Monday, May 16, 2011

Maggie James - Book Review, Author Interview, Author Guest Post, Character Interview, Interaction/Chat

PhotobucketThere’s no such thing as vampires…

Straight-laced Katarina Renót is well educated, logical and doesn’t believe vampires truly exist. But when a well deserved holiday in Europe turns into a torrid game of cat and mouse with a handsome stranger and her best friend is exhibiting signs of being allergic to daylight-Kat doesn’t think her life can get any stranger.

Every man has a weakness…Even an immortal…

Joseph Markus is an arrogant, wealthy entrepreneur who spends his free time as the raspy lead singer for the rock band “Slang” and seducing beautiful women. After decades of mourning the tragic death of the only woman he ever loved, vying to save his best friend from an unrelenting death wish- now he is accused of being a murderer.
An undeniable twist of fate…

Kat learns her Prince Charming is actually the “Prince of Darkness” and though she can’t resist falling for this sultry vampire, she still lives in denial. But when the lines are drawn, and Kat finds herself caught in the middle of a deadly plot for revenge she has only one choice--trust the seductive vampire who has captured her heart.

Despite his own arrogance, Joe finds himself inexplicably drawn to Kat. Her stubborn will to resist his seductive charms coupled with her endearing naiveté prove to be more than he bargained for and Joe soon realizes he is in way over his head.

But will love be enough to save their immortal souls from the grips of a twisted obsession?

My Review:

What a sexy read this was! I love the originality of this story. A hot man in leather pants and an accent Sign me up! The world/setting of the book rocked. Pace was good. The plot and storyline I can really see a series in the works. Has to!  However I did had a little confusion and hard time reading some parts of the book. Characters could use a little more developing. The Writing style could be a little more clear as to who the main character is in some spots. But over all I would recommend that people gave this book a chance. I know I really want to see another book to this story.

My Rating 3 Stars 


Greetings mortals, Joseph Markus here. At the behest of our lovely blog hostess Melissa and the talented Ms. Maggie James, I am here today to provide you with a provocative and informative Guest Post.  I don’t normally do interviews; I’m usually a very private and secretive vampire. But since my last one didn’t go so well (an unfortunate accident indeed) and was nearly 50 years ago, I figured it was about time to change that and improve my track record. 

As I pondered what to write about in this post, my dear Katarina suggested to me that since there has been a lot of talk and comments made about my unbridled ego and arrogance, I might do well to address the issue.  Ms. James graciously forwarded her readers comments and blog posts to me and I must say I was a bit taken back by their content.  Most of you seem to view me as an egotistical, arrogant, self-centered prick with an insatiable sexual appetite as well as thirst for blood.  I have also been depicted as cold-hearted, insensitive and self-absorbed….Ouch!

But then again, most of you have proudly stated that you wouldn’t kick me out your bed either and that a sexy leather clad rockstar such of myself was…oh, what was the word used, again?...oh yes, “Yummy!”

So…this leads me to believe that although you might see me as the type of man you would normally despise, most of you find me irresistable and desirous, all at the same time.  How cliché!

In all my years, I am yet to meet a rockstar and/or vampire who is not both egotistical and arrogant.  Let’s be honest ladies, shall we?  Isn’t that what attracts the mortal female to our kind anyway?  Whether rockstar or vampire, is it not only the mystique and blatant sexuality of the alpha male that attracts you but also the cocky, lustful attitude as well?

The fantasy of being in the arms of either creature is something you have buried deep in your phsyche since you found out what sex was and the desires of the flesh first surfaced.
Let us not forget that I am the one up on the stage each night who looks down into the audience and observes your deliberate sexually suggestive antics as well as witnesses your lustfilled cries for attention.  Not to mention, is the target of your requests and/or promises for sexual favors.  So, wouldn’t it be logical to presume that if I am, in fact, a sex crazed, ego-maniac that you, yourselves had quite a hand in making me that way?

I know full well that I am a bit of an attention hog and I will humbly be the first to admit it, but aren’t we all in our own unique way? 

Perhaps you should take a moment to ponder the possiblity that there is more to me than meets the eye.  I may be a testoterone fueled rockstar as well as an insatiable vampire but at one time, though it was long ago, I was a mere mortal man with insecurities and needs that cried for fullfillment just like any other human being.  Having since been turned, there are certain fears and insecurities that have vanished by the wasteside but parts of my immortal soul still crave love and attention.

After having loved and lost too many times to count, I think it is only fair to say, in my own defense, that anyone would be a bit jaded and bitter.  Yes, over the years I have learned to embrace my immortal existence and I am quite pleased with my current lifestyle, however, until I met my beloved Katarina I was quite lonely and felt as though I had to put on the façade of being cold and heartless.  It was, as I once believed, the only way I would be able to face eternity without the unconditional love of another. 

By the way…I may be in love, but that by no means has diminished my keen vampire abilities nor has it curbed my unrelenting arrogance; well, perhaps it has…a bit.  I believe the love I feel in my “not so” cold, black heart for my beautiful Katarina unknowingly saved me from an eternity of feeding off strangers, one night stands with assorted groupies and an emptiness I would have never admitted to, had she not come into my life…I mean, death.

Please do not take my heartfelt admission as a sign of weakness.  I assure you, beneath the softer exterior my dearest love has brought to the surface, still lurks the dark and deadly creature of the night that haunts your dreams.  I am first and foremost, a dangerous and blood thirsty vampire; I am also proud to be an arrogant but talented rock star as well, but last and certainly not least, I am a man.  But remember, this man can take your life if he wanted to, so don’t piss me off!

My dear Katarina is giving me the evil eye for my last comment so I assume she is not pleased.  I think its about time, I give you all a bit of insight into Love Bleeds and the role I play.  I have been asked by Ms. James, not to reveal too much about her amazing book, out of consideration for those of you who have yet to read it; so I will only give you a small taste, a morsel, if you will, of my character and the hell I am subjected to amidst its pages.  Perhaps it will explain in a bit more detail of why I have been written and portrayed as the easily depisable but lovable creature I am.

In Love Bleeds, I do start off as a bit of a…well, how can I put this nicely?.. asshole.  I use women for my own selfish sexual gratification but also for food.  I not only crave their warm, sweet blood but need it in order to insure my survival. And the sex…well I may be immortal but as I stated earlier, I am also a man.  And a man possesses needs.  Needs which, in my case, are quite insatiable.  I will admit, at the risk of sounding conceited, that I am quite talented in the art of seduction and know my way around the female form quite well.  I have been told on numerous occasions that I am quite a skilled sensual lover and always leave my partner more than satisfied. (As I’m sure my beloved Katarina would confirm.)
I am also the lead vocalist for “Slang”; a successful rock’n’roll band along with Phillip, our lead guitarist; Sam, our drummer; Rick, our bassist and Julian, also on guitar and  keyboard.  I love performing on stage and giving my audience 200 percent of my talent and attention at every gig.  The only feeling I know that it more gratifying than performing before a packed house of screaming fans is…well, I’m sure you can guess.  

Without giving too much away, Ms. James has granted me permission to fill you in on a few details of the basic storyline.  I will try to keep this short and sweet since unfortunately it is nearly dawn and I regretably must leave you shortly.  

Love Bleeds is an intriquing tale of love, seduction, forbidden passion, revenge and reconciliation—not necessarily in that order, but you get the general idea.  Katarina and her best friend Nina are vacationing in Europe when they unexpectedly meet a pair of dangerously handsome rock star vamps…enter; myself and Phillip.  Nina, being the flighty, adventurous creature she is, finds herself immediately attracted to my handsome bandmate and the two soon find themselves undeniably draw to one another and avidly pursue their attraction.  Much to the pleasure of yours truly as well, considering Nina is perhaps the only hope poor Phillip has in enabling himself to relenquish his self loathing attitude and unrelenting death wish. 

When Katarina and I first meet, however, the sparks fly in a different direction entirely.  Though she might be reluctant to admit it, I recognized her immediate attraction to me and knew for certain she would come to terms with her unexpected emotions, eventually.  Although it is not easy to supress my yearning for her, I do my best to have patience and it does pay off in the long run.  Beneath her logical, organized and analytical exterior beats the heart of a sultry temptress; trust me on this!

While we all do our best to come to terms with our new found feelings and unique relationships, my past and all its sorted enemies come back to haunt me.  Thus threatening to destroy all I hold dear.  As if being accused of being a blood thirsty murderous criminal is not bad enough, a decade long secret betrayal is revealed to add more mayhem to my already screwed up reality.

But not to worry my mortal friends, as is always the case in a well written romance novel, love conquers all and good overthrows evil; thus bestowing a happy ending upon all involved.  The journey to such bliss is a rocky and at times violent one, but one that will most definitely keep the reader on the edge of their seat. 

In closing, I feel it necessary to remind you that nothing is usually as it seems and no one, whether living or undead, is who they at first appear to be.  Myself included.  Do not despise me for my arrogance or lust induced persona but rather embrace my true identity and see me for who and what I truly am.  A mortal man, turned vampire, vying to survive his God forsaken eternity with the one woman who gave herself freely and unconditionally to share in his immortal existence.  Every vamp should be so lucky!

I humbly bid you all farewell, as the sun will be rising soon and my beloved Kat is beckoning me to join her in death’s slumber.

Before I do I would like to thank the gracious Ms. Melissa and all of you for allowing me the opporunity to enlighten you with my male point of view as well as the chance to address your opinions surrounding my characterization in Love Bleeds.

I will now turn things over to your blog hostess who has some more information for you regarding the enchanting Maggie James and her book.  

** Melissa is going to go flirt with Joseph, (don't tell my husband, or Katarina) and will now turn to the interview with Character Katarina. lol ;)



Where do you live?  

I have recently moved to Whitby, England and reside with my “boyfriend” Joseph Markus. (Not sure if that’s the correct term to use…LOL)  But we also share a second home in Dubin, Ireland.

Where are you from?  

I am originally from London, England.  Born and raised.

How old are you?  

I am 30 years of age. (And always will be.)  One of the many perks my immortal love has bestowed upon me.

What are you called? Nick name? 

My full name is Katarina Grace Renót.  But my friends call me “Kat”.

How would you describe your looks??  

I feel I am a generally attractive woman.  Joe (my “boyfriend”) says I am a timeless beauy; but I think he’s biased.  I guess I would best describe myself as a bit of “the girl next door” meets “modest sophistication”..LOL

In Twitter Fashion use 140 characters or less, sum your personal ad for us. (If you were to have one)  

SWF seeks strong, attractive, intelligent SWM with good sense of humor that won’t faint at the sight of blood. Must be hopeless romantic.

What kind of childhood did you have?  

I am an only child so it was a bit lonely at times.  Since both of my parents died when I was relatively young, I have been on my own for a very long time.  I had to grow up pretty fast so I honestly don’t remember much of my childhood.

What do you do for a living?  

Until recently, I was a Professor of Mythology & Folklore at a London University.

How do you  deal with conflict and change?  

Not always very well, I’m afraid, but I’m learning.  I consider myself a strong, independent woman, but there are times I am still uneasy in certain situations.  I have never really adapted well to change, but considering my newly acquired lifestyle, I’ve had to learn and adapt to drastic change pretty quickly.

Who else is in your life?  

My best friend, Nina, her mate Phillip and of course my beloved, Joseph.

What are your hobbies and interests?  

I love to read and watch old movies.  I am a sucker for a good romance, either book or film and I am fascinated by Mythology and Folklore.

What motivates you?  

The desire to overcome my fears and the yearning for knowledge as to the ways of my new immortality.

Of what are you proudest?  

Achieving my education and surviving on my own for so many years.

What is your most embarrassing memory?  

Nearly walking in on my dear Joseph and another woman….(Don’t hate him ladies; we were not yet together at the time!)

What was your first date like?  

Horrid. I was barely sixteen. We went to a lousy restaurant for dinner then to see a filmAll I wanted to do was watch the movie, all he wanted to do was get into my pants.  Men!!

How did you meet the person of your dreams? (if applies)  

By accident, actually, we bumped into each other at a nightclub, literally!  But were later introduced officially at his estate…long story…LOL.

Who were your best friends in the past, and why aren't they your best friends today?  

I really didn’t have that many friends growing up or in my adult life; just acquaintance/co-workers at the university.  Most of the girls I went to high school and college with got married then moved away once they started having families.  But several years ago I met Nina and we’ve been close friends ever since. 

Describe yourself--what is your best quality? What is your worst?  

I suppose my best quality would have to be my loyalty and devotion.  Oh…and my brutal honesty!  (Which could also be considered my worst, at times.)  My worst quality would have to be the fact that I can be very stubborn at times.  Especially when I know I’m right!

What did you ask for on your last birthday? What did you get?  

I asked for someone to love and appreciate me for who I am…and I got it!  So, who’s the lucky girl?

What is the one thing you wish other people knew about you?  

I wish people knew that I’m not always as strong and confident as I may appear and that I’m not just a “know-it-all”.  I may be well educated and a bit opinionated but I can also be a very romantic, sensitive and alluring woman and should be treated as such.

What is your biggest secret--the one thing you don't want ANYBODY to know?  

If I told you that it wouldn’t be a secret any longer-now, would it?

What are you most afraid of?  

Growing old and dying alone. Which actually is no longer a valid concern so I suppose my answer would be to be having some ignorant fools attempt to harm or possbily even kill the ones I love.

What do you want more than anything?  

To spend my timeless immortal existance wrapped in the arms of the man I love….oh, and world peace! 


Can you tell us a little about yourself?  

Sure!  I’m a proud Jersey Girl, born and raised. Hubby and I still live in central Jersey with our kids, 2 dogs, a cat and other assorted creatures.  My amazing Hubby and I have been together for 27 years and he’s not only my biggest fan but my business partner, computer tech and support system as well as my creative assistant (book covers and such)…which is awesome!  I am a helpless, hopeless romantic with a passion for Rock’n’Roll, vampires, tattoos, chocolate and Chinese food.  I love reading almost as much as I love writing and plan on having a long, hopefully succeesful, career as a romance author.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? 

It started when I was pretty young, grade school I suppose.  I always had made-up sayings and poems written in my notebooks and on pieces of paper hung all over my room.  Especially when I became a teenager; I always felt strong emotions that seemed to force the words out of me.  It’s been a passion of mine for many years. I’ve been writing short stories and poems for many years but I started writing romance novels in 2004.

What surprised you the most about the writing/publishing process?   

Well, I knew going into this that the whole self-publishing process was not going to be easy, but it actually turned out to be pretty painless.  Writing, in itself, is not very difficult for me…usually. When the ideas start flowing, its hard to stop.  I have dozens of computer files with notes for new stories and completed stories that need editing.  Lately, since LOVE BLEEDS was released, its finding the time to write what’s more of a challenge due to all the promotion and networking I’ve been doing.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula? 

I don’t really have a specific formula, the initial ideas just come to me and as I write, the details seem to flow naturally.  I usually get a mental image of a character first or a personality type, sometimes they just meld together all at once, and once I have the initial conflict/plot twist I just let my muse lead the way.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing? 

In my opinion it’s the ability to tell not just a good story, but a great story.  One that will keep the reader glued to its pages and dying to see what happens next.  The story has to flow properly with peaks and valleys; scenes that are heart-wrenching one moment then eventually shift to heart-warming.  Obscure, exciting conflict that leads to a romantic reconciliation.  An escape from the everyday stresses of life.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? 

Be happy to.  Love Bleeds is a sexy paranormal romance set in Europe which features sensual leather-clad rockstar vampires who fall for a lovely pair of strong-willed heroines, with plenty of emotionally charged twists and turns in the plot.  It is the first installment in the Only After Dark series and will be followed up with several more novels; each centered around another character from the cast.  Each sexy vamp (and mortal) will have their chance to have their story told and be featured in consecutive installments.

In Twitter Fashion use 140 characters or less, sum Love Bleeds for us.  

Love Bleeds puts a sexy, edgy new twist on the immortal world of sex, blood & rock’n’roll that leaves readers breathless & dying for more.

How did you come up with a story that was such a whirl wind of events?  

Honestly,  I really don’t know…lol.  I realize that’s a dumb answer for such a great question but the truth is, once I started writing, all the characters took on lives of their own and their various conflicts and personal angst just fit in perfectly.

For instance, when I created Joseph, my male lead, I knew exactly how I wanted him to look, sound, act, etc…and as his character took shape and his persona came to life (or death, as the case may be) I kept thinking, “Now what would happen if I did this to him? –or—“How can I twist that little scenario and make it more intruiging; create more personal turmoil for him to resolve?” I wanted to force him to deal with the unexpected and eventually his character would change and grow into something the reader might have initially forseen. I wanted the readers to fall in love with him but at the same time, I wanted his arrogance to play a huge part in his appeal.  The ultimate “bad boy” who despite his hardened exterior and blatant egotism, possessed a sexy, irresistable inner romantic just waiting to be let loose by the right woman.

It was the same with the rest of the cast.  Once I began to integrate them into the story, their own individual personalities just took off, as did their unfortunate (or fortunate, as the case may be) chain of events and it just….worked!

How long did it take you to write it, and did you have any writer’s block along the way?  

Ooh, let me think.  I originally wrote Love Bleeds about 6 years ago, along with about 4 or 5 other stories…so if memory serves me correctly, it took me about 6 months—start to finish.  That’s aside from the final editing and proofreading.  And as far as writer’s block goes…I’m sure I’m no different from any other author out there.  We all experience writers block at one time or another, due to life getting in the way or personal obligations getting in the way.  Or sometimes you just have a bad day and the inspiration’s just not there.  Luck for me, it didn’t happen all that often but I had my days.

Will we be seeing a following book to this series?  

Most definitely!  I already have the next installment in the works with ideas for a third.  The second book will feature Phillip and Nina this time around and delve into the metaphysical and emotional connection between them.  Both of their pasts will be revealed; how and when Phillip was turned, for example, and also a bit of Nina’s life before she met him.  Their immortal bond will be put to the test and you might be surprised as to what I have in store for these two so stay tuned!

How did you come up with the character Katarina Renót?  

When I cast the female lead, I knew I didn’t want her to be some glamorous, over-confident, worldy type of woman.  I wanted her to be intelligent, strong-willed and at times, a bit too logical as well as a bit of a skeptic.  She longed for love and companionship, but was not blatantly searching for it and was not the type of woman who would normally take a risk.  Especially when it came to love and relationships.  But she needed to have a deeply rooted romantic and sensual side to her that was just waiting for the right man to set it free, which would surprise even her.  But still, definitely not the adventurous type, like Nina…well, not a

I always must ask, If you could pick one actress to portray Katarina Renót on the big screen who would it be and why?  

Most likely, Kate Beckinsale.  I have pictured her portraying Katarina since I saw her in Underworld and then again in Click.  She is a very well-rounded actress and has the right look, body type and demeanor.  The characters she has played in most of her movies have been beautiful, confident and stubborn women with a mind of their own yet extremely likable and feminine.  I picture her with longer straighter hair than her character in Underworld with a bit of a softer more sensitive side like in Click.  Two totally different roles/characters but if you could take some of their characteristics and meld them together you’d have a perfect Katarina.

Was there anything you find particularly challenging when writing this book?   

Aside from the hours of editing, not really.  When I get ideas in my head, my mind works so fast that my fingers have a hard time keeping up so there are usually a lot of typos and spacing errors.

What were your feelings when you first saw the cover of your finished book?

Wow!!  I was floored, actually.  I didn’t know whether to laugh, scream, jump for joy or burst into tears…lol.  It was the best feeling I’ve had in a really long time!  I was proud of myself, excited, elated and relieved—all at the same time.

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Anonymous said...

Everything looks awesome!! Thanks for the great review. I'm so thrilled to be your Author Spotlight for the was so much fun! I hope everyone enjoys reading the post & interviews :-)
Many thanks again Melissa, it was a pleasure working with you! Oh and Joe sends his regards (with a sexy *wink*)lol...

Unknown said...

Wow what a post. Review, character & author interview. Awesomeness there!

Melissa said...

Aww thanks so much! You are too kind. It's all you. I just put it together.

Joe makes me **giggle** like a young school girl. ;)

tears_of_fire said...

I really like the cover :) I think the only thing that could make it hotter would be Joe licking his lips.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to both of you for the wonderful comments! I'm so glad you liked the post and the cover art!
Hope you both might consider reading it-if you liked the posts, you'll love the book! BTW, LOVE BLEEDS will be released in paperback on by the end of the week if you guys don't have ereaders!!
Thanks again for the flattering comments :-)

Victoria said...

What an incredible post. So much information and the feelings conveyed are really gripping. This is going to be in my TBR pile.

I tweeted:!/Jovial_1/status/70165102371934208

What a cover!

Anonymous said...

Many thanks Victoria! I truly hope you enjoy it and thanks so much for tweeting...I truly appreciate it :-)
Have a great day!

Toni said...

What a great interview! Makes me want to get to know Joe and Kat even more. I am adding this to my TBR file.

It sounds like it will be a great series. Congrats on the book.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Toni...I'm hoping to release Book Two in the series this summer!! Hope you enjoy reading Love Bleeds :-)

booklover0226 said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this post; it was a great read.

I'm adding this to my must have list and look forward in reading this series.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Maggie James said...

Hi Tracey and thank you so much. It was so much fun to write, I'm so glad so many of you are enjoying it!
I hope you enjoy reading the book as well...make sure to keep on the lookout for book 2 sometime this summer :-)


Mystkate said...

Wow Maggie that was a fun interview, I loved it and can't wait for future reads from you.

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