Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tes Hilaire - Book Review, Author Interview, Book Giveaway, Teaser

Deliver Me from Darkness (Paladin Warriors #1)
by Tes Hilaire


He had once been a warrior of the Light, one of the revered Paladin. A protector. But now he lives in darkness, and the shadows are his sanctuary. Every day is a struggle to overcome the bloodlust. Especially the day Karissa shows up at his doorstep.


She is light and bright and everything beautiful—despite her scratches and torn clothes. Every creature of the night is after her. So is every male Paladin. Because Karissa is the last female of their kind. But she is his. He may not have a soul, but he can't deny his heart.


My Review:

Awesome Paranormal Romance story. Can I marry Roland? The characters are extremely likable, relatable, and enduring. Roland is hot, and tortured (just what we love). Karissa is fun, and sassy. The Author plays them well off each other. The Plot of the story builds well, and the pace holds you to this book. I love how the author was able to draw us into the world in which Roland lived. This over all was an original story I found myself falling in love with. I would recommend this book for any PNR lovers. 

My Rating: 4 Stars!

Teaser from Deliver Me from Darkness

Karissa stepped forward, her brown eyes locking on his as she stared him down. “Oh, I don’t know. Maybe you drink because at one point in time, many a many years ago, you were human. Maybe you still remember the sweet sting of the alcohol hitting the back of your mouth, the spreading warmth as it burned in your belly, and the lazy waves of indifference that rolled in with it, demolishing all cares or worries. Maybe you were an alcoholic, or had the propensity to be one at least, and now, being what you are, and not being able to escape from it, you are instinctively succumbing to the addiction. In short. You are weak.”
“Weak.” The vile word rolled like a jagged stone in Roland’s mouth.
“That’s right.” Her mouth curled up in a saccharine smile, small white teeth flashing as she leaned closer into his personal space. “Weak.”
Weak indeed. If he had been a weak man, then every time he’d gone on the hunt he’d have let instincts overtake him and succumbed to the call of blood pumping through the veins of his prey. Just like a weak man, when faced with a friend’s request to harbor a young innocent that would tempt every aspect of his being, both vampire and Paladin, would have turned his back. If he was weak, he would have continued to deny what he already knew in his heart, in the hollow place that once held his soul: She was his mate. And if he was weak he would have used that as an excuse to take what he wanted from her, to claim something he had no right to claim.
He was not weak. At least, not completely. Though there were times when he faltered. Like now, looking down into those beautiful brown eyes that were trying to bore a hole in his head. Melted chocolate. He wanted to drink them in, the same as he wanted to taste the full strawberry pink lips that were currently pursed in smug challenge.
She probably didn’t even realize she had thrown down the gauntlet, probably thought she was being defiant, showing her strength by daring to get so close. Stupid woman. Hadn’t anyone ever told her not to play with fire? If her brown eyes were an addiction he could drown in and her lips an edible fruit, then her smooth skin was the fuel of his desire, her crisp floral scent the accelerant. An inch closer and they were both going to go up in flames.
One kiss. One taste. One moment.
He shouldn’t. She was too pure for him. She deserved more than a mate who could only offer her pain. More than a monster who would crave her blood as much as her companionship. He should turn his back on her now and get the hell away from here before he did something they’d both regret.
He shifted into her space.
Her head tipped back, hair slipping down her back, exposing her long neck and the pulse that flitted there. A hand came up as if to ward him off, but she stopped partway, hovering as if with indecision. He watched self-preservation war with something else…something that caused her lips to slacken into an openmouthed “oh” and the hand wavering between them to fall lightly upon his chest, curling into the soft material of his shirt.
A pulse of rosy-red fire licked at the soft white, pinks, purples, and yellows of her essence. Roland’s nostrils flared, scenting the concurrent change in her body chemistry: crisp lavender spiked with spicy musk.
She might not want to be, but she was aroused.
Straws. Camels. Backs. Everyone had a point when they broke. Turns out his was his mate’s desire.…

Author Interview:

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m not too comfortable with this question yet, so I’ll toss out some inane facts. I used to think I’d be a poet, or a vet. Deciding that vets earned more money, I got my undergrad degree in biology. I worked for two vets (one small animal and one large animal) and learned that though I could stand the veterinary aspects, I couldn’t much tolerate many of the owners. So I went with a new plan: Jack of all trades. I worked for an orthodontist, then as a medical assistant, teacher’s aide…wife then mom. It was the last that spurred me to revisit my love for the creative. Not poems this time though, just novels. 

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Like many authors, I’ve always loved to write. Or rather, I’ve always loved to tell stories. The fact that they usually had a boy and a girl and a happily ever after should have been a clue that I’d end up writing romance someday, and the fact that my first love was fantasy novels sure cinched the deal on the paranormal aspect.

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

It’s not about writing the story. Okay, yeah, that is a major part of it, but there is so much more that goes into it. Becoming published is not for the faint of heart nor, contrary to popular belief, does a story come simply with the muse. Beyond the “story” there are pesky things like craft and style, editing, networking, and marketability. There are some amazing success stories where people sit down to write their first book, send it out with a hope and a prayer, and viola, immediately get picked up, but that is rarely how this business works.

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

Characters come first for me, normally either the hero or heroine. After I find my pivotal character I flesh them out, determine what their character arc is, and develop a plot and a supporting cast that will get them there. There is no set formula for doing this other than trial and error, though sometimes outlining the cause and effect of different actions helps. Once I have my characters set and a general plot outline I start filling everything else in. 

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

Training and discipline. Storytelling is an art, but craft and style are the conduits to good writing. The muse is not always there and when you’re on a deadline, you can’t wait for her to show up. That’s when training and discipline come in. As long as you’ve looked forward enough to know what comes next in your story and you’re disciplined enough to work your way there, then the training you’ve gone through (whether a literary college degree or self-taught, through workshops, conferences, crit groups, etc.) will give you the tools you need to write a good story regardless of the muse’s strike. 

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

I’m happy to say that I’ve just turned in book two of The Paladin Warriors. Deliver Me from Temptation picks up a few months after Roland and Karissa’s story and explores Logan’s conflict between duty and temptation. Raised and sculpted to be the next Paladin leader, he has subjugated his emotions and passions to honor and discipline. Enter Detective Jessica Waters, a stubborn homicide detective who trips up (literally) his hard-assed dedication, and rocks his self-perceived destiny, challenging him to unleash the passion that he’s forsaken for duty.

In Twitter Fashion use 140 characters or less, sum Deliver Me from Darkness for us.

Roland, vigilante vamp and fallen angel yearns 4, but doesn’t believe in, redemption 4 his soul—until his bondmate is delivered to his door

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

I love action-packed stories. Comedy, drama, thrillers, doesn’t matter as long as they’re fast paced. Whether reading one, writing one, or watching a movie, I’m drawn to those stories that keep the audience flipping pages or on the edge of their seats. However, if the characters in these adventures are unbelievable, forget it, thumbs down. So, for me to write, I need to solidify who my characters are, what they want out of life, then determine what sort of obstacles I can put in their way that create the most drama, the most action, and the most angst. I know, kind of cruel, but oh so fun since it is, after all, make believe. 

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

Deliver Me from Darkness was probably my second longest book in terms of writing time (about nine months), and not because it was my second longest book ever (the longest being 275K in under six months - wowsers). I think what took me so long was I changed my method of writing for this book. Up until now I’d always let my muse guide me. The problem with allowing the muse to drive is that I tended to end up with either a quickly written, but much in need of editing, novel… or I had a novel that fizzled after the first third. Having five other manuscripts that had already taken way too much of my time in editing (well over twice the original “write” time) and three times that number of unfinished works in my “ideas” folder, I decided there had to be a smarter way to do things. So, I learned to plot. And phew, what a chore that was! 

Will we be seeing a following book to this stories?

Yes! In fact, as I mentioned earlier, I just turned in book two of The Paladin Warrior series! Expect to see Deliver Me from Temptation out from Sourcebooks late 2012 or early 2013! 

How did you come up with the character Karissa?

Deliver Me from Darkness started off as Roland’s story. When I started, I didn’t have a solid take on who the heroine would be, just a vague idea. It wasn’t until a few chapters in, lots of plotting, and a whole bunch of soul-searching later (Roland’s soul that is) that I was able to fully develop the heroine who would perfectly compliment my hero. I think Karissa does a good job at it too, softening him out just enough yet matching him passion for passion and balancing his weaknesses with her strengths (and visa versa ;-).

I always must ask, if you could pick one actor to portray Male Lead on the big screen who would it be and why?

Well… since Karissa describes Roland as “Collin Farrell goes Goth” I guess I have to say him. Though I’d add a couple inches on both height and hair length, and give him a French accent instead of the Irish one ;-)

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

Yes! The other Paladin wanting to steal the show! Both Logan and Valin are strong secondary characters and it was hard not to have them in the book more. In fact, there are at least a half-dozen deleted scenes from their POV. Good news is I get to revisit them both in book two!

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

Wow. This. Is. For. Real.

Daphne Award-winning author and former Tennessee native Tes Hilaire doesn’t remember how old she was when she wrote her first story, but she’s pretty sure it had something to do with a boy and a girl and a happily every after. Displaced at an early age to “the north country,” her stories turned darker as she started creating whole new worlds to escape the harsh, upstate NY winters. Now back in the South, her stories remain edgy, exciting, and bring a hint of dark fantasy to paranormal romance. Best of all, no one ever has to shovel snow. For more, visit her website at www.teshilaire.com.

Follow This Author and her books at:

Website:  www.teshilaire.com 


Barnes And Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deliver-me-from-darkness-tes-hilaire/1104176976

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Deliver-Me-Darkness-Paladin-Warriors/dp/1402264348



Victoria said...

Great excerpt. Looks real good.

Tes Hilaire said...

Thanks for stopping in Victoria! And Melissa, I forgot to thank you in my post for having me here!

tears_of_fire said...

Wow this sounds like something I need to read :)

Unknown said...

Great excerpt and cool cover:D. Just a quick question what is the title of the very first romance novel you ever read and did the novel left you deep impression at all? Thx:D.

Tes Hilaire said...

tears of fire - thanks for stopping in!

Aretha Zhen - Oh my, tricky question. Mainly because I wasn't allowed to read romance novels until after I was out of my parent's house. (Not that my mom was against them, just was firm in her must-be-18 rule!) Back then, the closest I could get to sneaking in a romance was Mercedes Lackeys Haralds of Valdemar series. Basically a fantasy, it had just the right amount of romance for my teenagey-angst heart. ;-) After that, the first REAL romance I read was one of Nora Roberts' romantic suspense novels. I stole the book while home from college off of my mother's bookshelf. I was over 18. And immediately came down with romancitis...though it was PNR that I eventually fell in love with (probably the fantasy influence from Mercedes Lackey ;-).

Theresa said...

This sounds wonderful , Tes, Can't wait to get it! How long were you seriously writing for publication before you sold? How many books had you completed? Best of luck!

Tes Hilaire said...

Theresa - I had five completed novels before I got the call. That's fully completed, edited (well, edited to my ability at the time), and being submitted. I think I would classify "seriously" writing for publication from the year I attended my first RWA conference in 2008. I'd been writing and wishing before that but really, I was hopelessly lost until I went to that conference and learned all the things I needed to be doing to make my dream happen. Thanks for stopping in!

Tore923 said...

Sounds really good. I would love to read this book. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

Tes Hilaire said...

Tore- You are entered! Thanks for stopping in :-)

Anonymous said...

I can't see whether or not the giveaway is international. If so, please enter me: jbherbal at hotmail dot co dot uk and thanks for taking the time to do the interview. It's always interesting the find out about the person behind the words.


booklover0226 said...

That was a teaser, indeed! I enjoy it and the interview.

I'm adding this to my must have list.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Tes Hilaire said...

booklover0226 - Glad you enjoyed the teaser! Thanks for stopping in.

Jabelfield - Whoops! That should have been clarified! It should have been US and Canada but since it was a my-bad for not clarifying, if you win I'll send one of my copies international to you!

Toni said...

You had me at the blurb, then the cover...well switch that. Sounds great. Then came the teaser!


Tes Hilaire said...

Toni- glad you enjoyed! Thanks!

Raven Corinn Carluk said...

I was sold at gothy Colin Farrel. Sounds like a fun read.


moonglitter said...

This sounds scrumptious in Every way! I don't think Melissa's going to be able to marry Roland because I'm gonna fight for him myself...*gets into proper fighting stance* ;) Thanks for the teaser and for a great interview!!!

Tes Hilaire said...

Raven - Colin does have expressive eyes, doesn't he. ;;-)

Moonglitter - alas, I fear both you and Melissa shall be disappointed. He is completely and utterly devoted to Karissa. :-)

Unknown said...

Amazing post guys. I think I am in love. This sounds great. Love the teaser. Roland sounds like my kind of man. So we are talking Colin Farrel in Fright Night? Please say Yes! He is hot, but he was hotter in that movie LOL! This book sounds very sexy and original. I can't wait to dive into this. I love your interview answers. I agree, I am drawn to books that are fast-paced and keep you turning the page. I agree about developing your characters first and then build a story around them. I like that your heroine came later, wasn't necessarily planned. Definitely sounds like they are compatible. I can't tell you how many time I come across heroines that just don't fit their men and vice versa. That is important. Great post, thank you guys so much :)

drharleyquinn87 (at) gmail (dot) com

Melissa said...

TES- OH! no, no, no, Thank You! I loved having you!

MOONGLITTER - Oh Honey it's on like donkey kong... Roland is sooo mine!

Mary Preston said...

A fabulous interview thank you. I'm looking forward to reading DELIVER ME FROM DARKNESS. If the giveaway is international please count me in.



Jen B. said...

Very sage comments about being a published author. I have been surprised about what goes into being a successful author. I am not an author and I am always amazed that anyone manages to make it through the labrynth to ever become one!

Unknown said...

Thank you all so much. I truly can't believe I won a copy of this. I am soooooo excited. Thank you so much again :)

Unknown said...

I put this on my TBR lost!!!

delphinareadstoomuch at yahoo

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