8:52 AM

In the Author Spotlight & Contest

TARRA BLAIZE

CONTEST: Tarra will be offering a $5 gift cert to Bookstore and More for one lucky winner. Please leave a post along with your email addy to be entered for a chance to win.

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

Tarra: Thank you for inviting me! This is my first author blog and I’m equal parts nervous and excited.

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

Tarra: Life’s pretty hectic right now, but I’m crossing my fingers for a calm, relaxing, writing-filled summer. A girl can always hope!

AL: Tell us about your new release coming out this week, Break.

Tarra: When one of my critique partners told me about Samhain’s Angels and Demons anthology call, I instantly decided I was going to submit. Yet, I couldn’t come up with a single idea that grabbed my attention for weeks and weeks. One night, though, I had a dream that, with [quite] a bit of editing, turned into the first half of my novella. It was quite the dramatic slumber, I must say. Break is a paranormal romance set in the near-future where the planet becomes the battleground for a power struggle between angels and demons. Being human, Layla Roads wants nothing to do with it, but unfortunately for her, she’s about to be blackmailed into her worst nightmare with a demon who will either save her or destroy all she cares about. It’ll also be coming to print next winter with two other fabulous stories by Victoria Davies and Madelyn Ford.

AL: What other works are you deep into?

Tarra: I always have a myriad of ideas in progress. One tale I’ve begun writing more than the rest (and am very excited about!) is a retelling of a Brother’s Grimm tale, and not one I’ve ever seen retold before. As a child, I used to read their collection of stories over and over again… all five thousand pages of them.

AL: Is Break your first published work? How long did it take you to write it?

Tarra: Overall, from the first to the last sentence minus editing, I’d say it spanned over two to three months. Break is my first published work, though it most certainly won’t be the last!

AL: Is there such a thing as too much in an erotic romance novel?

Tarra: “Too much” is in the mind of the reader. I can’t answer for anyone but myself, so for me, no, unless it’s simply a personal “not for me” factor. As long as the romance is the strongest thread that continues to influence all other aspects of the story, then I’m satisfied.

AL: What is the most difficult part of being a writer and do you write whenever the mood strikes, or do you have a specific routine?

Tarra: Let’s just say if my writing habits were a heart rate line, I’d be alive and kicking. I can go a week or two without writing a single thing, and then in one weekend pour out thirty to forty pages. Routine has lapsed as of late, and I look forward to reviving it. There are plenty of difficult sides to being a writer, but something I did not expect was opening up that blank document to start a new story and thinking to myself, “is it possible I can do it all again?”

AL: Now, settle back and relax… If I asked your best friend what type of person you are, what would he or she tell me?

Tarra: Warm, fuzzy comments aside… there’d probably be some kind of reference to my love of snarky jokes and quotes. The more inappropriate, the better.

AL: What decadent delight must you have no matter what?

Tarra: Dark chocolate. How cliché is that? My apologies, but really, it’s true. Add a bit of flavor like sea salt, raspberry, or chili and I’m in heaven.

AL: If you have two hours free time tonight, what would you rather do? Why?

Tarra: Read. I would love to read. My TBR pile is exploding and I can’t wait until I can open that first page and be swept away into another person’s story full of action, romance, and suspense. There’s pure magic in the amount of escapism a great writer can pour into the written word, and it’s writers who can do that for me that serve as inspiration to write my ideas onto the bookshelf, too.

AL: Besides being a total book junkie -- I love music. When you write do you have a favorite sound track you like to listen to or get ideas from? What type of music is on it?

Tarra: It depends entirely on the scene, as I genre-bounce to help set different tones. During editing, the softer it is, the better I can work. Here’s one song I listened to about 50 times:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePyRrb2-fzs&feature=player_embedded

Some of the more tranquil Deadmau5 tracks are fantastic background music for me as well.

AL: Imagine if you will… You are the heroine and you have the hero on the island in the middle of your kitchen. What food would you be feeding and nibbling off of each other?

Tarra: Chocolate’s such a classic, and for good reason, too!

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

Tarra: I don’t have one, or even a top ten. It’s impossible. Anything with a sharp sense of humor that I can identify with makes my day complete. Here’s a recently discovered one that never fails to make life a little easier:

“A person who knows how to laugh at himself will never ceased to be amused.” - Shirley MacLaine.

AL: Thanks so much for joining us this week, Tarra.

Tarra: My pleasure!

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

http://www.tarrablaize.com/

FEATURED TITLE: BREAK

Blurb:

Layla Roads’ life is a laundry list of irony. Trailer trash. High school dropout. Beautiful liar. Highly skilled computer hacker. And one additional, extraordinary gift: the ability to see the demons and angels engaged in a ferocious battle on the urban streets at night.

When kidnappers hold her brother, Layla finds herself up to her neck in a plot to bring down a powerful blood demon. A crude, sexual, violent demon who kills without flinching, pushes her buttons, and looks at her with too-knowing eyes. What’s worse is she feels an answering tug of desire.

It doesn’t take Gethin long to figure out he has a pretty traitor on his hands—and that she’s being blackmailed. As a lone human female her quest to save her brother is hopeless—just like the attraction between them. For even if Gethin helps her save all she holds dear, she can never be his…

Excerpt:

The sheer sexuality of the blood demon shook Layla Roads down to her core every time her gaze met his heavy-lidded red eyes. Through the transparent walls of her high-tech cubicle, she had a clear view of him prowling across the empty office with all the dangerous, lithe grace of a panther. Given how his eyes fixed upon her with blatant hunger, she couldn’t help feeling as if she were the prey. Prey that, as casually as possible, hid the computer document she’d been in the process of memorizing and pulled up another one on-screen.

There was no one in the office besides her and Gethin. The downtown LA cityscape that sprawled out behind her through the floor-to-ceiling glass walls had yet to be tinted with the orange hues of morning. In the teeming metropolis that extended for miles beyond the heart of the urban jungle, most humans remained in bed behind locked doors, pretending to be safe from the shifting shadows of the night. Night was the battleground for the demons who had escaped from Hell and the angels who wished to push them back in.

The snowy white carpet beneath her heels would soon be stained black with blood. She didn’t know when, just that it was a matter of time. Her trembling fingers removed the prim plastic glasses from her face to check the wire core visible through the gray frames of her glasses. A bad habit, but one she hadn’t been able to break yet. The information she was memorizing was the only thing that could save her brother’s life, but it did nothing to save her own. She was well aware that she was a liability. What demons did to liabilities caused her to wake up night after night drenched in her own sweat and muffling screams of terror.

Perhaps the air demons would be merciful and kill her quickly and painlessly once her role in their scheme was done. If they left her behind Gethin would know that she had betrayed him, and she knew very well what he was capable of. His vengeance came from a deeper, uglier part of Hell than theirs did.

She had decided long ago that Gethin never slept. Despite this, there were never signs of exhaustion on his face, just carefully controlled violence and good old-fashioned lust that never failed to ignite a matching heat in her. This morning was no exception. The flimsy door to where she worked swung open with a speed that made her jump in her chair, even though she’d steeled herself.

“Ms. Gills.” His voice was darker, deeper than the crevices his kind had crawled from, she thought bitterly. It was underscored with pure steel. Heat too—a weapon he used on her without mercy. He wanted her. He’d made it clear by the second day. Anyway, anywhere. In his bed. On her desk. On his desk. On the floor. Against the wall. And no matter how much indifference or discouragement she threw at him, that list grew longer and longer with every passing day. If she’d been exactly who she pretended to be, then who knew? Perhaps then she could act on the desire he stoked. But she wasn’t Ms. Lana Gills as he thought she was. So she could never let it go further than words.

There was no hesitation showing on the hard, angled planes of his face or in his stride. His dark eyebrows formed a heavy, disapproving line across his forehead as he stalked behind her and pulled out the umpteenth hair clip she’d purchased, letting her heavy hair tumble down about her shoulders.

The heat of his fingers burned her scalp as if he’d branded her. “That,” she said in the most frosty voice possible, “was uncalled for.” Her voice didn’t shake the way she worried it would.

Gethin simply sat on the corner of her desk and tilted her face up with a relentless hand. She didn’t fight his superior strength, especially as he opened his other fist to let small pieces of silver rain down on her lap. She scowled at him, meeting his intense gaze squarely. “You owe me a new hair clip.”

He raised an eyebrow. “I thought I’d told you to keep your hair down, Ms. Gills. It suits you.” His gaze, crimson red where hers was brown, moved slowly from her eyes to caress the golden curls he’d just released. She’d been warned he had a thing for blondes. They’d been right.

“I generally find that women with tight buns are restricting their sexuality.”

She couldn’t help it. She snorted. “This, sir, is a workplace.”

He grinned wolfishly, and her heart skipped a beat. Whether it did so because the rare humor that graced his face made him even more desirable or because he was fooling around with her bloodstream again, she didn’t know. She’d once made the mistake of accusing him of elevating her heart rate as blood demons were able to do. She’d nearly ended up flat on her back on top of his desk, shirt unbuttoned, skirt around her waist, begging for more.

Well, if she had to be honest, she had ended up there, but given how quickly she’d come to her senses and scrambled away, it didn’t count.

REMEMBER: Tarra will be offering a $5 gift cert to Bookstore and More for one lucky winner. Please leave a post along with your email addy to be entered for a chance to win.

28 comments:

Keta Diablo said...

Hi Tarra and Ann,

Thanks for a little peek into your writing life. I enjoyed the interview and your new book, Break, sounds fascinating!

Wishes for much success, Best, Keta
http://www.ketadiablo.com

Tracie said...

Gorgeous cover candy! Your excerpt has ME begging for more!

luvnphrost @ yahoo.com

Tarra said...

Thank you, Keta! I'm so glad you enjoyed the interview and excerpt!

And Tracie, the cover is total eye candy, I agree, though I am totally biased! All the covers in the Angels and Demons anthology novellas are fantastic - you can see links to all of them on my website.

Good luck in the contest!

Debbie Tsikuris said...

Great interview. Just the cover was enough to hook me. Awesome and then I read the excerpt, whew.
Can't wait to read it.
Thanks

Debbie T

Tarra said...

I'm glad to hear it, Debbie. I was debating between several suspense-filled sections, but decided to stick with the beginning so that I wouldn't give away too much!

s7anna said...

Thanks for a great blurb and excerpt! I can't wait to read the book.

*hugs*
Anna
s7anna@yahoo.ca

Tarra said...

Apparently, BREAK decided to go on sale already at MBaM. Here's the link if anyone's interested!

Tarra

http://www.mybookstoreandmore.com/break-p-5711.html

Lisa G's said...

Congradulations on your book being published. Hope to see many many more from you!

Lisa G's said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jennifer Mathis said...

great excerpt and yummy cover

meandi09@yahoo.com

Victoria Roder said...

Great interview! I wish you all the best in your writing career.

Tara said...

Lisa and Jennifer, thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed the excepts (and cover!)

annalisa said...

Congratulations on the release of your first published work, BREAK. The excerpt was awesome and left me wanting to read more! Loved the cover too! :)

TOPSAIL246@aol.com

Tarra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tarra said...

Annalisa and Victoria, I appreciate your kind words - I'm beyond excited about this release and am happy you enjoyed the great interview and showcasing Ann put together.

flchen1 said...

Hi, Tarra and Ann! Thanks for the lovely interview and the wonderful excerpt! How exciting to be celebrating your debut! Wishing you many sales, and looking forward to picking up your book for myself!

f dot chen at comcast dot net

lindseye said...

This story looks interesting and is already on my shopping list for later in the week. I always like hearing where a story came from.

linze_e at hotmail.com

CrystalGB said...

Congratulations on your debut release. Sounds great. Love the cover.
Crystal816[at]hotmail[dot}com

Tarra said...

Thank you, everyone! Kanaxa did the cover art. She has her own website, too, if anyone's so inclined to check out more of her great work.

http://www.kanaxa.com/Home.html

Ann Lory said...

Hi everyone! Thanks for popping by and checking out Tarra Blaize's work. The cover is great and does grab the readers attention. I know I had to check it out when I saw it. :)

Ann

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

When you mentioned the Brother's Grimm that reminded me of my childhood. Every night my father would read me a story. I still have the book.

Enjoyed reading about your writing life and your new release.

Tarra said...

Marilyn, my father would too. I'd always try to pick the longest story so that I wouldn't have to go to sleep as soon. Having a parent make the time for that is so important and I'm forever grateful that he did so.

What was/were your favorites?

Margie Church said...

Great excerpt and I enjoyed your interview so much!

Sherry said...

Loved the excerpt it was very good and the interview was very good.

sstrode@scrtc.com

ladybirdrobi said...

Hi Ann and Tarra,
I thought I missed this and it was on my facebook. Glad I checked my events calendar. Great excerpt.

Robin
Robbibird3@aol.com

Tarra said...

No worries, a few more days to go until this ends!

Liza Quisisem said...

Tarra,

Read the blurb, but not the excerpt. I like to read a novel with no preconceived notions of what's in it. I am not usually into science fiction, but your concepts of angels and demons fighting a mortal battle on earth is facsinating. I hope your first published work does well.

Liza Quisisem
lizelli@yahoo.com

Tarra said...

Dear readers,

Thank you so, so much for taking the time to drop by and comment. I deeply appreciate it. Hopefully, if any of you ever read Break, you will enjoy the story I have to tell as much as I enjoyed writing it.

That being said, I used the random number generator and... I won. So I went for round two... Keta Diablo, as post #1, I'm delighted to announce you as the winner of the gift certificate!

Will be in contact with you soon.

Everyone else, if you would like to read a longer excerpt, drop me a line and I'll link you to one!

Best wishes to all,

Tarra