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Saturday, May 3, 2014

KERRELYN SPARKS IS OUR GUEST TODAY!!!


Okay, first I have to have a little fan girl moment!!! Squeeeeee! I had the honor and privilege to interview Ms. Sparks, noted for her vampire Love at Stake Series. My daughter introduced me to her books and the first one I read was The Vampire and the Virgin. I was hooked and went to Barnes and Noble and bought every one in the series and sat and read them in a week! This was all before I started writing, so maybe the humor and fantastic stories got me started. I don't know, but let's just say she was an influence.

Crazy moment over, so let's get to the interview and the preview of her latest release--How To Seduce A Vampire (Without Really Trying).



Kerrelyn Sparks is the bestselling author of the Love at Stake series, which has hit as high as number 5 on the New York Times list and 22 on the USA Today list. Her most recent release, How to Seduce a Vampire (Without Really Trying), was the 15th book in a series that mimics its own subject matter by refusing to die. Kerrelyn’s paranormal and historical romances are published by HarperCollins. For more information, please visit www.kerrelynsparks.com.




Ms. Sparks, what drives you to be a writer?


The stories and characters pop into my head and refuse to leave me alone.



Isn't that the truth for all of us? Those pesky characters! How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?


There are parts of me in every character, even the evil ones, since they embody what I consider evil. My heroes naturally reflect what I see as heroic. And my heroines show the courage and cleverness that I wish I had. My sense of humor creeps into all of them. And my fears. When they suffer, I suffer along with them. And when they feel joy, I’m writing with a grin on my face.


I have those feelings when I read your stories too. One of the things I love so much about them. How do you choose names for your characters?

My characters come from all over the world, so first, I have to make sure the name matches the nationality and heritage of the character.  For instance, my Scottish vampires are Angus and Robby MacKay, Ian MacPhie, Connor Buchanan, and Dougal Kincaid. My first vampire hero was Roman Draganesti. Since he was from Romania, Roman seemed appropriate for his first name. His last name was harder to come up with since I didn’t know any Romanian surnames. I found Draganesti on a map of Romania. It’s a small town, and I loved the sound of it. I can usually find first names on baby naming websites that list names by ethnic origin.
For my latest release, How to Seduce a Vampire (Without Really Trying), my hero is Zoltan Czakvar from Transylvania. Like Draganesti, I found the name Czakvar on a map. My heroine is of Greek heritage, so I selected the name Neona for her. When you find the right name for a character, it simply clicks, and you know that it’s right.

 
I love all the names of your characters. They fit and now I know why. *Grin*  Give one advice tip to an aspiring author.

Join a writers’ organization like RWA (Romance Writers of America). There you will find information, craft workshops, and  friendly encouragement from fellow writers. I don’t know how I would have gotten published without RWA. And I don’t know how I would manage to write each book without the critique partners/dear friends whom I met through RWA. You can find RWA online at http://www.rwa.org.

Good advice. If you could give a younger version of yourself advice, what would it be?


Believe in yourself. You’re smarter and stronger than you think.


What genre would you like to try writing that you haven’t yet tried?


Straight contemporary romance or Young Adult.



Have you ever used an incident from your real life into one of your books?


Yes. Sex. But I have never turned into a panther, tiger, wolf, or bear. I made that stuff up!


That's funny which is why I love you so much! Any part of a book that drives you crazy as you write: beginning, middle, or end?


The beginning!!  It is so hard to get started.  I can easily spend two months on the first 100 pages of a book. And then write the remaining 300 in the same amount of time. In the first 100 pages, you have world-building, characterization, goals, motivation, and conflict to establish, and you have to do it all while moving the story ahead at a nice pace. I have discovered over the years that it is worth it to be very careful with the first 100 pages. If it is done well, the rest of the book will sail along smoothly.

  
Interesting. Out of your entire backlist, which book has the best opening line? What's the line?


My favorite opening is from Be Still My Vampire Heart, starring the Scottish vampire, Angus MacKay.


After four hundred and ninety-three years of teleporting from one place to another, Angus MacKay still felt an urge to peek under his kilt to ensure everything had arrived in fine working condition. There were some areas where a man, vampire or not, would hate to find himself shortchanged.


Ha! Another show of your humor which is contagious throughout the stories. How many stories are swirling around in your head? Do you keep a mental list, a computer file, or a spiral notebook filled with the ideas?


About six. I have notes on the computer and notes on my iPhone, and lots of stuff rolling around in my head. Some of it makes sense.



Thank you so much for answering those serious questions, now for some--Fun Stuff!


Please underline which statement is more like you:


"I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed."

"I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible."

Please complete the sentences:

I love pizza with . . . .wine.

I'm always ready for . . . .wine. (Just kidding, but I couldn’t resist). I’m always ready for a good story. And a laugh.

When I'm alone, . . .I want to read a good story.

You'd never be able to tell, but I used to . . . .be skinny.

If I had a halo it would be. . .blue.

If I could rule the world . . .I would protect children.

I can never rule the world because. . . .I don’t like to tell people how to live.

NOTE: For more information about Kerrelyn and her books, visit her author page at: htttp://www.romancebooks4us.com.


Now for the Zoltan!


BLURB:

Vampire Zoltan Czakvar is on the hunt for the truth about his father's death. He's been searching for a very long time—since 1241, in fact. And he is not about to give up, even when he's attacked by a woman with striking blue eyes and a hell of a right hook!

Neona is also on the hunt. She's looking for a mate and she thinks muscled Zoltan will work just fine. After all, men are good for only one thing. Soon, though, she realizes there's more to this handsome vampire than just sexual prowess. But she's keeping a secret from Zoltan, something so big that it will rock the vampire world.

Can their newfound love survive . . . even if their passion means the destruction of her world?

EXCERPT:

How to Seduce a Vampire (Without Really Trying)

By Kerrelyn Sparks


Introduction to excerpt--

Hidden deep in the Himalayan Mountains is the valley of Beyul-La, inhabited by a secret cult of warrior women. No men (or sons) are allowed in the valley. Then one night, on a quest to solve a mystery, Zoltan Czakvar unknowingly crosses into their territory. The warrior women are dispatched, and one finds him. After Neona knocks him out, she must decide what to do with this impressive invader...

Chapter Two, scene 2
“Good kitty.” Neona rubbed the young snow leopard’s ears. “Although I should fuss at you for breaking that twig. You ruined my surprise attack.”

The eight-month-old leopard butted its head against her leg.

“Well, you did make up for it, so you’re forgiven. That was very clever of you, pretending you were going to pounce on us.” She smoothed a hand down Zhan’s spotted back.

The snow leopard had become her companion after she’d found him seven months earlier while on guard duty. She’d taken the kitten home, where two of the women had been able to communicate with him. Zhan’s mother and littermates had been killed by a pack of wolves, and he had managed to survive by crawling into a rabbit hole.

Even though Neona didn’t possess the gift of communicating with animals, Zhan clearly preferred her to the other women. Probably because she was the one who had rescued him and nurtured him back to health. She suspected the cat still had enough wildness to dislike the other women’s ability to read his mind.

Right now, she wouldn’t object to having someone to communicate with. She had to decide what to do with the man who called himself Zoltan.

He was still lying on his stomach, unconscious. She winced at the size of the goose egg on the back of his head. She’d hit him hard with the blunt end of her knife, suspecting he possessed an extra hard head.

Her gaze drifted past his broad shoulders, down his back and legs. He had a powerful build, yet he was nimble on his feet. The way he had evaded her attack was amazing. He was an excellent specimen, as Winifred would put it.

Gently Neona turned the man over, and her heart squeezed in her chest. She’d called him fair of face, but that had been a huge understatement. She’d never seen such a handsome man in her life. Nor a man this fast and strong. The men who lived near their territory were either poor farmers or Buddhist monks, not the type of man who could sire a daughter who needed to be a warrior. And since the area was remote and snowed in half the year, outsiders were rare. A man like this Zoltan was extremely rare. Strong, fleet of foot, and incredibly handsome. When he had smiled at her earlier, she’d forgotten how to breathe.

What a beautiful daughter she could have. If only she dared. The daughter could inherit this man’s courage, too.

Kneeling beside him, she placed a hand on his broad chest. “He wanted to protect me even though I attacked him. He has a noble heart.”

The snow leopard butted her hand away with his head, and she smiled.

“Are you jealous? Don’t worry. Once I’m done with him, I’ll have to kill—” Her breath caught. How could she do that? It was one thing to kill a man in the heat of battle, but to lie with him and then kill him? That had to be wrong. Her mother, the queen, would disagree. She always said that nothing was more important than preserving the secrets of Beyul-La.

Neona closed her eyes as a wave of grief crashed over her. Her sister was more important than anything, but now she was gone. Minerva never would have taken a man’s seed and then killed him.

Drawing in a shaky breath, Neona made her decision. She would convince this man to leave and never come back. He might be hard to convince, given his questionable intelligence, so she would have to be firm. Threaten to kill him if she ever saw him again.

In order to succeed, she needed to remain in charge of this situation. After all, she was a warrior woman, so she could never submit to a man. Once he agreed, she would take what she needed, then send him on his way. She pulled a length of coiled rope from a drawstring pouch on her sword belt, then proceeded to tie the man’s hands together. Then she dragged him close to a tree and tied the end of the rope around the trunk.

He moaned.

Was he coming to? Her heart pounded in her chest as she knelt beside him. Was she really going to do this? Coward, her inner voice chided her. If one of the other women had found him, they would be finished by now.

Should she undress him? It wasn’t strictly necessary, but she suspected he was a glorious sight to see.

She lifted the slim piece of red silk that was knotted around his neck. “He dresses strangely.” She gave it a tug, but it only tightened around his neck.

“Sorry.” She slipped her fingers above the knot and managed to loosen it. As she pulled her hand back, she grazed his chin and felt the prickle of whiskers.

Curious, she touched his cheek. How odd a man’s whiskers were. How strangely...appealing. Her stomach fluttered with a peculiar sensation, and she quickly withdrew her hand.
The man was far too handsome. Even with the trail of blood that oozed from his temple. His hair was shoulder length, the color the deep, earthy brown of freshly tilled soil. His eyes were closed now, but she recalled their color--a golden brown like burnished amber. His nose was straight and strong. His brow wide and intelligent.

Seemingly intelligent, she smiled to herself, remembering how indignant he had looked. Apparently it mattered to him what she thought of him. Even that appealed to her.

She leaned close to look at the cut on his temple. It would be a shame if she left the poor man with a scar. Especially as handsome as he was.

He moaned again and she sat back, waiting to see if he’d open his eyes.

When he didn’t, her gaze wandered down his body. Was he still in pain where she’d kneed him? It was a regrettable move on her part, especially now when she needed his groin to be fully functional.

All the women of Beyul-La possessed a gift, and hers was the ability to heal. Unfortunately, in order to take away the pain, she had to take it briefly within herself.

She extended her hand a few inches above his pants. Was she really going to do this? She bit her lip. What choice did she have? The man was as close to perfection as she would ever find. When would a chance like this ever happen again? An image formed in her mind of a little girl with long dark hair and amber eyes. A brave, noble heart and dazzling smile.

Neona’s eyes filled with tears. She’d lost her sister, but she could have a daughter. A daughter to love.

Or a son to break her heart.

A tear rolled down her cheek. “Please, God, let me have a girl.”

She lay her hand on his groin, closed her eyes, and soon, a low, throbbing ache vibrated into her hand. The man would be all right. The worst of the pain had already subsided. She drew the remaining pain out of him, and it rushed up her arm.

“What the--?”

Neona gasped, opening her eyes. Her hand flinched, tightening its grip on his manhood. 

He gave her a wry look. “What are you doing?”

She jerked her hand away and winced as his pain spread through her body before dissipating. “I-I was—”

“What the hell are you doing?” he demanded, apparently just realizing that his hands were tied together and the rope was attached to a tree.

“I can explain--”

“Dammit!” He tugged at the ropes. “The leopard is right there! Release me so I can protect you.”

“The cat is with me.”

“What?”

Stay in charge, she reminded herself. She lifted her chin and looked him in the eye. “Remain calm. This will not take long.”

What?

“I plan to take your seed.”


Buy Link: Amazon—



My website:





Find Me Here:




Previous Books (Back List):

The Love at Stake series:

How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire

Vamps and the City

Be Still my Vampire Heart

The Undead Next Door

All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire

Secret Life of a Vampire

Forbidden Nights with a Vampire

The Vampire and the Virgin

Eat Prey Love

Vampire Mine

Sexiest Vampire Alive

Wanted: Undead or Alive

Wild About You

The Vampire with the Dragon Tattoo

How to Seduce a Vampire (Without Really Trying)



Novellas:

“A Very Vampy Christmas” from Sugarplums and Scandal

“V is for VampWoman” from Vampires Gone Wild



Historical Romances:

The Forbidden Lady

Less than a Gentleman



Well, that's it! Went by too fast. Thank you, thank you Ms. Sparks for being our guest on RB4U! Please come again.

Cynthia Arsuaga
Erotic Romance Author

36 comments:

Rose Gorham said...

Great interview! Wow! what a scene, I enjoyed reading it.

Rose Anderson said...

"The stories and characters pop into my head and refuse to leave me alone."

That's oh so true! I enjoyed your interview, Kerrelyn. Thanks for joining us today. Best luck!

Paris said...

Enjoyed the interview, ladies! Thanks for stopping by and sharing, Kerrelyn.

jean hart stewart said...

Fantastic scene,,,thanks for posting it. No wonder you've been such a success.

Melissa Keir said...

I'm a big fan! I've read all her Love at Stake books and enjoy the characters as well as the sense of humor. :)

This latest sounds like another winner! All the best!!

E.L. F. said...

Yum, great excerpt and interview. Thanks so much for visiting, Kerrelyn, I am always so impressed by your wonderful spirit when I have the opportunity to hear you speak. Looking forward to reading your new book, thanks for sharing!

Cynthia Arsuaga said...

I just finished reading Zoltan's story!!! Wanted to finish before commenting. Loved it!!! And left with the possibility of another one. Woo Hoo! Loved doing the interview and I can't stop stating how excited I was to do it. Thanks again for being our guest today Kerrelyn!

Sheri Fredricks said...

I'm totally diggin' on the excerpt. LOL Now I can't wait to read the book. Fan girl SQUEE! It was great to learn more about you, Kerrelyn.

M. S. Spencer said...

Love that first line from Be still my vampire heart--too funny. Know what you mean about the first 100 pages. I often rewrite them 20 times before I'm satisfied. As for the rest, eh.... (jk). Thanks for sharing, & will definitely look for the books. M. S.

the jo said...

What a great interview. I luv the insight into the author mind...and what a mind it is! :) My favorite of the series is probably Wanted:Undead or Alive. *sigh* I hafta admit I keep reading the series because of the humor. A great sense of humor is so very important to survive today's world.
Thanks for the interview ladies and for sharing your thoughts and writing experience(s).

One question for Ms Sparks: Do you find the humor flows into the story or do you hafta "push" for it? I hope that makes sense...it did to mean anyway...hahahaha

thanks again for the fun!

your fan,
jo

Nicole Morgan said...

Loved the interview and especially the title of your latest! A title always grabs me when it is something fresh and unconventional like that! :)

Naomi Bellina said...

I love the title of this book! Truly clever. Hot and fun excerpt, too. Thanks for sharing.

Jean MP said...

Enjoyed the interview and the excerpt.

Michelle McLean said...

Great interview, and LOVED the excerpt!! Thanks so much for sharing!

Carly Carson said...

It's nice to hear from an author I've heard of, but not read. So what am I waiting for? Time to start reading. Thanks for the great excerpt.

Fran Lee said...

Great book! Thanks for sharing with us.

JoAnne Myers said...

Great and informative interview Kerrelyn. Interesting excerpts. Your newest sounds like another winner. good luck with sales.

Hollie said...

I love your humour, you can always make me smile no matter how many teenage tantrums i've heard.

Krista said...

Have a feeling i'm gonna need to go get this whole series ! Love the interview Kerrelyn and Zoltan looks yummy on the cover !!

Kelley Heckart said...

I enjoyed the interview and excerpt. Best wishes!

Victoria said...

Hi Kerrelyn! I absolutely adore your books. Thank you for the interesting interview - and the blurb! I know what's next on my TBR pile! :)

kaisquared said...

Love all of these books, and this excerpt was…. WOW!
Thank you for all your books, Kerrelyn, and this interview made my day!

Sandy said...

The excerpt hooked me. Great to get to know you a little bit, Kerrelyn.

Renee Vincent said...

Kerrelyn! LOVED this interview of you. Your book sounds awesome! Thanks for taking the time to be with us today!

nooknutt said...

I LOVE this series!!!

Adelle Laudan said...

I applaud you! 15 books in your series and still counting, that's a feat all in itself. i have to admit the whole 'vampire' genre has never intrigued me... until now. I can't resist an author with a quick wit. Kudo's to you and the best of luck in keeping this series alive for many more books to come.

jessica said...

awesome excerpt and great interview questions!

Berengaria Brown said...

I love Angus MacKay. He sounds like my kind of man. And who can resist a heroine with a nice right hook!!
Thank you for visiting today, Kerrelyn.
Berengaria

Fedora said...

Terrific interview, Cynthia and Kerrelyn! What a pleasure to learn more about you and your latest release!

Mary Preston said...

Such a fantastic post thank you.

orelukjp0 said...

I love your books and have every one to date.

I was wondering if you were going to write stories about the children who have grown up. Like Roman and Shanna's son or any other children from the previous stories. Maybe falling in love with each other. It would be nice to hear updates on past characters.

Janice Seagraves said...

I enjoyed reading your excerpt.
It looks like an excellent book and a great series.

Janice~

Juana said...

I love your stories and your sense of humor. I have laughed while reading your books and have gotten strange looks, but that didn't stop from reading the stories. They are all in my keeper shelves.

KerrelynSparks said...

Thank you all for the kind words!! I appreciate it! And thank you, Cynthia, for the interview! It was fun! Best wishes to all!

tammy ramey said...

love the cover, it's gorgeous. the excerpt was wonderful, i can't wait to read the book and see what happens next with these two characters. :)

tammy ramey
trvlagnt1t@yahoo.com

Gemma Juliana said...

I've found a new to me author, and can't wait to read your new book.

Love when humor is blended into a story.

Great interview, Kerrelyn, thanks for joining us!

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