Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Interview with a Vampire...sort of!

Hmmmm. I wonder, if you create vampires out of your fertile imagination, does that make you a vampire...mom? Or perhaps more powerfully: The Mother of All Vampires (at least the ones you create).

I forgot to ask that really interesting question when I asked The Mother Of Some Vampires, the new voice in vampires, Jennifer Armintrout a few questions about POSSESSION. I thought I'd share the questions I did ask!

Me: How do you see the Blood Ties series fitting into the broader vampire oeuvre?

Jennifer: It's a sort of more adult, more gory THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, the young adult series that LJ Smith did back in the 90's. I was super influenced by that when I was a preteen. I tell people that if they liked those books, or if they liked the television show "Forever Knight," they'll probably like my books.

Me: Will someone who hasn't read THE TURNING enjoy POSSESSION?

Jennifer: I think this is the part where I'm supposed to say it can stand on my its own and rush out and buy it, and if the first book isn't available then yeah, you're not going to be completely lost reading Possession first.

But it's only book two. Readers can still jump on this thing on the ground floor, so to speak, and be all, "I was reading Blood Ties from book two!"

Me: Will someone who has read THE TURNING enjoy POSSESSION?

Jennifer: Yes, because THE TURNING didn't end the story. POSSESSION is the second in a series in the truest sense of the word.

Carrie's story isn't over and we don't now move on to some other character, it's still telling her story. For those curious, it will be like that all the way through the series.

Me: THE TURNING was your first novel. Did you think of it as a series, or did that grow as you wrote?

Jennifer: I thought it would be straight romance that would end with happily ever after, but that it would be a series in that, okay, Carrie got her happy ending, now Max will get a happy ending and so on and so on.

Gosh, all that happy ending stuff sounds so...dirty, doesn't it?

Me: Why Vampires?

Jennifer: Why not vampires? It honestly baffles me when I get that question, because I can't even begin to grasp that other people might not be interested in vampires!

I don't know how it all worked out, but I've eaten, slept, pretended, dressed up as, and obsessed over vampires since I was a pre-schooler. It just seemed like the natural course for my writing.

But I will write non-vampire related things in the future, I'm sure.

Me: What's your favorite medical TV show?

Jennifer: Is this a set up? Do you know my agent? :)

I love House, but less because it's medical show and more because he is obviously Sherlock Holmes. I'm not all that into medicine in entertainment.

I think I wrote Carrie as a doctor because I grew up in a family where everyone was an EMT, and my mother is a critical care nurse, so I reaped the benefit of all the stories around the dinner table that come with those types of jobs.

Me: Do you have favorite characters, and how does that make you feel when you are working through the plot and they have to die?

Jennifer: I do have favorite characters, but I recognize that they can't all live and it wouldn't be realistic to write the kind of stories I write and have no body count.

There is one character that dies in book three that I had a moment of "Oh, that's so sad that I can't write that character anymore," but I don't get as involved in their lives as some writers do with their characters.

Me: When is the next Blood Ties coming out?

Jennifer: August of '07.

Me: What are you working on now?

Jennifer: Blood Ties book four is what I'm working on right now, and I'm sort of crossing my fingers and toes and praying I get it done on time because, wow. I won't even go there. Strike it from the record. ^_^

Me: of course, I am leaving in Jennifer's footer...

Hundreds of people have already read BLOOD TIES, BOOK ONE: THE TURNING, by Jennifer Armintrout. You don't want to be the only one who hasn't, right? On-sale now, from Mira books.

BLOOD TIES BOOK TWO: POSSESSION, by Jennifer Armintrout, 02/07, from Mira. Be one of the cool kids. Buy it.

If you're still hungry for info, you can check out the FAQs on her website.


Friday, February 16, 2007

A few more things to share....

Don't you think February should be about Vampires as well as Valentines? May 17, 20006, I posted about a new author, Jennifer Armintrout, you can scroll down on the archives to check what I said about Jennifer's first novel, Blood Ties: The Turning. I had loved the proposal--don't think I'd even gotten a copy of the complete book yet!

Less than a year later, and her second is on the stands, check out Blood Ties: Possession. You can read an excerpt on her website. It's a doozy!

Some Amazon.com reader/reviewer comments:
Possessed reader. Peggy Hanchar 5 stars
"I just finished the second in the Blood Ties series and liked it even better than the first....Although I loved the first book, I thought this book had more depth and advanced a better understanding of the characters and what made them what they are.
"The author's flashes of humor always caught me by surprise and made me chuckle outloud. I'm really looking forward to the next book in this series to see where these characters evolve.... Kudos to the author and her terrific imagination."

Excellent paranormal romantic thriller. Harriet Klausner 5 stars:
"....The key to the second Blood Ties tale (see BLOOD TIES: THE TURNING) is that readers will believe that vampires and werewolves are real species because the cast is solid and deep. The two subplots consistently intermingle and cross. This leads to an electrifying action-packed story line that contains a strong psychological suspense element yet never slows down until the climax, but the audience will not know what to expect until the final collision."

Five intense hours. LeAnna Rankin 4 stars:
"So I was standing in line at Walmart, wishing to get out of there before I could collect my Social Security, and this book caught my eye. I didn't have much to lose so I started reading it in line. I couldn't put it down when it was my turn and so I bought it. When I got home, I sat down and read it straight through until the end, in just a little under five hours.
"I love the style of writing because it feels like you think right a long with them and the way they speak and interact. I was delighted when I realized it was a series and now I have an excuse to go by another book."

The last of Nora's four movies on Lifetime is out Monday, February 19th. You can check out various Nora/Lifetime and moviebilia on the Nora Roberts' Lifetime website. If you missed them, or don't get Lifetime, you can get them from iTunes. Yes, there's a tutorial on how to download stuff. We'll see how that goes. If not, I'm going to Ask Lorie!

Karen Harper's excellent Publishers Weekly review for her January title, Inferno: "Lauren and Brad are full, appealing characters who are easy to care for, and their growing mutual attraction feels organic and unforced. Harper keeps tension high as the insane villain cleverly evades efforts to capture him. And Harper really shines in the final act, providing readers with a satisfying and exciting denouement." Sara Pearce, aka LitChick, of Cincinnati.com mentions the ever fabulous Harlequin Romance Report and local authors Lori Foster and Karen Harper's titles in her Valentine post.

You have to check out the video of NYMPH KING by Gena Showalter, out in February, 2007. And Gena Showalter is on the February 18th Extended New York Times and USA Today Bestseller lists!

THE WINTER LODGE, Book Two of Susan Wiggs Lakeshore Chronicles is on the New York Times, Publishers Weekly and USA Today Bestseller lists. Susan also has started her own blog. You can check out the starred Publisher's weekly review of WINTER LODGE, if you need convincing!

Linda Lael Miller's first in the new McKettrick series, MCKETTRICK'S LUCK is out right now with a great PW review!
And PW has starred review of MCKETTRICK'S PRIDE by Linda Lael Miller. HQN Books, coming out in March, 2007. MCKETTRICK'S LUCK is also on the New York Times, Publishers Weekly and USA Today Bestseller lists. Not bad, eh?

Did you read Heather Cochran's Red Dress Ink title, MEAN SEASON? I did, and really liked it. Her second is coming out in MIRA in March and is reviewed by PW, titled THE RETURN OF JONAH GREY. Haven't read it, but nice to see PW likes it!

Also in March is Sherryl Woods A SLICE OF HEAVEN if you want to check out the rather nice PW review. It sounds really appealing, and I've signed up to participate in one of those readathon blog post thingys, and the competition is fierce! I have not been reading fast enough and checking out some of these excellent reviews & knowing the authors is really inspiring me to "start my engine!"

This just in--Sherry's , STEALING HOME, out right now, just hit the March 3rd New York Times extended list! What a way to launch the Sweet Magnolias trilogy--Congratulations Sherry!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Hello out there!

I get statistics on my blog and am amazed to realize that there are people reading my posts from all over the world. And I do mean all over. So I just wanted to say hello! Thank you for stopping by. I wrote down a few of the hometowns of my visitors this year:

Jaipur, Bangaladore, Sao Paulo, Melbourne, Lucca, Ft. McMurray, Bombay, Turku, Qormi, Calgary, Kaarina, Vecchiano, Margotsfield, Attard, Singapore, Road Town, Mombassa, Little Gaddesden, Juan Franco, Barcelona, Ft. Meyers, Chengdu, Eskisehir, Halifax, London, Lugarno, Bang Kruai, Box Hill, Paris, Cavrie, Norcross, Wee Waa, Ugong Norte Hominersak, New York, Ingelheim Am Rheim, An Matias Tlalancaleca, Chiclayo, Slough, Vevey, Metcalf, Mashad, Dour El Brahma, Niigata, Los Angeles, Merville Subdivision, Chonim de Baixo, Moscavide, Ockley, Toronto, San Diego....

I just get the city name and can sometimes figure out the country. No idea if the spelling is correct--apologies if I've transcribed things wrong.

Was recently posting a (slightly) snotty comment about various speakers at a conference speaking as if their opinions were "the" opinions, & realize my posts are highly US/East Coast referential, and I am perhaps guilty of being too self-referential myself. Oops.

While there is a certain 'of the place & of the moment' topicality, I will try to do better, also please comment, suggest, question.

And could someone from from one of the more amazing sounding places--Turku or Lucca or Attard please post and just say "Hi" so I don't think Google is making this whole thing up?!

Love is truly a universal language. I will be posting a speech I gave at the University of Pennsylvania a few years ago about romance novels shortly. I talk about the fact that Romance is not only global, universal, but goes back to through time as well (where would we be without it, after all!).

So it is truly wonderful to see the map of the world with a million points of connection, demonstrating how there are such powerful and essential things that bind us together as people. Romance. Love. A great story.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Harlequin ~ Nascar Romance...an unexpected love story

Harlequin Nascar is launching this February at the Daytona 500 with NASCAR driver Carl Edwards. He's been such a great supporter of the genre, the guys are teasing him and calling him "Carlequin!"
    • I am not a NASCAR aficionado, but he is very cute.

  • Carl will be making a cameo in the first book, SPEED DATING by USA TODAY bestselling author Nancy Warren. You can read SPEED DATING with the eHarlequin hosts.

  • Carl's No. 99 Office Depot Ford Fusion will be on the front cover.

  • The Harlequin/NASCAR series promises great love stories inspired by life on the stock-car circuit.

  • There will be 16 Harlequin NASCAR series books in 2007!

  • 4 titles in each of February, May, August and November

    • Check out http://www.getyourheartracing.com/. Its very cute.

      Now some may say "NASCAR...not for me," or, heaven forbid, something more negative, like..."It's a beer-based sport, really." or,"Creates a compelling illusion that you are actually exercising, doesn't it?"

      But I bet those of you will be guilty of the appalling 90 second idiocracy rule! It generates the classic "How stupid are they? Yes. Sorry. That stupid," moment. You wouldn't want to be guilty of that, now would you? I didn't think so.

      You see, reading romances does make you a better human being. Because you know what its like to have someone say negative things about a genre (or perhaps a sport...you see where I'm going here?) that you love, and then, almost always within a minute and a half (90 second idiocracy rule) that someone will unblushingly say...'of course, I never read one/seen one/experienced it/have no ****ing idea of what I'm talking about, but why should that stop me from having a strong opinion about the subject? Knowing anything about what I'm talking about has never be a pre-requisite for me shooting my mouth off!' (As aforementioned, the classic "How stupid are they? Yes. Sorry. That stupid." Moment. I want to keep on the moral high ground here. The low ground is really low).

      It cuts all ways. If I think people are unmitigated potato heads to diss romances without having read any, or knowing what they are talking about (and, of course, I do), the same applies to me saying something negative about something if I haven't experienced it. So OK, I haven't gotten hooked on NASCAR on TV, but I've never been to a race, so I have to withhold judgment.
    • Because there are 75 million fans, 30 million of them women--many of them are our authors and readers! There is clearly some kind of special magic that has captured so many people around the nation. Whether I understand it or not. And anything that can capture that many people's attention has something special about it, and it's my bad if I can't understand it, even if I don't share the feeling.

      Besides, have you ever heard a more sexy line than...Ladies, start your engines!

            Monday, February 05, 2007

            Consider it your job

            • Go watch the Nora Roberts movie Monday, February 5th on Lifetime at 9:00. It's Montana Sky, and there will be two more, Blue Smoke and Carolina Moon, for the next 2 Mondays! Though none of them are Silhouettes (sniff) they are all Nora's, so they are wonderful stories. Did you see Angels Fall? Its available on iTunes now. I really liked it--loved the cooking and getting those cowboys to eat herbs...and I don't even cook!

            • We not only should support our very own national treasure, we need to show Lifetime there is a real audience for stories that deliver a feel-good experience. Consider it your job!

            • Click on Lifetime for updated info on the shows, repeats, and on Nora's website for up-to-date info too.