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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Guest Author Interview: Crista McHugh

Alexis: Hi Crista. Welcome to Happily Ever After Thoughts.  Thank you so much for coming.  Your latest release is actually part of a series. Can you tell us a little bit about this uniquely named Kavanaugh Foundation series?
Crista: The Kavanaugh Foundation is a secret organization of witches, vampire hunters, demon hunters, and the like that stand between us and the things that go bump in the night. There are only two rules for the members: 1) Never let the outside world know the Foundation’s true purpose, and 2) Never let someone compromise your duty. As the series goes on, I plan on revealing more about the Foundation’s origins.  
Alexis:  Sounds mysterious J How does your latest release KISS OF TEMPTATION fit into this series?
Crista: This is the third book in the series. The series doesn’t have to be read in order, but each story reveals a new facet of the Foundation and Morwen, the Head Witch.
Alexis: I love reading books in order, especially when I can get all three right away ;-).Where did you get the idea for this story?
Crista:  I actually got the idea from a documentary on the Mt. Vesuvius eruption in 79 AD. Archeologists discovered charred marks on the bones of some of the victims in Herculaneum and hypothesized that they were basically vaporized. This, in turn, made me come up with an idea for a vampire who was terrified of being burned by the sunlight because he’d been caught in the eruption in a past life.
Alexis: Ah, great back story for a character. What kind of research did you have to do for this novel?
Crista: I ended up doing more research on Ancient Rome and Pompeii to get a feel for this character’s background. I also researched landmarks of Rome, Paris and Copenhagen. And, thanks to another plot bunny from an episode of Ghost Hunter’s International, I researched a castle in the Czech Republic that reportedly has a gateway to Hell. I do admit to taking liberties with the train schedule from Rome to Paris, though.
Alexis: I don’t think anyone will mind too much about the train schedules.  I doubt that will be our focus when reading your fascinating story J What inspired you to write paranormal and fantasy romance?
Crista: I don’t deal with “normal” very well. My mind likes to ask “What if?” too much, and I’m a HUGE geek. I used to play D&D, after all. But I’m dipping my toes in historicals as well, but my heart remains in a world of magic and mayhem.
Alexis: Dungeons and Dragons? Really? Dragons certainly haven’t disappeared. I think they are on the rise in romance and as for dungeons, plenty of those to be found in both paranormals and historicals so I’d say your inner geek is doing well J Do you have any other romance novels in progress that we can look forward to?
Crista: I’m working on sequels to both Kiss of Temptation and my Steampunk Western, The Alchemy of Desire. I have a historical coming out in February from Carina Press, and I have a SciFi assassin novel that’s out on submission at the moment.
Alexis: Wow, you have those writing fingers in all types of romance.  How awesome for your readers! What do you like most about being a romance author?
Crista: The happy endings, of course. I love bringing two different people together, having them overcome extreme obstacles and fall in love with each other in the process.
Alexis: And that’s why we read romance!  Thank you so much for visiting Happily Ever After Thoughts. We enjoy talking about romance novels here and learning about the exciting authors who write them J
Crista: Thank you so much for having me!
Alexis: Check out the excerpt below and be sure to comment for a chance to win the $10 electronic gift certificate and one of Crista's books! To learn more about Crista go to 
“Where are you taking me?” Would causing a scene with a spell be safer than going along with this stranger?

He stared straight ahead as he pushed deeper into the throngs of people that glutted the sidewalk. “Away from them.”

“And why should I think you’re better than them?”

That made him pause. He stopped and turned to face her.

Her gut wrenched. Mio Dio, a man shouldn’t be that gorgeous. Ebony black hair framed a face with a strong jaw and a slightly crooked nose—his only flaw as far as she could tell. But his eyes took her breath away. They were such a deep blue, they almost matched his hair.

He looked her over from head to toe and sucked in a deep breath. His mouth fell open, and for a few heartbeats, they just stared at each other. Then his jaw tightened. “I’m the least of your worries.”

As if on cue, a woman’s scream pierced the night. Daniela spun around. The crowd parted like the wake of a speedboat, but it moved way too fast for normal humans. Her throat closed up. The vampires.

The stranger yanked her out of her daze and pushed her against the window of a crowded café. Gorgeous or not, she was getting tired of the Neanderthal treatment. She was about to give him a piece of her mind when his lips crushed against hers, cutting off her words and nearly making her swoon. At first she resisted, but he continued to kiss her, slowly wearing down her defenses. By the time his tongue brushed against the seam of her mouth, she eagerly opened it to him.

She couldn’t remember the last time a man had kissed her this way. So strong. So domineering. So possessive it made her toes curl. A flush spread from her face all the way to the pit of her stomach, and her sex ached. Although she barely knew him, she already wanted to forgo this sexual foreplay and head straight to the bedroom. Her arms wrapped around his neck and she began kissing back with a ferocity that surprised her.

Perhaps it surprised him too. A muffled gasp worked its way out of his throat. He pressed his body against hers. For a would-be rescuer, he acted like he wanted to screw her right here in the middle of the street. One hand grabbed her buttocks, lifting her so he could grind against her. The other worked its way between them and cupped one of her breasts.

Her head reeled with each delightful twist of his tongue, and she slipped further and further into her lust-filled trance. He could be working with the vampires for all she knew, but at this point, she almost didn’t care.

She froze and opened her eyes. Her mission. She needed to find the Staff of Octavius before Colette, not waste time playing tonsil hockey with a stranger. And as much as she wanted to continue, her duty to the Foundation came first.

He must have sensed her unfortunate jolt of reality, because he ended the kiss by gently sucking on her bottom lip. “I think they’re gone now.”

 Alexis: Don't forget to comment for a chance to win :-)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Review: Temptation of the Warrior by Margo Maguire

If it’s hard for you to decide whether your next read will be a historical or paranormal, try Maguire’s Temptation of the Warrior because it’s both. She blends an ancient culture from a thousand years ago with nineteenth century England-actually two historical venues- and brings to life a warrior, Merrick, and a woman running from an abusive life, Jenny.

Here comes the tricky and magical part.  Merrick’s ancient clan transports him ahead in time in order to retrieve magical gems to save his clan.  In this “future time” one of the gems is owned by Jenny.  And she doesn’t know it.

By fate, Merrick arrives in England just in time to save Jenny from a band of ruffian horsemen.  During the fight, Merrick looses his memory and has to go by instinct to carry out his purpose in this strange land.  A bond immediately grows between the beautiful and innocent Jenny and the chivalrous and gorgeous Merrick along with conflicts on both sides.

Merrick’s problem is that he must find the gem and then return home to marry the woman his family chose.  Even if he wants to break tradition and ask for Jenny’s hand, there’s a problem transporting a human back one thousand years.

If that’s not enough, Jenny has issues with trusting men and thinks Merrick may have a wife that he’s forgotten. 

And the enemy has followed Merrick into the future while Jenny’s enemy is right behind them.

Merrick and Jenny have a bag full of conflicts to overcome with a scattering of magic to help.  It’s an exciting ride right up to the end and a story that’s hard to put to sleep.  Or is it that it’s hard to get yourself to sleep without knowing what happens next? 


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Guest Author: Paty Jager

 Alexis: Hi Paty. Welcome to Happily Ever After Thoughts.  Thank you so much for coming.  I think you are our first historical western paranormal writer.  How exciting! What made you decide to incorporate the paranormal into the historical western romance genre?
Paty: Hi Alexis! Thanks of having me here!  The first romance books I wrote were historical westerns. When several agents and editors at an RWA (Romance Writers of America) conference said they were looking for historical paranormal I couldn't wrap my mind around anything other than Native American spirits and to me they didn't even feel paranormal, they felt normal!
Alexis:  Now that you explain it, I can see how that rich culture would lend itself so well to a paranormal bent. Your new romance being released this month, Spirit of the Lake, also fits into this category. Can you tell us a little about this book?
Paty: Spirit of the Lake is the second book of my spirit trilogy. The Trilogy follows the Nez Perce Indians from before the Whiteman arrived in their beloved Wallowa country (Spirit of the Mountain) to when the Whiteman arrives ( Spirit of the Lake), to the Nez Perce's run for freedom (Spirit of the Sky). The spirits in the books are siblings. Two brothers and a sister who were saved by the Creator when their father, many, many years before listened to coyote and put greed and selfishness before his own people. The Creator made them spirits. The oldest brother, Himiin, is a white wolf spirit, Wewukiye, the hero in Spirit of the Lake, is a bull elk who lives in the lake as the Nez Perce legend of the antler creature who resides in the lake and when Nez Perce children are bad he comes during the night and takes them to the depths of the lake. And Sa-qan, the sister, is a bald eagle.
In Spirit of the Lake Wewukiye saves a pregnant Nez Perce maiden from killing herself. She has been told to keep the truth about the baby(she was raped by a Whiteman the leaders believe to be their friend) quiet to not cause trouble. The story takes place several years after the U.S. Government once again reneged on a treaty with the Nez Perce. The treaty of 1862 was only signed by half of the Nez Perce and that treaty took away the land the Wallowa band lived on. They remained friendly with the Whiteman in fear of being taken from their home.  Wewukiye decides that the baby is the way to prove the Whiteman's deceit and he sets about helping Dove, the heroine, remain healthy during her pregnancy and he falls for her.
Alexis: That sounds very interesting. Where did you get the idea for this story?
Paty:  I grew up in Wallowa County and have always been fascinated by the Nez Perce. They were a passive band, living off the land, raising prized horses, and until they were pushed from their land had never killed a Whiteman.  So when I decided to show their love for the Wallowa country (book one) How the Whiteman upset their lives(book two) and their flight to freedom (book three) I came up with the spirit element/characters to help me show all of this.
Alexis: It sounds like you know your subject. What kind of research did you have to do for this novel?
Paty: I have a shelf full of books on the Nez Perce. Fiction and non fiction as well as biographical. Half a dozen sites on the internet bookmarked, and I found two Nez Perce on a Nez Perce yahoo loop who were willing to help me out. One was a descendent of Chief Joseph and the other was a woman who had older relatives who could answer the questions I had that she didn't know. Each of these books I spent just about as much time researching as I did writing.
Alexis: I believe it! Do you have any other romance novels in progress that we can look forward to?
Paty: I just finished the third book of this trilogy. I have self published a couple historical westerns of my back list to Kindle and Smashwords.
Alexis: I noticed you write contemporary westerns as well.  What other stories can our readers find written by you?
Paty: I have an action adventure I’m looking for a home for. But if I don’t come up with one soon, I'll self publish. So watch my website and blog to find out what happens there.
Alexis: I understand that Happily Ever After Thoughts is just one of the stops on your two week blog tour and that you have a special contest running. Could you explain to our readers how it works? 
Paty:  Leave a comment on as many of my guest blogs at you can and the person who travels with me the most will receive an autographed copy of Spirit of the Lake, a sweatshirt, and cowboy chocolate. To find all the places I’m visiting go to my blog:  The contest runs from May 18th – May 29th covering thirteen blogs. I'll notify the winner on May 30th. In the event of a tie I will draw a name.
Alexis: Thank you so much for visiting Happily Ever After Thoughts. We like talking about romance novels here and learning about the wonderful authors who write them J
Paty: Thank you for having me here! I enjoyed the interview questions. Please let everyone know that I have a monthly contest on my website  It's not running this month because of the blog tour but will be up again next month. And at my website you can read the first chapters of all my books and find a couple of free reads I have at The Wild Rose Press.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Escaping into a Romance Book

Work is stressful. Heck, life is stressful BUT I consider myself lucky. After a busy day at my day job, I get to come home to my castle, my sanctuary from the world outside…..and bury my nose in a book, preferably a historical. In a historical romance, there are no computers that eat your work and send it off into the cyberspace after you’ve struggled over it for hours. Phones aren’t ringing, demanding your attention. There are no cars to cut you off on the highway, honking at you as you make your way to the job (although some of those carriage/coach drivers were speed demons) and although I’m sure there were traffic jams in cities like London in the 1800’s, they weren’t like ours.  

The pace was slower (for some). The rush of “do it now” seems to be missing - at least in the historicals I read. That’s not to say it wasn’t hard and filled with stresses of another kind.

Think about it. Depending on your station in life, things were certainly different.

Can you imagine what doing the laundry was like? Or what one had to go through just to take a bath? Who among us hasn’t dashed down to the Circle K for a gallon of milk? Can you imagine having to go out to the barn and milking that cow yourself just to have a glass with your cookies? Sewing your own clothes? Not being able to pick up the phone to call a friend or relative? Living in Phoenix without air conditioning?

Still it’s nice to drop into the past and forget all those modern conveniences for a while, don’t you think?

Happy reading!


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Guest Author: Rie McGaha - When the Voices Call

For giveaway, see below

Authors are often asked where they come up with ideas for their stories, and I've noticed the majority of us have the same basic answer – we write whatever the voices in our heads tell us to. Those who aren't authors might think that sounds a tad coo-koo but it is the truth, at least for me.

While there are outside influences such as a place, a song, or even something someone might say to me can inspire an idea, it is still the voices in my head that tell me what to write and where the plot is going. People think I'm joking when I say I am often surprised at what happens in my stories and I have been heard to say, "Wow, I didn't know that would happen," while writing a story.

I've named the dominating voice Melba, not because she's milquetoast but because the name does not depict a young beautiful woman, but a crotchety old hag who is in everybody's business. That is how Melba sounds in my head when I'm writing. She nags at every stroke of the keys, gives me a bad time when I refuse to do things her way, and she purposefully keeps key elements of the plot a secret until the very last moment. I'm not very fond of her, to say the least but she does come up with some great tales for me to tell, so I keep her around.

Melba has recently been on sabbatical. You might think that a good thing, and while I haven't missed the wrinkled little witch one bit, I have been at a loss for new storylines without her. So when she returned today, completely unannounced, of course, I was not exactly thrilled to see her. However, in a never before seen act of contrition from her, she did have the a great idea to finish a book that has been all but forgotten for the past year.

So the next time you pick up a book, or open your e-reader, take into consideration what an author goes through while creating the masterpiece in your hands. And while I am sitting here with Melba chattering in my ear, at least she quit drinking.

Excerpt from CALEN:

She stood on the other side of the fire and watched him sleep. He was more beautiful in person than he was in her dreams. His face was soft in repose, and she walked slowly to him, careful not to make any sound that might wake him. Kneeling beside him, her fingers itched to touch the smooth skin of his face. How she wanted to trace her fingers over those full, kissable lips, to his high cheekbones, along his jaw, and over his brow. Her lips tingled at the thought of pressing them against his.

He slept without a shirt, and the sight of his bare chest caused her breath to catch in her throat. His skin was tanned from the summer sun, and she wanted to touch the golden hair on his chest. To trace a line down his body to where more hair covered his stomach and then disappeared in a trail below the band of his leather breeches. Wondering what else lay below that line, she wanted to know if the bottom half of him was as beautiful as the top.

She hugged her knees tightly to her chest to give her hands something to do, or else she knew she would touch him. And that was not allowed. She'd broken the rules just by being with him now, but she was not actually making contact with the mortal. Not a word had been spoken between then, she had not reached for him, nor had she wakened him. Oh, she wanted to wake him—to wake him and do much more—but time had run out, and she needed to get back or she would be missed. She sat for a moment longer and when he stirred, she caught her breath. He settled back into sleep, and, impulsively, she softly kissed his brow. Then she was gone.

To buy CALEN, by Rie McGaha, click on this link:

For more information on Rie, go to 

For a chance to win GROUNDED by Rie McGaha, simply post a comment.  Winner will be pulled Wednesday morning.  Good luck :-)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Review: Deadly Fear by Cynthia Eden

What better than to have a hunted heroine, Monica, stuck with the man, Luke, whom she most wants to avoid?

Monica and Luke are both heroes in their work as FBI agents.  Agents that bring down serial killers.  After a long separation, their current assignment together brings them to a little burg in Mississippi.  The serial killer targets young woman and a few men that get in the way.  He uses their biggest fears to taunt them and ultimately kill them.

Monica knows the minds of criminals, especially those who murder.  She gets in and becomes them, knowing what they will do next.  Luke needs to protect the citizens.  Luke needs to protect Monica from the killer and herself because she may get in too far and not come back.

The real Monica…she loves Luke, has never had better, and won’t allow herself the pleasure again.

The real Luke…he loves Monica, has never had better, and is determined to break her icy shield. 

Cynthia Eden puts a lot of trust in her characters to successfully overcome a burdened work load along with a few spare minutes to discover love.  Are her characters strong enough for this?  Grab a coffee, possibly a chunk of chocolate, and your favorite reading seat and I dare you to be afraid to read Deadly Fear.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Guest Author Interview: Margaret Mallory

Alexis: Happy Mother’s Day everyone! What a great day to have Margaret Mallory visiting Happily Ever After Thoughts. After all, what’s a better gift to those of us who are moms than a wonderful romance novel? What is truly great about Margaret’s most recent release is that it is just the beginning of a series, so THE GUARDIAN is the type of gift that will keep giving ;-)

Welcome to Happily Ever After Thoughts, Margaret. We are so pleased to have you and I, for one, love a great series. Where did you get the idea for the Return of the Highlanders Series?

Margaret: For a historical backdrop, I look for a time of conflict and great change. I decided to set my series in the wake of the Scots devastating defeat to Henry VIII’s forces in 1513 at the Battle of Flodden. Thousands of Scots were killed, including the Scottish king and many nobles and chieftains. I have my four heroes fighting in France at the time, and they return to find their clan in peril, their king and chieftain dead, and everything changed.

Alexis: What a great backdrop for a romance, built-in tension for both setting and characters. What are your favorite character traits of Sileas and Ian?

Margaret: I like Sileas inner strength, resilience, and loyalty. When things get bad, she really shines. 

 I admire Ian’s driving need to save his clan, right the wrongs of his past, and redeem himself.

Alexis: This story is obviously based in the thick of a long-standing historical conflict. What kind of research did you have to do for this novel?

Margaret: I was lucky to be able to visit Scotland last summer. It made a big difference to see the castles and countryside I was writing about in this series. I also found places that I hadn’t planned to include in my books but decided I had to work in. ;)

I spent quite a bit of time researching clan histories. When I found that the first chieftain of the MacDonalds of Sleat had six sons by six different women and that the animosity between these six half-brothers led to two generations of violence and murder, I knew I’d found the clan for my heroes.

My characters would be speaking Gaelic, so I listened to Gaelic for the cadence of the speech. I also looked for Gaelic expressions and had fun including some of them in THE GUARDIAN.

Alexis: Since I consider Scotland my home away from home, I can completely understand your need to add a few more locations after visiting. It is truly the perfect country for romance, heroic action, and historical upheaval. And I have to say that historical romances have always held a special place in my heart.  What was the first historical romance you ever read? First Scottish historical?

Margaret: It’s hard to remember the first historical, but it might have been a Judith McNaught or Georgette Heyer. My first and favorite Scottish historical is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

Alexis: Ah, yes. Diana’s is truly a classic. You said you’d visited Scotland. Which is your favorite Scottish Castle and why?

Margaret: I can’t choose! Edinburgh Castle is majestic and huge, sitting up on a volcanic rock. Stirling Castle is stunning. Urquhart is in ruins and is in a gorgeous setting on Loch Ness. I could go on… 

Alexis: I do know how hard it is to decide on just one.  I can’t decide either though Doune, Dunnottar, and Kilchurn are definitely at the top J

Margaret, thank you so much for stopping by. Here at Happily Ever After Thoughts, we love romances and enjoy meeting the lovely people who create them for us.

Blog readers!  If you want a chance to win Margaret’s book, THE GUARDIAN, be sure to leave her a comment and we will pull a winner Wednesday morning. If you want to learn more about Margaret and her new series go to

Check out this excerpt from THE GUARDIAN:

The room fell away as Ian stared at the young woman who stood in the glow of the firelight. Her hair was the most beautiful shade of red he had ever seen. It fell in gleaming waves and framed a face so lovely it squeezed his heart to look at her.

When she lifted her gaze and met his, the air went out of him. There was something very familiar about this lovely, green-eyed lass, but Ian could not place her.

"Ian." Alex jabbed him in the ribs.

Ian knew he should stop staring at her, but he couldn't help himself.

"Hmmph," Alex grunted as he pushed past Ian. He strode across the room and greeted the young woman with a kiss on her cheek, as if he knew her well. "Ach, you are a sight to behold," Alex said. "If I were your husband, Sìleas, ye can be sure I wouldn't have kept ye waiting a single day."

Sìleas? Ian shook his head. Nay, this could not be...

The young woman was nothing like the scrawny thirteen-year-old he remembered. Instead of gawky limbs and pointed elbows, she had graceful lines and rounded curves that made his throat go dry.

"Welcome home," the young woman said to Alex in the kind of throaty voice a man wanted to hear in the dark.

"Ye two must be hungry after your travels. Come, Sìleas, let us get these men fed," his mother said, taking the lass by the arm. His mother gave him a wide-eyed look over her shoulder, the kind she used to give him when he was a lad and had committed some grievous error in front of company.

When Ian started to follow the two women to the table, Alex hauled him back. "Are ye an idiot?" Alex hissed in his face. "Ye didn't even greet Sìleas. What's the matter with ye?"

"Are ye sure that's Sìleas?" Ian said, leaning to the side so he could see past Alex to the red-haired lass.

"Of course it is, ye fool," Alex said. "Did ye no hear your mam just say her name?"

From the corner of his eye, Ian saw the back of Sìleas's skirt disappearing up the stairs. It occurred to him he had the right to follow her up and take her to bed. Tonight. Right now. Before supper, if he wanted. And again, after. The part of him between his legs was giving him an emphatic "Aye!"

His reaction startled him. For five long years, he had planned to end the marriage as soon as he returned. He'd harbored not a single doubt.

But he made that plan before she turned into this enchanting lass with curves that would have him dreaming of her naked as soon as he closed his eyes.

Aye, he most definitely wanted to take Sìleas to bed. Any man would. The question, however, was whether he wanted her to be the last woman he ever took to his bed.

Alexis:  Remember to post a comment for a chance to win this awesome book J

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Do You People Watch?

Do you ever people watch?

This is one of my favorite pastimes and I’m always curious about the people who pass me by. If I was the type of person who could approach strangers, I’d want to ask “What’s your story?” because everyone has a story to tell.

People watching is a great way to study emotion and body language, to study how they interact with others. Are they friends, relatives, lovers, husbands and wives, girlfriends taking a break from families to shop and laugh and maybe have lunch?

I saw the cutest couple the other day as I was doing my grocery shopping. An elderly man and his equally elderly wife were walking up and down the aisle at my local grocery store. I knew they were married (and must have been married for a very long time) just by the way they interacted with each other. He was so solicitous of her, touching her hand gently, asking her opinion as they chose what to put in the basket, asking her if she felt all right, did she want to sit down. And she, looking at him with complete and utter adoration as she gripped the handle of the grocery cart, reminding him he shouldn’t choose things with so much salt as she wanted him to be around for a long time.

They must have been in their mid-eighties and as I watched them, I couldn’t help thinking how lucky they were to have each other, to still love each other with such passion…..oh, yes, passion. It was evident in the way they spoke to each other, touched each other, looked at each other. I smiled at them both as I passed by, grateful I had seen a glimpse of their love, oddly pleased I had witnessed such an ordinary thing like grocery shopping turn into a wonderful experience.

And isn’t that one of the reasons we read romances? To catch of peek of a love that lasts a lifetime? To witness it first hand within the pages of a book?

Happy Reading


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Guest Author: Caris Roane

Alexis: Happy May Day everyone!  Our guest author today is Paranormal Romance writer Caris Roane and she's giving away two signed books, so be sure to leave a comment. 

Hi Caris. Welcome to Happily Ever After Thoughts.  Thank you so much for coming.  You had a long career writing Regency Romances before you moved into the Paranormal realm. Can you tell us what, if anything, you have brought from your Regency days to your Paranormal work?

Caris:  I would have to say that I brought a love of world-building into my paranormal work.  When you write either a Regency or a Paranormal, it’s all about the world. 
So, let me give you an example of my favorite part of any ‘world’ and how world-building helps with that:  SUPER HUNKY GORGEOUS MEN!  There…I’ve said it!

So you take a Regency buck and put him in a shoulder-fitting coat made of blue superfine (and naturally he has broad muscular shoulders) then you add a pair of snug buckskins and of course he’s lean, muscular, and fit from riding horses his entire life!  So…we’re talking Regency yummy, a hero fit for his Regency world!

Now, in a paranormal, you take a hunky vampire warrior and deck him out in a black leather kilt, black leather wrist guards spiked with silver studs, and a weapons harness.  Put a thirty-inch sword in his hand and let the battle fly.  He’s now fit for his paranormal world!

Voila—totally different genres but the same essential details necessary to building the world—or would that be man-building… *knees turning to water here*! 

Must cool down…next question??? 

Alexis:  Oh, I much prefer man-building!
You have a new romance being released this month, Burning Skies. How does this book fit into the Guardians of Ascension Series?
Caris:  Burning Skies is book #2 in my Guardians of Ascension series.  The story develops the relationship between Warrior Marcus and his woman, Havily.  Both characters, and their intense attraction to each other, began in the first book, Ascension.  However, if you pick up Burning Skies first, don’t worry…this is a stand-alone read! 

The overall idea behind the series—other than the super-hot romance of each novel—is that Second Earth, or the second dimension, has reached a point of crisis in which all may be lost if the ruler of the world, Endelle, and her elite band of warriors, fail to hold the villain at bay. 

As for the storyline of Burning Skies, Havily experiences a sudden emergence of unusual preternatural power and because of this, the enemy decides she must be destroyed.  After she’s seriously attacked by a death vampire and could have been killed, our gorgeous vampire hero, Marcus, must make one of the toughest decisions of his life; should he leave behind the life he’s built for himself as an exile on Mortal Earth, or should he return to Second Earth to serve as Havily’s Guardian of Ascension?    In the process of battling the enemy, Marcus and Havily fall deeply in love and very deeply *ahem* into bed!

Alexis: I read the first book, Ascension.  Actually, I put my review of that book in my last post. I really can’t wait to see Marcus and Havily's story. Since she wasn’t too happy about him having abandoned Second Earth, I’m sure the sparks are going to fly. Where did you get the idea for this series?

Caris:   When I first read Sherrilyn Kenyon a few years ago, I was completely enchanted with her Dark Hunter series so I started toying with the idea of creating my own vampire warrior series.  Of course, I didn’t want to go the mythology route as Sherrilyn did, although I was seriously tempted, but I did want to create a world as big as the one Sherrilyn had constructed.  I thought if I could develop the concept of ascending dimensions, to which people were called through longings and through dreams, then we could possibly move through all six dimensions in the course of a very long series.  Will I actually get to do that?  I have noooo idea, although I’d love to.  I see this first part of the series on Second Earth going the length of ten books in order to create a final vanquishing of our super-villain—and yes, I already have these books planned out.  But after that, if the readers want more, I really want to go to Third Earth, with a whole new set of hunky warriors, new powers, and an even larger world-based conflict than the one on Second Earth.  And it would be soooo much fun!

Alexis: That sounds absolutely awesome, Caris!  I love a series that keeps going. I think it gives a reader a chance to get comfortable with a whole cast of characters. What are your favorite character traits, physical traits, powers, of Havily and Marcus?

Caris:  From early on, I had this image burned into my mind about Marcus, that he had this slash of eyebrows over light brown eyes.  He’s a very intense man, something he ought to be having lived on Second Earth 4,000 years and having created a financial empire on Mortal Earth.  As for Havily, she has a wonderful and very positive fashion sense.  She prefers Ralph Lauren and always has her make-up done perfectly.  These traits made her exactly right for Marcus, who basically has lived in the public eye for centuries, and as the story progresses this becomes even more significant.  But beyond all that, what ends up driving the story is her ability to do darkening work, to move through nether-space, and to do a split-self!  And by the way, all of those powers really begin to make sense as Burning Skies cooks along!

Alexis: Hmm, then what kind of research did you have to do for this novel?

Caris:  Fashion research for one because of Havily’s preferences, but that was a lot of fun.  I first got the idea by glancing through Vanity Fair.  I remember opening the cover and seeing an outfit and knowing that I was looking at something Havily would wear.  That was awesome.  It was a fairly simple leap after that, to put Marcus in Tom Ford.  BTW, some of the Tom Ford products have the sexiest ads ever, just sayin’.

Alexis: I’m not too in tune with the latest fashions, but I think I may just have to check out those ads J This series is so exciting! When can we expect the next book and do you have any other romance novels in the works that we can look forward to?

Caris:  Burning Skies was just released on April 26th!  Isn’t that fantastic!  With this series, St. Martin’s and I were committed from the beginning to bring three books a year to the marketplace.  My reason for three books was simple:  if the fans loved the series, I didn’t want them to have to wait that long for the next installment!!!  So far, it’s working out really well.  As a matter of fact, I just finished the fourth book, Born of Ashes, which will hit the shelves early next year.  The third book, Wings of Fire, is a September release.  I will also have a novella out sometime in May, based on the series, called, Brink of Eternity.

Alexis: We all know that writing is lonely, hard, committed work. What would say is your favorite part of being a Romance Novelist?

Caris:  I’m very fortunate, because in so many respects I’m extremely well-suited to being a novelist.  For one thing, I love being alone.  I gain a tremendous amount of nourishment from my alone time so in that respect writing has never been a hardship.  But my absolute favorite part about being a romance novelist is that I get to write the books I love the most, the ones, like your blog’s name, with the Happily Ever After.  Come on, what’s better than that?!?

Alexis: Good point J Thank you so much Caris, for visiting Happily Ever After Thoughts. We like talking about romance novels here and learning about the wonderful authors who write them.

Caris:  And thank you for having me!  I’ve really enjoyed sharing my thoughts with you and your readers today! 

Something I always like to know from those readers who love paranormals is what power they’d like to have above all others…or even powers as in plural!  I’d love the power to heal, that would be awesome.  But I’d also love to be able to dematerialize from place to place.  Talk about saving on traveling costs!   So readers, what power would really turn you on!?!
Alexis: Be sure to comment for a chance to win a signed copy of one of Caris' books. She's giving away Ascension and Burning Skies.  Winner will be picked Wednesday morning.
If you want to learn more about Caris Roane and her fascinating series, go to