I will cut your heart out …with a SPOON.

I don’t know how old I was exactly, but I suspect 18 or 19, when my mom became obsessed with a little movie called Robin Hood. She had a Kevin Costner thing going on. I thought old Kevin was okay, but I came away from that movie with a different obsession.

Screw Robin Hood. It was the Sheriff of Nottingham I fell in love with. Over the top, hilarious and bad to the bone.

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Alan Rickman.

The first in a long line of British actors that wowed me, starting a life long obsession. Seeking him out wasn’t always easy (the man never looked the same from role to role) but if you told me Alan was in it, I was there with bells on. He’s the only reason I took a chance on Galaxy Quest. (I know. But watch it. Just watch it.)

And that distinctive voice.  As Marvin the Paranoid Android in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, he makes off with almost the whole damn flick. And never shows his face.

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And about that face. While, in my opinion, very attractive, Rickman certainly did not have the tradtional ‘look’ of a leading man. Yet he played everything from those leading men (Truly Madly Deeply) to his more common  role—as the villain. (Quigley Down Under, Sweeney Todd, Die Hard).

A role he turned on its head, of course, as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter franchise.  I love that a whole generation will remember this amazing actor because of those films. And that whenever I, or my kids, re-read those books, it will be Alan Rickman we see in our head.

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Rickman actually ‘made it’ fairly late in life. And it wasn’t a piece of cake. That amazing voice? A drama teacher once told him he sounded like he was ‘coming out of the back end of a drain pipe’.  Thank goodness Rickman didn’t let such critism derail him. Imagine Christmas without Harry from Love Actually. Or Hans Gruber, one of the most memorable villains ever.

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There have been some incredible tributes to Rickman ths week, but the one that sticks with me most is from his co-star, Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series)

“He gave me the loveliest acting advice I’ve ever gotten,” Lynch wrote. “‘People think that they’re watching this’ he said waving his hand in front of his face, ‘but really they’re watching this’ and he pounded his fist on his heart centre.”

Rickman did that. Always. He showed us his heart. And now that he’s gone, he ripped part of mine out.

With a goddamn spoon.

RIP.

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Posted in artists, introspective, life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Holes

There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza. There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza. A hole.

bucketRemember that song from school? (and yes, you’re welcome for the maddening ear worm)

It struck me a few weeks ago. This song captures what depression is like, what anxiety is like, damn near perfectly. No matter how many times you patch that bitch up and fill it with good things, it leaks.

Sometimes slowly. Drop by drop. Sometimes all at once. Everything draining away, leaving you with nothing. Those are the dangerous times. The times you lick the condensation from the sides and hold on for dear life, trying not to get sucked away yourself.

I hate it.

I don’t think anyone who struggles with these conditions enjoys being seen as weak. Or moody, fragile, silly, emotional, strange, difficult, distant, clingy, etc. But the weak really bothers me. I’m not weak. I’m a fucking Titan. I wrestle my own mind every day…

And I win.

So this year, what am I thankful for?

Me. I’m thankful for me. That I have the strength to keep going when people let me down time and time again. That I don’t give up, though so many, many times I want to. That I struggle through anxiety, depression and fear every day, but still manage to do the best I can by my kids. I’m not perfect, far from it. But I’m here and I’m a survivor.

This next year is going to be about me. About me learning to love myself again and forgetting everyone else’s expectations.

The urge to apologize for that, to equivocate, is strong, but…

Not gonna happen. Life is too short. I’m important. If I don’t realize it, how will anyone else?

Guess what?

You’re important, too. And don’t let anyone tell you any fucking different.

Be thankful for you, today and every day your feet hit the goddamn floor.

~akf~

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INDIE AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT #3 ~SAWYER BELLE~

SawyerSawyer Belle is an indie author that I was introduced to via a group on Goodreads. I read the first of her Love in the Sierras series because I adore the Old West and I hadn’t read a good western in ages. Boy, did she deliver! Silver Nights With You was a wonderful getaway into the past. Then I read her medieval saga, Love Of A Lioness and I was hooked. Her newest release is the third in her fantastic Love in the Sierras series; Ruby’s Song

Ruby's song

I am stoked to talk to you today! The third book in your Love in the Sierras is out now. I love the Old West (and that cover is GORGEOUS!). What can you tell us about Ruby’s Song? (snippets are encouraged!)

Thanks for having me! I’m excited to be here. Ruby’s Song is the continuation of my western series, but it doesn’t all take place in the west. The first half of the story is in Boston. It was so fun researching, learning the blatant differences between the east and west coasts during late 19th century America. I hope the story paints that contrast for readers as well. This story is very near and dear to my heart, and is probably more emotional than the other two stories. This has been a tough year for me, personally, and I used Ruby’s Song to pour my heart out, and the result was I fell instantly, head-over-heels in love with the two main characters. Don’t be put off by my use of the word “emotional.” There is plenty of blood and thunder as well! Marlena was a joy to write. She’s a woman of many layers and strengths…

Marlena’s breaths shook like the rest of her body, even her hold on the gun, but that didn’t bother her. At this close range, she wouldn’t miss. Sweat poured down the sides of her face and the screaming pain in her hand began to smart even more. She narrowed her eyes at Elijah, never flinching, never blinking.

“I’ll kill you,” she said. “Do you hear me?  I. Will. Kill. You. I shot the last man who tried to hurt me and, so help me, I’ll drop you where you stand if you don’t put that poker down and back away.”

He dropped the weapon and took several large steps back, holding his hands up in surrender. “You’re making a grave mistake, girl. If you kill me, it is the end of your life as well.”

She shrugged. “It might be. But it’ll be the end of yours, for sure.”

And Dalton? Whew! Strong and fierce, and everything his lady needs…

“Sweet almonds, alcohol, some citronella oil, rose oil, chamomile leaves and Mother’s favorite bit, some rye whiskey.” He heard Marlena chuckle behind him.

He shook the chemicals together and rubbed it into her hair, knowing from experience it would make her tresses soft and luminous. Her head was small enough for his palms to completely encircle as he kneaded. He watched her lips, light pink and full, part a fraction as she enjoyed the way his fingers played over her scalp. Sweet, hot desire slid through him, warming him until he felt a small lather of sweat on his forehead. How his hands longed to smooth over every inch of her flesh. If she only knew how it would feel…

“Your touch is heavenly, Dalton” she breathed, eyes still closed.

He raked his fingernails over her scalp. “I love touching you,” he whispered back.

Oh my goodness, how delicious! Speaking of delicious, I adore Morgan and Val, the brothers from the first two books in the series.

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Will we see more of them in Ruby’s Song? And btw, the question every writer hates—who’s your favorite? 😉

Ha ha! The dreaded question! My favorite of the heroes? Oh man. After staring at the blinking cursor for ten minutes (really!) I think I have to go with Val. I am a serious kind of gal, more like Jess than any of the other heroines. So, I think a serious gal needs a funny guy to balance things out, and Val made me laugh the entire book. But I love them all!

As for your other question – yes! The other couples from the first two books appear in the second half of Ruby’s Song. Morgan and Lila play minor roles while Jess and Val are in it a bit more. So, you’re in for a treat!

Speaking of swoon-worthy men, I love all the books of yours I’ve read, but my favorite has to be the sweeping medieval pirate tale, Love Of A Lioness.

SB LOL

And Guy…! What a sexy, principled hunk of a knight. Though I have to say I almost crushed more on Isabeau. An incredible female lead; strong, skilled and determined. Loved her! Who was your inspiration and how did you get all the privateering details just right? Where you a pirate in a past life? Lol

Love of a Lioness – everybody’s favorite (including mine!). I am a history buff and I wrote Love of a Lioness while pregnant with my daughter and having some very vivid plot-forming dreams. I began by devouring books on the Hundred Years War, which then led to all of the little battles within, one of them being the fight for the Breton duchy in the early years of the war. There was so much drama, so many ripe elements for a romance. The characters came alive in my brain and wouldn’t leave me alone until I wrote the story (you know how that goes).

My inspiration for Isabeau was actually several stories I’d read about real, heroic women who shined during that war: Joan of Arc, Joanna of Flanders, Joan de Clisson (Joan was the “it” name for greatness I guess!). These were real life examples of how strong, skilled and determined certain women were during that time. I guess Isabeau is my paying homage to the true fighting spirit of those women warriors.

And the details? Ah, the details! Piracy was a much more difficult endeavor in the 14th century, with more primitive vessels, but there is plenty of information out there for the motivated mind. I tried to get all of the historical details completely accurate, except for the speech. For my own tastes, I don’t like to read the “yea, nay, forsooth, etc.” unless I’m reading The Canterbury Tales. So, my dialogue is a bit more modern. I tried to write it like a Hollywood production – a fast-action, passionate adventure steeped in history and told with language everyone can understand.

Love of a Lioness aside, you write mostly about the Old West, including your first book, Big Sky Eyes.

SB BSE

I’m a big fan of this time period, too. Cowboys and all that sense of possibility of the new frontier, but what draws you to this era more than others?

You’re right in that I have been drawn more to the frontier lands of the west. I think it’s in my blood. Both my maternal and paternal families were settlers who came from Europe. I’ve heard their stories: the fear, the excitement, the hardships, the triumphs and losses. To travel across an unknown and unsettled landscape with all of your family and belongings in search of something greater, something better…that’s a certain kind of courage you don’t see anymore. There was more risk than reward, but that reward? That reward was worth the risk. Now, we live in a life of convenience and are a much unhappier lot. I feel like this era was a time where the right things mattered most.

I definitely agree with you there! If I had a time machine, I’ve always said I’d head straight back to the Old West.

Now let’s a bit talk locales. England, France, Montana and Nevada? Pretty disparate destinations. What’s the draw for you when it comes to Nevada, a state most people only know for Vegas?

I’m a native Nevadan and I’ve lived in the southern and northern parts of the state. We have such a wild, amazing history that is rarely mentioned, partly because the notoriety of Nevada is given to Las Vegas. I’ve spent years combing the mountain ranges and ghost towns. I’ve pored over and photographed every Nevada locale in my western series. I want people to feel the past, the history, the grandeur of folklore and landscape, the courage and pioneering spirit of its people as much as I do. I guess it all boils down to – you write what you love, and I love Nevada. J

So what’s next for you, Sawyer? Any more pirates on the horizon?

I have so many WIPs! I’ve got a contemporary about 75% done that takes place in the Bahamas. I’ve got another  17th century pirate tale that begins in England and ends in the American colonies that is about 70% done. There are two other contemporaries that are in progress, too: Take the Lead and Down to One. Take the Lead is about a pair of professional dancers in San Francisco. Down to One takes place in Las Vegas and it’s sort of a parody of the whole “The Bachelor” craze. I just need to get them finished and published! But the most pressing WIP is a Christmas novella to round out the Love in the Sierras series. I’d like to get that out by early December, just as a little treat for my fans, because this may be the end of the series. I’ve left it open so that I can write more books in the future, but I want to work on getting my other projects finished first.

Thanks so much, Heather!!

Thank you, too, Sawyer, and I can’t wait to read what you come up with next! 😀

Keep up with Sawyer on your fave sites:

www.sawyerbelle.com

www.sayitsawyer.wordpress.com

@Sawyer_Belle

https://www.facebook.com/authorsaywer.belle

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7338062.Sawyer_Belle

And find all her books here on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Sawyer-Belle/e/B00JO1PQN2

Posted in indie author spotlight | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Writing With Someone’s Else’s Pen

I have a dirty little secret.

Umm, no, that’s not actually it. (Unless you’re Jensen Ackles, of course.)

I write fanfic.

(wait for it)

                     Gasp.

                               Raised eyebrows.

                                                               Wide eyes.

She did NOT just say that.

Yeah. I did.

What of it?

Look, a lot of people write fanfic. We all know about EL James, right? If you are one of the utterly clueless, Fifty Shades of Grey actually started as Twilight fanfic. Several famous authors also write fanfic, among them Sue Hinton (The Outsiders, she writes Supernatural fanfic) and Cassandra Clare (Mortal Instruments, writes LOTR fanfic).

I don’t get the bad rap, but I also never wrote it or read it until about 3 months ago.

And I do mean never.

Even as a kid I never wrote about other people’s stories, because I had so many of my own in my head. I think I am among the minority, though, because if you think about it, that’s how most writers get started.

Stephen King sums this up the why of this brilliantly (as he does most things) in his book, On Writing (otherwise known to me as the Writer’s Bible):

“[Because] …it’s beautiful and we fall in love with all that story[…] Even after a thousand pages we don’t want to leave the world the writer has created for us, or the make believe people that live there. You wouldn’t leave after two thousand pages, if there were two thousand[…]”

“J.R.R. Tolkien is a perfect example of this. A thousand pages of hobbits hasn’t been enough […] for fantasy fans. Hence Terry Brooks, Piers Anthony, Robert Jordan, the questing rabbits of Watership Down and half a hundred others. The writers of these books are creating the hobbits they still love and pine for; they are trying to bring Frodo and Sam back from the Gray Havens because Tolkien is no longer around to do it for them.”

                                  ~ Stephen King, On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft

I love this. And I loved it when I read it years ago, long before I’d heard of actual fanfic, or read any of it. So what got me into fanfic? HA.

This lady right here.

Laurann Dohner, Author of the New Species series

I got sucked into the New Species stories because every PNR junkie I know had read them, except me. Then a friend lent them to me and well, they’re like book crack. Not exactly good for you and sometimes they made you a little ill, but I couldn’t really stop. Basically, the New Species stories are about a race genetically engineered by an evil pharmaceutical company and the trials they face after they are released.  The series started kind of rough, then got better as they went along, [I still think Moon is one of the best PNR romance reads ever], but there are so many characters left unexplored and the possibility for stories in this world is endless. One character in particular wouldn’t leave me alone. Finally my brain cooked up a whole plot for him and next thing you know, I’m on fanfic.net. I was obsessed, wrote a nearly 65k word story in less than a month.

I think what appeals to me about writing fanfic—besides the story itself—is trying on someone’s else style, writing with their pen, if you will. LD is far more stripped down than me, more simplistic, more dialogue driven and action orientated. While I will never adopt that style permenantly (I am too in love with lush, dark and richly detailed) this is an EXCELLENT writing exercise for me. It gets me out of my own head, helps me realize when I’m getting too heavy. It helps clears my mind, gets those bats out of the belfry when they get out of control.

And it’s fun.

I put the question of why we read and write fanfic to a group I belong to, and got some really great answers.

“I love characters so much, but I don’t like the things that happen to them, so I make up the endings I want.” ~ Ripley

“[…]because I feel that all of these characters and stories leave questions unanswered. ~ CJ

“I write ff because I love adding different endings to stories I already love.” ~ Jackie

Authors don’t have time to fill us in on everything, but with FF, you get a glimpse into other aspects of the characters lives.” ~ Leigh

“Like so many others here I read fanfiction to pass the time between releases of my favourite authors.” ~ Helena

“I never thought I would read ff. Ever. I held a rather low opinion of it to be honest.[…]  [But] …it was amazing. The talent and stories I get to read is astounding. I sort of feel like I never have to buy a book again! Like Lesia said, it’s a way to pass the time until the next book in the canon comes out but I also like to read the different takes on the stories and get the chance to read a different outcome.” ~ Megan

And my favorite~

“I like wandering off the beaten path, and that’s what I consider fanfiction stories to be: an adventure into the unknown with characters you’ve grown to care for over the years.” ~ Jenny

So basically, stories you can’t let go of, or worlds that won’t let go of you.

Cool.

TO check out some really amazing fanfic, try https://www.fanfiction.net/

Some of the ladies quoted above have some stellar work out. My faves include:

https://www.fanfiction.net/u/6774338/Ripley10

https://www.fanfiction.net/u/605705/PlatinumMagic

https://www.fanfiction.net/u/4094907/rubatosis

https://www.fanfiction.net/u/6200073/tikihutdreams

https://www.fanfiction.net/u/6689323/SweetCullenNorthGirl

Also on wattpad”

https://www.wattpad.com/174351489-shield-a-new-species-fanfiction-chapter-7

And my fanfic handle is:

https://www.fanfiction.net/~boreal1974

Happy reading. 😉

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In Pursuit of Writerly

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow

I’ve written a handful of short stories and novellas, plus four full-length novels—almost five, actually—but we’re not gonna address the WIP at the moment because I am totally sick of that fucker.

I think it’s safe to say I’m “officially” a writer now. So I have a question, when exactly do I start to feel “writerly”?

You know—writerly.

What does it mean to be writerly??

I don’t know …exactly.

Like Oscar Wilde, maybe? All suave and snappy, with those killer quotes that still have zing a century later. Or for a more modern example—you know, someone actually still ALIVE— JK Rowling is pretty snappy, too. Have you ever seen an interviewer get the best of her? Seriously, the woman is the queen of writerly wit.

Oh, and there’s always Stephen King. He’s the epitome of writerly. Don’t get me started. Let’s just do the Wayne and Garth grovel right now.

Diana Gabaldon, also mega-awesome. Plus, she’s actually gotten to touch Sam Heughan. I don’t know if that qualifies as writerly or not, but who the hell cares?

Ahem, back to being writerly.

Is it just money and fame I am talking about then? Well, maybe. I mean, I sure as hell wouldn’t be looking down my nose at either, but I don’t think that is it. Or at least not all of it.

Money is cool and all, and recognition is even better. Have you met a writer yet who wasn’t needy as hell, at least secretly? I thought not. Recognition is huge for us.

Hmmm, maybe writerly it supposed to be feeling that you are a part of this big community down through the ages. This secret club that includes everyone from Shakespeare to the above luminaries and on down to people like….me?

Maybe I am just suffering from romance writer insecurity? You know, how other genres treat us like a slightly embarrassing second cousin who twirls around a stripper pole for extra cash now and then. Somehow, despite the fact most of the great, enduring stories in the world revolve around romance, the romance genre is always introduced with a slight sneer, and is expected to walk onstage with a properly bowed head. Even Diana Gabaldon has gone out of her way to make it abundantly clear she is most definitely not a romance author. You know, just in case anyone was wondering.

It is true that me and my writer buddies aren’t exactly the Algonquin Round Table. But then again, I wouldn’t want us to be. I like us the way we are. See, I write PNR, aka paranormal romance, so there is this huge bonus that most of my contemporaries are geeks, like me.

They fangirl over Jensen Ackles just as much as I do, or more (you know who you are, Veronica!). And they don’t look at me like I’m crazy when I argue that 10 was the best doctor, but no one should skip 9. They understand the answer to the universe and everything will always be 42. And that it’s a knight’s duty to sample as much peril as he can.

See, we’re really not all about the sex—though I have had some interesting conversations about peanut butter and butt plugs…

But besides all that, like any other proper writers; we agonize over characters’ lives as if they were family members, cry when they hurt, get pissed when things conspire against them; though, technically, since we create the characters and situations that hurt them, it’s us inflicting their pain …so you know…

Yeah, we’re pretty much cray-cray.

Hey, hold on now. *peers at quote above*

Oh, this is what writerly feels like.

Apparently, I’ve arrived and I never knew.

Yay, me.

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Mad Men, and Women, With Baggage

I’ll admit it.

I’m an awful blogger.

The SUCKIEST.

suck zone

Not at the actual blog-writing, no. My blogs are pretty sweet, if I do say so my self. But my consistency….ahhh, well.

At least, I am consistently inconsistent, yea?

No?

Damn, it was worth trying.

Can I blame it on being that oh-so versatile, much overused and abused little catch phrase—creative?

Sure,  let’s go with that.

Creative people are all kinds of nuts, right? Reclusive, anxious, scatter-brained. Difficult. Irresponsible. Got an undesirable trait? Blame it on being creative, even if you aren’t.

But here’s a secret. Come closer, I won’t bite (except when I do.)

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Those crazy things you’re heard about writers? Some of them may be true. At least about some writers.

Namely…me.

I’ve been having a rather difficult year. Maybe it’s getting older, seeing friends and family die. Or just getting to the point where the bullshit is too much effort.

Whatever. I finally realize, I really do SUCK at relationships. Not romantic ones so much, but all relationships,  in general. I’m always way too involved, or too little. Like I want to stay up until 2am chatting, then I don’t call or text for, oh say…a year. You know, just a wee bit….

Inconsistent.

I also realize I make people mad. I’m not always sure why. Maybe I just have one of those faces. You know the kind.

bitch face

Yeah, that must be me. But honestly, I’m not that snotty. Unless I am. Good luck figuring that shit out. If I haven’t in 42 years, what the hell makes you think you have a shot?

But I like people. Well, no, really I don’t. I like the idea of people. And what they can be. If only they’d choose to. Dreamers. Lovers. Heroes. Fighters. Gracious. Giving. Loving. Loyal. Kind. Fierce. Patience. Confident.

Good.

See, in writing, I can make people be like that. I can make them love the way they should, make them care instead of walk away, make them be supportive instead of negative….

But somethings are so much easier on paper, aren’t they?

*sigh*

Here’s a quote I love from one of my favorite TV shows EVER. Doctor Who.

Madmen

I’d like to paraphrase, just a bit~

World, there is something you better understand about me, though I sincerely doubt your life will ever depend upon it:

I’m a sometimes anti-social control freak with a big heart that I’m terrified of sharing, a computer keyboard, lots of open Word docs and a serious excess of imagination.

And I’m consistently trying to be OK with that.

Most of the time, anyway.

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INDIE AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT #2 ~VERONICA DEL ROSA~

Veronica del Rosa has quickly become one of my fave UF authors EVER. She writes fast-paced, sexy stories with a lot of wit and intrigue. And the world-building is well, ….out of this world!

Human, Fae, Mage, Demon, Vamp and Werewolf. All are represented by the Coterie and all are regulated by the powerful Enfocers. If you like your UF with a lot of heart and pure evil fun, you need to give the Enforcers and Coterie series a go.

Veronica is my bestest writing buddy, we chatted recently about her upcoming new release, Dawn’s Keeper(it’s out TODAY, *SQEE*!). Dawn is a vampire, but not like one you’ve ever met before:

Cotton Candy

Pick it up NOW on Amazon –Dawn’s Keeper

dawn's keepertwo FBsize

And just LOOK at that gorgeous cover!! *sigh* I love it!!

We also discussed the joys of writing hot smart-aleck MCs, why writing UF is awesome and how gaming can influence style with kick-ass results. Let’s get to it!

Dawn’s Keeper is your newest release in the Enforcer’s and Coterie series, can you tell us a bit about it? Maybe even a snippet…please, please?

VDR: Ah, Dawn’s Keeper, this one has two of my favourite characters in it. I adored Dawn from the moment she appeared in Magic Resistant. An ancient vampire who has seen more than anyone can possibly imagine. And yet, she has a problem she can’t solve. Someone has been spying on her. She no longer feels safe in her own home. Enter Elijah, a human who stumbles upon this little problem and decides no matter what she says, he’s going to help. Except Elijah is hiding his own secrets. Here’s a snippet for you. This is when Dawn and Elijah first meet.

“Who are you? Why were you in my home?” she demanded through clenched teeth. If he didn’t answer her questions, she’d drag him into the tunnel and torture the information out of him.

“I…you…what?” he sputtered.

She shook him, taking care to use a fraction of her strength. No broken bones unless necessary. She wasn’t a monster, just determined. While he tried to come up with an answer, she studied him.

“I know you. I’ve seen you before. Who are you?” She gave him another shake, impatient with his lack of cooperation.

“Bloody hell, woman, stop shaking me!” He ripped his arm from her hold and glared at her. What right did he have to glare at her? He was in the wrong! She glared back at him.

“I have no idea what you’re blathering on about.” He drew himself up to his full height, towering over her four foot, eleven inch frame.

She loathed it when others used their height to try to intimidate her. Reining in the sudden urge to trip him, she gave him her regal stare, looking down on him while looking up. It was one that she pulled off with style, and made inferior subjects quake before her.

The man chuckled before he clamped his lips tight, but mirth danced in his familiar hazel eyes. Her nostrils flared while she drew in an aggravated breath. She amused him, did she? Impertinent fool. She should trip him. See how amusing he finds that.

“I’ll ask you one last time, who are you?” she bit out.

If he didn’t answer, she’d drag him to her personal torture chamber and make him talk. The thought of him begging her was oddly arousing.

With a surprising amount of flair, he bowed before he replied, “The name is Elijah. I was on my way home when you accosted me, woman.” He then added with a half-grin, “And I look familiar because I’ve been trying to chat you up these past few weeks. You kept ignoring me. Really wounded my pride.”

He placed his hand on his chest, and gave a sorrowful sniff.

Oh Elijah! lol

Here’s a teaser that also definitely whets the appetite for MORE of these two together.

Kiss

I absolutely adore Elijah, but he is definitely not your typical Alpha H. Do you think there is something to be said for seeing more male characters with both Alpha and so-called Beta personality traits in romance novels? Even in UF?

VDR: I love mixing up the traits. While there is something vastly alluring about the asshole Alphas, sometimes it’s nice to have a man actually respect his woman and her opinions. I’ve noticed a trend with my heroes, they all have Beta tendencies. They are in touch with their emotions and not afraid to show them, but they all are perfectly willing to do anything to keep the people they love safe. I think it makes them more realistic and relatable. Even UF needs some more “sweeter” heroes. I say that with a bit of a chuckle considering I’ve created an entire UF series based around Markus, the scariest mage around. 😉

I so agree. Your characters are some of the most realistic I’ve ever read. You’ve also created a compelling and dangerous world for them to live in. Centered, of all places, in Toronto. It makes for a nice change from the parade of LAs, NYCs & Londons, etc. in UF, but what about the city drew you to use it as the background for your series?

VDR: Can I tell you a secret? Lean in close because I won’t repeat it… I’m horrible with geography, simply and utterly horrible at it. My husband makes fun of me because I can never remember where cities, countries and etc are located. So creating a world anywhere else didn’t make sense to me. I would’ve screwed up something. Instead I placed it in a city I’m familiar with since I’ve lived in Toronto for the past six years. If I still lived in Ottawa, it would’ve been set there.

Plus this city is full of diverse people, so many from all over the world. And I love it! I get to learn about different cultures just by going to work. It’s another reason why I have so many different races in my books – Toronto is home to many and I wanted to have them included.

Now you’re making me want to visit, but I would be looking for Derek everywhere! lol Speaking of your big sexy Alpha werewolf, he kicks major butt, like many of your characters. Not to mention he’s damn hot, check out this teaser from Slyvia’s Torment, one of my fave scenes with Derek!-

Rules (1)

As you know, I am a huge fan of those kick butt fight scenes Derek participates in when he’s not getting hot and heavy with Slyvia. 😉

Are you hiding a black belt from us? Some fencing medals?

VDR: Ha! No, not even close. I just have a vivid imagination and a love for action movies. I actually map out the fights in my head, picturing each move as it happens. If it doesn’t make sense or I can’t figure out how to describe it, I check out either wikipedia or youtube. I’ve spent many hours searching for just the right thing to say. And it usually ends up as one sentence.

Sometimes that is what delivers the knock out punch! 🙂

One of the most unique and fascinating things about the Enforcers & Coterie series, IMO, is the way you do magic. Piercings imbued with spells, mages carrying diamond dust and other components, mages smelling of ozone, etc. You have a very cool and original spin on magic, what do you think influenced you most on this aspect of your writing?

VDR: Honestly a lot of my influence came from Dungeons and Dragons. I never played the pen and paper game, but I’ve read a lot of the Forgotten Realms books – an almost shameful amount. *laughs* My husband is a D&D geek and has quite a few books from the 2nd edition, which means they are damn old! We’re talking 20 years old at this point. So when I run into an issue, need a spell, or something just doesn’t make sense to me, I bounce it off him. We once had a discussion about chainmail, leather and plate armour that lasted for nearly an hour.

He’s the one who told me I needed to have rules and can’t break those rules. Everything needed to make sense and there had to be a cap on the magic or a cost to it. No going overboard. He’s a hardcore D&D player and going out of character or deviating from the rules irritates him. 😉

So we know you love gaming then. Do you think it has had a big influence on your style? And if so, which games are your favorite?

VDR: Oh yes, it’s definitely influenced me. I’ve played so many MMORPG games over the years with my husband. My first was Everquest. *sigh* I still have such fond memories of that game. We would play for hours on end together, some shouting was involved, lots of laughter, too.

As for my writing style, the immersive story for some of those games have played a part. There is a plot to be told, one that unfolds to those who are paying attention. Little hidden things become clear. It’s helped me focus on more than just the romance within the story and is probably why my books are considered a hybrid of PNR and UF.

For sure! I love those litle Easter eggs. 🙂

And speaking of shadowy things becoming clear…. 

He’s sexy, mysterious and oh so alpha, not to mention the baddest mage around. Inquiring minds want to know, when the hell is Markus getting his own book?

VDR: Oooh, Markus. How I love that man. You certainly nailed it with the sexy and mysterious. Even his best friend doesn’t know everything about him. His book should have been the 5th book of the Enforcers and Coterie series. I started writing some of it and then he threw me for loop by having way more to say that a teensy, tiny single novel couldn’t contain it all. So now he’s getting his own series, the Revenant series.

All of that means, he’s going to be a little be longer in the wings. I’m debating holding off releasing any of that series until I’ve got the whole thing complete, so maybe in a year’s time. I know, I know, it’s forever away! But it means that I’ll be able to release a book every 2 months or so. That has to count for something, right? Right? What’s with the murderous gleam in your eye?

ARGH! I hate waiting, lol.

But at least we get more E&C while we hold out for Markus.

I love all the myriad factions in your books, but the fae and werewolves are a particular favorite of mine. Are we going to get to dive back into Derek’s pack anytime soon? And see more of the fae world?

 VDR: Oh don’t worry, I’ll be visiting the werewolves again very soon. Bad Wolf Hunting is the 6th book and will be Zmitro, the Beta for Derek. He has an interesting mate, one he has to convince they should be together. She doesn’t think he’s man enough to handle someone like her. 😉 And since I love creating novellas that give a sneak peek into another couple who normally wouldn’t get a book, there will be one following his. One of Derek’s Deltas, Heather, will feature in Mage Lover.

As for the Fae, the novella, Love of a Good Fae, will follow the 4th book Chained in Desire and it gives a pretty scary look into the Fae society. They are not a nice race, but sometimes you find one who bucks the norm. The rest of the Fae stories will take place the Revenant series. Markus has a lot of dealings with them, mainly because he’s one of the few who aren’t frightened of them.

Yay, more Markus! 😉

What do you think is the best thing about UF as a genre? And who are your favorite authors?

VDR: The best thing – creating new worlds and getting to explore them. Setting reality on its ear and unleashing the darkest nightmares. Then finding the hero or heroes (and I mean that for both sexes) who stand against the dark. I love the nitty gritty aspects of it, where it’s okay to rip a person’s arm off because they were attacking you or your loved ones. I have a bit of a bloodthirsty mentality even though I’m one of the most peaceful people you’d ever meet.

Hmm, favourite authors, that’s such a toughie since it depends on what I love about them. If we’re talking mainstream, that would be Sherrilyn Kenyon and her deeply tortured heroes. Seriously, she is the effing queen for torturing them. When it comes to humour and a richly described world, that would be Ilona Andrews. Her snark and humour always enhances their books instead of detracting. And their characters are just amazing.

Indie, well that’s also a toughie. I’ve discovered quite a few of them this past year, including you, Heather. The two worlds you’ve created suck me in and I crave knowing what’ll happen next. I’m like a giddy schoolgirl everytime I get to see snippets. Jen Winters is another indie whose work I enjoy. I’ve been lucky enough to beta read for her newest book and I love it. She’s gown leaps and bounds as a writer. And lastly, because this list is getting long, is Rachel Chanticleer. So far she’s only released a short story and it blew my mind with the amount of detail she added into so few words.

That’s a great list! (and thanks , btw!! hehe) 

Finally, if you were put into your own world, what would you be; vampire, werewolf, fae, mage…or ???

VDR: Mage. I would love to be a mage in this world. They truly are on top of the food chain and have experienced the least amount of persecution. Plus, magic! I want to cast magic, teleport and become invisible. How awesome would that be. Of course, the Fae and the demons could do those things as well, but Earth isn’t their plane of existence and could be barred from entering. So in the end, a mage would be the best choice. And maybe, just maybe, I’d be a bit of an evil mage just to get Markus’ attention. Rwar! I wouldn’t mind him chasing me.

And with that, I say thank you so much for having me, Heather. I loved chatting with you!

Back at you, Veronica!

Check out Veronica Del Rosa’s Enforcer’s and Coterie series, available on Amazon and Smashwords!

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Throwing Away the Goodfbsize redonemagic resistant fb sizeSylvia's Torment FB Sizedawn's keepertwo FBsize

and coming soon, the companion novella to Dawn’s Keeper…

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