NG: I'm so happy to have fellow Noble Romance author, Gracen Miller here with me today! Gracen, what do you enjoy the most about being a writer?
GM: First, I want to say thanks so much for hosting me on your site today! It’s such an honor to be asked to join you!
Now, to your question…Breathing life into my characters is what I love most about writing. Fleshing them out is like getting to know a new friend. Pure magic! And having the honor to live through them is like pretending to be someone else! That is so much fun! I should also mention how much naughtier I can be in my writing without suffering the consequences. LOL
NG: That is the fun part! What do you find the most challenging about being a writer?
GM: Edits. Beating my head against the wall is less painful! Sometimes I’ll read something and think, “Wow, I actually wrote that?” But mostly I think, “What garbage!” and then proceed to rip it apart until it’s a fraction of what it once was.
NG: What genre(s) do you write and why?
GM: Paranormal romance. Romance because I’m a romantic at heart and the first book I read for pleasure in middle school was a romance book. The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss…it will always hold a special place in my heart. But, I also love anything paranormal, including horror books and movies. I ingest the supernatural with gusto. The darker the paranormal, the better and I can thank my longtime friend, Angela, for the love of paranormal. As young teens we’d rent VCR grade B horror movies, veg out in front of the TV eating popcorn every weekend that our parents would suffer one of us over. Rarely does anything scare me, so growing up, I feasted on Tales from the Darkside, Fantasy Island, the Twilight Zone, Quantum Leap, Incredible Hulk and Lost in Space (okay, to be honest, some of these shows fell into the sci-fi arena) and I devoured a ton of horror and romance books (yes, I was very bookish, but unfortunately not a brainiac—LOL). So, yeah, when it came to writing, mixing paranormal and romance is natural. I like to think what I write should be called horrormance because it’s a mixture of the two. I was dabbling with horrormance stories before the print industry started publishing it.
NG: I loved those shows too, Gracen! How long did it take for you to become published?
GM: Oh, wow, do we count the ten years I devoted my life to a husband, a career and having children? Because if so, my answer would be a lot longer than it should have. If not, then from the time of submission to acceptance about six months for The Devil’s Den, which is no longer available. =( For Elfin Blood, from the time of submission to acceptance, the timeframe was almost two months.
NG: What's the one thing you wished you had known about the publishing world before you got into the biz?
GM: How hard it is to get readers to take a chance on your books! I stink at marketing, so this aspect of writing is very frustrating.
NG: Describe your writing process in one word. :)
GM: Writing process? Please define… ;-) Seriously, I wish I had a writing process, but I have to fit writing into my work routine and taxiing my two boys back and forth to their various sporting functions (karate, football, and basketball to name a few). I always keep a pad and pen in my purse, so I can write when the Muse strikes. But basically, the busier I am, the more my Muse wants to chat. *big sigh* I swear my Muse lives to torment me because it’s always about him! *cheeky grin* Even when at home, my time is rarely mine with two children, a husband who is an overgrown kid, and two animals, all of which steal valuable time, so I write when I can. I write while cooking dinner or watching TV with the family—my attention isn’t necessary, the boys just want me present in the same room and they’re happy. I don’t need silence, so I have no problems pecking away on my keyboard at football, karate or basketball practice and in front of the TV. So, I guess, basically, my writing process is chaotic. Kind of like my household! LOL
NG: I can so relate to that...minuse the small animals. :) Any advice you’d like to share with aspiring authors?
GM: Learn everything you can about a publisher before offering them your book. My first publishing house is now out of business, but before that it was a nightmare trying to get in touch with the editor, the owner, anyone else that worked there. Another thing, follow what your instincts are saying. If your instinct is giving you a funny feeling about the publishing house, then they’re probably not the right fit for you, so go elsewhere. There are too many publishing houses out there (especially in e-publishing) to contract your baby with the one that doesn’t fit with you.
Never stop reaching for your dreams. Giving up isn’t an option. My sons take karate and they have a saying that I love, “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” That saying applies to writing as well. Never quit writing. Never stop honing your skill, because the more we learn about the art of writing, the better writers we become. Most of all never ever let anyone tell you that you should stop writing. Writing comes from the soul and if you ever stop, part of yourself will be denied.
NG: Wow! Great advice and I love that last thought! Do you have any other hobbies that you enjoy?
GM: Other than reading and spending time with my family, I love bashing ceramic tile into small pieces and using them to tile frames, tables and planters. I’m working on a table right now and it’s very soothing working with my hands to create something artistic. Often while I work, it clears my mind enough that I can map out parts of my storyline.
NG: That is so cool! You've received great reviews for Elfin Blood and your work was nominated as "Best of 2009," by Love Romances Café! How does it feel to receive such high praise on your debut release?
GM: Aww…I didn’t realize anyone was paying attention when Elfin Blood was nominated by LRC. Elfin Blood didn’t win but just being nominated was a thrill and exciting to have my book recognized. Receiving good reviews is just as exciting. It’s a buzz that takes days to wear off.
NG: Let's talk about Elfin Blood, what's this steamy story about?
GM: In two words…an elf and vampire. But they’re more complicated than that. Not all of the storyline came to me at the beginning and since I don’t draft outlines it’s kind of like sitting in the “hotseat” and allowing my Muse to channel through me. And Elfin Blood has so much going on in it, more than just vampires and elves, but magical gifts that come about in a sexy way. Sometimes the storyline surprised me going in directions I hadn’t originally intended, often times, for the better. For instance, the excerpt posted at Noble Romance Publishing, I had no plan to write Julija as a Jewel Master, but it seemed appropriate for her character and the idea just “came” to me as I wrote that scene. I never know what my Muse is going to do. He can either be a difficult, pain in my ass bitch or an imagination god that I devoutly worship! LOL Our relationship is a bit manic. ;-) If you heard the conversations he and I have, you’d have me committed. :D
But while the hero, Landau, is a vampire, he isn’t the basic vampire either. He’s an exotic vampire. LOL And I don’t mean exotic in just the sexy sense of the word, but he’s not created from human DNA, so yeah, a mixed up exotic concoction. He is more than what he appears to be on the surface. If there was ever a “pureblood” vampire source, he would be it.
NG: The premise behind Landau is very interesting, Gracen and I'm thrilled to know aother panster! lol. Now, what inspired you to pen this sexy tale?
GM: I’m passionate about vampires, but I didn’t want to get stuck in the rut of writing the same paranormal characters over and over again and I wanted to broaden the concept of vampires. Basically, ten years from now I didn’t want readers to say, “Oh, look, Gracen’s written another vampire book.” *insert huge yawn* LOL Plus, I wanted to expand and grow as a writer. So, I tried to capitalize on a creature I knew little to nothing about, which is an elf. And since I love vampires, I wanted to create a different lore on them as well. I threw the two into my Muse jar, shook vigorously and Elfin Blood was created.
NG: Muse jar...nice! What are you working on now?
GM: I have a couple of projects started, but my main focus is Where the Road to Hell Begins. It’s a lot darker than Elfin Blood and I’m trying to bring in a lot of horror elements to go along with the romance. Where the Road to Hell Begins focuses on the struggles of a single mother, Katherine, trying to save her son from paranormal forces she doesn’t understand. But in order to save her son, she seeks help from a man, Phoenix, that’s devoted his life to hunting down and killing monsters.
Overnight, Katherine’s son, Avery, turns homicidal, kills the family cat, then moves on to gutting the family dog, before starting on wildlife animals and the neighborhood pets. A phone call to a psychic tells her a demon is to blame and that she’ll send reinforcements. That’s when Nix enters the scene and helps her face the many obstacles that threaten more than her life, but her very soul.
NG: That is fascinatingly dark stuff! So, you're being chased by a werewolf and a vampire...who do you hope will catch you? :)
GM: Finally, an easy question! ;-) A vampire! Please, please bite me here! *points to spot*
NG: LoL! Why do you think shape-shifters are so hot?
GM: *laughs* Well, that’s a good question. Maybe it has something to do with the animalistic side of the shifter. And it’s fun mixing the animal elements with the human elements.
NG: Besides, vampires, what do you think is sexy?
GM: Sexy is my husband laughing and goofing off with our sons. Nothing is sexier. Well, except maybe Jensen Ackles. He looks great on TV goofing off with kids too. ;-)
NG: *g* Gracen, what’s the one thing readers can always count on when they pick up a book written by you?
GM: Nothing I write is your basic romance. I write what interests me, with the thought that if I want to read a story like this, then so will someone else. I’ll give you storyline chocked full of emotions and I don’t mind throwing in some hardcore sex that’ll make your Momma blush. =)
NG: That about says it all, people! Thank you so much for stopping by Simply Sexy Stories, Gracen!
Blurb: Scorned by her own kind for her half-breed elf status, Julija lives a lonely existence among her Ivory Elf kin. She is the only one the elves can trust when a magical book in elf lore is stolen. Relegated to steal the Book from the vampire thief, Landau Jamieson, she's surprised to discover he has the ability to walk in daylight. Refusing to be deterred by developing setbacks, she’s committed to executing the heist for an Ivory King who grows more desperate to possess the Book. Nothing about the vampire is as it appears and Julija begins to doubt her mission. Worse, she begins to worry she won't have the strength to guard her heart from her sworn enemy.
Landau is fascinated by the elf stalking him and baffled by the potent hunger she elicits after ten thousand years of celibacy. Soon he discovers the lovely sprite is a pawn in a dangerous game--orchestrated by none other than a reviled enemy from his past. While blind-sided by her beauty and her magical powers, the least of which is the spell she casts on his heart, the sinister plot unfolds. What started out as folly to catch a thief, blossoms into a love that casts aside bloodlines and forges all boundaries.
Caution! Steamy Excerpt Below!
Their eyes held as he tossed her denims over his shoulders. He buried his hand in her hair, kneading her scalp with his fingers.
“This.” His palm flattened over her bare pussy and she flinched at the jolt of heat shooting through her. “Is beautiful.”
He tugged against her hair, holding her steady as he leaned over her and put his mouth to her breasts through the thin fabric. The scrape of his teeth against the cloth caused her to whimper and arch beneath him.
“Can you tone it down a bit,” he asked, grazing his fangs along the underside of her breast.
“Tone what down?”
“The music.” He rose to his knees, his features pinched.
“I’m not making that music.” Julija was too busy trying to catch her breath to worry about the melody. The pads of his fingers rolled her nipples through the fabric while the palm of his other hand rubbed the outer folds of her sex. She squirmed, itching to press her thighs together to alleviate her escalating arousal.
“Of course you are. You’re a Jewel Master. They’re singing your lust.”
Julija touched him for the first time, tracing his wide, sexy lips with her finger—lips she’d fantasized about.
“I’m not a Jewel Master,” she said, baffled by his statement. She traced the point of a protruding fang. “Ow!” she cried, jerking her finger back to peer at the blood beading the pad of her index finger.
Quick as a snake striking, he reached out and placed her finger against the center of his lips. Mired between fascination and horror, she watched as he used her blood to paint his mouth red. Landau licked his lips. The pleasure flaring across his face nearly brought her to orgasm. Again, he painted his lips with her blood, his eyes rolling with delight when he swiped the moisture away.
Landau dragged his tongue over her finger, cleansing the blood from her flesh. He squeezed and blood beaded to the surface. Again, he licked the digit like it was his personal lollipop. She gyrated beneath him, undulated her hips into his thigh. Had she missed the anatomy lesson that said fingers were erogenous zones?
He sucked her finger into his mouth, his gaze holding hers steady as he sipped nourishment from the tiny wound. A moan tore from her. He suckled again, a hard drag that tweaked her clitoris.
“Mmm.” She moaned, arching her back, needing him inside her.
A grin skirted his lips as her vampire suckled. She cried out as an orgasm jerked through her, surprising and embarrassing her.
Landau chuckled. “You’re easy, Jewel Master.”
Easy, yes. Sex-starved too.
“I don’t know what that is.” Her ragged breath hitched as she tried to orient herself and follow the conversation.
“How can you not?” His brows met his hairline, showing his surprise. “Jewel Masters are rare, but still . . . .” He eyed her speculatively. “You’re joking, right?”
Julija didn’t think she could muster a verbal response so she shook her head.
“I’ll show you,” he said, his gaze determined. He looked at the jewels surrounding them on the bed, his fingers skimming through them until he located a diamond at least ten carats in size. He pressed the flat side against a nipple. “Can you feel it vibrating?”
“Yes.” She strangled on the word. The vibration against her nipple was connected to her vagina.
“Only a Jewel Master can make it do that.” Landau trailed the diamond to the other breast and smiled at her moan of pleasure. “I’m not a Jewel Master,” he said. “Wood Elves create Jewel Masters.” He clarified the last sentence with, “I don’t have Wood Elf in me. You do.”
Mischief darkened his gaze as he dragged the vibrating diamond down her belly, circled her navel and then slid it downward to the flesh at the apex of her thighs.
As if entranced, Landau spread her vaginal lips and pressed the gem against her clitoris. The diamond acted like a tiny, wicked vibrator.
Five seconds. She panted. Ten seconds. She panted faster. Fifteen sec— She climaxed a second time. The diamond launched into hyper-vibration drive, the harmony wobbled her eardrums, the melody so loud, Landau flinched.
He slid the rock lower, soaking the crystal with her wetness. He pressed the gemstone against her entrance; the humming diamond grew louder, vibrated rapidly against her swollen flesh.
Grimacing at the decibel level, Landau removed the stone from her body. “Proof,” Landau said, sounding strangled. When she focused on him, his eyes turned blood red and he looked turned-on, like her. “You’re a Jewel Master.”
Elfin Blood is available now with Noble Romance Publishing, click here!
Still curious about Gracen Miller? Find out more at her website: www.gracenmiller.com or blogs: http://www.moonlightlacemayhem.blogspot.com/ &