9:59 AM

In the Author Spotlight & Contest

Crystal Kauffman

CONTEST: Crystal will be giving away a digital copy of Guardian’s Realm: The Collision, winner drawn randomly from all comments, and she will send a giveaway pen to anyone who emails me a mailing address. It’s a super cool, purple pen! Make sure to leave your email address on the comments for a chance to win.

AL: Hi Crystal Thanks for being in the “Author Spotlight” this week.

Crystal: Hi! Thanks so much for having me.

AL: So, tell us what’s happening with you.

Crystal: I’m attaching a picture I just took of my cat, Sherkahn. She’s fifteen years old and generally healthy, except for the fact she’s nearly blind. We think it’s because her pupils don’t react to light like they should anymore. She looks like this in all her photos. It’s so sad watching her walk around bumping into things. At least once a week she’ll have a big lump on her nose, or a fat lip. Have you ever seen a cat with a fat lip? We do our best to keep things out of her way, but still every step is carefully placed like she’s stepping over something. Still as much as I love her and try to take special care of her, I do let myself laugh at her pictures. Those eyes reflect flash bulbs like a demon cat.

AL: What sexy plots are you weaving?

Crystal: I’m putting the finishing touches on a historical novella about a forbidden love between an abused viscountess, and the stable master hired by her grandfather to “stud” her after she’s caught in a compromising situation with another woman. One of my favorite kinds of love stories is the unlikely romance between polar opposites, whether they’re different because of wealth, standing, or personality.

I’ve just started another vampire book now that isn’t related to my Guardian series. It’s about a modern day vampire prince (a handsome, very wealthy, almost-celebrity) who meets a plain Jane poor girl at an exclusive “blood party.” She wants nothing to do with him. But to him, she’s beautiful, with a rare blood type that makes her very sought after. This leads to plenty of danger for them both.

AL: When you write do you do a detailed outline before you get started or do you have the idea then just 'fly by the seat of your pants'? :-)

Crystal: Definitely a pantster. It comes back to haunt me sometimes, but most important is finding out first if I have passion for the story. I work out a storyboard as I’m writing, but I don’t think I’ll ever be the type of writer who starts with it. Beginning with page 1, the process of developing my characters is as much a journey of discovery as the story itself. It has to be fresh and new and exciting to me when I start.

AL: When did the vampire bug bite you?

Crystal: Vampires were tough for me. I was brought up on Bella Lugosi movies, so in my world vamps were creepy, dangerous, and evil. But when I wrote my first book in the Guardian Series, The Combat, there was something nagging at me. The character Fitch wouldn’t sit quietly in the background and accept that role. He wanted me to know he was a badass, but he had some heroic qualities as well. And when you really need him, he won’t let you down.

AL: What do you like best about writing? What is your least favorite thing?

Crystal: The whole process of discovery. I love learning about my characters and watching their world unfold. Of course, now that I’m published, the process of getting my books into the store is a lot of fun, too. Signing the contract, seeing the cover, talking with my editor; these are incredible experiences. I’d have to say edits are my least favorite part, but a necessary evil. : )

AL: All right Crystal, let’s get personal. What’s the best movie you've seen recently?

Crystal: the movie I most enjoyed recently was Blood and Chocolate, an independent film based on the YA novel by Annette Curtis. I loved the heroine’s character. It’s so rare the female protagonist is the werewolf, or “creature” in stories anymore, I thought it was a refreshing change. And I love a heroine who stands by her true love, even if he’s so, so wrong for her. There was a lot standing between these two, and it made the romance that much more powerful. Of course that’s not a new movie, but new movies have left me disappointed lately.

Right now I’m really into series; especially HBO series. I LOVE True Blood. Anna Paquin is my favorite cutie-pie no-bullshit serving waitress. I adore her! I wish I was her. : ) No, that’s not entirely true, because I have a real life hero for a husband and I wouldn’t trade him in for anything. We watch an episode of whatever current series we’re into every night at dinner. That may sound cold, but the truth is we talk more during the program... “oh my god, did you see that? What was he thinking? No way! I don’t believe it,” than we would if we didn’t have the tv on. It’s gotten so that I can’t eat in a silent dining room. “How was your day?” “Fine. How was yours?” Bleh.

I record Fringe, Flash Forward, Dollhouse and Lie to Me (and Venture Brothers) on my DVR. Right now we’re watching Dexter. Is there anything more deliciously twisted than this show? I love the way they bring me to the edge of my seat with worry that he’s going to get caught! And I absolutely love his potty-mouthed, ass-kicking sister. Deb Morgan rocks.

Ann: You have to ask a fictional character out on a date—who would you ask and what would you do together?

Crystal: it would definitely be Fitch, my bad-boy with a good-heart vampire in The Collision. First, he’d pick me up. And by that I mean, he’d bring out his wings and we’d fly into the night sky. There would be scrumptious gourmet food and delicious wine in his private penthouse (because my vampires eat food), and most importantly, rowdy sex all night.

AL: If your muse were to talk behind your back, what secrets would he/she tell?

Crystal: I can be a very, very naughty girl, and I have a vocabulary of four letter-and-mores that could make a sailor blush. Maybe that’s why I love Deb Morgan so much.

AL: Fall is here, what is your favorite part of the season? Fall leaves? Sweater weather? Football?

Crystal: I have to admit I hate fall and winter. Good thing I live in California, where they’re short and mild. If there’s anything to like about it, I’d have to say the crisp, clean air after a rain shower, and the vibrant sunrises and sunsets against turbulent clouds. Although I do love the sound of howling wind and driving rain (outside) when I’m snuggly warm (inside) in my comfy sweats and fuzzy slippers.

AL: Please share a favorite quote(s) with us.

Crystal: “Never give up, never surrender.” Galaxy Quest. Corny, but it’s the best advice you can ever give or receive.

AL: Thanks so much for sharing with joining us this week, Crystal.

Crystal: My pleasure!

AL: If you’d like to find out more about Crystal please visit:


FEATURED TITLE: Guardian’s Realm: The Collision 

Accidentally cast through a magical portal to an enchanted prison with slave girl and a vampire fugitive, a Guardian warrior must come to terms with their situation, and the irrefutable past he shares with his vampire enemy.


Fitch felt a moment's confusion as he flew into bright light, only because his thoughts were aimed at the scorching pain in his ankle as Boragnis's claw swiped him bone deep.

Then, almost calmly, he understood what had happened. Magic.

As quickly as it started, it was over.

They crashed down on a cold stone floor. The Guardian landed in a heap, and the girl tumbled away.

Fitch hit his shoulder hard and heard a crunch, but it was nothing compared to the pain in his ankle. He struggled into a sitting position and gripped his calf, afraid to look at the damage.

“Son of a bitch!”

He drew his pant leg up. The half-severed limb knit slowly before his eyes. His stomach rolled. Despite his healing abilities, it still hurt like hell.

He gritted his teeth as the pain faded in waves. Finally, the red curtain of agony faded from his vision. He glanced around, looking for new dangers. They appeared to have transported to a dark castle somewhere.

“No fucking way.”

Compared to the chaos in the Palace, the silence here echoed startlingly. Frigid cold bit at his hands and face.

This was a dead place.

He glanced at the blond Guardian sprawled a few feet away, then to the slave girl. Wriggling the sweetest ass he'd ever seen, she pushed to her hands and knees and looked around, apparently as confused as he was.

One of them was an ancient fae.

Holy shit. He'd thought they had all died out.

Fitch glanced between them. The girl? She was a golden nymph with impossible beauty, and she wasn't crying or screaming like most humans would be after being transported by magic.

Then again, she'd been a slave girl to an illegal vampire Palace. She'd seen and heard things that would even make him cringe. Experienced things that would make him cringe.

But why would an ancient fae be a vampire plaything? Unless she was some sort of bizarre sexual deviant, she would possess the power to escape the vampires.

No, it had to be the man. He also possessed an unusual, ethereal beauty. And more than likely, a fae would serve the Guardians.

Like most Guardian warriors, he wore protective leather pants. Très tacky. A clingy black T-shirt showed every ridge and hollow in his muscled chest beneath a tight-fitting jacket Fitch knew had specially tailored slits to allow his wings to expand.

“Where are we?” the girl asked.

Fitch caught his breath. Her voice was like silver bells, and the innocence in her gaze made him ripple with chills.

Daylight, Fitch thought. She reminds me of daylight, with that golden hair as brilliant as a ray of sunshine and eyes the color of the sky on a summer's day.

“I don't know.” He pulled his pant leg back over his boot as the pain faded to a dull throb. “You'll have to ask him. He brought us here.”

She glanced at the man on the floor. A silken fall of hair tumbled over her shoulder. She crawled to him and placed a hand on his shoulder.

“He's hurt.”

Fitch took a punch to the gut. Her tenderness was a foreign thing, so strange that he almost couldn't fathom it, and the wave of jealousy he felt watching her bestow it on the other was bewildering.

For eight hundred years, he'd been alone, daring to risk love only once, to disastrous results. Even simple friendships were too much anymore. Mortals died so quickly.

Fitch pushed to his feet, gritting his teeth against a shock of pain. It flared and drifted away. He tested weight on the ankle, then limped to a blackened hearth.

He summoned a burst of energy and threw a ball of fire into the decaying logs. The fire roared to life. Still the act felt embarrassingly weak compared to the power the fae Guardian had used to bring them here.

He glanced back at the girl. She wore nothing but a draping, diaphanous cloth designed to look like a Roman toga. As she bent over the unconscious man, her delectable little ass pointed at him. Fitch saw the dark golden hair between her legs and a tantalizing glimpse of pink nether flesh. The gown teased the eye, more sensual than if she were naked—which she practically was against cold like this.

Even her feet were bare. She must be freezing.

“Come to the fire. You'll catch your death.”

“What about him?” she asked without turning around.

“He'll be fine.”

“Boragnis hit him hard.”

He hit me hard too, but you don't see me whining about it, Fitch wanted to say. Instead, he grumbled under his breath and crossed the stone floor to the Guardian.

He knelt beside them. Had he not been crouched, the look she gave him with those watery blue eyes would have brought him to his knees. She possessed rare beauty he'd not seen matched in over eight hundred years.

Fitch took her gently by the jaw. She blinked but didn't resist. Wasn't it said the fae were a special breed who rejoiced in their sexuality and gave everything to their lovers?

No, she's 100 percent human, he realized by sensing her. Simply trained to be compliant by her vampire captors.

But a special human. It almost seemed electrical current ran into his fingers where he touched her.

He pulled his hand away. He didn't have time to be distracted by a beautiful human nymph. He'd been within reaching distance of the vampire demon he'd hunted through centuries, only to lose him in a blink of magic.

He slapped the Guardian. “Hey. Wake up.”

The girl clutched his wrist, igniting those strange quivery sensations all over again. “Gentle,” she scolded, but she smiled, and her eyes absolutely twinkled. “I could have done that.”

The Guardian's brow wrinkled, and he turned his head. A low moan rumbled deep in his chest. The sound rolled over Fitch, making him prickle from the top of his scalp to the soles of his feet with a strange tightening of his balls in between.

He sat back on his heels. Just what I need. Cast into obscurity with a blond Adonis and a golden slave girl.

The Guardian's eyes snapped open and blinked several times. They were as green as emeralds, which confirmed any doubts Fitch still had.

The man was an ancient fae.

They locked gazes, and Fitch would swear there was an audible click.

REMEMBER: Crystal will be giving away a digital copy of Guardian’s Realm: The Collision, winner drawn randomly from all comments, and she will send a giveaway pen to anyone who emails me a mailing address. It’s a super cool, purple pen! Make sure to leave your email address on the comments for a chance to win.


Chris R said...

Great interview! I am going to have to go through my TBR file and see if I have any of this series in there.

jrobe10689 @ gmail.com

Fallon said...

Great Interview. Thanks for spending time with us. Your latest release sounds awesome.

I love the name you named your cat. That is a cool name.

Fallon Hadley

Anonymous said...

loved reading both the interview and excerpt... very interesting :)

omg, lol, I just love your fav quote Crystal... my friend and I actually say that to each other, hehe.

Serena Shay said...

Hey Crystal,
Great interview! I can't wait to read more about the vampire prince and the plain Jane girl! YUM!! ;)

joder said...

Thanks for joining us! Your latest release sounds great!

And I totally agree with you about Dexter. Love that show and his sister cracks me up.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Linda Henderson said...

Great interview and I will definitely have to read your book.

seriousreader at live dot com

Crystal Kauffman said...

Fallon, we named her Sherkahn because when she was a kitten, she was the fiercest of the litter (they were feral) and she hissed so ferociously all four paws came off the ground. It was the funniest thing! I am a huge fan of Kipling and I loved the movie made from The Jungle Book.

Cathy M said...

Hi Crystal, great line up of tv shows, you've listed all my favorites, too. Though what is the Venture Brothers? Haven't heard about that one yet.

I recently read The Combat and am so glad Fitch gets his own story.


Crystal Kauffman said...

Ali, I adore Alan Rickman, but I absolutely loved him best in Galaxy Quest :)

Crystal Kauffman said...

Cathy, Venture Brothers is a very adult cartoon on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. Not really because of bad language, but some very adult situations. My favorite character is Orpheus, the master of mysticism and the occult arts who rents an apartment within the Venture compound.

Laura Brooks said...

I love the interplay between Fitch, the golden slave girl, and the "other" as Fitch calls him.

Fitch is strong yet vulnerable. Feeling nothing in the way of love for 800 years, he is now faced with a strong possibility of it.

I get the feeling that it will take some time before he will admit to his passion for the beautiful girl and comes to terms with the Guardian who brought them to the prison.

I rescue cats and acknowledge a kindred soul who loves them and who writes such delicious novels.

Laura Brooks

s7anna said...

Hey Crystal,

Loved your interview! I love your cat...he seems like a total sweetheart!!! I haven't had the opportunity to read your series yet but you've certainly whet my appetite for more..I will be sure to look more into your books...

Best of luck with your upcoming projects!!!

Happy Reading!!!
Anna Shah Hoque

s7anna said...

My bad...I meant to say "SHE" seems like a total sweetheart!!!

mariska said...

Hi Crystal,
cute name for a cat :)
It's always great knowing a new Author for me!
cuniquas at gmail dot com

Lauren D said...

Great interview Crystal. I love your favorite quote. For some reason, it made me think of The Goonies, as in "Goonies never say die!" ;D

This book sounds really interesting. I'm a sucker for paranormal romances.

Lauren D.
calypso58 @ hotmail.com

Crystal Kauffman said...

Wow, the Goonies. Now there's a blast from the past! That movie is practically a cult classic. :)

T. said...

I love that you like football, are not afraid to admit you swear like a sailor, and I think I would like that same date with Fitch. Wow. I could go for that! Thanks for sharing with us. T. finalcutediting@yahoo.com

T. said...

PS: I'm a member of the Manic Reader Loop :) T.

Cathy M said...

Hi Crystal, I am a member of the Manic Readers Loop too.


J Hali said...

Crystal, Sherkahn is beautiful and her name matches her.

Your cover has always grabbed me and now I'm definitely putting this on my list. Vamps are YUMMY!

CallMeKayla said...

Loved the interview!


Crystal Kauffman said...

Hi Everyone!
Just popping in to let you know with the help of randomizer.org, the winner of a free copy of The Collision is Joder!

And everyone who emailed a postal address to Ann will be receiving a customized pen in the mail soon.

Thanks for visiting my interview!

Anonymous said...

I kinda have been expecting this in a way...
But I reali dun think da world is going to end...start a new era maybe but the world is not ending.
That's not gonna happen till a thousand years later! Ok, I'm not sure bout that either but that's not the point! The world's not gonna end! Full stop!
]mayan predicted
[/url] - some truth about 2012