Posted by Anna Campbell Jun 19 2013, 12:02 am in Amanda Ashby, Ancient Britain, Ann Campbell, Archangel of Mercy, Australian Authors, Bandita Booty, Betrayed, Christina Ashcroft, Christina Phillips, e-books, Ellora's Cave, erotic romance, Her Savage Scot, interviews, Regency romance, Sara Hantz, Tainted, vampire romance
I’m delighted today to welcome back a good friend and a fabulous writer, Aussie via the U.K. resident Christina Phillips.
Christina is here to tell us about her hot new romance for Ellora’s Cave, BLOODLUST DENIED, featuring a duke who is really a vampire. Or is that perhaps a vampire who is really a duke? Whatever, he sounds like one hot vampire dukish dude!
You can find out more about Christina and her wonderful books at her website: http://christinaphillips.com/
You can also find out about Christina on social media:
Twitter – https://twitter.com/ChristinaPh_Ash
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/christinaphillips.author/app_151503908244383
Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3216349.Christina_Phillips
You can buy BLOODLUST DENIED from Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Bloodlust-Denied-ebook/dp/B00D93NMVY/ref=la_B003G299V0_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1371518369&sr=1-3
Christina, welcome back to the lair. You’re one of our favorite guests. Congratulations on your new release from Ellora’s Cave, BLOODLUST DENIED. Can you tell us about this story?
Thanks so much for having me back in the lair, Anna! I always enjoy hanging out here and having fun (I’m not just talking about Sven, honestly!!)
BLOODLUST DENIED is a dark Regency romance about a vampire duke and a heroine who is a Maiden of Death. Alexius lost his beloved wife millennia ago, and his existence now is dedicated to hedonistic pleasure. He takes what he wants, and he wants Morana.
But for a reason he cannot fathom he wants more from her than merely her blood. She entrances him with her seductive dance and fearless manner and he decides to keep her until he tires of her.
Morana, an immortal vampire hunter, is irresistibly drawn to Alexius despite his aura of danger. But after one sizzling encounter she flees, knowing they can never have a future together.
Three years later Fate draws them together once again. Abduction, bondage and decadent seduction feature in Alexius’ plans for retribution, but before the sun rises dynamics have shifted and he’s the one fighting the silken bonds of captivity.
But as they fall under each other’s erotic spell the past and present collide and unless they discover the truth behind the lies, Death will triumph once more.
Sounds great! What were the inspirations behind this book?
I’ve always loved reading Regency romances but had never written a book set during that time. Then about four years ago, after I’d finished FORBIDDEN but before it sold, I saw a call for musical inspired stories from Ellora’s Cave.
The concept really fascinated me, and it obviously excited my muse too as I immediately had an image of a dark haired seductress dancing in a sordid London back alley. Then the hero appeared from the shadows and I was hooked! Especially when he turned out to be a very bad assed vampire living as a peer of the realm! As it turned out I never did submit this book to Ellora’s Cave at the time due to other deadlines, but last year I dusted it off, gave it a good edit and submitted it. Funny how things work out!
What’s coming up next for you?
At the moment I’m working on the second book in my Highland Warrior Chronicles. These books have been acquired by Ellora’s Cave and feature gorgeous Scot warriors and their brave Pictish princesses. The books are set in the ninth century during the turbulent time when both Scot and Viking coveted Pictland so there’s plenty of juicy conflict! I have the unedited blurb of the first book, HER SAVAGE SCOT, up on my website if you want a sneak peek.
Since we last saw you, you’ve released another Roman Britain story, BETRAYED. Can you tell us about this story? Are there more Roman stories to come? I hope so! I love them!
Thank you Anna! I absolutely love my Roman/Druid world and can’t tell you how thrilled I am that BETRAYED is finally out there.
I would just like to say that BETRAYED can easily be read alone without having read the previous books set in this world.
BETRAYED features Nimue, an acolyte of the moon goddess Arianrhod. Nimue made a brief appearance at the end of CAPTIVE when she was charged by the Briton king to protect his wife and daughter. Until that point I had no idea about a third book, but Nimue so fascinated me that I had to discover what happened to her after she disappeared. BETRAYED picks up her story at that point.
Brave, loyal and passionate, Nimue is determined to complete her mission no matter what. But her confident exterior hides a vulnerable core. She’s tortured by secrets from her past and when she realises that she is falling in love with Tacitus—a Roman officer and her people’s bitterest enemy—her world is turned upside down.
Tacitus is a loyal warrior of Rome, from a privileged patrician background. But he’s tormented by his past and determined not to follow in his father’s footsteps. Honorable almost to a fault all he sees when he looks at Nimue is a beautiful, fragile woman that he must protect at all costs. It’s beyond his comprehension that she might be a warrior in her own right.
Here’s an excerpt from a review: “Tacitus is a wonderful hero, masterful and passionate… I recommend this novel to all lovers of erotic romance, especially those who like a historical theme and a strong heroine and a leading man who is the embodiment of male sexuality and virtue. ” 5 Stars A Readers Review http://areadersreviewblog.com/2013/04/29/betrayed-3-in-the-romandruid-series-by-christina-phillips/
I have a fourth book, TAINTED, going through the editorial process at the moment. This features Gawain, a Celtic warrior haunted by his past and pledged to rid his land of the Roman invaders. This is also the story of Antonia, a Roman patrician abused and discarded by her powerful husband, who wants only a quiet life with her beloved father. But she hides a deadly secret that could be her undoing. These two wounded souls connect, initially only for a purely physical relationship, but it soon evolves into something much deeper. A dangerous love that Rome will never allow.
We haven’t seen you since late last year when you visited us to tell us about your wonderful ARCHANGEL OF MERCY under your Christina Ashcroft moniker. What’s been happening in your life since then?
Life has been manic since then! Actually it’s been manic for the last couple of years! I was delighted in January to discover that ARCHANGEL OF MERCY was a finalist in the Australian Romance Readers Favorite Paranormal Romance Awards. Apart from that I’ve barely managed to poke my head out of the editing cave this year, as I’ve been working on revisions for BETRAYED and BLOODLUST DENIED for Ellora’s Cave, edited the follow up book to ARCHANGEL OF MERCY and have been working on a Secret Project. I’m a bit knackered…
I know you work very closely with your talented (and lovely!) critique partners Amanda Ashby and Sara Hantz. Can you tell us a little bit about this relationship and how you go about working together, especially when Amanda and Sara are writing young adult stories and your books are hot, hot, hot!
By the way, in the photo from left to right, it’s Sara, Amanda and Christina! A rogues’ gallery if ever I saw one,
It sounds crazy, doesn’t it! But it works wonderfully for the three of us. We met more than ten years ago on the e-Harlequin boards, when we were all targeting different lines. Over the years we moved onto different things but the funniest thing is, it was Amanda and Sara who first suggested I try writing an erotic romance.I totally blame them for me finally getting published!
But for the more nitty gritty, we work well together because we each have different strengths that apply across all genres. Amanda has an amazing editorial eye for the “big picture” plot structure and pacing. Sara is our logical one and is fantastic when it comes to grounding us and asking “but why/how” (“just because” does not cut it with her!). I’m the Emotional Punch one and have a beady eye for continuity.
I’m giving away one e-copy of BETRAYED to one commenter and one e-copy of BLOODLUST DENIED to a second commenter. Just let me know whether hot warriors or hot vampires are your favorite kind of hero and why?
Ooh, two chances to win? You’re too good to us! OK, people, get commenting and good luck!
Posted by Anna Campbell Jun 7 2013, 12:20 am in Anna Campbell, Australian Authors, Bandita Booty, Cassie's Grand Plan, contemporary romance, Emmie Dark, enovellas, Harlequin Superromance, Jensen Ackles, Just for Today, Spellbound, Supernatural, writing life
Welcome back to Aussie author Emmie Dark who visited us last year to talk about her wonderful debut for Harlequin SuperRomance CASSIE’S GRAND PLAN.
How time flies! Emmie’s back with us today to talk about her newest (and third) SuperRomance, JUST FOR TODAY, which came out in North America on 4th June. Here’s the blurb:
She’s not that kind of girl!
Veterinarian Jess Alexander doesn’t have one-night stands with the best man at a coworker’s wedding. But thirtysomething divorcée Jess is definitely in a rut that a night of reckless passion with a younger man just might break. And what better candidate than criminally good-looking Sean Paterson?
Being with Sean is exhilarating. But where could this relationship possibly go? Expecting anything more than a good time from Sean is a one-way ticket to heartbreak. Against her better judgment, Jess can’t walk away from whatever this is…not yet.
You can find out more about Emmie and her books on her website: www.emmiedark.com
Emmie, welcome back to the lair. Congratulations on your new release for Harlequin SuperRomance, JUST FOR TODAY. Can you tell us about this story?
Thanks, Anna! I’d love to tell you more about JUST FOR TODAY – it’s the story of Sean and Jess. Sean is an author of supernatural horror novels and Jess is a recently divorced vet. Sean is that rare breed of rockstar-style novelist, with passionate fans and a huge twitter following and serious Peter Pan complex. Jess is still licking her wounds from her marriage break-up and convinces herself that one night with the delicious Sean might just kick-start her back into the dating world. Of course it doesn’t turn out to be as simple as all that…
Sounds great. What were the inspirations behind this book?
I kicked off writing this book with a very clear picture of Jess – I wanted to tell the story of a woman recovering from an emotionally damaging relationship and finding her feet again. And then as soon as Sean hit the page I knew both Jess and I were in trouble! I based Sean’s character (and cheeky good looks) on Jensen Ackles who plays one of the lead characters in the TV show SUPERNATURAL. I also went to a couple of science fiction conventions to get a feel for the world Sean inhabits and a local neighbourhood vet was very kind and gave me time to ask lots of questions about Jess’s typical work day.
What’s coming up next for you?
I’ve got a few irons in the fire right now! But my next release will be a follow-up to my e-novella SPELLBOUND, which is scheduled to come out later this year. In the meantime I’ve got lots of travel planned, including a trip to New York, and hopefully will find some writing time in there somewhere!
Last March, you released a paranormal e-novella called SPELLBOUND through Destiny Romance, Penguin Australia’s romance imprint (available internationally). Can you tell us about this story? It looks pretty hot!
That’s because it is! SPELLBOUND is a fun, racy story about a modern-day witch, Belle, who has an unrequited crush on her downstairs neighbour, Nick. She sets about using some magic in an effort to “satisfy” herself and things quickly go wrong from there. While Belle is a witch and it does involve magic, it’s not a paranormal – it’s pretty much the ordinary world with a magical twist. It’s a short and hot read – different to JUST FOR TODAY in lots of ways, but similar in that it’s about finding love again after life has dealt you a difficult blow.
Last time you visited in February 2012, we were talking about your great debut for SuperRomance CASSIE’S GRAND PLAN. I’m wondering if there have been any surprises in the last eighteen months or so as a published author.
It’s been full of surprises, actually! JUST FOR TODAY is my fourth book to hit the shelves in that time (three SuperRomances and SPELLBOUND with Destiny) and there’s been a lot to learn. I think the biggest lesson for me is realising that the work doesn’t stop with “the call” – in fact that’s where it really begins! And it’s been tough for me to go back to being a “beginner”. In my non-writing career I have twenty years of experience – I’m used to being the knowledgeable veteran. But in publishing I’m still learning – and I’ve so appreciated the support and wisdom shared by other authors as I find my way.
I notice from your website that you’re VERY fussy about how you take your tea. Do you want to give us the lowdown on Emmie Dark’s Way of Tea?
I am VERY fussy. And recently I’ve stopped drinking black tea totally, which only causes more headaches for anyone hoping to offer me hospitable cuppa, because if all you’ve got is Liptons in the cupboard, then I’m out, because I don’t drink coffee either. The lowdown, in all honesty, is simply to boil the kettle, give me a cup and leave me to it. I always have a little ziplock bag of my own tea de jour in my handbag, so I can easily grab out my own supplies and help myself to hot water. So in some ways, I’m a pretty easy guest, really!
I’m happy to giveaway a copy of JUST FOR TODAY to one lucky commenter today. I mentioned that my hero, Sean Patterson is a “rock star novelist”. Please leave me a comment and let me know your favourite rock star novelist – I’ll leave it up to you as to whether you interpret that as a very famous writer or a literal rock-star-turned-writer.
Get commenting, people! Good luck!
Posted by Anna Campbell May 16 2013, 12:03 am in Anna Campbell, Australian Authors, Banquet of Lies, Daughter of the Sky, food, Historical Fiction, historical romance, Michelle Diener, The Emperor's Conspiracy, Victorian Historicals
I love bringing the Bandits and Bandita Buddies great Aussie authors who may have passed under your radar.
Today, all the way from Western Australia, I’m delighted to introduce Michelle Diener who writes historicals set in a variety of periods for Simon & Schuster (among others). Publishers Weekly has lauded Michelle’s books as “a rousing read.”
You can find out more about Michelle and her books on her website: www.michellediener.com
Michelle, welcome to the lair! I love introducing our Banditas and Bandita Buddies to great Australian authors. Your latest release is called DAUGHTER OF THE SKY. Can you tell us about this story?
This is an slightly unusual historical with strong romantic elements, set in Zululand during the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, during the Victorian era. Here’s the blurb:
The Victorian Empire has declared war on the Zulus if they don’t accede to their outrageous demands. The clock is ticking down to the appointed hour. With no idea why the British are marching three massive columns of men and guns towards them, one Zulu general is prepared to take an impossible risk. But the life he’s gambling with isn’t his own . . .
The sole survivor of a shipwreck off the Zululand coast, 15 year-old Elizabeth Jones is taken in by the Zulus, the people of the sky. Six years later, her white skin becomes useful to the Zulu army as they try to work out why the Victorian Empire has pointed their war-machine at the Zulu nation. Elizabeth is suddenly Zululand’s most important spy.
While infiltrating the British camp, Elizabeth’s disguise as a young soldier is uncovered almost immediately by Captain Jack Burdell. However, he believes the tale she spins of searching for a missing brother and shields her from discovery, allowing her to bunk in his tent and giving her a job as his batman. Burdell is war-weary and disillusioned – no longer willing to follow regulations at all costs.
But as Elizabeth and Jack explore their growing attraction to each other, the two armies move towards their inevitable clash. Elizabeth is torn between the guilt of betrayal and her fierce loyalty to her Zulu family, and when Zulu and British meet on the battlefield, both she and Jack find their hearts and their lives caught in the crossfire.
Sounds great! What were the inspirations behind this book?
I grew up in KwaZulu-Natal, and the battlefields were the stomping ground of my childhood and early adulthood. I have always been fascinated by this time in South Africa’s history and it was a natural thing for me to take my love of the landscape and people and write it into a novel.
What’s coming up next for you?
I’m really excited that BANQUET OF LIES, my Regency-set historical that is loosely connected to THE EMPEROR’S CONSPIRACY, is due out on October 22nd. I just completed the copy edits this week, and I’m in love with the story all over again. It is about a woman who is in possession of an important diplomatic document, but people are trying to take it from her, and she goes into hiding in London as a cook to a viscount while she works out who she can trust. Unfortunately, her new employer becomes far to interested in her for his and her safety.
You’ve written a couple of books based in the Tudor era. What do you think is the perennial appeal of Henry VIII and his numerous spouses?
There was just so much intrigue, backstabbing and double-dealing going on in the Tudor court. More than an author could hope for. Not to mention it was the Renaissance, so there was an explosion of ideas, art, and music throughout Europe. It was an exciting time to be alive. And last, but not least, everyone is always fascinated by power, and they didn’t get much more powerful than Henry VIII.
You’ve written books set in a range of historical periods – Tudor England, the Napoleonic era, the Victorian British Empire. Do you have a favorite setting? Is there a setting you haven’t yet used that we can hope to see from you?
I’d love to write a book set between WWI and WWII. And just before WWI as well. I actually have a couple of outlines, waiting to be written from that time period. I have a difficult time choosing a period. I find them all fascinating.
It’s like a banquet, isn’t it? Ha ha, pun intended. How did you get started as a writer?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer, from the time I was a child. I wrote on and off my whole life, although just for myself. I didn’t think I had enough life experience to write a full-length novel, but I always planned to. Then, when I turned 30, I realized I hadn’t done anything toward my dream in too long. It took quite a few years (and I had two children shortly after that realization!) before I started submitting work seriously with the view to being published, and shortly after New Year’s day in 2010, my agent called me to say Simon & Schuster had made an offer on IN A TREACHEROUS COURT. It’s been a wild ride ever since.
Could you tell us a bit about your corner of the world?
I live in Western Australia, which is a very beautiful part of the world. The weather is almost uniformly fabulous (sometimes a little too hot!) we have lovely beaches, amazing coastlines, forests, bush. I’ve lived here for nearly five years now, and constantly think how lucky I am to live in such a wonderful place!
I love that part of the world! Your upcoming October release, BANQUET OF LIES, involves someone masquerading as a French cook. Do you include a lot of food in the book?
I do! Let me first say my character is a good cook, and she is half-French, so she isn’t exactly out of her depth in the kitchen. I absolutely loved writing her character. She is the daughter of a wealthy academic who has been knighted, and her family home is actually a few doors down from where she is hiding as a cook. She knows how a French chef behaves, and she plays her part to the hilt, hamming up the accent, and being a terror to everyone in her kitchen. Because the hero of the story (Lord Aldridge, who made an appearance in THE EMPEROR’S CONSPIRACY) is desperate for some decent cooking, he is seduced by my heroine’s food, which I enjoyed describing. I love cooking and baking, and so many people who know me have asked if I’ll ever write a book with food in it, because it’s such a passion of mine. This is the book! I have made everything my heroine makes in the book, and I can vouch for it being delicious!
I’d love to know, do you enjoy it when there is wonderful food in books? Any favorite food books? I’ll go first and say LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE is one of my favorites, with the movie BABETTE’S FEAST being a close second.
Thanks, Michelle. That was all fascinating. And we wish you all the best with DAUGHTER OF THE SKY!
Michelle has very generously offered up a download of DAUGHTER OF THE SKY to someone who comments today. Good luck, people!
Posted by Anna Campbell Apr 25 2013, 10:21 pm in Alison Stuart, Anna Campbell, Australian Authors, Bandita Booty, By the Sword, Gather the Bones, Secrets in Time
Thanks so much for a great day in the lair yesterday when my Aussie historical romance writing friend Alison Stuart visited us to talk about her new release SECRETS IN TIME and the mysteries of cricket – not sure if any of us are any wiser, I hate to say, but it was fun! Alison has very generously donated a download of her EPPIE winning English Civil War historical romance BY THE SWORD as a prize. The winner is:
Congratulations, Carol. Could you please email Alison on alison @ alisonstuart.com (no spaces) and let her know what format you’d like the book in and which email address you’d like to send it to her? Happy reading! I’m sure you’ll be bowled over!
Posted by Anna Campbell Apr 24 2013, 12:03 am in Alison Stuart, Anna Campbell, Australian Authors, Cavaliers and Roundheads, English Civil War Romance, Gather the Bones, historical romance, Secrets in Time, Time Travel Romance
It’s always a pleasure to host a friend in the lair. Today’s guest Alison Stuart and I have been buddies forever and I’m delighted to bring her here to talk about her latest time travel romance SECRETS IN TIME.
Here’s the blurb for SECRETS IN TIME:
Can love endure across time?
When a seventeenth-century cavalier hurls himself over her garden wall, Doctor Jessica Shepherd is more angry than surprised. Although she’s no stranger to military re-enactors, there’s something different about Nathaniel Preston. If he’s to be believed, something…or someone…has sent him forward in time from the midst of a civil war to the quiet English countryside of the twentieth century.
With time working against them, Nathaniel has to convince Jessica why fate brought them together before he’s forced to return to his own era…and certain death in battle.
Can the strength of love overcome all obstacles, even time itself?
You can read an excerpt and find out more about Alison and her books on her website: http://www.alisonstuart.com/index.html
To order SECRETS IN TIME from Amazon, just click on the cover! We like to make life easy for our Bandita Buddies!
Alison is talking to us today about something non-British Commonwealth people find perpetually mystifying. The glories of the national game in Australia, CRICKET!
Time Travel and the Rules of Cricket
There are few things more quintessentially English, or more mystifying, than the game of cricket. Some of you may be familiar with this little summary…by which the rules of cricket are made perfectly clear.
You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that’s in the side that’s in goes out, and when he’s out he comes in and the next man goes in until he’s out. When they are all out, the side that’s out comes in and the side thats been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out.
When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. There are two men called umpires who stay all out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out. When both sides have been in and all the men have out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game!
Writing a time travel was probably the most fun I have had in the writing process than anything else I have written. It was like putting together a puzzle, making sure each piece slotted into the next to make a seamless whole. Every move I made had to be accompanied by the question “What if…”
The hero of SECRETS IN TIME is a very dashing seventeenth century cavalier who comes forward in time to 1995. Because it was originally written in first person only from the heroine’s point of view, I had to “show” the hero’s reactions to life in the twentieth century.
Nathaniel’s first encounter with running water…
I went to the tap in the kitchen and turned it on. Behind me, the chair scraped, and Nathaniel joined me at the basin. He ran his hand under the flow of water and as I turned the tap off, he shook his head and said with what sounded like wonder in his voice, “Do that again.”
I complied. He put his hand on the tap, turning it on and off. Before I could stop him, he’d turned the hot water tap on hard. Scalding water shot from the tap and he drew his hand back.
“Incredible,” he marveled, shaking his hand with a grimace. “Hot water on command. Do you have a servant to heat it for you?”
“No,” I replied, instinctively grabbing his hand and holding it under the cold water. “I am all out of servants. The gas board does it quite adequately…”
Setting the story in 1995 presented its own little time travel problems. Do you remember 1995? Life was comparatively primitive…no ipods (the heroine has a Walkman), limited internet, no mobile phones, no email…. The hero of SECRETS IN TIME still has to cope with cars, bicycles, television, women’s lingerie shops…women’s lingerie… Fortunately he has an innate curiosity and a scientific bent, but some things like cricket and military re-enactments leave him completely mystified.
Some of the perils of writing time travel: Clothing … if he’s wearing a sword when he arrives in 1995…why is the same sword on display in his former home? How would you react if you knew the exact time and method of your own death and those of everyone you loved? What is the potential to affect the course of history? What if you know the cause you are about to die for is doomed and your King will die on an executioner’s block? What if Nathaniel tells King Charles I not to take the field at Naseby? Supposing the King listened to him and didn’t have him hanged as a witch, would that have changed the outcome of the English Civil War? What if….
Sending the heroine back in time to 1645 was comparatively easy. The poor thing might bemoan the lack of a toothbrush and wonder if she can remember her pony club days, but I don’t think she had nearly as much to cope with as poor Nathaniel.
Which brings me back to the rules of cricket…a game I adore (and, yes, I do understand the rules of cricket!). As I write historicals, it was liberating to write in a (comparatively) contemporary setting and I couldn’t resist weaving a few cricketing analogies into the story…
When I got home that evening, Alan and Nat were sitting on my sofa, drinking my beer while Alan tried to explain the rules of cricket to Nat.
Nat stood as I entered. “Jessie,” he said, sweeping his hand at the sofa. “Come sit down with us and perhaps you can explain to me what it is about this sport that your brother finds so entrancing?”
“Call yourself an Englishman?” I chided as I plopped down next to him…
Thanks for having me to visit, Romance Bandits. I am wondering if your readers would like to tell us about something in their world they find completely mystifying? For me it is the game of soccer…makes no sense to me whatsoever. Why spend two hours kicking a ball up and down a field and not score anything?
I have an ecopy of my award winning English Civil War historical BY THE SWORD for a commentator.
Thanks for the great piece, Alison. You’ve done a marvelous job of clearing up the whole mystery of cricket for everone! LOL!
Get commenting, people, and good luck in the draw.
Posted by Anna Campbell Apr 10 2013, 12:02 am in Anna Campbell, Australian Authors, Bandita Booty, Ghost stories, historical romance, novellas, Regency romance, These Haunted Hearts, writer's life
by Anna Campbell
I was going to call this post When Good Technology Turns Bad. Or as someone said on my Twitter feed, #BewareRoyalWeddingGifts, but I thought I’d go simple.
I was also going to open this with a sort of quote from CROCODILE DUNDEE – “You call that a launch? THIS is a launch!”
Apologies to everyone who swung by last month for what was meant to be a hauntingly groovy launch for my Regency ghost romance, THESE HAUNTED HEARTS. As you’d recall I wasn’t here. The book wasn’t available. The moon turned green. Well, maybe that last one is a slight exaggeration, but the other two aren’t.
Thank you to those who swung by to wish my little story good luck and also to my Bandita sisters who did a marvellous job of keeping everything going in my unfortunate absence.
I’ve realized since that I tempted fate by writing a book about a cursed Chinese bed. Clearly the Chinese bed decided to turn its curse back on the author!
Here in south-east Queensland where I live, we’ve had really awful weather. We had a mini drought up until the end of January. Then we had a far-from-mini cyclone during which my fence blew down – although I wasn’t nearly as badly affected as people not very far up the coast whose whole town was completely inundated. Then lots of rain and wind for a whole month.
As a result, a whole stack of essential services were interrupted. Lots of people had no power. I had no phone for a large slab of March (slightly over two weeks). And by no phone, I mean NO phone, so no mobile/cellphone either (turned out a tower had been blown over that serves my area). And no phone means no internet.
Major problem. I do pretty much all my business on the internet. My frustrated Facebook addiction was clearly something I had to handle too!
Complaints to Telstra, my provider, gave me little satisfaction. And were annoying and time consuming – partly because I needed to find somebody with a working phone before I could make a complaint. Telstra promised me a satellite phone so I waited around for that to come – turns out they ran out. Poor babies. They’d already wasted several weeks of my time. What was another day?
Being without a phone was scary and annoying. And involved several very long trips to my closest library to use their internet. Far from entirely satisfactory, but it meant I could do the urgent stuff. These trips to a public computer didn’t, however, allow me to fulfill my obligations as a blog host. So again, huge apologies.
The curse of the Chinese bed didn’t just operate on my small world of telecommunications.
So far, I’ve indie published two novellas. The first, THE WINTER WIFE, went as smoothly as Bailey’s Irish cream down my thirsty Aussie throat (although I don’t think anyone drinks Bailey’s because they’re thirsty!). Of course, the universe decreed that when I was completely out of touch, there had to be major problems with getting THESE HAUNTED HEARTS: A REGENCY GHOST ROMANCE up on Amazon and Smashwords in a readable state. Apologies (lots of apologies in this blog!) to those who swung by and tried to pick up the novella only to find it unavailable!
Sheesh! It’s enough to drive a woman to drink. Did I mention Bailey’s?
The good news is that better late than never, THESE HAUNTED HEARTS is live and ready to entertain you. Also in the good news basket, I’m back on the internet and my phone is working. Phew!
So on a much quieter scale than the usual lair launches – for which Paolo is heartily grateful – I hereby declare THESE HAUNTED HEARTS: A REGENCY GHOST ROMANCE seaworthy and ready to sail onto e-readers all around the world.
It’s $1.99 and available from Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/These-Haunted-Hearts-Regency-ebook/dp/B00BSJR0HI/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1365287762&sr=1-1&keywords=these+haunted+hearts
And from Smashwords here:http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/294739
Just in case you missed it last month, here’s the blurb:
On one fateful wedding day at Marston Hall in 1818, four linked destinies hover in the balance.
Josiah Aston, Earl of Stansfield, wakes to discover he’s seventy years dead and he alone can free his beloved wife Isabella’s tormented soul. But first he must convince her to trust him against all the evidence…
Lady Isabella Verney, beautiful and tempestuous, married the man of her dreams, only to die violently on her wedding day. Every clue points to Josiah as the murderer…
Is true love strong enough to defeat ancient malevolence forever?
Miles Hartley, Viscount Kendall, is society’s ideal catch, but what does that matter if he can’t convince Calista Aston that he loves her? When an age-old curse strikes, only by proving himself worthy of her faith can he save their happiness…
Lady Calista Aston, noted bluestocking, fears she loves Miles Hartley not wisely, but too well. On her wedding day, her doubts place her at evil’s mercy. When death and disaster loom, is it courage or mad folly to believe that Miles loves her in spite of all her faults?
On one fateful wedding day at Marston Hall in 1818, will the lovers emerge triumphant or will darkness conquer all?
Given that THESE HAUNTED HEARTS focuses on a cursed royal wedding gift to the ill-fated ghostly couple, Josiah Ashton and Isabella Verney, I thought we’d talk wedding presents today.
What’s the best wedding present you received? What’s the worst wedding present you received? What’s the best wedding present you ever gave someone? If you got married tomorrow, what present would you like someone to give you?
Let’s toss the confetti and get this haunted show on the road!
To celebrate this second launch, I thought I’d give away THREE downloads of THESE HAUNTED HEARTS to people who comment today. Good luck!
Posted by Anna Campbell Apr 6 2013, 10:28 pm in Alliance Forged, Anna Campbell, Australian Authors, Bandita Booty, Kylie Griffin, Light Blade Series, Vengeance Born
Thanks, everyone, for a fabulous day of blogging in the lair yesterday when Kylie Griffin visited to talk about her new book ALLIANCE FORGED. Kylie has asked me to pass on her thanks and to say how much she enjoyed the discussion.
The winner of the signed copy of ALLIANCE FORGED is:
Kylie enjoyed her visit so much that she’s very kindly offered two more prizes, copies of the first book in the Light Blade series, VENGEANCE BORN, and the lucky winners are:
Could all the winners please contact Kylie on kyliegriffin71 @optusnet.com.au (no spaces) with your snail mail details?
Congratulations, girls! You’ll love these books!
Posted by Anna Campbell Apr 5 2013, 12:03 am in Allegiance Sworn, Alliance Forged, Anna Campbell, Australia, Australian Authors, Australian Romance Readers Association Awards, Bandita Booty, fantasy romance, Kylie Short, Light Blade Series, paranormal romance, series, Vengeance Born
I’m always delighted to welcome Aussie author Kylie Griffin back to the lair. Today’s she’s here to tell us about the next instalment in her wonderful Light Blade series, ALLEGIANCE SWORN.
RT Book Reviews gave ALLEGIANCE SWORN a great review, saying, “The third outing in Griffin’s rousing Light Blade series provides readers with a breathtakingly strong and dedicated heroine willing to fight and sacrifice for her people. Griffin keeps the tension running high as the world she created heads ever closer to war.”
Here’s the blurb:
There is no mercy in the demon realm. No escape. In this place of desperation and conflict, anyone who is not purebred is virtually powerless. Until a demon leader seeks to unify the races…
SHE’S THE ENEMY HE CAN’T RESIST.
With the alliance of the humans and the half-blood Na’Chi forged, the demon Na’Reish prepare for war by seizing human blood-slaves. Captured during a rescue mission-gone-wrong, Light Blade warrior Arek Barial finds himself claimed by a Na’Reishi female who offers him an unexpected choice.
Raised in the elite ranks of a society she abhors, Imhara Kaal lives a dangerous double life as a Na’Reish Clan-leader and an advocate for a caste-free life that honors the Old Ways. Openly rebelling against the Na’Reish would mean her death, unless she can find an emissary willing to present her petition to the human Blade council.
But Arek isn’t about to blindly follow a demon—despite the intense attraction growing between them. And while hatred for the Na’Reish is all he has ever known, Arek must learn to trust Imhara, or risk the destruction of all three races…
You can find out more about Kylie and her books on her website: http://kyliegriffin.com
Kylie, congratulations on the release of ALLEGIANCE SWORN. Can you tell us about this story?
ALLEGIANCE SWORN is the third book in the Light Blade series and one I was very excited to write as it features Arek, a rather deliciously tormented (yes, I do like torturing my heroes), secondary character, and one of my Light Blade warriors, who appeared in both VENGEANCE BORN (#1) and ALLIANCE FORGED (#2).
At the end of ALLIANCE FORGED Arek was wounded and captured by demon-slavers. In ALLEGIANCE SWORN he’s claimed by Imhara, a demon Clan leader.
He’s sworn to die fighting before allowing her to enslave him but then discovers she’s been living a double-life; that her Clan don’t enslave humans and accept half-bloods. And more significantly, they have one goal in common – to kill Na’Reish leader Savyr, the demon who murdered their families and destroyed their lives.
I had a LOT of fun making Arek face his greatest fears in this book but what surprised me the most was the way a couple of plot threads within the story ended – I intended the story to finish with the characters achieving certain goals but they refused to take that path and led me down another!
Lives being threatened, fighting, the death of a major character – all of this was supposed to occur, and it did, but not in the manner I expected and it brought about an entirely different conclusion to the story.
What were the inspirations behind this book?
Two ideas inspired ALLEGIANCE SWORN.
The first was Arek, the hero, and his hatred for all things demon. Throughout the series and of all the characters he’s probably had the toughest time. He’s found out he has a demon half sister. His grandfather not only tried to kill her but he kept the secret that demons and humans once lived harmoniously together and then betrayed the human race by leading a rebellion to keep the war between them going.
In ALLEGIANCE SWORN, Arek is confronted by the truth that his whole life and every decision and action he’s made has been based on a lie, one fostered by his grandfather’s deception.
And having been captured by demon-slavers at the end of ALLIANCE FORGED, he now faces one of his greatest fears – being the blood-slave of Imhara Kaal, his new owner. Anyone who’s already read the series will know Arek prefers death over serving as a blood-slave, so you can imagine the conflict this is going to create!
The idea of a double agent gave me the plot thread for Imhara Kaal, the heroine, in ALLEGIANCE SWORN. Unlike other demons, Imhara and her people have create a utopia of sorts where human, demon, and half breeds live peacefully and equally in the Old Ways but they’ve had to sacrifice a lot to remain undiscovered. Living a double-life and adopting two separate lifestyles was essential for their survival.
But it puts Imhara and Arek at odds right from the get go because she had to portray her alter-ego in order to claim him as her slave. You can image how well that went down with Arek, and trying to convince him of her other persona is nigh impossible.I loved being able to throw these two opposing personalities together and watching the sparks fly!
Ooh, sounds delicious. I love enemies into lovers stories. What’s coming up next for Kylie Griffin?
Besides a manic blog tour to promote ALLEGIANCE SWORN (and the mass market version of VENGEANCE BORN which was also released on April 2nd)? Well, I have a few plans I’m juggling. I’d like to write books #4 and #5 in the Light Blade series but that depends on whether the book-gods smile on a new contract.
I’m also keen to write a new post-apocalyptic romance, one that’s been mulling in the back my mind for a few years now. A change of genre would be refreshing and I’m quite excited about this one as I’m venturing into new territory. It’s rather more erotic in tone than I anticipated.
Delish! You’re now three books into your Light Blade series. Would you like to share your thoughts on writing a series? Has everything continued as you expected or were there some surprises with writing linked books?
As a fantasy reader from way back – I think I read my first book in this genre at age 10 – I love the scope a series allows me as far as world building and developing an over arching story line. While each story is complete within itself, I love being able to play with the external plot, dropping hints, showcasing certain events that will one day impact the timeline further on in the series. And looking back readers will see this and, hopefully, appreciate the depth and growth of the series.
There were some surprises along the way when I wrote the series. A couple of characters I intended to be only background figures decided they wanted a story of their own and as a result they’ve taken more prominent roles in the stories than I anticipated.
One of these characters was Zaune, one of the half-blood scouts. He appeared in VENGEANCE BORN then he popped up in ALLIANCE FORGED and again in ALLEGIANCE SWORN. Over time he’s become quite a strong character in my mind, so much so I have a book planned for him.
Another shock in this series came when I wrote ALLEGIANCE SWORN, I’d planned the death of a major character but as I wove various plot threads together, the story of Arek and Imhara began to stall. No matter the direction I wanted them to go – the scenes, their dialogue, their actions, the revelations I wanted to hint at, or uncover or confront, the action I saw taking place – they point blank refused to walk the path I wanted them to take.
Turns out I was trying to force a scenario that would have given the story a too easy solution, too convenient an ending to the thread I was trying to tell. Robbing the characters of conflict also meant swindling readers out of the emotional roller coaster ride that came with the conflict. So in the end, I ignored the voice inside my head and listened to my characters.
Did the story thread have a “happily ever after”? It depends on your point of view. Happily ever afters do occur but sometimes not in the way we anticipate or expect and this was definitely the case for Arek, Imhara and me. What exactly did the HEA involve…well, you’re going to have to read ALLEGIANCE SWORN to find out the details!
Kylie, congratulations on winning favorite futuristic, sci-fi or fantasy romance of 2012 at the recent Australian Romance Readers Association awards. I was absolutely delighted to accept your award on your behalf! Could you tell us a little about how you felt about receiving this award?
Thanks, Anna, for the congrats and accepting the ARRA award on my behalf!
I was away on a writers’ retreat the weekend of the ARRA convention with some writing buddies. We were following the awards dinner via Twitter on the night. Some of the books and authors nominated were MY favourite reads for 2012 – so to have gone head to head to them was an achievement in itself.
Seeing as I don’t own a mobile phone (yes, I know, I’m one of the rare few) I was relying on my friends to announce the results. When they read out my name, I honestly thought they were pulling my leg and kidding around but when I saw the same tweet on four phones I had to accept the win was fair dinkum!
I’m sure I looked like a stunned mullet. I know I see-sawed between incredulous laughter and shocked crying. I think I did a bit of both!
Honestly, it’s a very humbling experience to know there are readers who voted ALLIANCE FORGED as their favorite read for 2012, and I’m ever so grateful! The ARRA award now sits on proud display on a shelf in the lounge room!
What do you like to read when you’re not writing dramatic and adventurous romance?
Paranormal romance is my first port of call when I pick up a book to read – some of my favourite authors span the gamut of sub-genres and include Nalini Singh, Denise Rossetti, Joss Ware, Joey W.Hill, Bec McMaster and Kylie Scott!
I’m also partial to science fiction and fantasy authors like Anne McCaffrey, Andre Norton, and Rowena Corey Daniells. But outside these genres I enjoy reading Maya Banks, Debbie Macomber, Jo Davis, and our own, Anna Campbell! (Anna says, why, thank you!)
I’m fairly selective, basing my choices more on the connection I feel with the author’s characters and their writing than the particular genre. I’m sure Anna won’t mind me using her as an example, but she’s one of two historical romance authors I read. I don’t usually indulge in this genre but I really enjoy her books because of her engaging characters and rich style of writing.
My nonfiction section of my library revolve around subjects likes names for babies, weapons, self-defence, herbal medicines, ancient cultures, myths & legends, and craft books like patchworking, photography, calligraphy and Lonely Planet Guides for travelling.
And my favourite place for reading these books – my garden! I have a couple of lovely spots where I can sit back, relax with a book and more often than not be interrupted by the wildlife that like to visit during the day.
Anna, thanks for having me here in the Lair – I always enjoyed my time here interacting with your readers. Knowing this, I’d love to ask them a question, if that’s all right.
I’ve just revealed Arek’s greatest fear – becoming a blood-slave to the Na’Reish demons – now I want to know – What’s your greatest fear? Is there anyone brave enough to answer this question? How about I dangle a signed copy of ALLEGIANCE SWORN Light Blade #3 as incentive to participate? Go on, I dare you! Face your fear, just like Arek does in ALLEGIANCE SWORN!
Thanks for that great interview, Kylie! And best of luck with ALLEGIANCE SWORN. It sounds like a corker. Get commenting, people. I’m sure you all want to win the signed copy of Kylie’s new book!
Posted by Anna Campbell Jan 26 2013, 2:22 pm in Anna Campbell, Australian Authors, Foanna, Free Events, Gold Coast Libraries, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
If you live on the Gold Coast, don’t miss the Absolutely Austen! Celebrating the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice event from Tuesday, 29th January to Saturday, 2nd February.
I’m taking part in two FREE events:
Author Encounter with Anna Campbell
When: Thursday 31st January
Where: Southport Branch Library, Corner Garden and Lawson Streets, Southport 4215
Time: 6pm – 7.30pm
Bookings: Please phone (07) 5581 7220
Excessively diverted – why the Regency era is perfect for romance
Romance author Anna Campbell joins a panel of readers to discuss the appeal of the Regency era and the influence of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE on contemporary romance.
When: Friday 1st February
Where: Robina Branch Library, 196 Robina Town Centre Drive, Robina 4226
Time: 12.30pm – 2pm
Bookings: Please phone (07) 5581 1600
For more details, check out Gold Coast Libraries’ website here: http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/library/t_library.aspx?pid=10305
Posted by Anna Campbell Jan 23 2013, 3:48 pm in Anna Campbell, Australian Authors, Booktopia, favorite authors, Foanna
Australia’s number one internet book retailer, Booktopia, held a poll in January to discover Australia’s favorite novelists. Hundreds of authors featured in the original line-up, then it was narrowed down to the top 75, with the final list limited to the top 50. Our Bandita Anna Campbell won her heat, then came in as 28th in the final 50! Huzzah! Here’s the list from 30 to 21: http://blog.booktopia.com.au/2013/01/23/countdown-to-australias-favourite-novelist-30-21-as-voted-by-you/