Archive for Paranormal Romance
We have a real treat for our readers in the final installment in our series on Romance Author of the Month Caris Roane. If you’ve read our earlier articles on Caris, you’ll know that she’s the author of the Guardians of Ascension series. She’s also the author of numerous Regency romances under the name Valerie King. We’ve been so fortunate to have Caris on BestRomanceStories.com this month, and we’re doubly lucky that Caris agreed to write a guest post that we can put up here. She’s also been extremely generous in agreeing to do a giveaway. Read on to find out more about Caris and her books… and also to find out how to win a signed copy of one of Caris’ books, and many other prizes!
I want to thank BEST ROMANCE STORIES for featuring my work throughout the month of August! I’m so honored to be here! And I am giving away a signed copy of the winner’s choice of one of my Guardians of Ascension novels. Details at the end of the post…
First, a little about me, some lesser known facts: I grew up in a lumber town in Northern California in the ‘50s, I’ve traveled in Europe and Central America but only recently visited the Grand Canyon in my current home state, and one thing I’ve learned about living in the desert for the past 20 years is that I really really don’t like scorpions!
Now to clarify about my Guardians of Ascension: no angels – just vampires – with wings! I always feel I need to make that super-clear because of the covers and of course because there are so many wonderful ‘angel’ novels out there…
Writing the Guardians of Ascension series has been one of the finest experiences of my life. Of everything that I’ve written so far in my 20+ years of being published, my gorgeous, hunky, winged vampire warriors have stolen my heart. The series is set in a world of ascending dimensional earths, with six known dimensions though most of the action takes place on Second and Mortal Earth. Once a mortal ascends to Second, he or she becomes a vampire. But the world is at war, with the heinous Darian Greaves striving to take over as many dimensions as he can, using death vampires as the backbone of his army. At the helm of all of Second Earth, is a fashion-challenged woman, Endelle, who is wonderfully profane and dictatorial. Her elite group of warriors, the Warriors of the Blood, work constantly to save Second Earth from Greaves’s ambitions. My beloved, overworked and super-sexy warriors star in each story.
What I’ve tried to do in my novels, is to take the reader well beyond just the romantic experience. I work hard to show characters in the midst of change, each growing into more than he or she ever hoped to be. You’ll find my heroines always develop new and surprising preternatural powers like ‘a voyeur window’ or ‘darkening capability’. And my heroes emerge from dark, lonely, tortured places and, through the powerful mate-bonding of the breh-hedden, discover they can love again.
The sixth installment, GATES OF RAPTURE, arrives December 26th. We’ve met our hero, Leto, in the first book, ASCENSION, but in that story he is a despised traitor, a former Warrior of the Blood. Now we come full circle and get to meet Leto as he goes through his remarkable transformation. His story was especially fun to write because I’ve known him such a long time and also because he ‘goes beast’, a process of physical change that he can’t control, but which his woman ends up loving…a lot!
I hope you’ll take the time to explore my world of ascension.
I also want to reach out to those of you who are new writers or maybe you’ve been writing for a while and want a daily pick-me-up. I’ve started the most fun daily blog on writing tips called: WICKED WRITING SKILLS! Join me if you’d like. Each post is short and meant to offer some take-action idea for the day.
GIVEAWAY: Today, I’m giving away the winner’s choice of a signed copy of one of the Guardians of Ascension novels, as well as bookmarks and romance trading cards. Please leave your email address and a comment about why vampires intrigue you! This giveaway is international. Good luck, everyone!
Readers can find me at:
Website: www.carisroane.com and www.wickedwritingskills.com
If you’ve been following our series this month on romance author of the month Caris Roane (who also writes Regency Romances under the name Valerie King), then you’ll know that Caris is the author of the Guardians of Ascension series. BestRomanceStories.com is delighted to have Caris answer some of our questions in this exclusive interview. Read on to find out more about Caris’ books, which authors inspired her to write about vampires, and what superpower she’d like to have. And come back next Friday to read a post written by Caris herself, where you’ll also have an opportunity to win a signed copy of one of the Guardians of Ascension books, and other great prizes!
Welcome to BestRomanceStories.com, and thanks for taking the time to answer our questions! Obsidian Flame, the fifth and latest book in the Guardians of Ascension series came out in April 2012, and the sixth book, Gates of Rapture, is scheduled for release in December. What would you like to tell our readers about the Guardians of Ascension series? Would you be able to give readers a sneak peek into what we can expect with Gates of Rapture?
First, I need to let your wonderful readers know that my books are all about vampires, not an angel in sight, even though there are wings on the covers. One of the first magical things that happened for me as a writer when I first started putting the Ascension series together, was the emergence of wings. Yes, my vampires have wings! It was a real departure from the norm, but one day, while writing, a scene emerged in which a vampire was floating in midair with enormous black wings. I was hooked from that moment on.
Each story features a powerful vampire, a Warrior of the Blood, with the weight of the world on his shoulders. For centuries these warriors have been battling against an ever-increasing number of death vampires under the power and control of Commander Greaves. Lonely, battle-weary, the warriors serve Second Earth. Then the women come, preternaturally powerful and each bearing a unique scent that calls to one of the warriors. Caught in the grip of what becomes a bonding ritual, each warrior takes on the role of Guardian of Ascension to his woman and the struggle to protect her against Greaves and his army of death vamps begins.
Gates of Rapture is the sixth installment of the series. My publisher has decided that for their needs Gates of Rapture will be the last of the series that they will publish and several plot threads do get tied up. But my heart is with my warriors and I’m hoping to self-publish many more stories in the coming years.
Warrior Leto, former spy under Commander Greaves, has returned to the Warriors of the Blood. But his woman, Grace, was taken by a Fourth Ascender and now Leto must try to resume his previous life. He struggles with a beast-issue, a strange condition that transforms him physically into something bigger and more powerful but which he can’t control. When Grace returns to Second Earth, determined to bring Greaves down and end the war, Leto must work to protect her not just from death vampires and Greaves, but from his own beast as well…and that’s just a taste!
You’re an award-winning author in the field of Regency Romance (as Valerie King), and you’ve been writing Regency Romances for over twenty years. What inspired you to start a paranormal romance series about warrior vampires?
I’ve always enjoyed the vampire myth and even included a family of vampires in one of my Regency romances many years ago, so the transition felt really natural to me. But what inspired me the most were other paranormal authors. I relished Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series and devoured J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I went on to feast on the works of Christine Feehan, Kresley Cole, Gena Showalter and a few others. I couldn’t get enough. Pretty soon, I knew I had to create my own world and the Guardians of Ascension were born.
Vampires have become a huge part of popular culture in recent times. Why do you think vampires are such a big draw, and why do you find vampires interesting?
Recently, I did a post for Heroes and Heartbreakers addressing that very question. I called the post: Vampires Are Just Like Us! Basically, I think what makes vampires, and other paranormal creatures, really work for us today is that authors have taken very human qualities and simply exaggerated them. A vampire has an undead heart, for instance, and haven’t many of us been in a relationship in which we swear that the guy doesn’t have a heart, or if he does, it doesn’t beat? So a vampire ends up as a larger-than-life metaphor addressing issues we can all relate to. Add to that, the hunkiness that most of us now give our vampires, and who can resist that: the ultimate gorgeous bad boy, but with fangs.
As a paranormal romance author, you probably spend a lot of time building new worlds and creating stories where many unusual things happen. Have you ever had a paranormal or unexplained encounter in real life? Tell us about what you saw or experienced!
I tend to keep myself closed off to all things paranormal in the real world because the idea of it scares me to death! BUT, I spent a weekend at a haunted hotel a couple of years ago. Again, I kept myself closed off to paranormal experience and had a nice stay. But the next year, when I fully intended to return, I called the hotel and booked a room that I had seen before, with a beautiful balcony that overlooked the valley below. I couldn’t wait to go back. Shortly after I made my reservation, however, I had a dream in which a psychic I know said to me very clearly, “You can’t stay in that room.”
Can you guess how fast I cancelled my reservation!!! And I haven’t been back to that hotel either!
Do you have any quirky habits, or are there any rituals or routines that you have to go through before you start writing?
Yes, my quirky ritual is forcing myself to get out of bed, lol! Actually, I don’t really have a ritual but I will tell you that I play solitaire a lot while I write and edit because it helps clear my mind when I get stuck.
Who are some authors who have made an impression on you, and who influence your work? What are some of your favorite books?
If I go back a long ways, I would start with Gone with the Wind, Jane Eyre, and Shogun. Fast forward and the author Georgette Heyer snagged me with her work and I spent years collecting as many of her novels as I could find. I even have one hardcover edition. And as I mentioned before, a whole slew of paranormal authors inspired me to write my Guardians of Ascension series.
Please tell us three things about yourself that you think will surprise readers.
I didn’t start writing until my mid-twenties.
I was a tour guide at Disneyland many years ago.
Though I totally enjoy writing my steamy paranormal novels and my characters often swear up a storm, I’m a pretty straight-laced person. My DH is my one and only, I rarely drink, I’ve never done drugs, and I try to tell the truth.
If you could have one super power, what would it be?
That is the easiest question in the world for me. If I had one super power it would be the power to heal physical or mental suffering. With such a gift, I would do nothing else with my time.
BestRomanceStories.com is thrilled to have Caris Roane as our Romance Author of the Month for August. Caris (who also writes as Valerie King) is the author of the Guardians of Ascension paranormal romance series, which winged vampire warriors in a unique vampire world based on ascending dimensional earths.
Ascension, the first novel in the series, made its debut in January 2011, and was an instant success, receiving a nomination for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award in the category of Vampire Romance. Ascension was followed in quick succession by Burning Skies, Wings of Fire, Born of Ashes, and Obsidian Flame. The sixth book in the series, Gates of Rapture, will be out on December 26th, 2012.
Although Caris is a relative newcomer to the paranormal romance genre, she is certainly no novice at writing romances. She has been writing for thirty years, mostly in the field of Regency Romance as Valerie King. Indeed, Romantic Times awarded her the prestigious Career Achievement award in Regency Romance in 2005. She has more than sixty Regency romance and paranormal romance books and novellas in print. Caris isn’t resting on her laurels of course. In addition to the Guardians of Ascension books, Caris launched her self-published Blood Rose Novella series in May 2012 with Embrace the Dark. Caris also launched the Amulet series, another short novella series, in July 2012 with Wicked Night. As if all that isn’t enough to keep her busy, Caris also has a website called Wicked Writing Skills where she shares all the things she’s learned in thirty years of writing and publishing in a series of daily writing tips to aspiring authors.
If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering why Caris decided to switch to writing paranormal romances after having had such immense success in the Regency Romance field over several decades. Caris says she’s had a long-time love affair with vampires, and even included a family of vampires in one of her Regency Romances years ago. But what inspired and intrigued her were warrior vampires of the sort found in J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series. Reading books by Ward, Kenyon, and various other authors such as Christine Feehan and Kresley Cole inspired Caris to begin creating her own brand of warrior vampire (with enormous wings!), and voila, the Guardians of Ascension were born.
Caris spent her early childhood in northern California, and then grew up all over California as her family moved around. As a child, Caris loved to read, and this eventually translated into her career as a writer. No doubt Caris’ love for reading was due, in no small part, to her late parents’ love for reading. Caris says that they both always “had a stack of books going” on their nightstands. Caris’ parents were supportive of her writing, and her mother told her she loved her books, even though she wouldn’t typically read female authors. Her father too was a fan, reading her books faithfully – even if he wasn’t very much into reading romances otherwise.
Caris lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her two cats, Sebastien and Gizzy.
In our final article on our romance author of the month for July Rebecca Zanetti, we have a guest post from Rebecca herself!
We’ve been incredibly fortunate to have her on our site every Tuesday this month, and this blog post is definitely the highlight, when we hear directly from Rebecca about the odd things she’s done lately in the name of writing books.
Hats off to Rebecca, whose dedication to her job as an author has seen her handcuffing herself behind her back and rolling around in a car’s trunk – though not necessarily at the same time.
Rebecca’s also been kind enough to put aside a few signed books for a lucky reader who comments on her post. Read on to find out how you can win copies of Rebecca’s Dark Protectors books!
A Writer Has to Let the Crazy Out by Rebecca Zanetti
So the phone call started with, “I have a head for you.”
Yeah. A head. See, I have this friend named Beckie (Writes under the name of Griffin Asher), who is also a taxidermist. We’ve been talking about the sound a sword or knife makes when it cuts off a head.
My vampires cut off people’s heads a lot. And to be honest, I’ve never really heard the sound.
So Beckie got in a new bear head today and thought I should come and listen to sounds.
Did I mention I’m the squeamish type? No? Well, um, yeah.
But, I gamely headed out to the place where she works, determined to be accurate in my writing. And I learned a lot. You should see the amount of muscle in a bear’s face. Could I kill a bear? Um…no. I’m kind of a fan of all creatures. But I learned all about anatomy and sounds that day.
I told my sister about it, and she remarked that I do a lot of odd stuff for my writing. It occurred to me that maybe I should share five of the odd things I’ve done lately.
1) I watched and listened as a dead bear’s head was removed from its vertebra.
2) I asked my husband to lock me in the trunk of one of his old cars and drive around town. I wanted to see what it felt like. (For the record, he said no.) But, he did let me get in the trunk and roll around a little bit.
3) I handcuffed my hands behind my back and tried to shimmy them in front of me. I was successful, but then I couldn’t get the handcuffs off. Unfortunately, the UPS guy was on my porch watching me through the window. I think I scared him. A lot.
4) I have, one more than one occasion, asked my husband to grab me a certain way to see if I could stab him with my free hand. He usually says no to this, too.
5) I’ve asked him other stuff to make sure bodies can bend a certain way…and he almost always says yes to these requests. LOL!
So, the more I delve into writing, the more I let the crazy out. When I met my husband, he was a six-foot Italian with a tattoo, leather jacket, and motorcycle — and he had a wild glint in his eyes. He’s still a six-foot Italian with a tattoo, leather jacket, and motorcycle — but these days he’s the voice of reason. Poor guy. How did that happen?
So, thanks for having me over to guest blog today — it’s a huge honor! How about we give away a signed copy of either Fated, Claimed, or Hunted to a commenter here? What’s the oddest thing you’ve ever done for your job?
Please join me in thanking Rebecca for taking the time to write this blog post!
As for the giveaway, we’ll ask Rebecca to choose the best answer to her question in a week’s time, so if you’re hoping for a chance to win a signed copy of her book(s), post your comment on the oddest thing you’ve ever done for your job here by July 31st, and we’ll have Rebecca help us out with selecting a winner! Good luck!