Thursday, December 29, 2011

Interview with the Wyvern (and Giveaway!)

Today we are celebrating Katherine Wyvern's release of Black Carnival. We are certain that you all are going to love her new book, which has some of the richest and loveliest prose Evernight has to offer!


The city of Venice has been rebuilt on the far planet of Cydonia. Despite the uneasy presence of the mysterious, only part-human Sand Riders who roam the Cydonian deserts, the Black Carnival of NeuVenedig has become a celebration of beauty and lust known all over the Galaxy. Ivory Blake, a young artist from the conservative Central Planets, is thrown in the middle of the festivities to illustrate a new book about the Black Carnival. As a guest of the glamorous art collector Lukan Løvensgård, her professional assignment quickly turns into a highly emotional exploration of sensuality in all its most varied aspects, from BDSM to romantic love, passing through obsession, fear, jealousy and passionate, tender complicity.


He laughed and lifted a hand to caress my chin. He brushed a strand of hair back, tucking it behind my ear, and then he put down his glass, brought both his hands behind my head and undid the lacing of my mask. I didn't say a thing. As the mask was taken from my face, I felt more naked than I had ever felt since coming to NeuVenedig, and yet I felt no uneasiness at all. If anything, I began to unwind and took a deep liberating breath. I smiled at Laz'law and shyly, lightly caressed the tiny scales on his cheekbones, the rougher, thicker scales on his eyebrows, the beautiful strange mask that could never be taken off.

"Lovely," said he and I at the same time, and we laughed.

"So beautiful," we said again absurdly, improbably, in unison. 

It was uncanny. It was fantastic.

He grinned widely. I am sure that he had quite some practice at being adored. I was not used to be called beautiful; men in the Central Planets were too correct and formal, or, perhaps, just plain shy, for such wildly romantic statements. I had been called pretty, cute, sweet and even hot, but never beautiful. Obviously, I blushed. 

Lune put two fingers around my chin to turn my face to him. He looked at me tenderly and softly kissed my temples, my eyebrows, my cheekbones, all those places that he had never seen before. I closed my eyes, smiling a small beatific smile as I went more or less limp in his arms. I heard them both laughing, but I didn't open my eyes. 

Laz'law took the almost empty glass from my hand; I heard him getting up and walk off towards the bar, but by then Lune was kissing my mouth in intense, hot, tongue-and-teeth kisses, and I was quite distracted. I felt Laz'law sitting back on the sofa and lifting my skirt up. He took off my tall, soft suede boots and began caressing my knees, just under the edge of the skirt, then further up, running a flat warm palm along my legs. When his hand reached the naked skin of my thighs I shuddered with pleasure and finally broke the kiss, opening my eyes to look at him. 

He smiled at me, and kept caressing me in flat even caresses as if savoring the smoothness of the silk stockings and of my skin. Lune looked at him with a curiously affectionate smile, and then he said to me, "Come here."

He pulled me to sit in his lap, and began kissing me again, running his searching lips on my mouth, my throat, my neck. I sighed, my head thrown back, quite abandoned in his arms, when I felt Laz'law standing up behind me. His warm hands began to massage my naked shoulders, as if to ease my nerves. I didn’t think I needed any easing, but his warm fingers seemed to unravel my back as if it had been knotted. I bent my head forward to invite his hands higher. He obliged; his palms rubbed warmly along my neck, crawled in circles on my skull, loosening my hair, then descended again. He caressed my tightly corseted breasts and sides. Then he lifted my hair out of the way and started kissing the nape of my neck and my spine, between my shoulder blades. 

I was melting like chocolate. 

I pressed my face in the curve of Lune’s throat, opening my lips to taste his skin.  Laz’law kneeled on the carpet behind me, lifted the skirt up around my waist, and went on kissing his way down my back as his hands caressed my legs and then my buttocks. His breath puffed warm through the crisscrossing lacing of my corset, making me shiver in anticipation. 

I think I could have gone on like that forever, but after a while Lune sat up and moved further back on the deep sofa.

“Turn,” he whispered, pushing and pulling me around until I turned in his lap and sat facing Laz’law, who smiled, running his hands lightly along the inside of my legs. 

I relaxed against Lune’s body, my back on his chest. I parted my legs a bit, feeling wonderfully exposed, slutty and happy. Lune lowered the zipper of my corset and, as my breasts spilled out of their almost painful confinement, I sighed and put my arms up around his neck, turning his face down to mine, silently begging him to kiss me again. 

He was more than willing to comply, and kissed me deeply, hotly, his lips covering mine entirely, his tongue lashing down my throat, circling in my mouth, searching and teasing, pinning my head irresistibly against his shoulder. He kissed in fierce, carnivorous kisses, in surprising, delightful contrast with the quiet courtesy of his manner and the sweetness of his smile. 

One of his hands had taken hold of my left breast, and he was squeezing my nipple, softly at first and then harder, rolling the tender skin between his strong fingers until it almost hurt. He smoothly pushed his knees between mine, and spread my legs wide with his, opening me to Laz’law’s kisses. My breath was quick and shallow in his mouth. 

I could feel Laz'law's rough, scaly, metal studded brows brushing on the skin of my thighs, his warm mouth open on the almost transparent lace of my panties. His tongue was even warmer, and he ran it flatly on the damp lace a few times before untying the two twin bows that tied the panties around my hips. When my sex was naked and open before him, I pushed it upward towards his face, with a tiny pleading moan. When he stooped forward, I began rocking against his rough chin; he laughed softly and started lapping me in brief quick laps, retreating out of my reach after each lap, until I strained and arched my back for more. 

"What a hot little thing she is, indeed," he said, and Lune broke the kiss again to nod and laugh. 

“Told you,” he said.

They both stared at me, and I suddenly felt somewhat self-conscious at the thought that they had been talking about me, although it was quite natural, I guess. I sat up a bit straighter, closing my legs somewhat. Laz'law smiled up at me, caressing my thighs, murmuring something unintelligible but soothing while kissing my knees apart again, but in that moment I felt Lune's hands gently pushing me off his lap. I stood up and he carefully unbuttoned my skirt, which slid down my hips with a silky rustle.

I kicked it off, and Laz'law, still fully dressed, still on his knees on the carpet, pulled me toward him and pressed his mouth hard on my sex. 

That is when the last of my shyness went overboard.


Without further ado, let's get to know this rising star a bit better...

AD: What first drew you to writing? To writing romance?

KW: I always had a tendency to get entangled in strange long distance relationships, and I started to write erotica as a way to keep the fires burning, so to say. Then I happened to post some of my stories on an online forum, and people seemed to like them, so I kept writing. I still think of my writing more as Romantic Erotica than Erotic Romance!

AD: Your native language is not English, correct? Despite that, your prose is some of the lushest and richest I have read. 
What made you decide to write novels in English?

KW: Oh, wow, blush! I am not sure it was really a conscious decision, it evolved quite naturally. I am Italian, married to a German and living in France. English is the language I speak with my husband; also we tend to buy books and watch movies in English, so it has become my everyday language. That said, I started writing English before I even left Italy; it is simply my favourite language. I fell in love with it as a teen in school, reading Keats and Melville. I love its flexibility, the way nouns or adjectives can be turned into adverbs or almost anything else, so that a myriad of different images can be easily crammed into a small elegant sentence. You could not do that in Italian!

AD: How long did it take you to write Black Carnival?

KW: Black Carnival began as a very short story in 2005, but then it remained untouched until summer 2011. The bulk of it was written in four months.

AD: What first sparked your idea for this book?

KW: I was already writing erotica at the time, and Ivory was already my favourite character and narrator. And I was stitching a costume for the Venice Carnival. I have a certain gothic streak and the costume was all black, so I started writing about that dress and things grew from there. The Sand Riders were added on a whim, borrowing a scaly-faced rider from a very different, much older story I wrote in the mid nineties.  I am really a hopeless pantser and none of this was planned. The details of this particular world came together in the writing, although it all fits into a larger imaginary universe where I spent way too much time since childhood.

AD: What can you tell us about Cydonia? About your heroine? What about the hero?

KW: Cydonia is a desert planet so hot (no pun intended) that the only inhabitable continent is in the northern polar region. This means that night and day are season-long, and the environment somewhat extreme. An artificial, genetically engineered breed of rangers and scouts, the Sand Riders, inhabits most of this desert continent, while most human settlers are concentrated in the capital, NeuVenedig, and its immediate surroundings. The heroine, Ivory, from the Earth-like central planet NA, is a bit of a life-long alter ego of mine; she blushes as badly as I do and has a talent for complicated love entanglements. But she is more beautiful and a better artist than I am!  The hero, Lune, is a Sand Rider. When not busy in dissipated Carnival celebrations, he is an explorer and a naturalist. He has this tendency to be abstract and silent which some people may easily mistake for coldness, but it’s just because of the many years he has spent alone in the desert. Half of the time he is quietly composing love poems in his head, mostly, until now, for his male lover, Laz’law.

AD: Do you have any other adventures in Cydonia planned for us? What about other stories not related to your Cydonian universe?

KW: Oh yes. I am writing both a sequel and a prequel to Black Carnival, which means I am spending more time on Cydonia than on Earth and that my sense of time is a bit warped right now. I have ideas for other stories too (Evernight’s Naughty Fairy Tale series has sparked some of those) but I am a slow writer and try to concentrate on a few projects at a time, else I risk to leave things unfinished!

AD: What authors and/or stories have influenced you as a writer?

KW: Much of my use of imagery owes something to poets I love, from Keats to Neruda, and also to a favourite novelist, Antonia S Byatt.  More specifically to the genre, I wanted to write something with the wicked bdsm streak of Anne Rice-Roquelaure's Sleeping Beauty trilogy or even of some of Anais Nin's tales, but in a more emotional and romantic key. Lauren P. Burka was definitely a very important influence, helping to bring all these elements together. 

AD: What type of book do you read most often? What are you reading right now?

KW: I read mostly fantasy and historical fiction (I am totally addicted to Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series). I reread The Lord of the Rings about once a year, and I like getting stuff for free at Gutenberg Project on my Kindle, which means I am also reading lots of classics, Kipling, Dickens, Austen, Conrad...  At the moment however I am reading Bound to be Free, by Charles Moser and JJ Madeson, which I picked up as inspiration for a story.

AD: Describe a typical writing session for us.

KW: Most often it starts with me tossing and turning in bed at 3 am with some tormenting, pesky idea that won’t let me sleep. However, I usually don’t write at night, so I will need to listen to music for an hour or so in the morning until the idea comes back, and then start typing. I try to do most of the editing as I go, so when not inspired to write I will just go through the MS and fix some of the appalling mistakes I made the day before.

AD: Is there anything you have to have to write?

KW: Because of my rather strange lifestyle I became pretty good at writing more or less anywhere and with very few comforts. Often my office only consists of a camp-chair and a large umbrella. But I do need a cup of black tea to get started, a stack of, ahem, inspiring pictures and, most important, to be alone.  

AD: You live a rather unusual life, correct? Please tell us a bit about it.

KW: I was born and raised in a city, and lived in town until the age of 31, then decided that I needed some air, dropped everything, bought a horse and a tent and hit the road. Between 2009 and 2011 I travelled 5000 km on foot with my husband, horse and various assorted pets, camping wherever we happened to be at the end of a walking day. We are now spending a year in a small village in South West France, still living in our tipi, earning our life with street music and gardening jobs, and with no other transport than our boots and horse. Many think it is a rough lifestyle, especially in winter, but it offers the invaluable luxury of time, in my case time to be creative, which is the most important thing to me.

AD: Thanks so much for coming by our blog today, Katherine!

Leave a comment and your email address below to be entered to win a free copy of Black Carnival! This contest is open until January 6th.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Release of "Bride for the God-King"

It is our pleasure to announce the release of Bride for the God-King, our second novel set in the fictional world of Gilalion.

The telepath Elemia has spent her whole life training for her chance to marry the god-king in his far-away capital, but then she meets Abbas—and everything comes apart as they fall for each other.

As a half-breed, Abbas is barely tolerated by his own people, and Elemia is cast out of her order of novices for being with him. As punishment, Elemia is to be sold in marriage to Abbas' older brother, though her mind has already joined with Abbas'. The lovers would do anything to avoid this untenable situation, but even if they escape, they will still have to deal with the god-king.


Abbas laid out the pieces of clothing: first a thin, white smock, then a tight, blue bodice with laces that he laid on top. He also showed her two skirts, one slightly longer than the other. They were woven in red and blue patterns. “And, of course, your riding boots. You will find yourself ahorse more often than on foot.” Abbas was thrilled that he could teach Elemia about his ways. “I'll step outside. When you've tried these on, call me back in.” He did not want to go. He wanted to stay and admire the lithe body she had hidden under her robes.

“Thank you, Abbas. Yes, I will call you back in.” But she did not move toward the clothes. She simply stood and gazed at him.

Abbas tore himself away, not trusting himself to study her body further, and his head spun as he closed the door behind him. Ahketh was standing there scowling at him, and Abbas's euphoria evaporated. The Ausir knight represented everything that separated him from Elemia: the Order and its absolute control over her life, and the enforced marriage to Cathal.

“I hate you,” Abbas growled.

Ahketh chuckled. “I am not too fond of you, either, half-breed. The sooner we are away from each other, the better.”

Abbas brooded until he heard Elemia calling his name, more quickly than he had expected.

“What's the matter?” he said through the door.

“I need help. I am not sure what to do with this–this thing.”

Abbas's gaze darted to Ahketh's face. What would the knight think of him helping Elemia with her clothes? But Ahketh did not seem to care. He was staring off into the space before him.

Abbas re-entered the room, wondering if he might find Elemia half-naked. Instead, he found her fully dressed in the shift and skirts. In her hand, she held the bodice.

“Not bad for a first try.” He laughed a little louder than he felt, trying to cover his surprise. Elemia's breasts were round and full, larger than he had anticipated. He could make out little else save the slim curves of her hips. He cleared his throat, approached, and took the bodice. “This goes on before the skirts, and part of it tucks under them. May I?”

Elemia spread her arms out wide and looked wonderingly into Abbas's eyes. “Please.”

Her innocence and trust both aroused Abbas to fever pitch and hardened his resolve to abuse neither. “Here, let me.” Abbas reached out and loosened Elemia's skirts, untying them and letting them fall to the floor. The shift went to her knees. He admired the shape of her leg, strong and lean, as it disappeared up into her smock. But then he saw the tattoo, and the creeping ivy across her ankle brought him up short.

“The chieftain said my ivy will never bloom.” Elemia must have read his thoughts, or, more likely, his disappointment was plain on his face.

Abbas took what comfort he could in that promise and continued his work. He clasped the bodice around Elemia's waist and laced it from the bottom up. He worked slowly. He wanted to take his time and enjoy the feel of her flesh beneath his hands. With each pull of the lace, Elemia's form became more defined, more visible to Abbas's appreciative eye. Elemia was slender and small, but the fullness of her breasts reminded him that she was not a child. The bodice stopped short under her bosom, leaving them covered only by the shift. As he tied off the lace at the top, his gaze traced the outline of her firm breasts. Her erect nipples were visible through the thin fabric.

“Is it too tight?” Elemia asked. “I cannot really breathe.”

Abbas knew that the bodice was not too tight. “It's fine. It just takes some getting used to. You've spent your life in a flowing robe.” It pleased Abbas to think that Elemia was becoming as aroused as he, for if anything was too tight, it was his breeches, straining to contain his erection. He slowly knelt and picked up the skirts, raising them around Elemia's hips, letting his hands brush against her buttocks.

Elemia sighed and reached out to tuck a stray braid back behind Abbas's ear. As he wrapped the skirts around her waist, Abbas could feel Elemia moving against him. She was reacting the way her body wanted her to, but she was ignorant of the ways of sex. He realized had she known, she would have kept a tighter rein on her physical response. Abbas smiled to himself and tied the skirts in place, looping the belts through the bodice according to Rolador fashion. He stepped away from her then to appraise her, but he made sure he kept his hands folded in front of his straining breeches. “I have never seen a lovelier chieftainess.” He had never seen a lovelier woman. It still amazed him that others did not see Elemia's beauty.

“You flatter me.” Elemia smoothed down the bodice. “It is kind of you to think so. You are the perfection of two races, more beautiful than either alone.”

Abbas was glad to hear the voices of Volshaden and Jhaleed in the antechamber. He could not trust himself any longer in the room with Elemia, for he wished to seize her, rip the bodice from her breasts, and lick her rosy nipples. He wanted to throw her on the bed, tear off her skirts, and thrust his throbbing phallus into her. He knew that her body would accept him; surely it had already prepared itself. She would wrap her legs around his hips and pull him in deeper, all the while devouring his mouth with her own.

“They are calling us.” Elemia brought Abbas back to reality.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Oatmeal bread for the holidays

Our first two novels are set in our fictional world of Gilalion. Miria and Tsalrin, from Worth His Freedom, enjoy all kinds of food, but one of the specialty dishes from Nirrion (the city where they live) is Nirrion Bread.

This is an oatmeal bread that goes great with butter and jam, or you can eat it dipped in stew. It's perfect for cold days, and it will nicely complement your holiday table. Since it takes a long time to bake, it'll spread its aroma throughout your house. The bread is delicious plain or served however you wish!

We hope you will enjoy our homemade, original recipe for your holidays!


1 c. whole oats
2 Tbsp. yeast
2 c. boiling water
1/4 hot water
5 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. powdered milk
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. honey
1/4 olive oil
extra oats


First combine the 2 c. of boiling water and the 1 c. of oats. Mix until it forms an oatmeal-like consistency. Mix the yeast with the 1/4 c. hot water (not boiling, though, or you'll kill the yeast!). Let the yeast stand, and let the oatmeal cool, stirring it occasionally, for about 20-30 minutes. During that time, mix the flour, powdered milk, and salt together and set aside. When the oatmeal is cool, stir in the yeast mixture, and let stand for five minutes. Then stir the honey and oil into the oatmeal mixture. Then add the flour mixture. Knead it together until it is no longer moist. Cover and let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Then grease two loaf pans. When the dough has risen, knead it down and roll it into two loaves. Put one in each pan and sprinkle with the extra oats. Cover and let rise for another hour. Bake at 180 C (approximately 350 F) for 55 minutes. Remove from oven. Spread butter on the tops of the loaves, allowing them to cool in the pan. (If cut while warm, the bread tends to crush, but it tastes wonderful.) When cool, remove from pans and wrap in plastic wrap. This bread will stay fresh for several days as long as it is kept covered. It is a rich, heavy bread that is so delicious that when served with cheese and vegetable sticks it makes an entire meal. However, it is also a great complement to stews, and it makes a good toast as well. Pictures follow to show you the progress of the recipe:

If you try this (or if you have any questions), tell us what you think in the comments section!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Review of Jezebel Jorge's "Hexes and Headlocks"

Author: Jezebel Jorge
Title: Hexes and Headlocks
Length: Novel

Author's Blurb

A love spell turns lethal when Rowan falls for professional wrestler, Dylan Dalton. Once she’s immersed in his world of scripted violence, endless drama, and constant temptations of life on the road, Rowan learns the identity of her birth father. Chaos ensues when she finally meets the man responsible for raping her 15-year-old birth mother.

Guided by the ghost of her grandmother, Rowan sets out to avenge her birth mother’s untimely death. The young witch is willing to do anything to eliminate anyone who dares to try to come between her and Dylan. Their whirlwind affair reveals several scandalous secrets that threaten to destroy the already-dysfunctional Dalton family.

What I Thought
The positive points:
The descriptions of wrestling and the wrestling world were clear and interesting. Several of the characters were memorable, particularly Rowan, the heroine. The plot was complex and involved, and there were several interlocking story arcs. The author clearly knows more about these characters than showed up in the story, and this lends a sense of depth to some of them.

The negative points:
The heroine was memorable chiefly for her multiple murders and her single-minded obsession with the hero. Because so many of the female characters were witches, the male characters were often nothing more than pawns, objects to be fought over rather than people with wills of their own. The only couple that seemed to be a genuine couple, one where the two chose to be together, was the secondary couple of the hero's brother and his girl. This leads to another negative. There were simply too many characters, all introduced nearly at once, and all with connections to one another, often connections of which the characters themselves were ignorant. This led to a disconnect with the main characters. By the end, any interest in the hero and heroine had dwindled to nearly nothing. There were simply too many characters vying for attention, as well as the fact that the hero was nothing more than a toy for the heroine, a prize to be fought over and won.

Adonis says:

Get it here!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mark your calendars!

We just got word from Evernight: December 26th! Just in time for your holiday reading. What great timing! Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

The telepath Elemia has spent her whole life training for her chance to marry the god-king in his far-away capital, but then she meets Abbas – and everything falls apart as they fall for each other. Derided as a half-breed, Abbas is barely tolerated by his own people, and Elemia is cast out of her order of novices for being with him. As punishment, Elemia is to be sold in marriage to Abbas' older brother, though her mind has already joined with Abbas'. The lovers would do anything to avoid this untenable situation, but even if they escape, they will still have to deal with the god-king.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Review of Bonnie Bliss' "Chains and Chocolate"

Author: Bonnie Bliss
Title: Chains and Chocolate
Length: Short story

Author's Blurb

Marie Jones met her husband Neil on the internet 3 years ago. Six months ago, she fulfilled her ultimate dream. She moved to England and they were married. 

Marie has always had a secret desire to be a submissive to her perfect Dom. In their short relationship, Marie coaxed her hubby into her dream and after heavy training. Neil is the perfect Sir to Marie’s kitten. At first Neil was hesitant, he saw BDSM as a depraved activity, a harsh sexual reality that he wanted no part of. After realizing it brought him closer to his wife, he embraced it, the rewards glorious.

Now they are about to begin a journey of discovery. Neil has created the perfect playroom, his ‘Dungeon’. Join them in their first ever true scene together as the BDSM lifestyle takes them into a new beginning together. 

Marie is about to find out just how good her husband is as he takes control for the first full scene and takes her down to his dungeon to chain her to a bench, followed by a covering of melted chocolate for dessert.

What I Thought
The positive points:
The descriptions of the various BDSM implements were thorough. The melted chocolate was particularly well-described, and by the time the short story was over, I wanted to eat some chocolate.

The negative points:
There were run-on sentences and comma splices in nearly every paragraph. The grammar was poor, and the plot was non-existent. The depiction of a husband and wife trying out their new "dungeon" had no tension, no suspense, and no interest. There was nothing about either Marie or Neil to hold the reader's attention even for a single page, let alone for the 20+ pages of this short story. Despite the story's brevity, the repetition of certain phrases, particularly those describing Marie's enormous breasts, caused the already dragging story to stall even further. Though the story was under 30 pages, it felt much longer. Reading about Neil's demands for a "soapy wank" was neither arousing nor erotic. The attempts by the author to give the story verisimilitude by giving the couple a school-age child failed. The mentions of Lucy, the daughter, jarred. That Neil and Marie had to pick Lucy up from school in three hours' time served to end their "scene" and the story in a timely fashion, but that was all. Anything, any sort of appointment, would have done for that, without bringing in the extraneous Lucy. The statement that Marie's decision not to breastfeed had worked "in her favor" by allowing her to keep her perfect (and enormous) breasts was not only factually inaccurate, it shifted the focus of the scene from "Marie as submissive lover" to "Marie as mother", hardly a beneficial alteration. There was no payoff in eroticism for any of these flaws.

Adonis says:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Interview with Renee Silvana

We're so happy to have Renee Silvana, author of new release Waking the Dead, with us here today!

So, what's this story all about?

Guardian of the gate to the spirit world, hellhound Adrian Mason is responsible for apprehending errant necromancers—witches who conjure spirits during divination rituals—and now he has his hands full with a demon on the loose. When all evidence points to Miriam Spencer, she swears she's not to blame. Though she is descendant from a family of powerful witches, Miriam can barely divine answers from a magic eight ball, let alone raise spirits.

But, if she's not the culprit, then who—or what—is wreaking havoc on the small upstate-New York town? Falling for his prime suspect isn’t on Adrian’s agenda. Duty-bound and with time running short, he must bring Miriam to justice, or face his own.

AD: Sounds awesome, Renee! How long have you been writing? Was writing what you always wanted to do, or was it an unexpected turn in your life?

RS: I'm not unique in this matter when I say I've been writing for as long as I could hold a pen. As a young child, I was frustrated by my inability to decipher written words, and was thrilled when I was able to manipulate them into something new and permanent on paper.

AD: What was your inspiration for Waking the Dead?

RS: You know those silly story generator things? I was playing with one of those one day. They never really give me much help because the story ideas are so ridiculous. One of the phrases I came up with during the process began, "What if an inept necromancer...." I laughed out loud. What a silly idea! But then as I thought about it, the sentence completed itself. What if an inept necromancer were accused of raising a demon, when she can't perform any magick at all?

AD: How long did it take you to write?

RS: Waking the Dead took a long time to write because it started as a completely different story back in my 100% pantsing days. In its original form, the hellhounds were the villain. The entire process of writing, rewriting, polishing, editing and submitting it took about a year. Now that I plot more I can write a LOT faster than that! Even the sequel to WTD is currently 90% finished and has been for months, but I want to make sure I get the story completely right before I send it off!

AD: Does your location -- you currently live near the Grand Canyon, right? -- affect or inform your writing?

RS: I currently live in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and have for just a couple of months. Unfortunately I've been too distracted by my odd work schedule to really have it influence my writing. This past summer however, I lived in the Grand Canyon. I could literally wake up in the morning and walk up to the Colorado River. It was phenomenal. I had a beautiful view of the Vermillion Cliffs from my window, and I would wake up to it early every morning and just sip my coffee, look out my window, and write. It was so inspiring.

AD: What drew you to writing paranormal romance?

RS: I read a lot of paranormal, speculative fiction and science fiction. I write what I read, and then try and make it a happily-ever-after.

AD: What is something surprising about your heroine? Your hero?

RS: The idea for Adrian came from a song. The character in the song is not a good guy, but as soon as I heard the lyrics, I had my Adrian in mind. Miriam's character initially came to mind when I did that story generator thing, but developed as I began studying Wicca.

AD: The subtitle of your book is The Hounds of Annwyn. Does that mean you have a series in mind? What can you tell us about it?

RS: I do have a series in mind! I have the second book in the series almost done (but I'm probably going to rewrite it because that's just how I roll). The second story follows the lives of the characters a little after WTD ends. I am about 8,000 words into the third installment as well.

AD: Please describe a typical writing session for us.

RS: I used to have one! I'd wake up at 4 a.m., put on a pot of coffee, and write for anywhere from 2-3 hours. Now I really only fit it in when I can, because I'm still adjusting to working evenings.

AD: What author has influenced your writing the most? Who are your favorite romance authors? Authors in other genres?

RS: When I was an angsty teenager, Edgar Allan Poe influenced most of my writing, followed closely by the lyrics from a band, Cradle of Filth. Once I passed that phase in my life (thank goodness), I started developing my own voice. The first eBook I bought was by Mandy Roth, and I've been a huge fan since. I can only hope to be as prolific someday! I'm reading more Evernight Publishing authors now and am a huge fan of Georgia Fox's Conquerors series. Outside of romance I enjoy H.P. Lovecraft, Harlan Ellison, Arthur C. Clarke... I wish I had more time to read, though.

AD: What gets the largest share of your free time?

RS: My job gets the most of my time now, followed closely by sleep. After that, my top priority is exercise. I get cranky if I don't get a run or a hike in.

AD: What is the most surprising thing about you?

RS: That's difficult! I guess it's all relative, really. I belong to several different "circles," and they all look at my other ones kind of funny. My romance writing buddies look at me sideways when I talk about backpacking and sleeping deep in the wilderness. My outdoor recreation friends can't believe I write romance and that I was a public school science teacher for two years. My meat-centric family thought my years of veganism were crazy (I've been vegetarian for a long time now). The only thing that surprises me about me is that I was such a New York City homebody for years, and over the last twelve months I've moved to four different states after living in the same neighborhood for over two decades.

Thank you for having me here today, Adonis!

AD: Thanks for stopping by!

You can pick up Waking the Dead here. Renee is also on Facebook and Twitter.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Review of Lilith Duvalier's "The Promise of Silk"

Author: Lilith Duvalier
Title: The Promise of Silk
Length: Novella

Author's Blurb
An airship pirate who ran away from his soul crushing London life, finds himself at an infamously decadent carnival out in the English countryside. A fellow pirate does his best to convince him to go and sample the lovely women of The Row, but Buck isn’t sure he ever wants a woman again.

That is until a mysterious woman in a red dress and mask sits down across from him, entrancing him instantly. He follows her back to her red silk tent, where she puts him through his paces, whetting his appetite for more erotic delights. Each time he returns, she brings him further beyond his boundaries, while learning that he can help her break her bonds.

What I Thought
The positive points:
The writing was smooth and rich, as silken as the title promises. The first scene between the hero and the heroine is intriguing, particularly as it comes out of nowhere, illustrating the magnetic attraction between the two. Jane/Anisette is, mostly, consistent, and her behavior mysterious and alluring. The hero's sweetness is a good counterpoint to her sour. The steam-punk Victorian setting is also deftly sketched. Alaric's doubts about submitting to Jane/Anisette, too, are well-done. The ending was ... happy.

The negative points:
I understand that in writing a romance between a dominatrix and her sub there are many difficulties which must be resolved, but still, the resolution was incomplete. Jane's attitude toward the hero is insufficiently detailed, insufficiently explored. Even up until the last she is thinking of herself rather than Alaric, of how his (supposed) departure will affect her future plans for herself. This led to the ending feeling hollow, unsatisfactory, and unbelievable in that Jane is suddenly being kind to Alaric. In addition, her previous experiences in pretending to be a widow apparently led only to her being considered a "whore" by the neighborhood because of her lack of a husband. This attitude clashed with the otherwise well-done steam-punk Victorian setting. In a Victorian setting a widow without a man would be considered an object of pity perhaps but no one would automatically assume she was a loose woman. This aspect of Jane's background seemed contrived, and it clashed with the overall smoothness of the book.

Adonis says:

Get it here!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Interview with Amanda Rose & Jennifer May

We're pleased to have authors Amanda Rose and Jennifer May with us here today! They wrote Branded Seductions together, and we wanted to get to know them better. Before we get started, let's take a peek at the book!

Shep was the military alpha for a band of brothers sent to control the outside paranormal population. Now they focus their cause on one thing―blending in, in the one place they've helped the military destroy. The para community.

With the General on his heels, and a crazy ex girlfriend close behind, will Shep have the training he needs to elude them both and finally find his mate, or will he soon realize that even in the para community, things aren't always as they appear?

Anya watched, amazed, as his body began to contort. It wasn’t more than a few seconds before his human body sagged to the floor. His arms seemed to shake as he tried to lift himself from the cold, damp stone.

“Are you all right?” Anya asked as she moved to the end of the makeshift bed.

She placed her fingertips on the back of his shoulder. The look he gave her as he slowly began to rise caused her to draw herself back. Holy hell. He might not have been in wolf form anymore, but the animalistic look clouding his face was still there. With the way he was moving toward her, he wasn’t coming over to just say hello.

“You want me.” His head bent down to the ground as he took in another deep breath. “I can smell it on you.” His eyes lifted and locked with hers. “Come to me, Anya.” Shep’s last words were deeper than the others. Her name came out as if he was calling her through a release.
She became frantic with indecision. Did she run or submit to him? The pull of the moon outside the dark cave had her wanting to give herself to Shep. But should she? Hell, she wanted to. But what then? Would tomorrow come and he’d be the same cold, nasty person she knew lurked behind the wolf façade? Too many questions pummeled her at once.
A hand grasped around her ankle and gently pulled at her. Anya could feel herself sliding down onto her back. She knew she should fight it, but she couldn’t bring herself to stop the curiosity of what he would be like. Did she let the beast in him dominate her like she’d wanted since the first time he licked her neck.
The grip loosened while Shep’s head lowered and trailed the length of her leg. The feel of his hot breath against her moist private area only increased her need to feel him touch her more. An aching pain throbbed in her lower stomach as she waited for him to make some sort of move.
“Shep?” Her voice came out sounding fragile, almost unsure.
“No words tonight, Anya. Just feel.” He spoke to her thigh without breaking his focus on her flesh.
Large hands separated her legs wide while his face lowered. At the first contact of his tongue against her upper, inner thigh, she nearly screamed. Her fingers weaved into his hair, driving him closer to where she wanted him.
“Don’t rush this, darlin’. Let me savor your taste.”
Teeth nibbled higher up her leg until she thought she’d die from the anticipation. A whimpering moan escaped her lips while he sucked her skin into his mouth. He was so close. Just a little more and she’d be in heaven.
Pressure gripped into her hips. His hands clutched to her tightly as he climbed higher. The first brush of his tongue against her slit nearly had her upper body coming off the bedding. Fire erupted through her entire body while he took his time exploring her sensitive area. The scent of him was everywhere, drugging her with every shaky breath she took. Anya buried her face into a piece of torn cloth under her as she tried her best not to scream.
“You have no idea how good you taste.”
Anya turned, reaching for his arms. “Then come up here and show me.”
The corner of his mouth lifted as he gave her the beginnings of a smile. “You want me up there? Are you sure?”
“If I don’t feel you on me soon, I’m going to go crazy.”
Shep’s tongue slid across his lips and Anya lost it. She grasped his biceps trying to pull him more on top of her, when her wrists were suddenly pinned over her head. The adjustment of his hands had him holding them down with the strength of one arm. Just seeing his free hand hover over her chest caused her to arch for contact.
“You want me to touch you here?”
Fingertips traced around the curve of her breast, so nonexistent she wasn’t sure if what she was feeling was actually him or her mind.
“Yes.” The shear desperation in her voice twisted her already tightened stomach.
Shep’s lips parted as he let out a ragged breath. “How about here?”
It felt like air traveled over the flatness of her stomach until it reached the apex of her thighs. Heat rolled off Anya in waves. She’d never wanted anyone as much as she wanted him right now. The need to experience more left her sensitive and yearning.
“Please. No more. I can’t stand the teasing.”
Shep laughed deep in his throat. It took everything in her to fight the heaviness of her eyes from the pleasure. Uncontrollable need made her legs lock around his waist, but she couldn’t budge him.
“I know what you want.”
AD: Thanks for joining our blog today. So, tell us: how long have you been writing? 
Amanda: I have been writing for a few years but making up stories I’ve been doing my whole life.
Jennifer: I’ve only been writing for about three years. My whole life I’ve been an avid reader. I have no idea why I didn’t attempt to create a story sooner, but I really wish I would have. 
AD: How long have you two been writing together? 
Amanda: This is our first book together, but we seem to spill the deets on all our works. I just love listening to how her brain works, and I know I can’t wait sometimes to tell her how something turns in my writing. 
Jennnifer: That is so true. We are constantly going back and forth on our ideas for up-and-coming books. Amanda has to be one of the most creative people I've ever met. 
AD: When and how did you meet? 
Amanda: We met on a forum on Goodreads a few years ago and had so much in common that we became friends. 
Jennifer: Yep!
AD: You both have individual pieces. What first drew you to writing as a team? 
Amanda: This story. I called Jen one morning from work and told her about a dream I had that had to be written. I actually woke up and wrote down the first scene in the book before I left for work. From there, Jen and I couldn’t stop gossiping about our characters. It was like they were friends, and their lives just kept expanding. 
Jennifer: Yes! I still remember that morning like yesterday. We couldn’t get enough of talking about the characters. From there, we knew we had something we had to come together and write.
AD: When did you first want to be a writer? 
Amanda: Honestly, I never really thought I’d be a writer. I write because I have something to say. When that runs out and my ideas dry up, I don’t want to force it because it’s ‘my job’. I try to stay focused in the now and not look at it as a career but as a gift. I know, sounds a bit corny. 
Jennifer: I truly never thought I was good enough to attempt to even try. I was reading a historical novel one day and was obsessed. That’s when someone asked me, why don’t I just try to write one. The question kind of set me aback. After a few days of thinking about it, I had to try. It changed my life, and I haven’t looked back since.
AD: Did you always write romance, or did it take you a while to find your niche? 
Amanda: I read as much romance as I can get my hands on, and, come on, who doesn’t love daydreaming about the perfect man? It was only a matter of time before I tried to write my own happily ever after. Romance is the first genre I tried, and though the sub-genres change, I can’t get away from the love stories. 
Jennifer: I’ve written nothing but romance since I began but recently starting trying my hand at mystery/thriller. I just love to write and am blessed that I can come up with these great stories and characters.
AD: How long did it take you to write Branded Seductions
Amanda: From start to publication took us about a year. 
Jennifer: Yep!
AD: What was your inspiration for Branded Seductions?
Amanda: Jen living in Texas and me in NY. We both agreed that knowing our locations so well would be a great advantage for our story. 
Jennifer: We loved that we could bring so much to the story, a NY flare in the country was perfect. 
AD: Is all your work paranormal? What interested you in paranormal romance? 
Amanda: No, I write whatever is the loudest in my head. My first novel, The Vessel, was more fantasy. I absolutely love that genre, but I try not to limit myself to one specific area. 
Jennifer: Aside from the mystery I’m writing now, all mine (under Jennifer Salaiz and Jennifer May) have been paranormal. I actually just wrote my first contemporary under my penname, Alaska Angelini.
AD: What is your method for writing together? 
Amanda: Ha, it was so much fun, between late night calls, texts early in the morning and emails up the wazoo, Jen and I spoke constantly about this story. Right, Jen? LoL 
Jennifer: Right! We were constantly in touch. It didn’t matter the time or the day of the week, we were always informing each other on our new thoughts or ideas.
AD: Please describe a typical writing session for you. Is it any different when you are working on a team piece from when you are writing a solo piece? 
Amanda: Music is a must, and I like a quiet house. It’s really hard for me to write with the dog barking, cat meowing, and baby crying. I tend to write late at night when there’s no noise but my fingers on the keyboard and my iPod cranking. 
Jennifer: For some reason I can’t write that well during the day. My muse stays pretty well hidden until the sun goes down, but once it does reveal itself, my music goes on, and I disappear to another world. 
AD: You are both mothers of young babies. How do you find that having a baby has affected your writing time? Have you mastered one-handed typing yet? (I did a fair bit of writing with a nursing baby, and it is a great skill to have.)
Amanda: Haha, oh my, it’s been a huge change in my life, but I love every minute of it. I am now a stay-at-home mom, so I treat writing like my work. I give baby over to the hubby and have the quiet time to create. Jen and I did finish the book before our babies were born, and, thank God, I had her help with the editing since I was on bed-rest during most of the process and couldn’t really keep my eyes open. No one-handed typing for me. I’d have been there forever or forgotten what I wanted to say.
Jennifer: LOL! I actually have experienced the one-handed typing. I am on occasion interrupted and am glad he is so good sitting on my lap as I write.
AD: What projects are you currently working on? When can we expect to see them? 
Amanda: I’m still working on the second book in the Kingdom series and expect to have that finished by the end of this year. If all goes well, Jen and I will be starting the second book in the Branded Brotherhood series early next year. 
Jennifer: Aside from some anthologies I’m working on for Alaska Angelini, not to mention the new series in the mystery/thriller genre I have coming out under than name, too, I’m also wrapping up some series under Jennifer Salaiz. Whenever Amanda is ready to start on our next story, I’m ready!
AD: What is the most surprising (or interesting) thing about you?
Amanda: That I’m extremely independent. If someone says it can’t be done or it’s too heavy for me, you can bet your sweet bottom I’m going to make it a point to get the job done. I love working with my hands and trying new projects to see what I’m capable of. Since it’s getting cold right now, I’m teaching myself how to crochet. I also love being in school. I take classes sometimes just because I want to know more about the subject. Like for instance, American Sign Language. I can’t wait to teach my son how to sign! 
Jennifer: Surprising…hmmm, let’s see. Other than the everyday life, I think people would be most surprised at how many names I’ve gone through since I started writing. Jennifer Salaiz, Jennifer May, Alaska Angelini (that’s the name I plan on using from now on), but who knows? The more I read, the more the different genres beg to be written.  Jennifer Bradley (my real name) just might end up having one or two more before it’s over with.
AD: Thanks for joining us, ladies. You two are a riot!
Check out these two at Evernight Publishing. Look them up on Facebook and Facebook, too!
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