muscle factor…)  and deciding who will get a starring role soon!

(JC: Hmmm… I can think of one or two I’d let buy me dinner 😉)

  1. Is there a book that has made a lasting impact or an influence on you?

I would say not one book, but a handful of authors have made a deep and lasting impact on me. JR Ward, Lara Adrian, Nalini Singh, Larissa Ione, and Kresley Cole (my personal “Big Five”) all make me insanely giddy just reading the way they string words together. Then I fall in love with their characters on top of that, and ALL of it sticks with me.

  1. If you could live in any other time, when might that be?

Seventy to one hundred years in the future. It’s not too far away that things would be vastly different (I hope) and yet I can imagine there will be improvements on modern conveniences that will make life easier!

  1. What’s currently playing on your iPod/CD player/music app?

Haha, you might laugh… “Demons” by Imagine Dragons. Kinda fits Tainted Kiss!

(JC: Perfect!)

And just for fun…

  1. Live without your phone?  OR  Live without your computer, iPod, and clean clothes?

oh, you are mean! Ha, ha. Um…jeez this is hard. I LOVE my phone…but I can’t write on it. So I would tearfully have to give it up, and live with my PC, iPod, and clean clothes. Because those Watchers are demanding!! I have stories to write, ASAP!

  1. Be a vampire?  OR  Be a werewolf?

I could go either way here, but I’d pick werewolf. Because I’d be part of a pack, and packs are friendly, frisky, and even though the males are tough, they love their pups.

  1. Receive $5 a day for the rest of your life?  OR  Receive $50,000 right here, right now?

I’ll take the lump sum right now! You never know what the future holds.

Here’s a few questions for Ria:

  1. When you were little, what did you dream of growing up to become?

Well, I have five siblings. Someone always wanted something that someone else had. I was in the middle of the birth order, so I ended up negotiating a lot, either for myself or working things out between my siblings. So I figured I’d do something along those lines. I also wanted to have a mate, and a big family just like the one I grew up in. But then when I was a teenager, my spin move emerged, and I knew I was destined for fighting. I still hoped for the mate and big family, though!

  1. What would you have done if your recent trauma had left you incapable of continuing in your line of work?

Oh, wow. That would have devastated me. I can’t even imagine not diving into the fray. But (pauses, takes a deep breath) I would still want to help my fellow Watchers in whatever way I could. If that meant doing a desk job, or tech stuff, I’d learn it.

(JC: awe L)

  1. What glaring differences have you noticed between your world and earth?

On Earth, mobile phone service can be crummy!! (Haha. Torth’s ley lines are fantastic for that stuff.) But seriously…Earth has magical creatures sneaking around, but the majority of the human population would try to rationalize them away if confronted with them. People don’t want to believe what they don’t want to. And on Torth, we grow up sort of expecting anything, because you never know how magic will manifest.

And now a few for Arawn:

  1. What has been the hardest lesson to learn after 800 years?

Patience off the battle field, and off assignments. I can wait for an enemy to walk into a trap, no problem. But dealing with meetings? Non-tactical disputes? Hell, I hate that. I’m a warrior, not a diplomat. But part of being the leader of my race is leading everyone, not just the soldiers.

  1. You’re a born leader. Could you handle being placed in a subordinate position?

No. Not happening. I’d have to leave, go out and be a lone wolf. There’s no way I’d take orders from anyone.

  1. How have you learned to cope when one of your warriors falls?

Compartmentalize. Death is a shitty, but sometimes unavoidable factor on Watcher assignments. My fighters know that. And knowing they accept the risk, makes me do everything I can to keep them alive. But when the worst happens, I honor their memory. And I remember every single fallen soldier. I will never forget them.

Finally, Sharon: Care to offer a few words of encouragement to fellow writers?

Keep writing! You may have heard this before, but it’s so true. Every book will help your other books sell. And when you write – don’t edit until you are at THE END! Just get the words out, no matter how sloppy. Don’t spend time finessing a scene, because you may end up cutting it. And when you cut scenes – save them in a Deleted Scenes folder. You might end up posting them for fun on your blog or newsletter, or you could produce an “unabridged” version of your book one day.

(JC: Great advise, thanks so much for stopping by. Congratulations on your new release and best wishes for another award-winning story!)

RELEASING THE DEMONS Cover Reveal and Giveaway!

L.D. ROSE

Guess what, guys?

I HAVE A COVER.

My very first cover for my debut novel, RELEASING THE DEMONS, a dark paranormal romance due out in a few weeks! And I also have a rafflecopter giveaway! *fist pump*

The cover artist, Fiona Jayde, did a wonderful job of depicting the feel and atmosphere of the book, along with the hero (hello, Blaze!). I’m very happy with the result. 😀

So without further ado…

You ready?

Are you sure?

Wait for it…

BOOM.

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Blurb:

Blaze Knight has been through hell and back, but the nightmares aren’t over yet.

Five years after Blaze was maimed by Cyrus Chimola, a powerful vampire with a penchant for torture, he’s still trying to pick up the pieces of his shattered life. As a genetically engineered mercenary with the ability to bend fire to his will and to see in infrared, Blaze’s mission is to protect what’s…

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COVER REVEAL!!!!! The Saving is Coming Soon

I am beyond excited to finally share this with everyone…

THE SAVING is just around the corner. Evie’s found herself hiding out in South Boston with the only person who seems to give a damn about her. But what exactly are Evan’s motives? And when will Lucca creep from the shadows to pull her down into his nothingness?

Saving cover 3 (digital)

THE SAVING – ADDICTIONS OF THE ETERNAL: BOOK TWO

Summers are meant for toes in the sand, drinks with umbrellas and a good book.

If you haven’t fallen yet, pick up your FREE ebook copy of THE NOTHINGNESS today!  The promotion runs until the end of July 2015.

Don’t forget to stay in the know! Follow my blog in anticipation of THE SAVING’s release later in the summer.

What are you looking for? What are you writing for? Don’t worry, it’s all Fiction.

And When You're There...

once upon a time

Throughout the school years, I hated when teachers left us to try and decipher stories on our own. They’d ask us to look for this technique, and this style, analyze it, and dissect it until it was nothing but a jumble of words pinned to a lab tray before our eyes. The only way I could focus enough to do this was to participate in class discussions, because it unglued my eyes from the story and forced me to step back.

We’ve all heard the analogy of being sucked into a book. You can probably picture it too if you have a good imagination. You’re sitting over a desk, turning the page, slowly leaning further down until your nose is nearly flattened to the paper. Then a tinkling magical music sequence plays and a glaring light shines out of the book, and you are physically pulled into the written world. Or maybe that’s just me making a Harry Potter reference, but…

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This one will burn your pasties off!

Damn! Is it July already? I was not prepared for that.

Ah well, in the meantime, I’ve been writing and reading like crazy. I managed to finagle fellow New England Chapter Romance Writers of America member, Kristen Strassel, to swing by the blog. She’s recently released this wicked sexy vamp book (THE FIRE DANCER), the first book in the CIRQUE MACABRE series. I was instantly drawn in to the first page, and now she’s by the blog. So, yay!

As noted above, Kristen is a member of NECRWA and writes paranormal and contemporary romance. More than that, she’s also a make-up artist with some fantastic hair. A girl after my own heart, Kristen’s a bit of a music junky. And if you’ve ever checked out her bio, you’d now she has a sparkling smile J  I know, staulkery, right?  But seriously folks, she writes what she knows and loves… and who can’t envy that kind of passion?

Contact Links:
http://www.kristenstrassel.com/

Purchase Links:
http://amzn.to/1RRYrw4

Onto the review…

I OPENLY INVITED MS. STRASSEL IN TODAY AND OFFERED MY REVIEW:

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We all know I can’t NOT stop and enjoy cover art. Check this one out! It is sexy, evocative, and captures the tone of the book completely!

THE FIRE DANCER introduces us to Holly Octane, a Vegas showgirl. She’s not just any burlesque show in town. She’s damn unique and the only dancer to set herself on fire… and survive! Holly’s immortal with the ability to summon fire at will and time hop. Seriously cool, right? Along with her fortune-telling girlfriend, Rainey, she’s settled in to a not so conventional life. When the (in)famous Cash Logan, a magician/vampire, introduces her to Blade Bennett, things heat up. (I know, I’m working the hell out of these corny puns… just roll with it) See, Blade’s not the normal vamp, either. He’s dark, sexy, and also able to manifest fire. Together, Holly and Blade make a scorching combination! But there’s more to life in Vegas than sex, blood, and gnarly guitar riffs. The world of the vampires is way more complex than Holly was prepared for.

What I enjoyed most about this story (aside from the fact that it speaks to the alterna-chick in me) is that Strassel approaches contemporary romance with an open-mind. The sexuality portrayed within the story blurs conventional lines tastefully. The other piece I enjoyed about this book was the vampire world. Strassel addresses vampires like we do in modern-day culture—from a subculture perspective. She makes it all too easy to believe vampires really do exist in the gritty clubs and casinos, and we’re just too caught up in the vamp hype nowadays to notice just how lethal they can be.

Overall, if you like the alterna-scene, you’ll love Strassel’s work. Better yet, she’s equipped with an arsenal of books to feed that hunger once you’ve had a taste.

So, now to get to know Kristen…

  1. This was some hot stuff (dorkish pun intended) and crosses some conventional boundaries. Please tell us a little bit about what sparked your inspiration for this series, and what do you have envisioned for it?

Holly Octane was inspired by Alice Cooper. I went to see him play with Marilyn Manson a few years ago, and his guitarist was this bad ass, beautiful blonde woman who absolutely shredded. We were in the back of the arena, and when he introduced her I thought he said her name was Holly Octane with the distortion. I couldn’t stop thinking about Holly Octane the whole ride home. I decided if that wasn’t her name, I was creating a character with that name. Thankfully, the guitarist was Orianthi, and Holly Octane was all mine.

(JC: Well… I can see where you misheard that… umm… yeah. LOL)

The Fire Dancer is a spin-off of my Night Songs Collection, which is still Vegas Vampires. That began as a bedtime story to myself. I was stressed out at work and couldn’t stop thinking about all the crap I couldn’t touch until the morning enough to fall asleep. I began telling myself stories as a way to slow my mind down, and I used those stories as the inspiration for my first book, Because the Night.

(JC: Oh, I do this too!  I’m about to go tell myself a story J)

  1. What other projects do you have lined up?

Oh man. This is going to be a busy fall! I’m waiting for edits back on an adult contemporary romance, about a woman who brings a male escort to her twentieth high school reunion. I’m also working on a new series of shape shifter romances. The voices in my head are loud and demanding, but this time I’m actually trying to write a whole series before I move on to the next project.  I’ll also be starting the sequel to The Fire Dancer soon.

  1. If you could have dinner with any of your characters, who would they be? (you may pick more than one)

Can I invite them all?  I really can’t pick a favorite. They’re all pieces of me at the time that I wrote the book. If I had to narrow it down, I’d definitely try to make it interesting. Aidan and Cash, since they’re my oldest vampires, and maybe invite Daisy and Bree from The Spotlight series since they’re the polar opposite of my male guests.

(JC: Yeah, I’d go out for a bite with Cash)

  1. Is there a book that has made a lasting impact or an influence on you?

There’s so many. Anne Rice and Stephen King were huge influences.  Even though it’s a trendy answer right now, Jamie Fraser from Outlander is THE romance hero of all time. My favorite book ever is an obscure western historical romance called Dirt Rich by Clark Howard. Total rags to riches story in the Texas oil boom about a man and woman who eloped after the war and how the try to survive a loveless marriage. I’ve read it so many times.

(JC: Nice)

  1. If you could live in any other time, when might that be?

The 1960s.  I would’ve wanted to be a hippie chick driving around the country, selling crafts to survive. And I’d want to be a part of rock n’ roll in its infancy, watch the musicians as they changed the course of pop culture.

(JC: Very Nice!)

  1. What’s currently playing on your iPod/CD player/music app?

30 Seconds to Mars Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams is in my CD player, but the song I’m absolutely obsessed with right now is Blake Shelton’s Sangria, and the last two concerts I went to were Barry Manilow and Awolnation. You might say I have eclectic taste in music.

(JC: As it should be J)

And just for fun…

  1. Live without your phone?  OR  Live without your computer, iPod, and clean clothes?

The phone. I can do everything through the computer. And I need clean clothes!

  1. Be a vampire?  OR  Be a werewolf?

Vampire. Who doesn’t want to live forever?

(JC: I heard that!)

  1. Receive $5 a day for the rest of your life?  OR  Receive $50,000 right here, right now?

I think I’d take the payout.  I struggled with this one. If I took the 50K, I could invest it and make it more than it is. If you gave me $5 every day, I’d go buy coffee and whine that I had no money.

So, let’s take a few minutes to get to know Vegas Sensation, Holly Octane:

  1. So, tells us about your absolute best show and worst show ever?

My absolute best show was the first time that the crowd started chanting my name. It was perfect, because some of the dancers had been giving me a hard time. Rainey, my girlfriend, can see the future, and she insisted things were going to start happening for me. I figured she was just trying to cheer me up. But when they started chanting, I’d never felt so much love.

The worst show was the night of the accident. I’m not ready to talk about it yet.

  1. What do you think you would have doing tonight if you were any ordinary twenty-four year old?

Wow. I always wanted to be normal, but now that I’m trying to describe it, it seems dreadful! I’d be in Santa Fe, that’s where I grew up, and I’d probably work in one of the little shops near the square. If I was still as fascinated with History without being to go back to those times, maybe I would’ve studied it in college.

  1. What was the smelliest time you’ve ever been to?

The Middle Ages! Especially after the plagues when people couldn’t bury the bodies fast enough. Besides they never took paths and dumped their chamber pots out their windows.

  1. Aside from the obvious, how have recent events moulded your vision of vampires?

Lucille had always told us vampires were evil, but I didn’t know what that meant. It was an abstract concept. Now it is something I can define: they’re complicated and cunning, and it drives Rainey crazy that I think they can still be reasoned with. Once they had a beating heart. That has to mean something.

Now, let’s see if we can’t corner Blade Bennett for a quick second:

  1. What do you think life would be like as an ordinary vampire?

Obnoxious! That was the whole reason I never wanted to be a vampire. They might seem all bad ass with their Bloodlust and their bands, but they’re drones. They don’t think for themselves, they just do what they’re told. I could never do it.

  1. (this is for the ladies) What kinda gal gets you all hot and bothered. You know, aside from the obvious?

No vultures! In Vegas, that’s our nickname for vampire band groupies. They flock to dead things. Talk about a turn off. Hot and bothered, huh? How about a great smile, a sense of humor, and someone who likes to cuddle on the couch and watch movies.

(JC: *little girlish giggle*)

  1. If you were in the band, what would instrument would you play? Why?

Guitar. I’d always been known as a guitarist, until I auditioned for Immortal Dilemma and that was taken. I play drums, too, but I’d want to be out on the front of the stage where the action is.

  1. You’ve accomplished your goals, so what’s after Vegas?

I still have some work to do in Vegas. This clan needs a leader. I think I’ll be here for a while.

Finally, Kristen: Care to offer a few words of encouragement to fellow writers?

Keep writing. Even when you don’t feel like it. And get your work in front of an editor! That’s when you really grow!

(JC: Amen!)

It was awesome to have you by, Kristen. Don’t be a stranger at the next Manson show! LOL