Hello readers, writers and everyone else who has stumbled upon us today. It's a special day here at Romance Books 4 Us because we have New York Times best-selling author, Angela Knight visiting us. Get comfy because Angela is about to share with us a little bit about her work and herself.
Q: Thanks for stopping by today, Angela. You’ve had a lot of releases between your publishers and I couldn’t help but notice that you’re reaching the magic number 50. As you reach this milestone, can you tell us what you think about reaching this amazing number?
Well, damn. I hadn’t even thought of it that way. I usually just think “fifteen novels and thirty-three novellas and e-books...Which come to think of it, adds up to 48. Actually, if you count my comic book publications, I’m at 52. Which, by coincidence, is also my age. Ooops, did I say that? Ack.
I’m a bit bemused at that. I just love writing, and I must say this is the best job I’ve ever had. Stressful, yes – thus the ulcer. But still, a fabulous job. :)
Q: I read that you used to be a newspaper reporter? How much of a role does your previous career play into your current one?
Oh, being a reporter has really paid off for me in a lot of ways. I was a bureau reporter, which means I was the sole reporter in a town in my paper’s coverage area. So I went out on everything from town council meetings to fires to murders. I saw assorted dead bodies at traffic accidents, which is a painfully sobering experience. I interviewed the families of murder victims – which I enjoyed even less than seeing the dead bodies. But I learned a great deal about how police departments deal with violent crime. And several of my books grew directly out of those experiences, including Jane’s Warlord, Master of the Moon, Master of Wolves, and Master of Fire. Jane in the first book I mentioned is a small town newspaper editor/reporter. The book opens on her standing outside the scene of a violent murder all alone at night, collecting mosquito bites and waiting for some detective to come outside and talk to her. Which was exactly my experience on several occasions. That’s a seriously creepy experience, I must say.
Then Master of the Moon and Master of Wolves were inspired by a story I wrote for another paper about a K-9 officer and his dog. I’m interviewing this guy, who had such huge affection for his dog, when suddenly I thought, “What if the dog was a werewolf, and the cop was a woman who didn’t KNOW he was a werewolf, and what if he fell in love with her...”
Bam. Got a whole series of books out of that idea. The Direkind, which were featured in several of the books and novellas for Berkley, grew directly from that stray thought.
Q: How did you make the career transition? What inspired it?
Cindy Hwang, a Berkley editor, contacted me after reading a really filthy little e-book I wrote in 2001 called Bodice Rippers. At the time, she was looking for someone who could write hot, and she was having trouble finding anyone who really could do it. This is before e-books really took off. So she e-mailed and asked if I’d like to talk to her about writing for Berkley. I called and said, “HELL, yeah!” And so she asked me to get up a concept and pitch to her the following Monday. Over those three days, I brainstormed both the Mageverse series and what would eventually become the Time Hunters. I pitched them, she liked the idea, and I was off to the races.
I quit my job not long afterward, because one of my bosses was an abusive....Ahem. Never mind.
Q: You invent amazing characters in your books. Some paranormals can be cookie cutter, but you step outside of the box and create some very unique storylines. What inspires you to weave such magic?
Wow, really? Thank you! What a huge compliment. I just really enjoy world-building, I guess. I love thinking about my worlds, and ideas stream out and I chase them, and next thing I know, the 007-vampire idea has become a whole vampire/witch thing crossed with the Knights of the Round Table.
Basically, I just like to think weird thoughts.
Q: Have you ever considered trying a new sub-genre? Are there any that interest you?
Urban fantasy. Of course, that’s kind of what I’m writing now. But I also like romantic suspense. And I still love reading historicals, so I’m toying with doing one of those.
Q: Out of all your books, is there one that still calls to you? Maybe one that you wouldn’t mind picking up again and telling a new chapter to their tale?
Well, yeah, there are a ton of stories to be explored in the Mageverse. I’ve got a literal parallel magical universe there; who knows what could sneak over into the modern world? Could be fun. Or scary. Or both.
Q: Your characters all seem to have one thing in common. They have incredible charisma. How do you keep your mind constantly flowing to come out with these characters which make us smile?
You are just totally inflating my head like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade thing. As to keeping the ideas going, well, mostly I pace around the house a lot. And cuss.
Also, I like to think weird thoughts. Like about the werewolf/witch heroine in wolf form, trying to avoid getting eaten by the love of her life. Which might sound like fun at first glance, only he’s currently a wolf the size of an African elephant, only considerably faster. And while she’s bouncing around trying to avoid him, I suddenly thought of Bugs Bunny diving down a rabbit hole one jump ahead of Elmer Fudd. So she conjures herself a titanium rabbit hole. He starts trying to dig her out, just like a dog after a field mouse. She talks to him and gets him to change back.
For the rest of the book, she calls him Fudd, and he calls her Bugs.
I think weird thoughts.
Q: Your latest, came out in August of 2012. Can you tell us a little bit about this one? Do you have a favorite character from it?
Actually, that’s the book I was talking about. Of all my couples, I think I like Miranda Drake and William Justice the best, because they were just fun together. This may not make sense, but some characters are just FUNNY. Now, why one couple is while another couple isn’t, when I’m the one writing both of them, I have no idea. It’s just that I see them in my head and I hear them talking, and if they’re funny, they’re funny.
I would like your readers to know about my next book, which will be out March 5. It’s in an anthology called UNBOUND, and it’s actually more novel than novella, at two hundred manuscript pages rather than the usual 100.
The story is “Enforcer,” which is the final book of the Time Hunters trilogy. The previous books were Warrior and Guardian. Jane’s Warlord, my first published novel, is actually a prequel to the trilogy.
The idea of the series is that you can’t actually change history, which means it’s safe to send people into the past to see what actually happened. Turns out that historians, like everyone else, lie. All the time.
So in the future, you have temporal tourism, which means you have temporal cops to protect the tourists and keep temporal criminals from committing crimes. You know the stories you read about lost art objects? “The what-sit by Leonardo Da Vinci disappeared from Lady Granham’s mansion and was never seen again?” Time crook got it. If we know it vanished, the bad guys reason maybe it vanished because their future self took it. So they go try to steal it. But maybe my temporal cops realize what they’re going after and stop them.
So the story in Enforcer is that my chief time cop, Alerio Dyami, is locked in a deadly contest with a gang of genetically engineered fanatics who are leaping through time killing people. Alerio is a Warlord, a genetically engineered cop who can go into a berserker state called riaat. One of Dyami’s agents is Dona Astryr. He’s been helplessly attracted to her for years, but though the Enforcers don’t have a rule about fraternizing with subordinates, Dona is determined not to get involved.
Dyami, however, is really, really persuasive. And gorgeous, as she realizes when she watches him in combat practice with an android double for a traitor agent named Ivar...
To find out more about Angela Knight and her books, please visit her author page at http://www.romancebooks4us.com
To find out more about Angela Knight and her books, please visit her author page at http://www.romancebooks4us.com
The chief fell on the ‘bot like a starving wolf on a deer. One hand clamped around the droid’s throat as he cocked a fist. Coldly, deliberately, Alerio hit "Ivar" once, twice, then a third time, the blows landing with punishing force. Dona would have winced if the android hadn’t been wearing the traitor’s face.
There was a dark satisfaction in watching Alerio beat the shit out of “Ivar,” especially when the bot slumped into unconsciousness, simulated blood spilling from its nose and mouth.
Alerio’s firm mouth twitched into a grim smile as he rose and backed away from his beaten foe.
“Match complete,” the main computer intoned. “Chief Alerio Dyami is the victor.”
The Ivar projection vanished, and the bot rose slowly to its feet. “I am damaged,” it announced in a voice that had developed a definite wheeze. What the hell had Alerio done to it? “I will not be available for further sparring until I have been repaired.” With that, it limped back to its storage bay, presumably to undergo servicing for whatever damage it had suffered.
“You broke the combot.” Dona slid the gravbar back onto its rack and walked over to join Alerio. The big Warlord fell back against the bulkhead, breathing in pumping pants as if exhausted.
Which was no surprise. The practice ‘bots were notoriously tough. But then, they had to be. Most Enforcers were combat rated cyborgs who did not pull their punches even in practice matches.
“Don’t be too impressed.” Grimacing, the chief grabbed a towel from a nearby shelf and wiped his sweating face. He started rubbing slow circles over his broad, slick chest. Dona's eyes helplessly tracked the towel with more interest than was good for her.
“I doubt I’ll be able to walk tomorrow,” Alerio continued, apparently oblivious to her fascination. “That 'bot can hit almost as hard as Ivar.” He dug long fingers into the thick trapezius muscle that bulged between his neck and left shoulder as if trying to massage a knot that had coiled there. “But then, I did recalibrate its strength to match Ivar’s. I think the Xerans upgraded his tech again.”
“I thought so too.” They'd done so at least once before, judging from the previous fight Dona had with him. “When we fought six months ago, Ivar was a hell of a lot stronger than he’d ever been before, but he’s even more powerful now.” Dona frowned, absently rubbing one hand over the side of her face, where Ivar's big fist had left so many bruises. “He certainly kicked my ass.”
“What do you expect? He’s half a meter taller than you are -- and fifty kilos heavier,” Alerio told her bluntly. “Add in the genetically engineered bones and the nanobot lattices reinforcing his muscles, and you’ve got a battleborg monster. That’s not just a figure of speech either. What he did to Lolai Hardin…”
“Yeah, he's definitely a psychopath.” Dona frowned down at the carpet. “I don’t know whether he’s always been so twisted, or whether the Xerans did something to him…”
“Doesn’t make a difference.” The chief reached out and took her shoulders in his big hands. “I’m still going to bring him to justice.”
Feeling heat gather at his touch, Dona looked up at him in helpless fascination as he took her shoulders in both big hands. “If you’re ever in the position of having to fight that bastard, run," Chief Dyami told her with blunt honesty. "Consider that an order. You can probably outrun him, but you can’t outfight him. Don’t even try.”
Stung out of her hypnotized fascination, Dona straightened. “I’m not exactly a wimp, Chief. I’m combat rated. Hell, I went in for a level six upgrade just last year. I could wipe up the floor with five humans Ivar’s size.”
“Which means exactly nothing when it comes to fighting Ivar."
She gave him a tight smile. “Never underestimate the power of pissed.”
The chief sighed. “Look, you're one of my best agents. You're smart, strong, and hell on wheels in a fight.” His gaze met hers with rough honesty. “But Ivar is not human. If he manages to get you alone, run like hell. I don’t want you ending up like Lolai Hardin, and you came too damned close to it yesterday.”
“But Hardin’s life was at stake.” Dona lifted her chin and met his gaze without flinching. “I couldn’t leave her, not as long as she was still alive.”
Brooding, she remembered the cuts that raked the woman’s body. “Hell, maybe I got exactly what I deserve. If I’d been more suspicious before Ivar defected, less willing to believe whatever shit he fed me, maybe I would have realized he was a traitor.”
“Stop,” Alerio growled impatiently. “Just cut it out. I’m tired of watching you torment yourself.” He stepped in so close she could feel the heat radiating from his body.
All she had to do was reach out and touch that bare, sweating chest. She could feel the heat, the vital male power...
“You aren’t the commander of this station, Enforcer Astryr," Alerio told her, apparently unaware of her hungry gaze. "It’s not your job to protect your people from greedy, treasonous assholes. That was my ball to drop.”
“I’m still Temporal Enforcement. And it is my job to know when I’m being lied to. But when it came to Ivar, I completely missed all the signs.”
“So? All that proves is that you’re human,” he said roughly.
“And so are you.” She stared up into the hard, precise angles of his face, the wide mouth he held in that tight line. So completely controlled.
Yet flecks of fire shone in the perfect stellar darkness of his eyes. A warlord’s eyes shone red like that in riaat, or in moments of passion.
Rage or desire? Dona thought. Which made those black eyes burn?
She reached out, scarcely aware of what she did. The tips of her fingers brushed the hot skin of his chest, still heaving from his fight with the combot.
A bead of sweat rolled slowly down his right pectoral, sliding around the taught, brown peak of one male nipple.
Dona had never felt as starkly aware of a man as a being of raw sex, raw aggression. Raw need. She could feel his heart pounding under her fingers.
Staring up into his eyes, she watched those crimson sparks brighten, as if the emotion he felt grew hotter.
“Dona,” Alerio said hoarsely, “Aren’t you tired of slowly drowning in regret?” His head lowered until his breath puffed warm against her lips. The sensation teased and maddened her. “Don’t you want to feel something more than icy guilt?”
His mouth covered hers. Just a soft brush of lip on lip, not demanding. Requesting.
Parting her lips with a soft sigh, Dona let him in. his tongue slipped inside her mouth in a slow, lush stroke. The heat of that delicate probe raced right to the base of her belly.
Which is when she went up in flames.
Heat raced through her, a blaze of need stronger than anything Dona had felt for any other man.
So she spoke the stark truth she’d always fought to hide. “I want you. I shouldn’t, gods, I know I shouldn’t. It’s not smart.”
“No, it’s not smart at all,” he breathed against her mouth. “And I don’t give a pile of Soji shit.”
Thank you so much for joining us today, Angela. I’m sure all the readers here will agree with me that today has introduced us to some books we just have to add to our shelves. Before you turn off your computer today, be sure to stop by Angela's website to catch an excerpt of
A bit more about Angela ~
In 1996, she discovered the small press publisher Red Sage, and realized her dream of romance publication in the company's Secrets 2 anthology. She went on to publish several more novellas in Secrets before editor Cindy Hwang discovered her work there and asked her if she'd be interested in writing for Berkley. Not being an idiot, Angela said yes.
Whatever success she has enjoyed, she attributes to the marvelous editors she's had over the years.David Anthony Kraft and Dwight Zimmerman at Comics Interview taught her the nuts and bolts of fiction writing. Alexandria Kendall of Red Sage discovered her talent for romance writing and encouraged her to believe in herself. And she will be forever grateful to Berkley editor Cindy Hwang, who has been unfailingly supportive.
Angela lives in South Carolina with her husband, Michael, a polygraph examiner and hostage negotiator for the county's Sheriff's Office. The couple have a grown son, Anthony.
Be sure to check out all Victoria’s work by visiting her . You can also find her on and . And look for her upcoming Berkley Enforcer Anthology, Time Hunters #3.