Category Archives: Interviews

Interview with author Sondrae Bennett

PictureI am ridiculously ecstatic to have Sondrae Bennett on my blog today! I love her Alpine Shifter series, the latest book, Covert Desires (review here) was fantastic! I was excited to get the chance to ask her some questions about the series and am happy to share the interview with you. Enjoy and make sure you check out Sondrae’s website so you can check out all the books in this series. Onto the interview!

A Bookworm’s Haven (ABWH): Can you tell us a little bit about Covert Desires for those who might not have read it?

Sondrae Bennett (SB): Sure, Covert Desires is the fifth book in my Alpine Woods Shifters series and picks up where the last book, Worth Fighting For, leaves off (although it does read as a stand-alone if needed). In Covert Desires, Covert DesiresAmber comes to Alpine Woods undercover to determine the cause of an outbreak of violent riots in the area. Danny, one of the wolf shifters who run the local pack, knows what she is, and sets out to lead her away from any shifter activity. So the book starts out with both characters deceiving the other, and follows them through love and beyond.

ABWH: Do you have a favorite scene from Covert Desires? I personally loved the whole rock climbing scene because it felt like a turning point in their relationship and the hot make-out session when they sneak away for a minute. ;)

SB: Thanks! The rock climbing scene is a good one, but I think my favorite scene is when Danny tries to get Amber to go out with him again. I find it really amusing that Amber can’t resist Danny even when she sets out to do exactly that.

Artic WindsABWH: I am hoping with the way you ended this book that Laurie is going to get her book next. *crosses fingers* If it is not Laurie, can you tell us which sibling is up next in the Alpine Shifters world?

SB: Yes, Laurie will be the next book in the series, but I’m still in the planning phase and will probably begin writing it in January. Her story will open up a whole bunch of new characters, at least one of which will get a story of his own after that. Before Laurie’s story though, I have at least one book outside the series releasing. Keep your eyes out for Kalindra next May. It’s another paranormal romance and I’m very excited about it.

ABWH: If Covert Desires could be made into a movie, who would your dream cast be for Danny and Amber? Worth Fighting For

SB: Sometimes when I write, I have clear actors in mind for a character. Julie from The Wolf Within would have absolutely been played by Bridget Regan (with her dark hair). But I don’t know who I would get to play Danny or Amber, so I would probably hold auditions and go with some unknown actors.

ABWH: You have created a fascinating world you in the Alpine Shifters novellas, with lovable characters and great shifter mythology. Which comes first for you? The character’s story or the idea for the novel?

SB: A little bit of both I suppose. The books are very character driven. That’s just how I write. Without a clear idea of who the characters are, I can’t put them on paper. But I also have a rough idea of the plot as well. Especially in the last three which have all grown from the conflict in the previous books.

The Wolf WithinABWH: Have you ever read or seen yourself as a character in a book or a movie?

SB: This is a hard one! I’d love to say yes, but I can’t think of any. I certainly see aspects of myself in characters. For that matter, I see parts of my personality in every character I write. But I can’t think of one character I’ve read or seen that personifies me. There are plenty I wish I was more like, though, lol.

ABWH: Who are some authors that are on your must read list?

SB: I love this question. Shelly Laurenston is one of my favorites. She adds humor into her books so beautifully, and I absolutely adore every character she writes. Patricia Briggs is another. Both her Mercy Thompson series and her Alpha and Omega series are among my favorites. I also love Maya Banks, Lauren Dane, Kresley Cole, and Karen Marie Moning (there are no words to describe how amazing the Fever series is).

ABWH: What is something you have to have with you chasingparadise when writing?

SB: Paper and pencil. Even though I write on the computer, I’m constantly jotting down notes in a notebook. That and something to drink, usually coffee or some fancy latte beverage. Food nice, too, but have to have the beverage.

ABWH: Is there anything you are working on now that you are really excited about?

SB: Well, as I mentioned above, I’m in edits for Kalindra, which will be releasing in May. At one point, I was bawling as I wrote one of the scenes, and I’m excited to see if the emotions come through for readers like I hope they did. I also am working on a completely different book at the moment that’s very mystical and very soft paranormal, presently titled Bring Me To Life, that is still early in the writing phase, but I have big hopes for it. After that, it’ll be on to Laurie’s story which I can already tell is going to be a lot of fun. So lots of good things on the horizon.kalindra_cover

ABWH: Thanks so much for being here today Sondrae! Is there anything that you would like to add?

SB: Thank you for having me! If anyone is interested in learning more, my website is www.sondraebennett.com and all my books can be found on Amazon, B&N, and digital bookstores everywhere. That and I’ll be checking back throughout the day, so if anyone has any questions, I’d be happy to answer them!

Want to know more about Sondrae? Find her in the following places.

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

Blurb for Covert Desires:

Will desire be enough once all their secrets are revealed?

Still recovering from a traumatic assignment, Amber is wary of the man who shows up at her door with a plate of cookies and a welcoming smile. Instinct warns her he’s not all he seems. Then again, neither is she. Since she was sent to root out the secrets of the town and its people, she might as well accept his invitation to dinner. But when things start to heat up between them, will her loyalty lie with her job, or the man trying to win her heart?

Danny knows Amber is an FBI agent. Tasked by his brothers and the shifter council to keep her from discovering too much, he sets out to seduce her, a perfect cover to keep an eye on her and make sure she doesn’t learn about his pack or their society. He hadn’t counted on a blazing attraction at first sight, though. His wolf knows Amber is his mate, and he’ll do anything to keep her safe and happy. But how can he reveal everything he is, and everything he’s been keeping from her, without losing her forever?

Interview with Vessel Author Sarah Beth Durst

I am so incredibly excited to have author Sarah Beth Durst here with me today to answer some questions. Her latest novel Vessel (review here) was amazing, just like all her book are. So let’s get onto the questions and learn more about her and the worlds she creates.

A Bookworm’s Haven (ABWH): Can you tell us a little bit about Vessel for those who might have read it yet?

Sarah Beth Durst (SBD): VESSEL is a sweeping epic adventure set in a harsh desert land where serpents made of unbreakable glass fly through the sky and wolves made of only sand hunt within storms. Liyana is destined to be a vessel, to sacrifice herself so her clan’s goddess can inhabit her body… but her goddess never comes.

ABWH: The mythology in Vessel was absolutely amazing! All of those stories telling the about tribes traditions and history gave the story a very distinctive touch and really helped us get to know the characters in a unique way. Did you draw on stories you already knew to create those or were those stories your own creation?

SBD: I drew on the essence of myths — the universal themes, the archetypes, the feel of an ancient storytelling tradition — but the stories themselves are mine. So happy you liked them!

ABWH: Do you have a favorite scene from Vessel? I loved Liyana’s strong will and determination, especially when she finally meets the Emperor.

SBD: I loved writing that scene:

“You do realize that you are addressing the emperor of the Crescent Empire.”

“And you are addressing a free woman of the desert. You are not my emperor. Therefore I am your equal.”

(She says this while in the heart of a massive encampment of enemy soldiers.)

I also really loved writing the scene when Liyana first meets Korbyn, the trickster god. He walks out of a sandstorm to save her, and she threatens to skewer him with a knife.

ABWH: If you could describe Liyana, Korbyn and the Emperor in just three words each, what would they be?

SBD: Liyana: brave, determined, practical. Korbyn: clever, passionate, fun. The Emperor: serious, responsible, compassionate.

ABWH: If you could choose to belong to one of the clans in Vessel which one would you chose and why?

SBD: Liyana’s clan, the goat clan. Her family truly loves one another. Plus I really like goat cheese.

ABWH: The world you created in Vessel was brilliant and had vibrant characters that lived within it. Which comes first for you? The character’s story or the idea for the novel?

SBD: I knew I wanted to write about a desert. A couple years ago, I wrote about the Arctic in my polar bear novel, ICE, and I lived inside a frozen world. This time, I wanted to immerse myself in sand and sun. So I researched the Gobi, the Sahara, and other deserts, and I meshed them together and added magic: sand wolves, sky serpents, monstrous worms, gods and goddesses that inhabit human bodies… Liyana danced her way into this magic desert in a dream. One night, I dreamed about a barefoot girl dancing on the sand in the moonlight. She was dancing joyfully, yet she knew that at the end of the dance, she’d die. And that was it to the dream, but it was enough to fuel the entire novel.

ABWH: Have you ever read or seen yourself as a character in a book or a movie?

SBD: I picture myself inside virtually every fantasy world that I read or see. As a kid, I used to routinely check my closet for a gateway to Narnia. As an adult, I know that the gateway is through a book.

ABWH: What types of books do you like to read in your free time? Are there any authors/series that you must have when they come out?

SBD: I read exactly the same kinds of books that I write. Really, I believe the old adage “write what you know” should be “write what you love.” I love fantasy. I love stories that sweep you away on an adventure and leave you feeling that the world is a bit more wonderful than it was before. My one must-have author is (and has been for years) Tamora Pierce.

ABWH: What things do you have to have with you when writing?

SBD: I write best if I have my computer. (I type a lot faster than I can write long hand.) Also, I like to have a glass of water on hand. And a bathroom nearby. Other than that, I don’t need much. Except maybe chocolate. Chocolate is my muse.

ABWH: Is there anything you are working on now that you are really excited about?

SBD: Yes, I have two new projects that I’m really excited about: SWEET NOTHINGS (coming fall 2013 from Bloomsbury/Walker) is a YA thriller about a girl in the paranormal witness protection program, and THE LOST (coming fall 2013 from Harlequin/Luna) is the first in a trilogy for adults about a woman who is trapped in a town full of only lost things and lost people.

ABWH: Do you have anything you would like to add?

SBD: Thanks so much for interviewing me!

Savage Hunger Blog Tour: Interview with Terry Spear and Giveaway!

I am very excited to have author Terry Spear with me here today! Her new paranormal romance novel, Savage Hunger, was a fantastic read and I am thankful that she took the time today to answer some questions for me. The publisher for Savage Hunger has also been gracious enough to offer one copy of Savage Hunger for me to give away, yay! So make sure to check out that at the end of the interview.

A Bookworm’s Haven (ABWH): Can you tell us a little bit about Savage Hunger for those who might not have read it?

Terry Spear (TS): Sure. Twice Connor Anderson is on vacation with his sister, Maya, in the Amazon when they are in their jaguar forms enjoying being one with their big cat halves and he has to rescue Kathleen McKnight. Maya knows from the last time he’d rescued the human Army officer on a drug mission gone bad, that he has real feelings for her. And so she does what any good sister would do who wants him to be happy and expand the family. When the drug cartel leader learns Kathleen has returned to his neck of the woods, he will stop at nothing to get her back and it’s a fight to the finish to return her safely to the States. Connor might have wanted to send her back as quickly as he could because he had no intention of turning her into one of their kind, if they can even do so, but soon all of that changes and Connor has no intention of letting her go.

ABWH: Do you have a favorite scene from Savage Hunger? I personally loved the tension that was building in the scene with the waterfall. ;)

TS: LOL, yeah, I REALLY loved that scene. I “edited” it a lot. Which means, I just kept rereading it for fun. I also had a lot of fun with Kat in the tree when she was supposed to shift and the other shifter came to rescue her. I could just see myself in that predicament. And then there was the scene where she’s on the plane, and… LOL I had a lot of really fun scenes in the story that I did a LOT of rereading.

ABWH: I saw on your website that the next book will be called Jaguar Fever. Can you tell us little about it? I am hoping that it will focus on Maya and maybe Wade? *crosses fingers*

TS: Absolutely! Wade doesn’t expect to meet Maya when he is checking out a shifter club in Houston to learn if a buyer for an exotic animal trafficking ring is going to turn up. Maya shows up unexpectedly to meet cousins she didn’t know she and her brother had, nor had she known a shifter club existed. Not only does Wade learn she’s Connor’s sister, not his wife, and that she’s very available, she’s joining her brother and Kat in Belize for a jungle jaunt in the same vicinity as hunters are descending, who are looking to capture a jaguar. Wade and his brother, David, are part of a shifter Special Forces unit that were headed down there to take care of the jaguar smugglers, but now they have a new mission: keep Maya out of trouble until they can do their job and see her safely home. The tables turn and she’s the one protecting the Special Forces hunk, which has him growling for more of her “protection.”

ABWH: If Savage Hunger could be made into a movie, who would your dream cast be for Kat and Connor?

TS: I have trouble with actors’ and actresses’ names and before I know it they’re too old to play the parts. :) So new blood would sound good to me. Of course if Thor was to play the part of Connor…

ABWH: Your description of the Amazon and animals that live there are so vivid! I have never even heard of pink dolphins or pirarucu. Have you been to the Amazon before or did you research for this book in another way?

TS: Some years ago I was doing a pink blog—everything pink, and I ran across pictures of pink dolphins. I thought, nah, just Photoshopped. But they weren’t! They were real! So I did a lot of website research and included them in the story. I hadn’t ever heard of the Pirarucu either, but as I was looking for videos showing jaguars hunting prey, I found one that showed a jaguar fishing for the Pirarucu. I read several articles about them and found other pictures showcasing men who had caught them. Fascinating! The description in the book where Conner has gone hunting for the fish was based on watching the jaguar hunt the catfish.

I also read blogs of people who had visited the jungle to learn what problems they encountered—insects, the kind of clothes they needed to wear. Researched plant life. The weather. Spoke with a man who had been to the jungle several times, but didn’t include how sick he and his friends had gotten drinking the water even after boiling it! Talked to a coworker’s sister who had gone on a mission trip down there and brought back a piranha. She was the one who mentioned that as it rained, they didn’t get wet because the water caught on all the leaves because the canopy was so thick.

ABWH: Have you ever read or seen yourself as a character in a book or a movie?

TS: Sure. In my books, as I’m writing the characters, I have to feel what they’re feeling, see what they see, smell what they smell, taste what they taste. It’s a way to experience the emotions, sounds, and sights so that the reader can sense these things also when they read the scenes. I was writing a scene where the heroine has really angered the hero in Jaguar Fever. He doesn’t know what’s going on. She can’t tell him because she knows he won’t go along with her plan, but it’s really important that she succeed. I have to feel the anger she has while in her point of view, and guess how he will react to the way she’s acting. I have to feel his anger, and how he finally won’t stand for it any longer. It’s not really me. But to make it feel real, I have to be the people in the story.

ABWH: Who are some authors that are on your must-read list?

TS: I’ve really gotten hooked on JR Ward’s brotherhood series, Sara Humphrey’s Amoveo Legend series and I read everything Highland and time travels when I can get my hands on them.

ABWH: What is something you have to have with you when writing?

TS: Green tea. I’m told it’s good for you. I have to do something that’s good for me! Besides just writing!

ABWH: Can you share what you are working on now?

TS: I’m working on the final touches of A SEAL Wolf Christmas. I couldn’t let Bjornolf go off into the sunset without giving him more of a workout, and he’s working out with one undercover agent who’s just what he needs to make sure he keeps in shape. Sure there’s murder and mayhem, and all that stuff. But also it’s about family and pack and the spirit of Christmas.

ABWH: Thanks so much for being here today Terry! Is there anything that you would like to add?

TS: Thanks so much to fans of my wolf series who are willing to take on the big cats now too! To the jaguar shifters, werewolves are only fantasy. But we know better. To the werewolves, big cat shifters don’t exist. But when zoo man Thompson gets involved, poor human that he is…fantasy becomes reality. Thanks for having me and enjoy the world of the jaguar shifters who have an even stronger more deadly bite than wolves! But can be just as loveable.

SAVAGE HUNGER BY TERRY SPEAR – OCTOBER 2012
USA Today bestselling author Terry Spear has captured hearts worldwide by wrapping the realities of nature into the glorious romance of the wild. Now, she turns her award—winning imagination from the sexy werewolf hunt to the intense sizzle of jaguar shape-shifters.

As a jaguar he is graceful and gorgeous…

Speedy and stealthy…
Fierce, independent, and wild…

As a man he is passionate and powerful…

Willful and wonderful…
And he’ll stop at nothing to protect what’s his…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Terry Spear has written a couple of dozen paranormal romance novels and two medieval Highland historical romances. Her first werewolf romance, Heart of the Wolf, was named a 2008 Publishers Weekly’s Best Book of the Year, and her subsequent titles have garnered high praise and hit the USA Today bestseller list. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry lives in Crawford, Texas, where she is working on her next werewolf romance and continuing her new series about shapeshifting jaguars. For more information, please visit http://www.terryspear.com, or follow her on Twitter, @TerrySpear. She is also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/terry.spear .

Now for the giveaway. Thanks to the awesome publisher I have one copy of Savage Hunger up for grabs. The contest will run from today until midnight on Friday November 2nd 2012. As for the rules, you need to be a US or Canadian resident, only one entry per person. I will give you a bonus entry though if you promote this giveaway social media (twitter, facebook, etc.). Just fill out the form below to be entered for a chance to win. Good luck.