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Opening Up, by Lauren Dane

14 Aug

Opening UpI am generally a fan of Ms Dane’s work, with the Federation Chronicles, and their spinoff, the Phantom Corps novels, being my favorites by her.

However, what with my TBR taking over my house (yes, I have a problem, but admitting it hasn’t helped me any–and no, thanks, I don’t want help with this particular problem), I had not read anything new by her in a while. Then I realized that Falling Under was coming out this month, and since–thanks to Sela Carsen–I seem to be finally getting over the reading slump from hell, I decided to start the series at the beginning, so I treated myself to this book.

Usual warning: this is an erotic romance, with graphic language and graphic sex. If you object to either, do us both a favor, and skip this one.

Opening Up, by Lauren Dane

This is the first in the Ink and Chrome series, about a group (three?) friends who co-own a “hot rod and motorcycle shop”–whatever that actually means.¹

At any rate, Asa is an ex-Marine, with a love for cars and motorcycles, a need for adrenaline, and little compunction to engage in the occasional bout of recreational violence (he and his partner belong to a bare-knuckle Fight Club, among other things). PJ is the youngest daughter of the CEO of Colman Tires, a family business started by her paternal grandfather, a former race driver.

Shared interests and a common language set the stage for their relationship, even though there’s some early (and rather inconsequential) angst about their age difference.

Here’s the blurb from the author’s website: Continue reading

Interviewing Larissa Ione

30 Mar

And on this fine Monday morning (if any Monday morning can be called fine, that is…), let’s welcome author Larissa Ione to KKB. Ms Ione has graciously offered herself as willing victim erm… guest here today.

In case some of you are not aware, Ms Ione’s third Demonica novel, Passion Unleashed, releases tomorrow from Grand Central Publishing. The first title in the series, Pleasure Unbound, got quite a few rave reviews and authorly squees (check out Ann Aguirre’s) and the second, Desire Unchained, made the USA Today Bestseller list sortly after its release date. You can find much more about these books, the Demonica world and Ms Ione herself in her website. Now… onward to the grilling! erm…interviewing.

Welcome, Larissa!

*waving*  Thank you!

Before anything else, huge congratulations on having your second Demonica title, Desire Unchained make the USA Today Bestseller list

Thank you! I’m still half-convinced that it was a big mistake!

You mention in your biography that you have always been a reader and a writer, but that it took a long and winding road via fantasy and historical fiction for you to discover romance and passion, and then to write them. Do you remember what historical romance(s) made you realize that this was the genre for you as an author? What was it about them that pulled you in? Continue reading

Interviewing Jill Shalvis

26 Jan

It is with pleasure that I welcome author Jill Shalvis to Her Hands, My Hands.

A while back I dug a couple of Ms Shalvis older titles, Get a Clue and Long-lost Mom from the humongous TBR mountain range, and posted my reviews (here and here). That resulted in an exchange of emails with Ms Shalvis from which the following interview germinated.

Without more ado, here’s Ms Shalvis!

You have been a published author since 1996 and have built quite the respectable backlist during that time–all contemporaries, some with a more comedic slant and others with suspense, but no paranormals nor historicals. Have you ever been tempted to try your hand at either?

Actually, I wrote one paranormal for Brava called Out of This World, and it was great fun. But I have to say, for the moment, I’m enjoying writing the sexy contemporaries most. Instant Attraction really blew my skirt up, so I think I’ll stick with that for awhile. Continue reading

Interviewing Carrie Lofty

1 Dec

Let’s welcome author Carrie Lofty to KKB! Carrie has agreed to let me grill her a bit 😀 before her historical romance officially hits the stands tomorrow, so let’s get right down to it!

Your debut full length novel, What a Scoundrel Wants, is released tomorrow, December 2nd by Kensington, with Scoundrel’s Kiss slated for release in late 2009. These are both historical romances set in rather unusual time periods—in the Middle Ages, one in England and the other in Spain. Your previously published short story “Through the Garden Gate”, is a time travel romance set in Sorrento, Italy in 1958.

And my first manuscript, Serenade, which will be available as a free serial beginning in January, was set in 1804 Salzburg. Guilty on all counts, I’m afraid. Would you believe I started out with more conventional fare as a grad student of history? My master’s thesis was on the American outlaws Jesse James and Wild Bill Hickok. But perhaps studying the Old West for a decade made me eager to seek out new places once I left academia.

Why choosing unusual time periods or settings for historical novels? What about these two periods intrigues you? Or is it simply the challenge of going off the beaten path and trailblazing in a market that has, for the past couple of decades, seemed to narrow more and more? Continue reading

Interviewing Ann Aguirre

25 Aug

Folks, please help me welcome Ann Aguirre for a grilling session erm, interview.

How long have you written—one of those “since forever” or more of a “sudden epiphany” person?

I’ve pretty much always wanted to be a writer. When I was in first grade, we had Career Day at school. We got to pick what we wanted to do for a living from cards with job descriptions on them. I chose “freelance writer”. My teacher said, rather condescendingly, “That’s not a real job, honey. Why don’t you pick something else?” That should’ve prepared me for the row I had to hoe.

I never did pick anything else. I scribbled stories from age eight onward. In tenth grade, I wrote my first novel, 150 pages on an old typewriter: small-town girl meets a mysterious boy who works as the Winnie the Pooh mascot at Sears. Despite having led a boring life heretofore, our heroine saves the boy numerous times. Even then, I had no sense of what was proper behavior for a heroine.

My next ‘serious’ attempt came in college. I was studying English Lit, which mostly bored the crap out of me. I discovered romance novels about this time. I ate those books like Cracker Jacks, especially the Loveswept line. I was a real sucker for the Romancing the Stone type story, where the city-bred heroine goes into the jungle with a survivalist hero.

And I thought, I can do this! How hard can it be? Continue reading

Interviewing Lauren Dane

22 Aug

Welcome the talented Lauren Dane!

Ready to be grilled? :evil 😀 :

How long have you been writing? (i.e., “since before I could write” or “I just started when…”)

I’m one of those, “Oh I’ve always loved to write” people but I’m also a practical girl so while I wrote for my college newspaper and had a ‘zine with my husband and did the odd poem and short story here and there, I never planned to be a writer. I went to law school instead, LOL.

But then through a host of things happening in my life I ended up on a lot of bed rest when I was pregnant with my daughter and thought, “Hey, maybe I’ll give that writing thing a try.” My husband brought home a second hand laptop and I wrote Triad.

That was in 2004 and I’ve been fortunate enough to build something with my writing since.

Would you share your THE CALL story with us? The catch: one paragraph 😀

I had “the email” experience with my earlier books, which was wonderful but when I sold my first single title to Berkley I got the actual “call” from my agent. I hadn’t been expecting it and when I heard it was her, I said, “You’d better be calling to tell me you sold something,” as a joke. She laughed and said, “Well, I am.” I burst into tears and sat on my stairs while my kids milled around wondering why I was weeping like a baby, scribbling details on piece of paper I still have to this day. Continue reading

Interviewing Shiloh Walker (take two)

3 Jun

Welcome again, Shiloh!

Through the Veil, your newest release, has a crossover appeal—romance and a mix of science fiction/urban fantasy/paranormal flavor. You have said that you have a hard time labeling this novel, and that it was very difficult for you to write it. If you had to describe, in ten words or less, the ideal reader/target audience for this book, what would those words be?

(You gave me a word count-that’s cheating… and words in parenthesis don’t count) Probably paranormal romance readers and maybe urban fantasy readers.

You’ve said that your husband inspired this story, could you share what you mean by this?

He did. 😀

Okay, so I bruise easy. Always have. There is no medical reason for it… I just bruise easy. And I’m a klutz, so I pick up new bruises all the time.

One morning, I woke up and my husband noticed this huge bruise on my hip. He sighs, shakes his head and says, “People are going to think I beat you.”

A little while later, he comes up and tells me, “You need to write a book about this woman who wakes up with all these bruises and she can’t figure out why. Turns out she’s being sucked into another world while she’s sleeping and she’s fighting a war there.”

I think… hmmmm… I can do that. And I did. It just took a few years. 😀

Why was this novel so hard to write for you? Was it the world building, i.e. keeping the internal consistency of this universe’s rules while allowing for plot twists, etc.? Continue reading