Just Imagine

Just Imagine

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Welcome to my blog! Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and read what's on my mind. I've a vicious sense of humor, an apprecation for romance and a mad addiction to writing.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Love. Lust. Betrayal. Vengeance. Exodus: A Requiem for Jacob Forlorn by lazarusInfinity.

Today it’s my pleasure to welcome over lazarusInfinity, author of Exodus: A Requiem for Jacob Forlorn, a Dark Fantasy.

ISBN:  978-1482537932
ASIN:  B00BF25U02

Number of pages:  208
Word Count: 79,210

Cover Artist:  Ryan Doan Illustration & Photography

Amazon       BN      iTunes

Diesel      Smashwords

GIVEAWAY! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win an eCopy of Exodus: A Requiem for Jacob Forlorn. 

Book Description

Welcome to the dark side of love...

A dark fantasy filled with interracial romance, lust, betrayal and vengeance. What happens when everything you've worked for and sacrificed for is suddenly taken away from you? What happens when the greatest love you've ever known isn't what it seems? What happens when your most loyal childhood friends and family pass away? What happens when one man takes a fateful journey between love and hate, light and darkness...Heaven and Hell?

Jacob Forlorn is a beleaguered everyman escaping from the shadows of a bitter and broken past to find his place in life when he meets Miranda, a beautiful and mysterious woman with a past of her own. Drawn by love at first sight, a whirlwind interracial romance brimming with intense passion ensues, culminating in the birth of a beautiful child.  But all is not well in paradise. Against the remains of a hidden past, something dark and deadly emerges, threatening to either warn Jacob or rob him of both his heart and his sanity. Jealousy, resentment and deception emerge, soon forming a deadly web of intrigue, lust and secrecy which all have repercussions far beyond anything he ever imagined.

As dark visions and nightmares haunt him repeatedly, Jacob soon begins to walk a very fine line between right and wrong, against a backdrop of misery and death that pushes him to the limits of his faith in God. Someone...or something is after him. The secrets of the past begin to destroy him both physically and spiritually, forcing him to make a dangerous choice.

Love. Lust. Betrayal. Vengeance. It all comes to an end and something has to give. The journey to Hell and back has now begun in this brooding and haunting dark fantasy.

**The sequel to EXODUS, REVELATION: THE RETURN OF JACOB FORLORN is also now available at all major retailers.

Let's Interview! 

What inspired you to write this book?

Exodus: A Requiem for Jacob Forlorn was basically a character study from years of either witnessing or hearing about relationship horror stories from friends of mine.  We’ve all heard one bad relationship scenario or another and the focus is always the same: the bad things that men do.  So many movies and books are made about women who suffer broken hearts and fall into fits of despair and I thought it was time for a change.  I wanted to go against the grain and write a story about a guy whose greatest enemy is his own heart and mind.  Jacob Forlorn is a guy who tries to do the right things with the wrong women, and eventually it costs him far more than he ever imagined. 

How did you come up with the title?

I never brainstorm titles when I’m working on a story.  As weird as it may sound, whenever I get the general idea for a story in my head, the title is always the next thing that comes along.  I have no clue why that happens, but it always does.  Most of the time I don’t even know where a lot of the things I write come from.  Hemingway once said something to the effect of: “All an author needs to do is I sit at the typewriter and bleed.”  I don’t compare myself to Hemingway in any shape or form but he was right. 

What made you choose the main setting for your book?

The story is set in New Orleans, which is where I was born and raised.  It’s a city that’s rich in history, culture, legends and folklore, not to mention being one of the greatest cities in the world.  To grow up around so much inspiration to draw from and not set a book here is not something I could ever fathom.  I didn’t understand that growing up, and it didn’t start to make sense to me until after Hurricane Katrina struck the city.  That was definitely one of the darkest times our city has ever faced.  The beautiful thing that came out of it was a stronger sense of community pride and general love for the city.  There are still problems here but there’s just no place like New Orleans.
Tell us a little bit about the conflict in your story.

Jacob Forlorn is your basic everyman who walks with a weary heart that he wears on his sleeve.  Struggling to find his place in life in the aftermath of a relationship gone sour, he soon meets a very beautiful and alluring woman who is seemingly the one he’s been searching for all his life.  Throwing caution to the wind, he immerses himself in a whirlwind romance filled with intense passion and mystery.  As usual with relationships that are seemingly too good to be true, skeletons from his lover’s past coupled with supernatural visions and nightmares begin to destroy him both mentally and spiritually.  Not all is what it seems, and Jacob soon finds this out the hard way as he spirals down a very dark and destructive path that leads to the unthinkable.  The story is a dark and tragic tale in the vein of OTHELLO meets ANGEL HEART. 

Are you currently working on another story? If so, we’d love some details.

I am currently working on another novel entitled PORN AGAIN, which is loosely based on my years of working in an adult retail store in none other than New Orleans.


“What’s it like working in a sex store?”

That’s a question that Harper ‘Happy’ Downman will soon learn the meaning of…in more ways than one.

The poster child for middle-class America, Happy is your typical button-down, conservative Christian American with a quaint home, a lovely wife and a dull sex life.  At the height of the Great Recession, a drastic turn of events in both his personal and professional life rocks Happy’s world to its very core.  All seems lost…that is until his lecherous older brother comes to the rescue with a ‘stimulating’ solution that’s sure to raise more than just eyebrows within his eccentric family.

Relocating to the decadent, hedonistic streets of New Orleans, he soon finds that he’s way out of his league.  In a world of porn, sex toys and interesting characters, Happy takes a memorable journey down a road of sex, love and relationships that he will never forget.

Porn Again is a funny and insightful romp proving that it’s not always the people who work in a sex store that you have to worry about.  Sometimes it’s the people who shop there.

Read it with someone you ****…

A lot of stories on the market deal with the ups and downs of romance, but very few venture inside the doors of a sex store and expose all the hilarious and crazy things that take place.  If you can imagine working in a sex store in New Orleans on Bourbon St., you know that anything can and will happen.  The book will be released in mid April to all major retailers.  Be on the lookout for preorders soon!  For more info on updates, feel free to sign up for my newsletter at www.lazarusinfinity.net.

The other project that I’m in the middle of is a screenplay based on a short story I published entitled OCCUPATION.  The story centers around a zombie apocalypse taking place in New Orleans during the year that the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras coincide. 

Tell us about your book cover and how it relates to your story.

The book cover much like the title was something that came to mind immediately after I got the general idea in my head.  Growing up with a love of cinema, I’ve always been a fan of movie poster design and wanted to somehow incorporate that into the cover.  Everything in the cover serves as a motif for what happens in the story.  Jacob Forlorn is a man walking down a very rugged and dangerous road in his life, overshadowed by a beautiful and mysterious woman.  The mask she wears is a metaphor for how often we can be deceived and possibly ruined by the very people we choose to lay down with and give our hearts to.  As for the crows, that’s a secret… 

Tell us about your favorite writing environment. Is it indoors, outdoors, a special room, etc.

My favorite place to write is a locally owned business in New Orleans known as The Reservoir Café.  I love Starbucks just as much as anyone else, but I also believe in supporting local businesses.  The Reservoir Café is a very cool, hip and eclectic environment on Magazine St. where I can just come in with my laptop and really disappear into the work.  It’s come to the point where some days I practically live there. 

Are your book/books available in audio? In other languages? If so, give us more details about where we can get them and what languages they’re in.

At the moment, my books are not available in audio format or other languages.  It is something that I’m seriously considering for the future as I build my catalogue.  As of right now, readers can find my work on Amazon.com, Smashwords, iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other major retailers. 

How long have you been writing? How long have you been published?

I have been writing since I was eight years old and only published for about two years now.  My first love has always been acting and I grew up on greats like Sidney Poitier, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney and Yul Brynner.  Once I got to high school, I started studying acting seriously and Denzel Washington became my idol.  Writing was something that was just always there, but I never took it seriously.  I was always one of those kids who would finish their work first in class and had nothing else to do, so I would write.  My third grade teacher caught wind of what I was doing and always encouraged me to “Just keep writing.”  As I got to college and continued studying theatre, I started writing plays and that later turned into writing screenplays.  Even still, my mother was the one who always said that I would one day publish a book.  Since I didn’t finish college and knew less than nothing about publishing, I always laughed at her.  As far as writing goes, I grew up on Stephen King, James Baldwin, Langston Hughes and Truman Capote.  In my mind, those were authors, and I could never fit into that class of talent.  I still feel that way to this day.  I never dreamed in a million years that I’d actually be a published author now working on my third novel. 

What genre/genres do you prefer to write? Are there other genres you’d like to write in the future?

For me, this is all experimentation-trial and error.  Growing up on Hitchcock and horror films, I’ve always been a fan of mystery and suspense.  Anything dealing with supernatural themes are also a focus.  I did grow up in New Orleans after all.  I’d love to try my hand at Sci-Fi or a romance in the future.  Some may classify PORN AGAIN as a romance when it comes out.  I tend to look at it as being more of a hybrid between a character study and a RomCom.  I’m still very passionate about writing screenplays and ultimately fulfilling my dream of one day resuming actor’s training and getting back up on the stage. 

About the Author

"Just keep writing." Out of those simple words grew a dream that would instill a profound sense of purpose within a young kid born and raised in New Orleans, LA. With only his dreams along with an insatiable drive to be the best he could be, this writer would grow from penning children's literature in the 3rd grade to later writing stageplays and screenplays in college. Heavily influenced by a who's who of incredible writers from Langston Hughes, Claude McKay and Ralph Ellison all the way to August Wilson, Arthur Miller and Aaron Sorkin, lazarusInfinity has continued to stretch his creative boundaries to encompass all forms of writing. In addition to writing contemporary fiction and children's stories, he is currently at work on several screenplays along with another novel.

Visit lazarusInfinity

Friday, March 21, 2014

Power. Love. Dark Paranormal Romance. Witch's Bounty by Ann Gimpel.

Today it’s my pleasure to feature Ann Gimpel’s dark paranormal romance, Witch’s Bounty, The Witch Chronicles, Book 1.

Publisher: Taliesin
Release Date: 3/6/14

Genre: Dark Paranormal Romance

Word count: 63,000 words

GIVEAWAY! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to a $50 Amazon gift card.

Book Description

A demon-stalking witch teams up with a Sidhe, but their combined power, never mind their love, may be too late to make a difference.

One of only three remaining demon-stalking witches, Colleen is almost the last of her kind. Along with her familiar, a changeling spirit, she was hoping for a few months of quiet, running a small magicians’ supply store in Fairbanks, Alaska. Peace isn’t in the cards, though. Demons are raising hell in Seattle. She’s on her way out the door to help, when a Sidhe shows up and demands she accompany him to northern England to quell a demon uprising there.

Duncan swallowed uneasy feelings when the Sidhe foisted demon containment off onto the witches two hundred years before. He’s annoyed when the Sidhe leader sends him to haul a witch across the Atlantic to bail them out. Until he sees the witch in question. Colleen is unquestionably the most beautiful woman he’s ever laid eyes on. Strong and gutsy, too. When she refuses to come with him, because she’s needed in Seattle, he immediately offers his assistance. Anything to remain in her presence.

Colleen can’t believe how gorgeous the Sidhe is, but she doesn’t have time for such nonsense. She, Jenna, and Roz are the only hedge Earth has against being overrun by Hell’s minions. Even with help from a powerful magic wielder like Duncan, the odds aren’t good and the demons know it. Sensing victory is within their grasp, they close in for the kill. 


…The bells around the shop door clanged a discordant riot of notes. “Crap!” Jenna shot to her feet. “I should have locked the damned door.”

“Back to cat form.” Colleen flicked her fingers at Bubba, who shrank obligingly and slithered out of clothing, which puddled around him. She snatched up his shirt and pants and dropped them back into the canister.

“I say,” a strongly accented male voice called out. “Is anyone here?”

“I’ll take care of the Brit,” Colleen mouthed. “Take Bubba to the basement and practice.”

She got to her feet and stepped past the curtain. “Yes?” She gazed around the dimly lit store for their customer.

A tall, powerfully built man, wearing dark slacks and a dark turtleneck, strode toward her, a woolen greatcoat slung over one arm. His white-blond hair was drawn back into a queue. Arresting facial bones—sculpted cheeks, strong jaw, high forehead—captured her attention and stole her breath. He was quite possibly the most gorgeous man she’d ever laid eyes on. Discerning green eyes zeroed in on her face, caught her gaze, and held it. Magic danced around him in a numinous shroud. Strong magic.

What was he?

And then she knew. Daoine Sidhe. The man had to be Sidhe royalty. No wonder he was so stunning it almost hurt to look at him.

Colleen held her ground. She placed her feet shoulder width apart and crossed her arms over her chest. 
“What can I help you with?”

“Colleen Kelly?”

Okay, so he knows who I am. Doesn’t mean a thing. He’s Sidhe. Could have plucked my name right out of my head. “That would be me. How can I help you?” she repeated, burying a desire to lick nervously at her lips.

“Time is short. I’ve been hunting you for a while now. Come closer, witch. We need to talk.”


Duncan Regis eyed the grim-faced woman standing in front of him. She was quite striking with such stunning bone structure—high cheekbones, square jaw—she could have been a runway model. Her unwavering pale blue eyes held his gaze. Dressed in brown wool slacks, a multicolored sweater, and scuffed leather boots, she had auburn curls that cascaded to waist level. A scattering of freckles coated her upturned nose. Her lips would have been full if they weren’t pursed into a hard line.

He knew he was staring, but couldn’t help himself. Colleen was tall for a woman, close to six feet, with well-defined shoulders, generous breasts, and a slender waist that flared to trim hips. He smelled her apprehension and was pleased she was able to cloak it so well with the defiant angle of her chin and the challenge in her icy stare.

Despite his earlier command, she didn’t move. Annoyance coiled in his gut. He could summon magic and force her, but he wanted—no, make that needed—her cooperation. Compulsion spells had a way of engendering lingering resentments. He smiled, but it felt fake so he gave it up. “I like women with spirit, but I’m used to being obeyed.”

She frowned and tilted her chin another notch. “I’ll just bet you are. I’m not coming one angstrom closer until you tell me why a Sidhe is hunting for me.”

Surprise registered. He tried to mask it, just like he’d attempted to disguise himself in a human glamour. Duncan tamped down a wry grin, wondering if his second ploy had worked any better than his first.
“Not really.” She tapped one booted toe. “I read minds. You’ll have to do a better job warding yours, if you want to keep me out.” Colleen exhaled briskly. “Look. Maybe it would be easier if you just told me why you’re here. I’m sort of busy just now and I don’t have a bunch of time to spar with you.”

“You don’t have any choice.”

“Oh yes I do.” Anger wafted from her in thick clouds. Along with it a spicy, rose scent, tinged with jasmine, tickled his nostrils and did disconcerting things to his nether regions. He resisted an urge to rearrange his suddenly erect cock. Colleen unfolded her arms, extended one, and pointed toward the door. “Out. Now.”
“You’re making a terrible mistake—”

“Maybe so, but this is my turf. If you force me with your magic, you’ll have broken the rules that bind your kind—and the covenant amongst magic-wielders.”

Duncan’s temper kindled, but it didn’t dampen the lust seeping along his nerve endings. Rules be damned. He could flatten this persnickety witch, or better yet, weave a love spell and bind her to him that way. Maybe he should do just that and have done with things. He clasped his hands behind him to quash the temptation to call magic. The movement stretched his trousers across his erection, making it obvious if she chose to look down.

Something dark streaked from the back of the shop and planted itself in front of him, hissing and spitting. Gaia’s tits. A cat. He stared at it. Hmph. Maybe not a cat after all. Duncan reached outward with a tendril of magic. Before it reached the creature, Colleen bent and scooped it into her arms. The not-a-cat wriggled and hissed, but she held fast.

“Leave him alone,” she said through clenched teeth. “He’s mine.”

Duncan narrowed his eyes. “Damn if it isn’t a changeling. How’d he end up with you?”

Her foot tapped the scarred wooden floor again, its beat so regular it could have been a metronome. “I asked you a whole lot of questions.” She took a step backward. “But the only one I want to know the answer to is—”

“What the fuck are you doing?” Jenna wavered into view, having teleported in from somewhere. Her gaze landed on the cat. “Thank Christ! For a minute there I thought the little bastard got away from me.”
“Jenna,” Colleen snapped. “The Sidhe have deigned to call.”

The other woman whipped around and stared at Duncan. He stared back. What was it with these witches? Had they taken some sort of potion to supersize themselves? She made Colleen look positively petite. Jenna sidled closer to Colleen; part of her height came from high heels, but she was still an imposing woman. “What does he want?” she growled.

Duncan cleared his throat. “I’m right here. You can ask me.”

“Fine.” Jenna put her hands on her hips. “What are you doing here?”

“How do you know I want anything?” he countered, trying to buy time to figure out what to do now. He hadn’t counted on two witches, and a changeling.

“Because if you didn’t, Colleen would have shooed you out of here by now. You really do need to leave. We’re busy.”

He snorted. “Yes. Colleen made that abundantly clear.” He looked from one witch to the other. At least his erection was fading a bit. Crowds always had a dampening effect on his libido. Many other Sidhe thrived on group sex, but he’d never appreciated its appeal.

“Either tell us what you want right now,” Colleen moved toward him, cat still in her arms, “or leave. I’m going to count to three—”

“Maeve’s teeth, witch! We’re on the same side.”

“Generally speaking,” Jenna joined Colleen about three feet away from him, “that’s probably true, but the Sidhe have never helped us.”

Colleen quirked a brow. “No, they haven’t.” Her eyes narrowed. “And I have this prescient feeling that Sidhe-boy here is about to ask for a pretty big favor.”

“Sidhe-boy?” The dregs of his lust scattered; he crimped his hands into fists. “Show some respect.”

“You’re not respecting me,” Colleen said. “I’ve asked you to leave—twice. No, make that three times.” The not-a-cat finally twisted free. He skimmed over the distance to Duncan and buried his claws in his leg.

“Why you changeling bastard!” Duncan shook his leg. The thing didn’t even budge. He bent, curled his hands around the furred body, and tugged. The thing bit him. Anger flashed. Magic followed. The changeling howled and fell into a heap on the floor.

“Goddammit!” Colleen shrieked. “He was just trying to protect me. If you’ve killed him…”

“I didn’t. He’s only stunned.” Duncan rubbed his ankle, glanced at the puncture wounds on his hand, and directed healing magic to both places.

Colleen sprang forward and gathered the creature into her arms. Duncan felt her magic quest into its small body. She blew out an audible breath. Cradled against her, shrouded by her long hair, the changeling mewled softly.

Duncan shook his head. He’d hoped to be subtle, accommodating, encouraging, so the witch would at least hear him out with an open mind. The time for that was long past. “All right.” He spread his hands in front of him. The flesh wounds on the one were already nearly closed. “I’m here because we’ve had problems with Irichna demons—”

“Christ on a fucking crutch,” Jenna cut in. “Seems like they’re on everyone’s mind these days. We were just—”

Colleen rounded on her. “Shut up!”

“Oops. Sorry.” Jenna held out her arms for the changeling. “I’ll just take him and—”

“No.” Colleen’s voice was more like a growl. “You’ll stay right here.” She placed the changeling in the other witch’s arms and turned to face Duncan. “I know you’re Sidhe, but who are you?”

“Duncan Regis.” He held out a hand. She ignored it, so he let it drop to his side.

“Regis, Regis,” she mumbled, her eyes narrowed in thought. “Ruling class from somewhere in Scotland.”
He nodded, impressed. “Northern England, at the moment, but the border has moved around a bit over the years. I do lay claim to Scottish roots. I didn’t know witches studied our family lines.”

“Witches don’t, but I did.”

“Any particular reason?” He was almost sorry he’d asked. She had strong feelings about the Sidhe, and he was about to find out why.

The changeling yowled, obviously recovered from his semi-comatose state. Jenna cursed and set him down. “Damn it! He scratched me.”

Duncan thought about saying something cheery, like welcome to the club, but bit back the words.

Colleen rolled her eyes. “He wants to talk. There’ll be no peace until he shifts.” She flicked magic toward the creature winding itself between her booted feet. The air shimmered and a rather large gnome took form.

He rocked toward Duncan with a bow-legged gait that made him look like a drunken sailor; his open mouth displayed squared off teeth. “I’ll tell you why she knows about you.” The changeling drew himself to his full height of about three-and-a-half feet. “She came to the Old Country looking for help during the last demon war. You Sidhe were too high and mighty to get your hands dirty, so she had to settle for me.”

Colleen snickered. “Not exactly the way I might have described it, but close enough. Hey, Bubba! Get some clothes on.”

“Later,” the changeling snapped without looking at her.

“Which of us did you approach?” Duncan made the question casual. Whoever turned Colleen down had broken the covenant binding magic-wielders to come to one another’s aid in times of need. He wondered if she knew.

“Of course I do.” She sneered. “Your thoughts are as transparent as a child’s. Even Bubba here,” she pointed to the changeling, “does a better job masking his feelings when he puts his mind to it.”

“Thanks.” The changeling glowered at her before transferring his attention back to Duncan.

“What kind of name is Bubba?” Duncan linked to the changeling, and was surprised by the complexity of his thoughts. Maybe the witches had been a good influence.

“You didn’t have to just push your way in.” The changeling screwed up his seamed face in disgust, but didn’t draw back. “My true name is Niall Eoghan.”

“Clothes,” Colleen reminded him.

Bubba made a face at her, turned, and walked behind one of the display cases. When he emerged, he wore wide-bottomed green trousers and a black shirt.

“Irish.” Puzzle pieces clicked into place and Duncan transferred his attention back to Colleen. “You never did tell me who you’d asked for help. It appears they not only turned you down, but chased you across the Irish Sea.”

“We left voluntarily,” Jenna said.

Colleen’s lips twisted in distaste. Whatever she remembered apparently didn’t sit well. “We spoke with two Sidhe at Inverlochy Castle outside Inverness. They refused to give us their names, but said they were princes over your people. They heard us out and sent us packing. Gave us twenty-four hours to leave Scottish soil.”
“I was all for staying,” Jenna chimed in. “After all, we had passports.”

“Was it just the two of you?” Duncan asked.

“Roz was with us,” Colleen said.

Understanding washed through him. “Three. You brought three to maximize your power.”

Colleen’s full mouth split into a chilly smile. “We were under attack by the Irichna. Would you have done any less?”

“Probably not. So after we, that is, the Sidhe—”

“We worked fine,” Bubba said flatly. “Unless you’ve decided to renounce your heritage.”

Duncan traded pointed looks with the changeling. “Speaking of magic, you’re stronger than any changeling I’ve ever come across.”

“That’s because you’re used to our feeble Scottish cousins. They were stronger before you stripped their magic and diverted it for your own purposes.”

“Enough.” Colleen snapped her fingers. “Or I’ll change you back into a cat. We don’t need a history lesson just now.” She shook her hair back over her shoulders. The movement strained her sweater tighter across her breasts. Duncan dragged his gaze elsewhere.

“About the Irichna—” he began.

“We can’t help you,” Colleen said flatly.

“Why not? We’d pay you well.”

“It’s not a matter of money, although I’m not sure you could afford us.”

“We have an, um, previous engagement,” Jenna offered.

“Whoever it is, we need you more than they do.” He looked from one witch to the other.

Colleen dropped her gaze and rubbed the bridge of her nose between her thumb and index fingers. When she looked up, the skin around her eyes was pinched with worry. “I’m not sure it’s a matter of who needs whom more.” She speared him with her pale blue gaze. “Do the Sidhe know why the demons are so much more active here of late?”

He debated how much to tell her. Given her ability to burrow inside his head, it was unlikely he’d be able to hide much. If he told her everything, though, it might piss her off. Hell’s bells, it annoyed the crap out of him. “Not exactly.”

Her nostrils flared. “You can do better than that. If you can’t, the door is behind you.” She folded her arms beneath her breasts. “Talk now or leave now. It’s all the same to me.” 

About the Author

Ann Gimpel is a mountaineer at heart. Recently retired from a long career as a psychologist, she remembers many hours at her desk where her body may have been stuck inside four walls, but her soul was planning yet one more trip to the backcountry. Around the turn of the last century (that would be 2000, not 1900!), she managed to finagle moving to the Eastern Sierra, a mecca for those in love with the mountains. It was during long backcountry treks that Ann’s writing evolved. Unlike some who see the backcountry as an excuse to drag friends and relatives along, Ann prefers solitude. Stories always ran around in her head on those journeys, sometimes as a hedge against abject terror when challenging conditions made her fear for her life, sometimes for company. Eventually, she returned from a trip and sat down at the computer. Three months later, a five hundred page novel emerged. Oh, it wasn’t very good, but it was a beginning. And, she learned a lot between writing that novel and its sequel.

Around that time, a friend of hers suggested she try her hand at short stories. It didn’t take long before that first story found its way into print and they’ve been accepted pretty regularly since then. One of Ann’s passions has always been ecology, so her tales often have a green twist.

In addition to writing, Ann enjoys wilderness photography. She lugs pounds of camera equipment in her backpack to distant locales every year. A standing joke is that over ten percent of her pack weight is camera gear which means someone else has to carry the food! That someone is her husband. They’ve shared a life together for a very long time. Children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out their family.

Visit Ann Gimpel

@AnnGimpel (for Twitter)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Erotic. Paranormal. Romance. Touched by Lightening by Danica Avet.

Today I’m totally thrilled to welcome over and interview Danica Avet, author of Touched by Lightning, Book One in the Love’s Defenders Series. So if you're all about Erotic Paranormal Romance, then feet up, relax and read on!

Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Date of Publication: February 14, 2014
ISBN: 9781419990564
Word Count: 74,000
Cover Artist: Ellora’s Cave Art department

GIVEAWAY! Be sure to enter the AMAZING Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win all sorts of fabulous stuff. What's up for grabs?  2 $25 gift card (Amazon or B&N), 2 limited edition Order of Themis cold/hot travel mug-open to US Shipping and 2 sets of Danica Avet swag (shot glass, compact mirror, sewing kit)- open to US Shipping

Book Description

When empath Gyda St. Germaine is rescued from a sex-trafficking ring, she vows vengeance on her tormentors. Aided by two distinct personalities who bolster her powers, she becomes a vigilante, hungry for revenge. Her path of retribution tosses her into the arms of an Order of Themis Siphon and her world is turned upside down. Fighting her past takes a backseat to her all-consuming desire for the man whose honor and sense of justice go against everything she believes.

The moment electricity manipulator Brit Harper stumbled across a feral woman with a bloody knife, his life changed. Black and white becomes gray as the scales of justice tip. Fascinated by her strength and the darkness in her eyes, he vows to teach her the true meaning of justice, and help her explore the passion sizzling between them. But when the evil haunting Gyda’s dreams returns in the flesh, he’ll have to choose between his beliefs and the woman he loves.


Let’s Interview!

What inspired you to write this book?

First of all, thank you for having me today! I love sharing about my stories and this one more than others. I’ve always wanted to write a book about a superhero, or someone with superhuman powers who wasn’t a shapeshifter or vampire or any number of paranormal beings. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of them. The paranormal world is filled with endless possibilities, but I wanted to write about people who were human, yet special and when the idea popped in my head about a society of people with superhuman abilities who are out to protect the world, I grabbed hold with both hands.

How did you come up with the title?

The hero of my story, Britton “Brit” Harper has the ability to manipulate electricity as well as siphon excess powers from his superiors when needed which he then expels through lightning. My heroine, Gyda St. Germaine, is a scarred woman who believes she can only release her emotions through pain. Put the two together and you have a hero who’s a living violet wand (if you’re not sure what that is…Google is an amazing tool). Brit has the ability to make Gyda feel whenever he wants, to give her the emotional release she needs, all through his touch.

What made you choose the main setting for your book?

The Romantic Times Booklover’s Convention actually. LOL It was at RT in 2013 that my sister from another mister, Lea Barrymire, and I locked ourselves away and came up with the world for this book series. We’d just spent three days sightseeing around Kansas City, liked the look of the area and decided it would be the perfect place for the Order of Themis (our paranormal protection agency) to call home.

Tell us about your book cover and how it relates to your story.

I’ll be honest. I think I was writing the last few chapters of Touched by Lightning when I stumbled across this picture of Scott King. I’ve been following him on Facebook for several months, because uh, I like to look at pictures. *innocent blink* Anyway, I saw that picture of him protectively, possessively holding the woman and I was blindsided because that was exactly how Brit would hold Gyda. All he wants is to protect her, to show her how valued she is and the picture Scott King took with his friend was absolute perfection. It didn’t hurt that Scott was also inked like Brit. 

Are you currently working on another story? If so, we’d love some details. 

I’m always working on something! LOL Right now I’m actually working on book four of my Cajun Heat series. In this book, tentatively titled Primal Dance, my heroine is a clouded leopard shifter who dances burlesque and the hero is a wolf-shifting deputy. They’re mates, but neither of them want to admit to it. One because she’s afraid to lose her independence and finding someone to truly love who she is and the other because he’s loved and loss before and doesn’t want to risk that pain again. 

What sort of personality does your hero have?

Is it wrong for an author to fall in love with their hero? We’re supposed to fall in love with them, right? Well, I totally did. Brit’s a country boy at heart, an overprotective brother with tons of younger sisters. He’s all laid back and calm despite his ability to control electricity and all he wants is to make Gyda realize her worth. He’s also sexy as all get out with his tattoos, drawl and love of faded jeans. Oh and did I mention overprotective? He’s all about protecting Gyda, even from herself. Love. Him.

How long have you been writing? How long have you been published?

It feels like I’ve been writing forever. Like most authors, I played at writing for years. I used to have notebooks filled with stories I’d start but never finished. I had floppy disks (back in the day) with the same and then in 2009, my family told me to sit my butt down and actually finish a story. I did and it was published in 2011. The Veil series was my first step into the world of publication and I haven’t looked back. Touched by Lightning is my seventeenth book.

What genre/genres do you prefer to write? Are there other genres you’d like to write in the future?

I lean more towards paranormal romance. Er and lean a bit more toward the erotic side of that particular genre. I have written some contemporary romances as well as a couple of spoofs (which were a hoot to write). I’ve actually started brainstorming a sci-fi story which I’ll get to as soon as these superheroes and shapeshifters I’m currently on give me a break ;)

Do you write books in series? If so, share a bit about the series you currently have published or are coming soon. 

Sometimes it seems all I do is write series! LOL Not that that’s a bad thing, by the way. As a reader, I adore series especially when each book is about a new character. I have two standalones, but that’s it. Everything else I have is a series.

The Veil series which were my first books ever published. It’s about a world filled with all manner of supernatural beings call…The Veil and their fight with The Eturi who want to take over the human world. I have four books in that series, Ruby: Uncut and on the Loose, Succubus-in-Waiting, Lifestyles of the Fey and Dangerous, and Ain’t No Bull.

The Olympus Inc. books. There are only two in this series so far, but I haven’t had a chance to write more since those shapeshifters barged into my brain. Immortal Love and Immortal Game (in the Keyboard and Kink anthology) are about a world where the Greek pantheon is real and operating as a modern corporation.

The Cajun Heat books, which I’m still writing. In this world, shapeshifters are a natural part of society, mingling with humans in everyday life. And there’s a big population of them in the tiny town of Maison Rouge, Louisiana, where the books take place. So far I have Primal Song, Primal Design, and Primal Flavor, but I have at least two more books planned in this series with the possibility of a spin off series ;) But that’s still up in the air.

Finally, is the Love’s Defenders series, which is actually a multi-author series about the Order of Themis (the organization of superhuman beings who are out to protect the world from injustice).  Touched by Lightning is the first book, but the next stories will be by Lea Barrymire, Amy Ruttan and Cara Carnes before I get another crack at it. It’s going to be pretty epic if I do say so myself LOL


He sighed and took his hat off to run his fingers through his hair, his frustration with her silence obvious. “Look, I’m sorry…” He looked at her and away, his cheeks turning even darker. His Adams apple bobbed as he gulped, but he brought his gaze back around to meet her gaze again, hungry resolve in his eyes. “I’m sorry for what I did to you in the woods.” He cleared his throat and settled his hat back on his head. She wasn’t staring at his biceps that bulged and flexed with the movement and the warmth in her belly had absolutely nothing to do with attraction. “There’s some powerful chemistry between us, sweetheart,” he finally said on a near growl. “And it just got the better of me. I swear I won’t touch you again until you want me to.”

With each word he spoke, her jaw dropped a little more until she was gaping at him, her brain firing on all cylinders as she processed his belief in his attractions. Okay, he was hot. He had that power thing mingling with some country-boy charm, which she found extremely sexy despite her natural repulsion of all things male. He knew how to ply his electricity in such a way that it made a woman cream with want. His body… The man had a body to die for and those tattoos just begged her to explore them with her fingers and tongue.

Even his confidence was sexy to an extent. Her brain rejected that thought. He was assuming she’d just fall into his lap like some slut. Because you totally did twice before, idiot, Sixteen reminded her with a satisfied chuckle. All that man has to do is lay a kiss on you and you’re a goner.

Her cheeks flushed at the reminder because it was true. He’d kissed her twice and both times she’d fallen prey to his power and that fucking chemistry she wasn’t prepared to defend herself against. It wasn’t as though it was something she’d come into contact with before. Sixteen was the sexual one, the one who discovered the men who wanted to be dominated by a woman. Gyda just let her have her way and pretended it never happened. So yeah, she had no idea how to fight attraction like this.

And he planned to use it against her. Holy shit.

About the Author

Danica Avet was born and raised in the wilds of South Louisiana (that would be somewhere around Houma) where mosquitoes are big enough to carry off small children and there are only two seasons: hot and hotter. With a BA in History, she figured there were enough fry cooks in the world and decided to try her hand at writing.

Danica is the lucky pet of a compulsively needy dog and two cats. The pitter-patter of little feet has been known to make her break out into a cold sweat.

Writing is how she gives the voices in her head a way out. When she isn’t writing, working or contemplating the complexities of the universe, she spends time gathering inspiration from her insane family, reads far more than any sane person would want to, and watches hot burly men chase an oblong ball all over a field.

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