The Obscured Vixen

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Author Interview & Book Review: Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on November 6, 2012

Author Interview & Book Review: Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel

I’m not a huge fan of YA, but I cannot get enough of Lia Habel’s Gone With the Respiration series. It’s addicting! This is a series that I absolutely inhale. It is so different from anything that I’ve ever read. It’s refreshing and a breath of fresh air.

We see deeper into our favorite characters: Nora, Bram, and Pamela; as well as new characters: Laura, Dog, and Smoke. There are also characters that get a bigger role in this book which was very exciting to see: Michael, Vespertine, and Coalhouse.

Nora is still getting herself into trouble because she can’t not help someone in trouble. We see deeper into Michael’s past and his family, learning why he acts the way he does. We see his father and his work for a few chapters.

The second installment of this series leaves Company Z disbanded. The living are now fighting back. Things are falling apart. There is a new strain of the Laz virus that is spreading throughout New London. This time around, they have the zombie source in custody.

With everything falling apart, this book is darker than the first one… which I thoroughly enjoyed. Peoples homes are being attacked, anxiety is rising high, and thoughts of suicide are being debated.

A group called The Murder has sprung up. They are living humans that go after and kill zombies. They wear black masks that disguise their faces and distort their voices.

With Company Z is no longer active, the soldiers are scattered. Some are staying at Nora’s house to help Dr. Dearly. Others, like Hagen, formed a group called The Changed. This group is supposed to be a sanctuary for zombies so they can live peacefully, but with Hagens in charge things don’t turn out even the way she expected.

Pamela is having anxiety attacks and dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder with everything that has happened to her in these two books. I would like to give a huge thank you to Lia Habel for writing about Pamela and her anxiety issues. Growing up with and still battling General Anxiety Disorder, it really hit home for me. It is an exhausting disorder to live with, and does get extremely tiring to hide pretending like everything is alright.

I definitely recommend this book, especially if you’ve read Dearly, Departed. It takes the entire story to a whole new level of craziness and I can’t wait for more!

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The fabulous Lia Habel is always so sweet and generous, as well as ever so glamorous. She was kind enough to do an interview to go along with this book review. Hope you enjoy it!

The Obscured Vixen: How many books will there be in the series?
Lia Habel:
I recently sat down to work on the proposal to continue the series, and came up with the idea of five books. The rough outlines of the final three are now sitting in a Word file on my computer, waiting to see what happens on the business side of things. Bram is the lynchpin of the series, and the measuring stick by which it’s plotted — I have to give him a solid, exciting story arc and conclusion, and I think three books will work for that.

At one point I said that I could imagine myself writing about the characters forever, but now I realize that isn’t the case. Aside from the fact that I’ve found that I struggle with writing series (which I didn’t know before I sat down to write Beloved, my first-ever sequel), zombies are monsters with a limited shelf life, and I think that dragging the characters out would ultimately negatively impact their stories and voices.

TOV: When will the next book be released? I need more!
LH:
It hasn’t even been written yet! I can tell you that the working title is Dearly, Betrayed (ooh, foreshadowing), and that we’ll finally, hopefully get across the Border and start looking at things from a Punk perspective. The plot will also start to get really heavy — I had no idea where Departed was going when I started writing it, and quite innocently said, “Sure, I can do that!” when my agent suggested expanding the book into a series. I’ve found, though, that it’s a very complicated, generational plot — that Nora, especially, will be dealing with things that happened long before she was ever born. I think Lopez solidified that for me, when I sat down to flesh him out for book two — I realized how far back a lot of my characters’ issues go. This isn’t shaping up to just be a “zombie apocalypse” story; it’s a story that talks about the turns you make in your life, how you handle your past, and how you have to pick yourself up and keep marching on.

TOV: Without giving too much away, how did you come up with the story line for Laura? Especially her green thumb?
LH:
Laura was inspired by all the zombie movies I’ve watched, actually! I really like it when zombies are presented almost as earth elementals; when they’re accompanied by such metaphorical cues as dead plants, moss, grave dirt, etc. Think of the zombies that claw their way out of the ground and come out streaked with earth, or are covered with mold. I’ve even watched movies that use plants as a means of infection! So I wanted to take that idea and run with it, and I came up with the idea of a zombified Victorian flower girl. (Fact: Right up through line edits, her name was actually Sofia — I don’t watch Walking Dead, so I had no idea there was a pivotal character named Sophia on that show. I changed it at the last minute!)

TOV: Love seems to be in the air! Do we eventually see other characters besides Nora and Bram falling in love: Pamela? Vespertine? Coalhouse?
LH:
Pamela is so not in the market for romance right now! I think she’s focused on overcoming her own issues — and maybe getting a little revenge? I am really excited about Vespertine, though; she’s a really interesting character to write. I’d love to do more with her and Ren…mainly because I think the other boys underestimate Ren. Protip, girls: Nerds like to be the best at EVERYTHING they do. Failure is not an option.

TOV: If you had the choice, would you rather have a Rolls Royce or a motorized stage coach?
LH:
Oh gosh, do I have to pick? I’m going with the coach. Mostly because it might actually have room for all my dresses.

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Author Interview & Book Review: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

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Author Interview, Book Review, Giveaway: Out For Blood by Kristen Painter

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on October 31, 2012

Interview, Book Review, and Giveaway: Out For Blood by Kristen Painter

After nearly dying at the hands of the Aurelian, Chrysabelle finds new determination to move beyond life as a comarré. That is until the Kubai Mata bring a new task to her doorstep: rescue the child Tatiana has kidnapped, or Mal becomes enemy number one.

Kristen Painter has out done herself yet again! Out For Blood is by far my favorite book of the House of Comarre series. There is even more intrigue, deception, and cat fights!

Some characters show their true colors, and some characters crumble under unforeseen circumstances. And just when you think you know exactly where the story is going, you get hit in the side of the head by a Painter curve ball.

Also in typical House of Comarre fashion, we are left with a multitude of questions that will be answered in the last novel of the series, Last Blood, scheduled to be released next year.

If you have not yet read this series, start today! And GO READ THIS BOOK!

And today, November 1st, Out For Blood is the Kindle deal of the day. So go pick it up here right now!

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I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Kristen Painter twice, and I can honestly say that she is one of the coolest authors you could ever meet and hang out with. She is so down to earth, and hilariously funny. She is also the biggest sweetheart, and allowed me to interview her on her latest book, Out For Blood. Enjoy this awesome interview!

TOV: It seems like Chrysabelle could really use her mothers help at the end of this book. Did you write Maris’s character knowing you would kill her off so early on?
KP:
I did. My goal is to always make things worse for my characters. Taking her mother so soon after they’re reunited seemed about the worst thing I could do, but it also forced Chrysabelle to grow. I’m not sure she would have progressed as much if she’d had Maris to learn on.

TOV: Will we ever see Preachers back story?
KP:
Good question. I won’t say no. You’ll get to see more of him in Last Blood, though.

TOV: If I can be honest, you write bitches really well. Which is a good thing! Is it more fun writing the evil characters?
KP:
Thanks! They are fun to write, but also tough because evil without reason isn’t nearly as compelling as evil due to some deep issues. I really strive to find the “human” even in my baddies.

TOV: This series always has a cliffhanger at the end of each book, but this one definitely takes the cake! Do you enjoying teasing readers with these major cliffhangers?
KP:
I love cliffhangers like a cat loves cream although I understand they can make readers crazy. The bonus is, for those people who wait until all the books are out, they can read straight through like it’s one epic story – which it really is.

The Obscured Vixen: Which of your works are you most proud of?
Kristen Painter:
I’m super proud of Out For Blood, but even more so of Last Blood, the final book in this series. It was both a pain and a joy to write. I felt such responsibility to deliver a book that would satisfactorily wrap things up and give readers the emotional pay out they deserved. I believe I did that. I can tell you I shed a few tears writing the end of that book.

TOV: When will the next book be released? (I just finished and I already want more!)
KP:
I believe Last Blood is scheduled for July 2013.

TOV: How many books will be in the series?
KP
Five – Last Blood is the also the last book!

TOV: Would you ever want your books to be one a movie or tv show?
KP:
I would love that! How fun would that be? Why are you asking? Do you know someone? LOL

TOV: Haha! I wish I did! I would totally hook you up : ) Thank you so much for the awesome interview!

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Giveaway Details

Kristen has been extremely generous in offering the winner of this giveaway any book from her House of Comarre series! The choice is totally up to you.

  • This giveaway will end November 8, 2012 at midnight EST
  • United States entries only
  • Click here for full giveaway terms and conditions

This giveaway has ended.

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Book Review & Author Interview: The Good Fight by Andrew Grey

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on September 24, 2012

Book Review & Author Interview: The Good Fight, by Andrew Grey

Book Blurb
Jerry Lincoln has a problem: his Sioux Falls IT consulting business has more work than one man can handle. Luckily, that means he can hire some help.

Jerry just hopes his new employee, John Black Raven, ends up being more helpful than distracting—but John’s deep eyes and long hair are very distracting. John came to town for an education and a chance at a life he couldn’t have on the reservation, but what’s important to him now is getting a job and keeping it. Six months ago, his sister died, and now her children are in foster care. Despite having the law on his side, John can’t get custody—can’t even see his niece and nephew.

As Jerry and John grow closer, John discovers he doesn’t have to struggle alone. Jerry helps him win visitation rights and provides much-needed support. Yet their victories aren’t without setbacks. Child Services is tangled up with money, politics, and red tape, and Native American children are their bread and butter. But John and Jerry are determined to fight the good fight and to win—in more ways than one.

Book Review
If you enjoy m/m romance stories, I highly recommend this book. It is very realistic, and not a romance where both characters are living in the clouds. There is love, suspense, and a great end to this story.

Jerry Lincoln, who lived most of his life in San Francisco, moves to Sioux Falls when his grandfather falls ill. After his grandfather passes away, he stays in Sioux Falls and starts an IT consulting business. Jerry’s business is so successful that he needs to hire more employees to be able to finish all the work.

A friend gives Jerry resumes of possible candidates and he interviews all of them. However, his interview with John Black Raven has a lasting effect on him. Jerry cannot get John out of his mind.

Jerry hires two people to work for him, one of them being John. At first, Jerry thinks that it will be hard to concentrate working with a guy that he finds attractive and so intriguing. Jerry keeps stealing glances at John, and a few times catches John looking at him as well.

One day Jerry decides to put himself out there and try to get to know John a little better. John is a Native American that moved from the local reservation to go to college and get a job since there was limited opportunities for him there.

However after the typical get-to-know-you-questions, Jerry finds John a bit distracted. Jerry learns that John is fighting to get custody of his sisters children who were taken by social services when she died. John is now out of college, has a job, and a place to live… but they still won’t grant him custody of his niece and nephew. This is because their Native American children and are worth more in the foster care system.

Jerry offers to help John get custody of his niece and nephew anyway that he can. They are in for a long battle, but grow closer because of it.

You’ll have to read the story to see what happens with the children, and also just how close Jerry and John become ; )

At the Authors After Dark Convention in August 2012, I had the great pleasure of meeting Andrew. He is such an awesome guy and the biggest sweetheart. Andrew was so kind and extremely down to Earth. Andrew allowed me to ask him questions regarding his latest story, The Good

Fight.Learn more about Andrew Grey here:
Andrew Grey’s Website
Andrew Grey’s Blog: Making the World Sexier One Reader at a Time
Andrew Grey’s Facebook Page
Follow Andrew Grey on Twitter

Enjoy this interview with Andrew!

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The Obscured Vixen: Being in the IT field, did you draw on your background when writing about Jerry?
Andrew Grey:
Actually I drew on a lot on the people I work with rather than myself. I’m a project manager rather than a developer, so I drew on a number of the developers I work with and sort of melded them together in developing Jerry.

TOV: Did you do a lot of research on Native American culture when writing about John and his tribe?
AG:
Yes I did. I also have a friend who is Native American so he and his wife were both immensely helpful in providing background information. It also helped that when I was younger I visited one of these reservations while on a family vacation so I was able to develop a feel for the reservation.

TOV: What made you want to start writing erotica?
AG:
I really don’t consider what I write to be erotica. Yes there is sex in my stories but I only include it as a representation of the advancement of the relationship between my characters. And I never really set out to write what I do, it sort of happened organically. That being said I have to tell you this story. A number of years ago, I hosted a birthday party for my father and everyone kept telling me how much I looked like him. That was the inspiration to join a gym and lose weight and I quickly realized I needed something to help pass the time while I was on a treadmill. And nothing works better to make a half hour go faster that reading about sex. I discovered gay romance and then decided to try writing one. The rest is history.

TOV: Have you ever written a scene based on personal experience? Or is it all fantasy?
AG:
I have written scenes based on personal experience. When I started out, Dominic and I tried all my scenes together. Oh the joys of research. As time passed, the need for that kind of research passed, but we still do it anyway.

TOV: Have you ever read something you wrote and thought, “Wow! That was awesome!”
AG:
Yes. There have been times when during the editing process I get lost in what I’ve written. That happened with The Good Fight as well as unconditional Love. Recently I was editing a novella Shared Revelations and I actually had to remind myself that I’d written it because I got lost in my own story.

TOV: Which of your works are you most proud of?
AG:
Love Means… No Boundaries, Artistic Appeal, Love Comes Silently, and The Good Fight. And each for a different reason. In Love Means… No Boundaries, Robbie is blind and half the book is told from his perspective. It really made me feel the world from a different perspective. In Artistic Appeal, Nicolai is deaf and in Love Comes Silently Patrick is mute. Each of these stories helped me grow as a writer because it removed some of the tools we use and I had to develop new ones. In The Good Fight, I think it’s the first time I really purposely wrote the book with a cause in mind. Other times its just worked its way in, but with this story, it was there from day one.

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Author Interview & Book Review: Shift by MR Merrick

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on July 10, 2012

Author Interview & Book Review: Shift by MR Merrick

The Protector Series: Book #2

Devastated by a terrible loss, Chase is trying to balance the life he’s been left with, a family he’s still getting to know, and power he never thought he’d have. He doesn’t understand why the Goddess has named him the Protector and granted him two gifts: the Mark, a tattoo that now covers his back, and the ring. But between getting interrogated by the Circle and psychic attacks from Riley, the Mark is the least of his concern. There’s a demon inside Rayna that’s fighting to be released, and it’s not her inner witch. It’s something else—a monster threatening to tear her apart.

As Chase struggles to control his magic, his enemies are closing in. Everyone has staked a claim on his ring, and destroying it may be his only chance to stop Riley. But Chase must decide if stopping him is worth risking the lives of everyone he cares about, or if protecting the ring will be enough to save his world.

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Shift begins right where Exiled left off. And I must admit I LOVE when authors do that.

Caution: Spoilers ahead!

Riley is hungry as ever and still coming after Chase. Chase meets the two Dark Brothers, that have now sided with Riley. Riley and Darius are invading Chase’s dreams and cause him pain that hurts him in the real world when he wakes up. Riley is just about ready to do anything to take his son down.

We finally find out who Rayna’s father is! Her father is Jonathan, a hunter and panther shifter.

I can honestly admit that it is not who I expected it to be. I guess I expected someone… tougher? Jonathan has been trying to find Rayna and get in touch with her for years, but her mother went into hiding. He only found out where she was and that she was even alive when Rayna’s mother was killed.

In Shift our eyes are opened to the world of shifters. The last time Rayna tried to shift in the condo, she passed out and really wasn’t doing well. There is a feline clan that offers to help Rayna shift complete the shift safely. Marcus and Chase know they can’t help her anymore and that there is a chance she could die without help. Rayna agrees to have the clan help her shift.

Willy has been bitten by a shifter and after a while he isn’t healing. He calls grams and she confirms that none of them thought was possible: a demon can become a shifter. Grams gets the local wolf pack and sends Willy with them so he can learn how to shift safely.

Everyone and their mother wants Chase’s ring, but he won’t give it up. Chase wants to destroy the ring, but the only way to do that is stab it with Itheral’s dagger. Chase learns that the dagger is hidden in a dangerous dimension.

Chase, being the stubborn ass that he is, goes after the dagger anyway. This causes Marcus, Rayna, Tiki and Willy to follow him. They almost get themselves killed because of it. You’ll have to read this amazing story to find out the on-the-edge-of-your-seat details.

I like that Merrick does not change his characters and keeps them true to themselves. Chase has been a stubborn pain in the ass since day one, and that has never changed.

When everyone returns safely from the dimension with Itheral’s dagger, Chase and Marcus have a heart-to-heart. We find out Marcus has been in love with Chase’s mom for years. Chase isn’t sure what to say, and finally sees Marcus as a man that lost the love of his life.

Chase now has all four elements and it’s implied that he will be given a lightning power that no hunter has had for centuries. They think that’s what the mark is on Chase’s back.

This story moves very quickly, which I personally enjoy. There were no dull moments or unnecessary details. I highly recommend this story to anyone who is interested in fantasy and suspense. It is truly a great read!

Best part of this book? Rayna and Chase finally make out! Woot woot! Ohh c’mon, I wasn’t the only one who was super excited for this ; )

One of my favorite parts about being a blogger is that I get to meet amazing authors. And I must admit that MR Merrick is humble, down to earth, and an all around badass.He was awesome enough to agree to an interview for my blog. Enjoy! : )

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Obscured Vixen: In this book you talk about meditation and concentrating to step outside yourself in real life and to protect yourself in your dreams. I found this extremely interesting. Where did this concept come from?
MR Merrick:
It’s actually an idea that was implanted in me nearly ten years ago. I was celebrating New Year’s Eve away from parties, and at a house with a few people I knew. There was a lady there that lived on an Indian Reserve about an hour out of town, and we got into talking about spirituality.Native history is ripe with stories, legends, and beliefs, and somehow, in the middle of our discussion, we got on the topic of out of body experiences. Now in some cultures, it’s believed that you can essentially “step outside yourself” onto a higher level. A level that exists just a few inches above ours, but it’s also believed that this is dangerous. When you’re having an out of body experience, it leaves your physical body exposed and open to negativity. In this case, she was talking to me about evil spirits entering your body. That’s where most of my inspiration for that came from. And to this day, it still both fascinates, and frightens me.

OV: Is there going to be a throw down with Rayna and Karissa?
MRM:
A lot of readers give me a hard time with how slowly some relationships develop in this series, but it wasn’t done unintentionally. The Protector Series isn’t primarily a love story, so although many people are expecting a love triangle to be coming into play, that is not the case. While I cannot confirm or deny there may be jealousy between the two, I also cannot say whether or not you can expect a chick fight. That’ll be for you to find out in the upcoming installments.

OV: Just throwing this out there: is Darius Chase’s uncle?
MRM:
Normally I won’t answer questions like these, but I don’t think I’m spoiling anything to say…. no.

OV: Is there a reason you wrote this book as YA instead of adult? It seems like it would make an awesome adult book.
MRM:
I think you’re right; this series would work really well as an adult series… and a movie. Just saying Hollywood, I’m open to talk.

I did contemplate back and forth who I was writing this book for a while. At times, it seemed like it wasn’t suitable for younger audiences, but in the end, I chose the YA market because of reach.

I had a vision for this series that won’t fully be exposed until the series is complete, but I wanted it to be enjoyed by everyone. Although you can’t please everyone, and there are some people who just don’t enjoy it at all, I’m hoping that long term, I can take people of all ages on an adventure. I wanted this story to appeal to the broadest audience possible, and since I’m an adult, and I love reading YA, I knew there were countless others out there that enjoyed it too. Writing in this market has allowed me to reach both the young adults, and the older audience as well. If I can bring you inside a different world, and help you escape reality, if only for a moment, then I’ve accomplished what I set out to do. I didn’t want any limitations to whose imagination I could steal away.

That being said, when writing in the YA genre, you have boundaries. Boundaries that as I writer, I am hoping to break free of and explore once this series is complete.

OV: After Rayna’s shift we don’t see Jonathan again. Will we see him again in future books?
MRM:
I had a hard time with this when I was writing Shift. In the earlier drafts, I had more content afterward with Jonathan, but I just didn’t feel like it fit. I know some were confused by it, but it just didn’t jive with the story. It threw off the pacing, and Rayna’s voice kept screaming in my head that she just wasn’t ready for that. There will be more Jonathan in the next book and you’ll get to see how the relationship with him and Rayna is and evolving. Whether or not those changes are positive or negative, that remains to be seen… for you anyways. I know what’s going on.

OV: When is the next book in the series being released?
MRM:
I try not to be too specific with release dates when it’s this early in the process, because I don’t like to push them back, but I am aiming for a December 2012 release. Of course, that is subject to change depending on how this story goes. I’m just about 25% done with the first draft, so I have a long way to go, but I am hoping before the end of the year to have book 3 available.

OV: How many books will be in the series?
MRM:
I have struggled with this for a while now. Originally it was going to be a trilogy, then inspiration struck and if I followed certain story arcs, it would fill a five or six book series. I was unsure about that because although the new ideas excited me, I didn’t want to run the risk of going “too long” with the series.

In the end, I settled on middle ground. I’m currently working on the third book, but there is so much to cover I’m almost positive it will run four. I don’t want to have a giant third book to close it off, so I’m confident I will be able to tie everything up nicely in a four book series.

OV: Have you ever wrote something, reread it and thought, “Wow! That was awesome!”
MRM:
Although I play the slightly over-confident card on Twitter for entertainment purposes, such is not the case in real life. I’m extremely critical of myself, and my work, so I find myself doubting my abilities more often than not.

When I’m writing, I question everything, but every once in a while, I do write a scene and then I stop and think “Where did that come from? That was great!” Then I doubt myself and nervously wait while my wife reads it and tells me what she thinks. She’s my sound board so everything gets her approval.

OV: How long have you been writing?
MRM:
I’ve only been writing for a few years. Exiled is actually the first book, or story of any kind, that I’ve ever tried to write. I know you’re never supposed to take your first book to publication, because you haven’t perfected the craft, but I had to follow through on it. It had a life of its own that pulsed inside my imagination, and I just couldn’t’ let it go.

I’ve come a long way since Exiled, and I think that’s noticeable, so I’m interested to see how far things have come when I start the new project I’ve been brainstorming, but that won’t happen until this series is complete.

OV: Which of your works are you most proud of?
MRM:
Right now, I’d have to say it’s the third book in the series. That might seem silly because it’s only a quarter done and in first draft form, but I’m actually so proud of it so far. I know where the book is going, I’m thrilled with how it’s getting there, and I think it’s all because of depth.

Exiled is very intense and full of action. Chase is young, angry, and he responds to everything with a closed fist and a bull in a china shop attitude. Given his life so far, I think that is fitting for him.

In Shift, you see a new side of Chase. He’s still the headstrong kid you know, but he’s not fighting against everything and everyone quite as hard. He still loses his temper, he is ruled by his emotions, and the repercussions of that are clear. You see Willy in a whole new light, and we experience so much more alongside Rayna, and I really loved that.

As I write the third book however, the depth of Shift progresses. You learn so much more about the characters you’ve fallen in love with, and you’re seeing not only major growth from them, but you’re getting to see how that growth is achieved, especially on Chase’s part. Because this story is told from his perspective, you see his thought process and how he breaks things down. Although action does not take a backseat, it’s a refreshing change to see him developing and maturing from an angry, unruly boy to a man on the verge of self-control.

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Book Review, Author Interview & Giveaway: The Deadly Series by Cynthia Eden

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on June 7, 2012

Book Review, Author Interview & Giveaway: The Deadly Series by Cynthia Eden

Deadly Fear, Deadly Heat, Deadly Lies

Deadly Fear blurb:
FBI Special Agent Monica Davenport has made a career out of profiling serial killers. But getting inside the twisted minds of the cruel and the sadistic has taken its toll: She’s walled herself off from the world. Yet Monica can’t ignore fellow agent Luke Dante, the only man who ever broke through her defenses.

Luke has the unique ability to put victims at ease…professionally, he and Monica made a perfect team. Now they’re reunited to catch a murderer who uses his victims’ deepest, darkest fears for sport – but their investigative skills aren’t enough. Luke and Monica will have to face the secrets from their past, the ones that terrify them the most, if they are to have a future together.

Deadly Heat blurb:
She wants revenge… Six months after her lover died in an arsonist’s blaze, firefighter Lora Spade calls in the FBI’s elite Serial Services Division to track the elusive killer. When Special Agent Kenton Lake is lured into a violent inferno, Lora pulls him to safety and is stunned – not by the fire, but by her own searing attraction to Kent. For the first time in months, she longs for something other than vengeance.

He wants her… Kenton’s interest in Lora should be purely professional. But one fleeting kiss and he can’t get her out of his mind. Her combination of strength and vulnerability makes him want to protect her, and that means solving this case – and fast. For even the passion igniting between them can’t hide a terrifying truth: Lora is the next target in a murderer’s sadistic, fiery game.

Deadly Lies blurb:
She wants to hide the past… FBI Special Agent Samantha Kennedy is haunted by memories of the serial killer who abducted her. To keep the darkness at bay, she pretends to be a different, more confident woman. This Samantha doesn’t fear every unknown face. So she throws caution to the wind and shares a night of unbridled passion with a handsome stranger.

He needs to uncover the truth… One night isn’t enough for successful entrepreneur Max Ridgeway. He wants more of the sexy, smart, mysterious woman who slipped away before dawn. When they meet again, their attraction is undeniable-until his stepbrother goes missing, and Max realizes that Samantha isn’t who she seems. But they must trust each other to trap a ring of bloodthirsty kidnappers before the nightmares that terrorize Sam become irrevocably real.

Deadly Series Review

I couldn’t get enough of this series! I flew through these books and was left wanting more. Each book had a compelling story, and each was unique. The suspense kept me on the edge of my seat, and every book definitely had a point of no return. Once you get to that crazy twist in the story, you can’t do anything until you finish the book and find out what happens. I love when authors write stories like this!

It’s also great to see characters appear in more than just their book. The couple from the first book shows up in the next two, and the heroine in the third story gets set up throughout the series. Cynthia Eden does a great job of intertwining the characters within each of the stories tying them together.

I absolutely fell in love with Monica and Luke from Deadly Fear. They are both strong characters, and it was so easy to fall in love with them. You are rooting for them through the entire book. Monica is a very complex character, which always makes stories more interesting. We slowly learn more and more about her past as the story unfolds, which makes for a fabulous ending.

Deadly Heat is perfectly titled… this book is seriously hot! Lora and Kenton have a seriously hot connection, and Cynthia Eden does have her way with great sex scenes (which I just happen to be partial to : ). I loved Lora’s sense of sarcastic humor, and how she teases Kenton. It’s so great when characters make you laugh out loud.

I loved watching Samantha overcome her fears in Deadly Lies. Samantha is abducted in an earlier book, and has to struggle to over come this traumatic experience. Max helps Samantha through her nightmares, and move on with her life. The dynamic between these two really tugs on your heart strings. I absolutely love the relationship between Max and Samantha, and couldn’t get enough.

I would definitely recommend reading this series. And a helpful word of advice? Have the next book handy because you’re going to want to dive right in!

My favorite part of being a blogger is that I get to meet and talk to awesome people. The fabulous Cynthia Eden has been awesome enough to agree to do this interview to go along with this blog post, AND offer to giveaway a copy of Angel Betrayed, Cynthia’s July release. Get it before it hits the shelves!Enjoy the interview : )

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Obscured Vixen: Your Deadly series includes heroines with very different personalities – Monica, Lora and Samantha. Which do you find yourself most like and why?
Cynthia Eden:
Actually, I wish I could say that I was like all of those ladies! But they are much braver than I could ever be. ; ) I tend to be a fairly quiet girl, so I’m like Samantha in that respect. Isn’t the saying that still waters run deep? It’s the quiet girls that you should watch out for—they often have deep secrets!

OV: I love the mystery to all of these stories. Is it fun writing twists into your story to purposely mislead the reader?
CE:
Is it wrong to say that, yes, it is? I can’t help it—I love twists. When I’m watching movies or TV shows, I’m constantly thinking of ways to add in twists, ways that I would have written the scenes in order to throw off viewers. After all, what is life without some fun twists?

OV: At the end of Deadly Lies, you have an epilogue that hints at another books in this series. Will there be?
CE:
At this time, I haven’t written any additional Deadly books, but I not going to close the door and say that there won’t ever be more of them. I had a great time writing those tales, and, one day in the future, I may revisit them. I can say this much… I have lots of romantic suspense stories in the works. I will be releasing 4 stories with Harlequin Intrigue next year, and I will also be releasing single titles, as well. We’re actually still doing contract negotiations on the single titles, but I can say that the books will be very dark and sexy, similar in tone to my Deadly books.

OV: I can’t wait! How long have you been writing?
CE:
For as long as I can remember. Seriously. I always wanted to be a writer, but life distracted me for a time. After college, I started teaching, I got married, I had a son, and, then one day I realized… I’d lost my dream. I decided that it was time for me to grab that dream and hold onto it as tightly as I could. So I started writing. My first book didn’t sell (actually, I don’t think my first four sold), but I kept writing anyway. And, now, I’m lucky enough to say that I’ve been writing full-time for five years. Did I mention how incredibly lucky I feel?

OV: Have you ever wrote something, reread it and thought, “Wow! That was awesome!”
CE:
I wish! I think that I may be my own worst critic. When I write a story, I often think… is this good enough? Are the characters strong enough? What am I doing?! For a while, I thought I was the only writer who had these doubts, then I talked to others and realized… yes, we’re all a little (or lot!) neurotic this way. So I’m doubting *while* I write a story, but when I am actually done with the story and reading over the final version, I can sometimes think… hey, that’s not half bad!

OV: Which of your works are you most proud of and why?
CE:
That is a very tough question. I’m proud of all my stories—I really loved the characters I create—but I think I have to say that the Deadly books challenged me the most. Those books pushed me to explore deeper and darker aspects of my characters. The Deadly stories required some intensive research, and they took me out of my paranormal comfort zone. Those books showed me that I could love another sub-genre, and they taught me the value of following my instincts. So… the Deadly books (Deadly Fear, Deadly Heat, and Deadly Lies). Those books are the ones that come to mind first for me.

OV: I am so excited that you are a featured author at Author After Dark (AAD) this year, and cannot wait for the ‘I Scream Party!’ Any details you can share with us about that?
CE:
Yay!! I am so glad that you’re excited about the party! I will be hosting the I Scream Party with Katie Reus, Manda Collins, and Virna DePaul. We’ll have tasty ice cream treats (you can add your fave toppings) and a ton of giveaways (each person who comes to the party will get a bag of goodies). We’ll have some special villain fun waiting for the attendees. Games, bad guys, and ice cream. What more do we need in order to have a good time?

OV: Games, bad guys, and ice cream… what more could a girl want?! What are you most looking forward to as an Authors After Dark featured author?
CE:
I’m looking forward to meeting the readers! I am so excited about having a chance to talk with people who love romance books just as much as I do. Readers, bloggers, other writers—the place will be filled with some very fun folks, and I can’t wait to chat with them all!

Giveaway Details

Cynthia has been extremely generous and is offering to giveaway her upcoming story ANGEL BETRAYED which is not being released until July. This is definitely a giveaway that you will want to enter!

Sammael – call him Sam – was an angel once. An angel of death. But the dispassionate, watch-from-above thing just wasn’t working for him when it meant watching evil torture innocent souls day in and day out. It might have cost him his wings, but these days, he gets to apply the direct method on the bad guys. Problem is, what’s making his life difficult is a bad girl…

Seline O’Shaw needs protection, and with the hounds of hell on her tail, she’s not going to quibble too hard about where she gets it. Sam’s virtue is questionable, but he’s smoking hot, massively powerful, and owes her a favor. So what if she’s getting a little case of angel lust? There are some damn deadly sins after her hide…

  • This giveaway will end June 14, 2012 at midnight EST
  • United States entries only
  • Click here for full giveaway terms and conditions

This giveaway has ended.

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Author Spotlight: Emma Lai

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on May 21, 2012

Author Spotlight: Emma Lai

I can sum up Emma Lai’s stories in two words: Smoking. Hot.

Here are blurbs from two of Emma Lai’s steamy works:

Blurb for Riding Rodeo: The last person Amanda Goodson expected to walk into her bakery was Sean Cassidy, the bareback bronc rider who rode her hard one night and left without a good-bye the next day. Since then, she’d sworn off one-night stands and cowboys, but one look at the man she called Rodeo leaves her hankering for another ride. A nasty injury ended Sean’s career and left him with nothing but time to contemplate past sins, especially the most damning one…walking out on Amanda, the one woman he couldn’t forget. Eager to right the biggest mistake of his life, he finds Amanda–and learns he has competition. Never one to back down from a challenge, he offers to fulfill her darkest fantasy–taking two cowboys for a ride.

Blurb for Tempting Terms: Sabrina MacKenzie needs someone ruthless to help her maintain control of her father’s company. Who better for the job than self-made millionaire William Fitzpatrick. Too bad she left him without a word five years ago. But to gain William’s assistance, Sabrina is willing to do anything–even if it means playing the submissive. Will William be tempted by her terms?

Emma Lai’s stories are not only sexy, but fun and witty. Her characters are real and truly heartfelt.

Even in her short stories, Emma Lai creates in depth characters like I’ve never read before. Usually in short stories an author doesn’t have enough time to truly develop a character. Emma Lai not only develops them, she creates worlds around them. When the stories end, you’re left begging for more.

The sex scenes are hot and wicked… and gloriously descriptive ; )

If you’re a fan of erotica, you must read stories by Emma Lai.

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One of my favorite parts about being a blogger is being able to meet amazing people. Emma Lai is one of the sweetest, funniest people I have ever had the pleasure of talking to.

Emma was kind enough to do an interview for my blog. So read on and enjoy!

Obscured Vixen: How long have you been writing?
Emma Lai:
I’ve been writing romance since the summer of 2008, so going on four years. But, I’ve been writing something, either school papers or business documents, and enjoying it, all my life. 🙂

OV: What made you want to start writing erotica?
EL:
I’m an avid reader of spicy and erotic romance. After selling a sweet, I moved to spicy and then erotic. Gotta keep challenging myself and writing erotica really teaches an author the importance of sensory details.

OB: Have you written any scenes based on personal experiences? Or is it all fantasies?
EL:
I’ve written quite a few scenes based on personal experiences. I’ll leave it up to readers’ imaginations on whether those scenes involved s-e-x or not.

OV: Have you ever wrote a scene, reread it, and thought, “Wow. That was great.”
EL:
Yes, especially in later pieces I’ve written. Many times I’ll open a w.i.p. and be like, “Did I write that?” and be intimidated. Pretty funny stuff.

OV: Have you ever had issues with publishers trying to edit your work?
EL:
Yep. I’ve definitely made a few concessions to get my work published. However, the scenes that have been cut are just waiting for their moment. They will be published.

OV: What work are you most proud of?
EL:
I am, of course, proud of all my work. I’m pretty proud of the sequel to Twice is Not Enough. It’s in edits with The Wild Rose Press and I can’t wait for release day, as yet to be determined. I’m also working on a full-length multi-racial that I’m pretty proud of.

OV: What genres do you enjoy reading?
EL:
I pretty much read anything with an enjoyable plot and characters. Generally, the genre I read depends on my mood. I mostly enjoy stories that cross genres for that very reason.

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Book Review and Author Interview: Bloodstorm, by Amber Kallyn

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on May 17, 2012

Book Review, Author Interview, Giveaway: Bloodstorm, by Amber Kallyn

A vampire must choose between love… or her revenge.

When duty forces a shaman to stop a vampire from her revenge, love doesn’t just burn… it bites.

For two hundred years, Niki DeVeraux has been tracking the monster who murdered her family and made her a vampire. She finally catches up to him only to face more than she bargained for in a too-sexy sheriff who makes her remember she’s still a woman. With duties as Keeper of the peace and Sheriff, Shane Spencer must protect humanity and stop the friction between the local Arcaine races before it turns into an all out blood war.

When wolves start turning up dead, the tension between the races grows and suspicion falls on Niki. Shane knows she’s not to blame, and it has nothing to do with the primal urges she stirs within him. Working together, they must stop the hostilities from going over the edge. Trouble is, the desires raging between them might prove more dangerous than the surrounding threats.

This book was awesome! The story was fast paced and action packed, just how I like it. It also had characters that were realistic; characters that felt like real people you would want to hang out with.

Niki DeVeraux shows up in town and immediately knows she isn’t wanted: the humans don’t want her around because she’s a vampire, and the vampires don’t want her around because she’s not part of their clan.

So when dead bodies start turning up, all eyes turn towards the newest person in town: Niki.

The local sheriff, Shane Spencer, investigates these murders and runs into Niki. He has this compulsion to be near and protect her that he’s never felt before. Unsure what to do, he ignores it for the time being.

Besides being the sheriff in town, Shane is also a Keeper for the Magic Council. He must keep the local werewolves and vampires in check. Being a Keeper, Shane has supernatural abilities and pulls energy from nature.

When Shane meets Niki and gets this intense feeling for her, he eventually realizes that she is his soul mate.

Between trying to catch rogue killers in his town and trying to keep tabs on Niki who keeps getting into trouble, Shane has his hands full.

Niki feels drawn towards Shane, but convinces herself that she can’t fall for him because he’s human. Niki has to focus on her main agenda for coming to this town: revenge on the vampire that killed her family.

You’ll have to read the book for all the awesome twists and turns along the way (don’t want to give any spoilers!), and find out how things turn out for both Niki and Shane.

I would definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for a great suspense paranormal romance with some steamy sex on the side ; )

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Amber Kallyn was awesome enough to do an interview for my blog to go along with this book review. Hope you enjoy it!

Interview with Amber Kallyn

Buy Bloodstorm on Amazom: http://amzn.to/I6WM7B

Visit Amber at www.AmberKallyn.com
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Bloodstorm on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13578425-bloodstorm
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One of those rare breeds, Amber Kallyn is an Arizona native who can trace her family’s history through six generations in the state. She lives with her sexy husband, and their four very active children. Included in the menagerie are two cats (though there’s always room for more) and two dogs. We won’t count all the fish.

Amber loves the paranormal, from dragons to werewolves to vampires. She’s currently at work on her next book, probably running around the house acting out a fight scene with her collection of swords and daggers. Or maybe, wishing she had claws to practice the other fight scenes.

A voracious lover of the written word, Amber found at an early age that she could read fast. Really fast. She devours novels by the day, novellas by the hour, and is always looking to get her hands on more.

Obscured Vixen: How long have you been writing?
Amber Kallyn:
I’m the cliché writer in that I’ve been doing it since I was little, LOL. But I didn’t become ‘serious’ about it and think, hey, maybe I could get published, until about 5 years ago. I’m so glad I had that thought : )

OV: I loved the idea of Shane Spencer being a Keeper of the peace for the Magic Council. Where did that idea come from?
AK:
It’s my own take on the worldbuilding of books and movies I love. With any major world-wide magical community, there has to be a ruling body. That’s where the council comes in : ) Gotta keep all the creatures in line.

OV: Bloodstorm is the first book in the Heart of a Vampire series. When will the next book be released?
AK:
Hungerstorm, book 2, will be released this summer.

OV: Can you give us a sneak peek of what will happen in the next book?
AK:
Sure. Book 2 is Jordan’s book. As King of the local vampire clan, he doesn’t have time to deal with fate or love, especially not with a woman who might be a traitor.

OV: Can’t wait! Which of your works are you most proud of?
AK:
All of them : ) But really, I love all my books. I enjoyed writing them, slogged through editing them, and love rereading them. I think that’s probably a good thing.

OV: Have you ever wrote something, reread it and thought, “Wow! That was awesome!”
AK:
I never get to the wow part until after a ton of edits. But my favorite parts are those that make me feel, whether I cry with my characters or laugh with them.

Thanks for the awesome interview, Amber!

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Author Interview and Review: Inhale, by Kendall Grey

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on April 25, 2012

Author Interview and Review: Inhale, by Kendall Grey

Strangers in reality, inseparable in dreams…

After years of suffocating under her boss’s scrutiny, whale biologist Zoe Morgan finally lands a job as director of a tagging project in Hervey Bay, Australia. Success Down Under all but guarantees her the promotion of a lifetime, and Zoe won’t let anything—or anyone—stand in her way. Not the whale voices she suddenly hears in her head, not the ex who won’t take no for an answer, and especially not the gorgeous figment of her imagination who keeps saving her from the fiery hell of her dreams.

Gavin Cassidy hasn’t been called to help a human Wyldling in over a year, which is fine by him. Still blaming himself for the death of his partner, he keeps the guilt at bay by indulging in every excess his rock star persona affords. That is, until he’s summoned to protect Zoe from hungry Fyre Elementals and learns his new charge is the key to restoring order in the dying Dreaming. He never expects to fall for the feisty Dr. Morgan…nor does he realize he may have to sacrifice the woman he loves to save an entire country.

This is a book you can totally judge by it’s cover. The cover is absolutely stunning, and the story inside is just as phenomenal.

Inhale has characters that you completely identify with, and root for all the way through the story. There are characters you love to hate, and mysterious characters you can’t wait to learn more about.

The entire dynamic of this book was unlike anything I’ve ever read. There are two different worlds: the real world (as we know it today), and the Dreaming (where humans go while they’re sleeping). The Dreaming is an actual place. So when humans get hurt, they wake up feeling pain. If they die in their dream within the Dreaming, they die in their beds in the real world.

When Gavin Cassidy isn’t being a badass rock star, he’s a Sentinel: a protector of humans in the Dreaming. This is how he meets Zoe Morgan while she’s dreaming about drowning while trying to save a whale. It was love at first sight for Gavin (since he knew Zoe was a real person), while Zoe just thought she conjured up a hot guy to dream about.

They began meeting in the Dreaming every night and eventually Fyres determine that Gavin is spending a little too much time with this particular human. Gavin’s ex, Scarlet, gets jealous and is determined to take her down.

Scarlet, however, is not the only one that is going after Gavin. Gavin’s mentor, Yileen, has recently stepped down as leader and Gavin is next in line. Once word spreads, all of the Fyres plan to take Gavin down.

Turns out Gavin isn’t the only one in trouble. By day, Zoe is a whale biologist on a research venture in Australia. A local whaler, Catherine Marchand, always seems to know exactly where Zoe’s boat is. Catherine even goes so far as to close enough to have their boats crash. Catherine admits that someone paid her to keep Zoe down, but won’t admit who her backer is.

One of the coolest things about this book that I can’t remember ever reading before, was that the main characters don’t actually meet until the last three pages of the book. Gavin and Zoe spend all of their time in the Dreaming together. Zoe didn’t even know that Gavin was a ‘real’ person until about three-quarters of the way through the book.

When they finally see each other in real life, their entire world’s stop. Gavin is performing on stage with his band and Zoe just happens to be at the bar at the same time. Zoe feels her entire being shift on it’s axis, and Gavin stops playing just to stare at her. It gives you chills!

When I finished this book, I wanted to throw across the room (in a good way!) because it ended too soon. I wanted more!

I definitely recommend this book, and cannot wait for Exhale to come out later this year.

One of my favorite aspects of blogging is the ability to meet awesome people that do amazing things. Kendell Grey is totally one of those people. All proceeds from the Just Breathe series are going to whale education programs.

And, I mean c’mon, how can you not love a chick who ends her ‘Acknowledgements’ section with: Last but not least… To everyone who said no, this middle finger is for you. :- )

Kendall Grey is an amazing woman, and was kind enough to do an interview to go along with this blog post. Enjoy!

Blog: http://www.kendallgrey.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KendallGreyAuthor
Despicable Tweets: http://www.twitter.com/kendallgrey1
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Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/hmcmg

Obscured Vixen: I think it’s wonderful that all proceeds from the Just Breathe trilogy will be going to whale education programs. What made you decide to do this?
Kendall Grey:
I’m a former teacher, so education is really important to me. Whales are my passion, and they need the money much more than I do. Donating to programs that teach people about the challenges whales face is a great way for me to get my education and whale fixes in one fell swoop. ;- )

OV: That’s so awesome : ) Did you do a lot of research on whales for this book? Or have you always loved whales?
KG:
I haven’t always loved whales. I got hooked during an education course I took a few years ago. We went out on a whale watch boat every day and taught passengers all about the whales we saw. It was truly a life-changing experience for me. When I got home, I gobbled up everything I could about whales and basically taught myself about them. Now I go into schools and share information about whales with kids. It’s SO much fun! I also go around the world to do whale watching, and I learn and see something new on every trip. I’m truly addicted!

OV: What made you decide to have your main character, Gavin Cassidy, be a famous rock star?
KG:
Rock stars are just plain hot, in my opinion. I’ve always been a big music fanatic – the louder and more obnoxious the band, the better. Hahaha! I pictured my dream character (no pun intended), the perfect combination of a badass hottie mixed with some swoon- worthy vulnerability, and voila! Gavin Cassidy was born. :- )

OV: I like it! When I finished this book, I was so frustrated because I wanted more! When will the next book in the series be released?
KG:
Ha! Sorry to frustrate you. You won’t have to wait too long, I hope. I originally planned to put out book 2, EXHALE, on June 5, but it’s starting to look like I’ll have to push that date back a bit. I hope to have the book ready in early July, if not sooner.

OV: Will we see more of Catherine Marchand, and find out who is after Zoe?
KG:
Catherine will make some brief appearances in the following books, and yes, you will definitely find out who’s behind the “plot” to get Zoe.

OV: Will we also find out why Sinnder is different from all other Fyres?
KG:
Ah, Sinnder. I love that Fyre Elemental! Yes, yes, and yes, you will find out much more about Sinnder. He is very different from other Fyres, and there’s a BIG reason why. You’ll see at the end of the the last book, JUST BREATHE. I’m planning to write his full story in a follow-up to the JUST BREATHE trilogy. :- )

OV: Can’t wait! How long have you been writing?
KG:
I started writing the first draft of INHALE in August, 2008, so almost four years. I’ve spent all of this time on the JUST BREATHE trilogy. In between writing novels, I found time to write two short stories. One’s a horror short entitled “London Calling” in the CITY OF HELL CHRONICLES, VOLUME 1. It’s nothing like my urban fantasy stuff–not at all for the faint of heart. HA! The other is a short called “Lá Breithe” in END: AN APOCALYPTIC ANTHOLOGY. All profits from that book go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Fans of JUST BREATHE might enjoy “Lá Breithe.” It’s about a Fyre Elemental. And it’s important to my trilogy. That’s all I can say. :- )

OV: Have you ever wrote something, reread it and thought, “Wow! That was awesome!”
KG:
Ha! I wish it happened more often than it actually does, but yes, I sometimes read a line or paragraph and wonder who the hell snuck onto my computer and wrote it while I wasn’t looking. ;- ) But it’s usually only after several revisions. Very rarely does something awesome pop out and not need editing. Layering and revision are very long, difficult processes.

OV: Which of your works are you most proud of and why?
KG:
Wow, that’s a tough one. I really love EXHALE because of the conflict. The end of that book makes me cry every time I read it. It pulls hard at my heart. But just because I love it doesn’t mean everyone else will. If it makes readers cry too, then I’ll know I did a good job. :- ) To answer your question though, I think I’d have to say I’m most proud of INHALE, simply because it was such a long, involved struggle to get it to see the light of day. Four years is a very long time to spend on one piece, but it was worth all the blood, sweat, and tears.

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Author Interview & Book Review: Xavier’s Loving Arms, by KT Grant

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on March 4, 2012

Author Interview & Book Review: Xavier’s Loving Arms, by KT Grant

Xavier Marks has the looks, great job, and more than enough money to throw around. The only thing missing is a woman by his side. He hasn’t had much luck in love since he caught his fiancée cheating on him, and isn’t too happy about his current bachelor status. But that may all change when a cute barista from a coffee shop catches his eye. Perhaps she can help him lick his wounds?

Life hasn’t always been too kind to Rebecca Price. With a grandmother suffering from dementia, and the threat of foreclosure on her childhood home, she may have no choice but to turn to a possessive ex-boyfriend who won’t settle for anything less than marriage. She hides a shameful secret that still threatens to destroy her. She’s ready to give up all hope when a suave, yet seemingly kind-hearted man enters her life and comes to her rescue.

Rebecca is wary of placing her trust in Xavier, who wants to be more than a shoulder for her to lean on. But as the two grow close, Rebecca’s guilt over her past discretions continue to haunt her. Xavier wants to show Rebecca that the one place she can feel whole and at peace is in his loving arms.

This book was a refreshing love story. I usually do not read romance novels because I do not like when a female swoons over a guy that she feels she can’t have (which happens to be most of the romance novels I read). KT Grant’s characters are real, and act the way I would imagine people would.

Before work every day, Xavier visits the coffee shop across the street from where he works to see the cute woman that works there, Rebecca. For the longest time he just talks to her and never lets her know about his true feelings.

One day Xavier can see that Rebecca is having a bad day and stops to talk to her to try and make her feel better. Rebecca thanks him for his kindness, and Xavier says he can repay him later.

Although Rebecca is attracted to Xavier, she has no place in her life for a boyfriend. She works two jobs to pay the bills so the bank will not foreclose on her house and so she can pay the medical bills for her grandmothers dementia care.

Not to mention Rebecca’s possessive ex-boyfriend, Devdan, that will not leave her alone. While they were dating, he continued to made comments about her weight. Rebecca became extremely self conscious and developed an eating disorder. It became so severe that she was hospitalized. It is something that she still struggles with.

Devdan wants to help Rebecca and pay off all her debts, but she has to marry him first. He wants total control over Rebecca, but she’s not willing to give up her independence or go back to him. However, she can’t seem to stay away him from.

One Friday after work, Xavier and the rest of his department decide to go to a bar and watch a local band play. While there, he notices Rebecca sitting at a table with some friends. Xavier goes over to say hello, and Devdan stands up to introduce himself and Rebecca. Xavier gets the ‘back-off-my-property’ vibe from Devdan, and goes back to his own table.

Rebecca has enough of Devdan and his antics and needs some fresh air. She sits outside on a bench to take a moment to herself. Shortly after, Xavier notices that Rebecca is missing and goes to find her. They begin to talk and really hit it off.

Xavier asks if Rebecca wants to go across the street for some ice cream. At first she doesn’t want to because of her eating disorder, but she really wants to spend time with Xavier. They are at the ice cream shop longer than expected, and Devdan comes in to find where Rebecca disappeared to. Devdan immediately makes Rebecca leave with him, but not before Xavier slips Rebecca his business card.

After a rough day, Rebecca isn’t sure who to turns to. After a long debate she calls Xavier. They go on wonderful dates, spend lots of time together, and really begin to fall for each other.

Xavier decides to take the next step and invite Rebecca to his house to meet his family. Rebecca is extremely nervous, but Xavier’s family accepts her with open arms. She couldn’t feel more welcome… until Devdan finds out where she is and decides to crash the party. Devdan makes a scene and fights with Xavier. Rebecca is so embarrassed that she runs out of the house and takes off.

Xavier tries calling Rebecca, but she ignores his calls. She knew that she was right and should not have a boyfriend at this time in her life, and has come to accept that. She swears off all men, and focuses on her grandmother and trying to save her house.

While visiting her grandmother at the hospital, Devdan shows up. He apologizes for his actions, but Rebecca doesn’t know whether to believe him or not. She’s heard him apologize so many times that she’s stopped believing him. This time he genuinely seems sincere, and admits that he has moved on. Rebecca is truly happy for him, and hope that Devdan has in fact turned over a new leaf.

When Rebecca needs to get away, she walks around her neighborhood… and this day runs into Xavier. He was waiting for her to take a walk and couldn’t stand her ignoring him any longer. She can’t deny it either, and jumps into his arms.

What makes a good book for me are strong characters that are relateable. KT Grant does a fantastic job of developing Rebecca and Xavier: solid back stories, admirable qualities, and loving people. You’re rooting for them to get together the entire time, but understand that there are outside circumstances that prevent this at first. Rebecca and Xavier prove they can overcome these obstacles and live happily ever after.

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KT Grant is an amazing woman, and was kind enough to do an interview to go along with this blog post.  Enjoy!

KT Grant is a self-proclaimed eccentric redhead who not only loves to read a wide variety of romances, but also loves writing it. Under her alter-ego, she is a well- known book reviewer and blogger who doesn’t shy away from voicing her opinion. A proud native of New Jersey, KT is multi-published and known for writing “out of the box” romances. KT has been mentioned in the Guardian.UK, Publisher’s Weekly’s Beyond the Book and at Bookseller.com. KT is a top ten best-selling author at Amazon, as well as being a multiple All Romance Ebooks best seller and a Night Owl Reviews Top Author Pick.

Check out KT Grant here:
> website: ktgrant.com
> blog: http://kbgbabbles.blogspot.com/
> Twitter: https://twitter.com/katiebabs
> Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kate.garrabrant

Obscured Vixen: How long have you been writing?
KT Grant:
I’ve been writing since I was a teenager where I started by writing poems and short stories. Eventually I would write longer stories but never thought I would publish any. Then around 2009 I decided to write a full length book, a Lesbian Contemporary Romance titled Lovestruck. A year later Lovestruck was published in June 2010 with Noble Romance (https://www.nobleromance.com/Books/134/Lovestruck) and since then I’ve published eleven more books and short stories.

OV: In Xavier’s Loving Arms, Rebecca suffers from an eating disorder. As someone who has struggled with an eating disorder yourself, was this story difficult for you to write?
KTG:
Writing Xavier’s Loving Arms was very emotional for me because Rebecca’s issues with food and her weight, and how she deals with her disease is something I’ve gone through for most of my life and still deal with everyday. I hoped to show how a disease like anorexia or bulimia can nearly destroy a person not just physically, but also emotionally and damage their self esteem. But I also wanted to show that there’s hope and a way to overcome this struggle. Xavier Marks is Rebecca’s hope.

One of the hardest scenes for me to write was the one where Rebecca is in the bathroom, hanging her head over a toilet, deciding if she should stick her finger down her throat. She just had a horrible confrontation with her ex-boyfriend and the only way she knows how to find calm down and find a balance is to make herself vomit. I had to decide whether to have her induce vomiting or to stop herself and have her take a moment to think about her actions that could cause a major setback for her. Writing a character like Rebecca was a therapeutic experience for me.

OV: This story is the third in the ‘Sweet & Sinful’ series. Do you have any characters that have been your favorite?
KTG:
Xavier is my favorite. Conner from For the Love of Mollie holds a special place in my heart because he’s based on my big actor crush- Ryan Reynolds. I also adore Suzie from The Claiming of Suzie because Suzy is everything I would like to be. She’s one awesome chick.

OV: Have you ever written something, reread it and thought, “Wow! That was great!”
KTG:
When I’m writing a first draft I always think it’s horrible and hate it. But then I end up surprising myself when I will start editing and revising and think what I’ve written isn’t as bad as I first thought. Usually this happens when I re-read my love scenes. I love writing hot sex scenes.

OV: And I love your hot sex scenes! Which of your works are you most proud of?
KTG:
Xavier’s Loving Arms is the one I’m most proud of. I’m also very proud of The Prince’s Groom, a historical M/M romance I have with Ravenous Romance (http://www.ravenousromance.com/m/m/the-prince-s-groom.php). I was thrilled I could write a middle-aged bald pirate who finds love with a younger, somewhat shy gentleman.

OV: You write a steamy scene with popsicles and mint chocolate chip ice cream. Are these scenes from personal experience? If so, details please! : )
KTG:
I have experience eating popsicles and ice cream! I love coffee ice cream, but not a big fan of mint chocolate chip. As for eating ice cream in bed and with a hot man like Xavier, well that’s where my imagination is used ; )

OV: Rebecca’s ‘safe place’ seems to be her bright blue Snuggie. Do you own one? I have a leopard print one!
KTG:
I had a baby blue snuggie and love it. I was given one as a gift a few years ago. I wear it more like a robe though. I bet there are many people out there who have their own Snuggie.

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Book Review & Author Interview: Seduced by Crimson, by Jade Lee

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on March 1, 2012

Book Review & Author Interview: Seduced by Crimson by Jade Lee

Long ago Los Angeles became Crimson City, a glittering metropolis and sometime-battleground-onetime-home for humans, werewolves, and vampires. Before that, demons ruled. And with the Crimson Veil now torn asunder, those demons are on their way back.

There exist those who oppose the Dark Ones: mystics attuned to the earth, the druids. From San Bernardino they come, sending one of their mightiest–their Draig-Uisge. He can shape energy, twist it to harm or heal. But he must have something to bend, and the power can be summoned by one method alone… and from one source: the beauty Xiao Fei, the Phoenix Tear. Her blood is the key, along with her ecstasy; her union with Patrick means salvation. Yet in a world of vampires, werewolves and evil untamed, even a kiss can be deadly. Opposition lurks in every shadow, peril in every caress… and both redemption and oblivion lie in one woman being SEDUCED BY CRIMSON.

This book has everything: passion, action, engaging characters, a loveable story.

Xaio Fei is the last female Phoenix Tear with special elements to her blood. There is a demon gate that has been opened in Crimson City and her blood is the key for the ritual to close it.

Patrick, the druid Draig-Uisge, has been tasked with closing the demon gate before more evil can cross through. He must find Xaio Fei to complete the ritual… but isn’t sure he is able to go through with it. For closing the gate means Xaio Fei may not survive from loss of blood.

Patrick and Xaio Fei end up falling for each other on this crazy journey, complicating the ritual even more. But I didn’t mind that part since there were some hot and heavy sex scenes! The pent up energy that Jade Lee causes between these two is electric and jumps off the page. My kind of story ; )

Along the way, Patrick runs into complications with the other druids that question his ability as the Draig-Uisge. He must go against his own kind to do what is right to close the demon gate and follow his love for Xaio Fei.

If you enjoy paranormal books, I definitely recommend this story! Jade Lee’s constant action without too much detail is definitely worth the read (love authors who write like that!). The story kept going and I could barely put it down.

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I reached out to Jade Lee and she was an absolute sweetheart! She was nice enough to do an interview to go along with this post about Seduced by Crimson. Being able to interview authors is a definite highlight of my blogging career. Especially authors that I will be meeting at AAD NOLA!

Jade Lee has also been kind enough to include a link to a FREE download of her novella Engaged in Wickedness. Hope you enjoy this interview with Jade Lee!

Obscured Vixen: How long have you been writing?
Jade Lee:
I started out thinking I would be a great screenwriter. Got an MPW (Master of Professional Writing) at USC (Univ. of Southern California) specializing in screenwriting. That was in 1988. Let’s just say Hollywood wasn’t very receptive to me at the time! So I switched into my first love—romance novels—originally to make myself feel better about all the rejections I was getting on my screenplays. And frankly, that’s when I really learned how to write. So, there you go. I’ve been seriously writing since the mid eighties when I had big plans. Delusional plans, but they were big!

OV: In Seduced by Crimson, a Draige-Uisge and a Phoenix Tear are trying to seal a demon gate. Where did you get this idea from?
JL:
The demon gate concept was Liz Maverick’s idea. She is the one who conceived of Crimson City, the Series. And it was a great idea! I was fortunate enough to be brought into the multi-author series and was told I had to write the invasion from the demon world into Earth. At the end, I had to seal the gate—almost—because her follow up book Crimson Rogue had to deal with the last 1% of the gate that was open.

As for the druid concepts and the Phoenix Tear, um… well, who knows where my brain goes. I had a tight deadline on this book and I just went into a frenzy of GET AN IDEA! Eventually I landed on those, and I think it worked out pretty well! I love Seduced by Crimson and think it’s one of my best!

OV: I definitely think so! Xiao Fei is Cambodian, and a lot of her actions revolve around this. Are you Cambodian? Did you write this from life experience?
JL: I am not Cambodian, but I had just taken a wonderful trip with my Chinese mother through the South China sea. We spent a fabulous time in Cambodia at Angkor Wat. It’s a temple that used to be Hindu, but now houses Buddhist monks. I was fascinated. I started researching the legends portrayed on the walls and eventually that led to the pieces you see in Seduced by Crimson. I have to tell you that originally (in my mythology) the Khmer Rouge was led by a demon, but my editor was very nervous about putting something like that in print even though this was a fictional book. So, we ended up taking out that aspect of the mythology.

OV: You also write as Kathy Lyons and Katherine Greyle.
JL: Katherine Greyle was my first penname, and the name I thought I was going to write under forever. (My real name is VERY unromantic sounding). But Kathy Greyle wrote traditional, sweet regencies. Can you say, behind the curve? Yeah, turns out that sex sells. Who knew? And even more surprising, I have a talent for writing very sexy, sensual stories. [OV: that she does, folks!] So when I tried out my hand at writing sexy, my editor loved it. He bought Devil’s Bargain immediately (still one of my bestselling books), and then told me to take a new name. Anyone who loved Kathy Greyle would be shocked by Jade Lee. So, I became Jade Lee (I was preparing to write the tigress series, set in Shanghai, China, so he encouraged me to take an Asian name. I didn’t that Jade Lee is also the name of the lead Asian porn star. Oops).

Anyway, Jade Lee was born and Kathy Greyle faded away. Eventually I started writing for Harlequin, but my editor there suggested that for my non-Asian Blaze books, I should take a non-Asian name. So Kathy Lyons was born and she writes Harlequin Blaze books—sexy, contemporary FUN!

OV: Have you ever written anything, then reread it and thought, “Wow! That was great!”
JL: Sometimes. I have to get some real distance from the book. Like years. Then I’ll pick up the story for some reason or another and surprise myself. “Oh look at that!” I’ll say. “I was clever here!” But it’s rare. Usually—especially during the galley stage—I read the manuscript and think, OMG, this book is going to tank my career. It’s awful!

OV: Which of your works are you most proud of and why?
JL: That’s a hard question to answer. I love and hate each book in different ways. My newest Bridal Favors series is so much fun because I’m finally bringing my sense of humor into the regency period. The first book is Wedded in Scandal and if you want to see a funny excerpt, check it out on my website – http://jadeleeauthor.com/books/bridal-favors-series/wedded-in-scandal. It was a real joy going back to my regency roots and mixing that Kathy Greyle humor with the Jade Lee sensuality.

The sequel book Wedded in Sin is a favorite because of the hero. I wanted to write Sherlock Holmes being flattened by love. So I created Samuel who lives completely in his very brilliant mind. And then he starts falling in love and hasn’t a clue what to do. The challenge with this book is that I suck at mysteries. Seriously, I’m terrible at them. Mostly because I don’t care about the mystery. I wanted to see Sherlock fall in love. So I kept pulling out the mystery elements because I was terrible at writing them. It ended up being very simple, and I had to swear to my best friend Elizabeth Hoyt that I would never write a mystery again! So don’t look to me if you want a mystery! But if you want to see Sherlock Holmes, flattened by love, then Wedded in Sin is your book!

And as an extra enticement, your readers can pick up the prequel novella Engaged in Wickedness for FREE! Yes, FREE! Just click on this link, read and follow the directions (they’re pretty simple), and bam, you’ll get the novella! http://jadeleeauthor.com/engaged-in-wickedness-free.

OV: Thanks so much for that! As an Author After Dark featured author, what are you most looking to?
JL: Fun! I’ve never been to AAD, and I hear it’s a hoot! So come find me! I’ll have special giveaways for anyone who wants one. And frankly, I just want to hang out, gab, and have a ton of fun! Seriously, come find me! Tell me you read this interview and see if I can’t find something special just for you!

Other Author Interviews & Book Reviews:

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