A little late, so sorry.

Eternal Flame…Or Why I Still Like Those Bad Boys

By: Cynthia Eden

Once upon a time, there was a hero with a bit of a dark past (way more than a bit). He wasn’t perfect (so far from it). In fact, he had a very, very bad side. He wasn’t a white knight. He was, um, a demon. He could control fire, slip into the minds of humans, and generally cause chaos with a glance.

I loved that hero.  J

Sure, some girls like to write about white knights, but for me, I prefer writing about a more battered and dangerous hero. The hero in my latest novel, ETERNAL FLAME (available 11/30/10) from Kensington Brava, is such a dangerous guy. Zane Wynter is a demon. He’s spent years hunting real-life monsters, and when he’s given his latest assignment, he figures he’ll just be taking down another killer.

Except the killer he’s after turns out to be far more than he expected.

Yes, the “killer” is my heroine—what can I say? I think I like writing about bad girls, too!

Maybe it’s because in real-life, I always do the good girl routine. I bake cookies for my son’s class. I host parties for friends. I always look both ways when I cross the street. All good.

Sometimes, though, you just want to be bad.  So I let my bad side out in my books. I let my characters be as dark and wild as they’d like to be….and I have a blast writing about them.

What about you?  Are you a real-life good-girl?  Do you have a secret crush on the bad boys?  Share with me! One commenter will win a copy of ETERNAL FLAME.

Thanks for checking out my post!

Cynthia Eden

THE NAUGHTY LIST–Available now from Kensington Brava
ETERNAL FLAME–Available 11/30/10 from Kensington Brava

Meaningful comments answering Cynthia’s question y’all!!

Terri Garey creator of Nicki Styx and Sammy Divine

Thank you so much for joining us today, Terri.

I love Nicki Styx.  I remember discovering DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY and how I just lost myself for a while.  Can you tell us, for those who might not be acquainted with Nicki, a little about Nicki and her series?

Nicki Styx is a free-spirited, Southern goth girl who runs a vintage clothing store just outside Atlanta.  A near death experience changes her life, leaving her with the ability to see and hear the dead, though she’d far prefer they remain invisible.

She’s got a major mystery on her hands when one of her friends is murdered, and she ends up in some deep voodoo!  It’s a mixture of funny, scary, mysterious and sexy, as Nicki ends up falling in love with the hunky doctor who saved her life.

DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY won the 2008 RITA© Award from Romance Writers of America for Best First Book, and was also nominated for Best Paranormal.  It also won the 2009 PRISM Award for Best Light Paranormal.  There are four books in the series: DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY, A MATCH MADE IN HELL, YOU’RE THE ONE THAT I HAUNT, and SILENT NIGHT, HAUNTED NIGHT.

How much of you is in Nicki, if any?

Nicki is who I’d like to be, minus the “seeing ghosts” part. J Her sense of humor is mine, and I’d kill for her hair, but other than that, we lead very different lives, as I got married at a young age, skipping the “wild child” phase.  (Darnit!)

Why did you choose the Atlanta area for Nicki?

Little Five Points, just outside of Atlanta, is a really cool place.  The first time I saw it I knew it would make a great setting for a book, particularly if the book was a bit quirky.  J I have family in the area, and visit often.

Do you plot everything out or go with the flow?

I’m not the type of person to plot a book from start to finish before I sit down to write it.  I’m afraid I find that a bit flat, because part of what I love about writing are those “Aha!” moments when you see something you didn’t initially see, or write something you didn’t plan on writing. I start with an idea, get to know my characters, and plot a few chapters ahead as I go along.  It works well for me.

Who’s in control, you or the characters?

I find it puzzling when writers say their characters are the ones in charge.  Yes, they’re very real to me—they have to be, if I’m going to make them real for the reader, but I’M the writer.  Everything that goes on is in my imagination, which I then transfer to the page.

What coaxes your muse to visit or are you one of the lucky ones?

Hmm… some days are easier than others.  Some days the words just flow, some days I have to pry them out with a crowbar.

Have you ever been blocked?

Yes, but luckily, never for very long.

Can you tell us a bit about DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE, the first in your upcoming DEVIL’S BARGAIN series?  I’ve read the excerpt on your blog.  I’ve got to tell you, I can hardly wait!

Those of you who are familiar with my past books might remember the character of Sammy (Satan) Divine.  Oh, that Sammy… he’s got a story to tell, that one. And he’s determined to tell it his own way, in his own time, with a wicked wink, a killer grin and a bad boy swagger. Once divine, now cast down, forever blamed for the seduction of Eve and the destruction of Paradise, the angel once known as Samael has his own version of mankind’s fall from grace, believing he was the one tempted. Earthbound and damned, he’s lurked in the shadows for centuries, tormenting the humans he felt were responsible for the loss of his wings.

Now he has a chance to do something about it by taking on the job for which he was originally created — that of a guardian angel — but will the lure of Darkness be too strong? John Milton said: ‘Better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven’, and now Sammy has to decide the truth of that for himself.

I was really psyched to learn that my editor had sent it to one of my FAVORITE authors for an early review, and here’s what she said:

Devil Without a Cause is a smouldering blend of darkness and sensuality, with a villain so unique, he gave me nightmares AND fantasies. Erotic, alluring and edgy, I couldn’t put this book down!”

Jeaniene Frost, NYT bestselling author

Woohoo!!  J

High praise indeed!  Kudos & I’m counting down the days until I can get my hands on it!

What do you do to “regenerate”?

I walk, I read, I unwind in the evening with a glass of wine.

Is there anything special you’d like to share?

Just a big “Thank you for having me!”, and hope you enjoy the books!

Thanks so much for taking the time to visit us Terri, I’ve enjoyed it…Those of you who haven’t discovered Nicki and Sammy should give them a go.  I was hooked from the get go.  This is, without a doubt, one of my favorite paranormal series.  There were parts of DGAE that scared the bejeezeus outta me…

Courtney Milan on Inspiration ~ & a chance to win Trial by Desire!

How Reading Affects Writing

I’ve heard some authors say that they can’t read in the genre they’re writing as they’re working on a book, for fear it will change how they write.

For me, that’s exactly why I read them. It’s not that I think my books won’t be changed by what I’m reading–but, rather, that I think they will be changed, and in exciting, unpredictable ways. If I read something in a book that infuriates me (and I sometimes do), it will sometimes be slipped into a book. If I read something in a book that I think is really well done, it motivates me to look at my own book. Everything I read shifts the point of view that I’m reading from, and when I return to my own writing, I find that the slight shift from my normal center is exactly what I need to see how to solve my own problems in writing.

For my upcoming book, Unveiled… I got the idea when I read a historical romance in which the hero and heroine had a somewhat dodgy wedding ceremony. “But!” I spluttered. “But what if this marriage is later invalidated, and their children are made illegitimate! What a terrible thing to do to a child!”

And as every romance author knows, “what a terrible thing to do to a child!” is the same thing as “what a wonderful way to start a book!”

Don’t get me wrong–I get ideas from a lot of places. Right now I’m reading a memoir of a mostly blind man who describes the world in such beautiful ways that it makes me see the world around me with a different eye. And I can feel that writing it makes my interaction with my hero and heroine’s world deeper. I start thinking of how motion would feel and taste and smell, not just how it would look.

So where do you find your inspiration? When you read a book, does it change how you see the world, just for a little bit? What was the last book you read, and what did it do for you?

Tell me, and one commenter will get a copy of Trial by Desire–and you can see if it shifts how you see the world.


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