Saige: This week I have Margie Church here. Margie is the author of Dangerous Love – Love Bites Book II. Welcome, Margie!
Margie: Saige, thank you for having me and helping me kick off the exciting release of Love Bites II: Dangerous Love! You have a great blog!
S: Has someone been instrumental in inspiring you as a writer?
M: I'm not sure it's been inspiration as much as mentoring and flogging me at times! My sixth-grade English teacher, Mr. Walton, identified my writing talent when I was in his class. I got a haiku published in McCall's Magazine that year. We're still friends and write to each other regularly!
Since I am a full time writer, I've had many demanding supervisors who insisted I learn a different writing style (radio, video, plan writing, advertising, P.R.) and they challenged me to master these skills.
Sherri Derr-Wille, an extremely prolific author, encouraged me to finish my first book and introduced me to Class Act Books. Sherri always told me to write one word at a time. I always add, "Until the last one." Keta Diablo has been very influential in helping me become a better writer and understanding the businesses. These two women helped me bring the three components together that I think an author must possess: good storytelling, strong self-editing, and a good understanding of the business.
S: I know Keta quite well. She is a wonderful person. So, when in the day/night do you write? How long per day?
M: I cringe when I have to answer this one. Let's put it this way. I sleep about six hours a night. Any time I'm not sleeping, I could be writing! Realistically, my day begins around 6 a.m. and winds up around 9 p.m. on weeknights. Those hours could expand on the weekends, especially if my family isn't around. Yes, I have kids and a DH here! I try to write 1,000 words a day, every day, on top of all the other promos and correspondence an author does.
S: You sound like a very busy lady! I’ve heard from other authors that it’s important to write a little each day, so I can see from your answer that you try and do the same.
How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?
M: I am a plotter. I have a very good idea of my key characters before I write anything. They talk to me so I need to associate a face, body, voice, and name with them. Having this done first helps me keep my characters in character and avoid nasty editing revisions.
As far as plot is concerned, I like to write suspenseful, angsty stories so I lay out the storyline arc and identify sticking points to address and to avoid. I keep all this in writing helps me from writing myself into a corner and helps me actually finish the book. If I'm writing a series or a sequel, all this backgrounding is incredibly handy to reference for the next book.
In early November, I blogged at length about being a plotter on my blog: http://blog.romancewithsass.com.
S: I’ll definitely have to check that out.
If you could be a character in any book you've read, who would it be?
M: I would enjoy being Little Critter in the Mercer Meyer series. Little Critter is funny, ornery, bossy, clever, and barely puts up with his sister. I think it would be fun to be him. I'm playful, snarky, clever, and not too tolerant of my siblings either.
S: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
M: Write the very best manuscript you can. Don't rush writing or editing your book because you've got to make an excellent first impression on a busy submissions editor.
I'm giving away a copy of my brand new erotic paranormal, Dangerous Love. It just came out yesterday!
Answer this question and you could win a copy of Dangerous Love: Would you allow a stranger to take you into a club if you really wanted to get inside? Why or why not?
Buy link: Noble Romance
Keep up with Margie:
Margie's website and blog: Romance with SASS
Facebook: Margie Church
Wade Kairos faces deadly consequences for defying the leader of the vampire nation. Ladislav Husek partners with Master Prophet Dirk, to prove Wade can run but he can't hide. And neither can Jui Fabrice, the woman Wade loves. Every bit of his ingenuity is needed to protect her from being turned into a vampire or a prophet.
If that's not enough trouble for him, another vampire from Wade's past comes forward and makes it abundantly clear that what used to be hers is still up for grabs.
Someone will pay with their life in Dangerous Love.
ExcerptA moan from V One returned Ladislav to the present. He rose from his comfortable lounger and lifted the woman into his arms. Cradled in his lap, his was the first face he wanted her to see when her eyelids fluttered open. He kissed the closed lids and whispered to her. "Wake up."
Her skin appeared quite pale and her lips were tinged with blue. Concerned, Ladislav tuned into her heartbeat. Slow.
He telepathically communicated to Mateo. "Do you have her room prepared?"
"Yes. I was going to get V Two."
"Give me another thirty minutes. It seems our little bloodletting has weakened V One more than it should have."
"Let me know if you need more time. I'll wait in the main house."
Her body seemed to weigh nothing as he carried her down the winding hall. With one hand, Ladislav opened a small, oval-topped door while his knee helped balance the barely-conscious woman in his arms.
He laid V One on the quilt-covered bed. The room's lamps were dimmed, and he made one brighter so he could keep a close eye on his new treasure. He checked the bandages on her wrists. No unusual bleeding, but her pulse is below normal rates.
In a firm tone he said, "V One, open your eyes."
She moaned as though unwilling to wake up from a dream.
Ladislav lifted her by the shoulders and urged her to drink some juice. "Open your eyes and take a sip. You'll feel better."
Her brow creased as the chilled liquid touched her lips.
Her lips pursed against the crystal goblet to let the nourishing juice into her mouth.
"Good. More—take a few more sips."
Her gaze focused on his face—exactly what Ladislav wanted. He sent silent words into her brain. "I'm going to take care of you. You'll want for nothing except me." He picked up on her confused thoughts and continued communicating to her. "You'll understand everything eventually." He offered her more of the sweet juice to raise her blood sugar, and she accepted without hesitation. Having his new pet embrace his dominance so fast filled his cold body with power and a wicked sense of victory. Victory. His favorite word.
As V One regained full consciousness, he fed her like a mother bird feeds her fledglings.
She raised her bandaged arm and gave him a puzzled look.
"It makes you perfect."
"It hurts," she said in a whisper.
"I'm sorry but the scars are necessary. Like everything else you've endured, it brought you to the highest level of perfection. And your new name? Do you like it?"
"Yes, you have achieved a status above no other. You are my favorite, and I promise you'll have no regrets."
V One raised a hand toward Ladislav's face.
Reading her thoughts, he said, "Yes, touch me. Get to know me as well as I already know you."
Her efforts ended in a groan as pain shot up her arm and her pulse throbbed in her wound. Tears sprung to her eyes. "Can I have something for the pain, please?"
Concern and indecision flickered in Ladislav's eyes. "I'm not sure your body is strong enough."
"I need something for the pain. You promised I'd have no regrets—that you'd take care of me."
"I need to make sure your heart is strong enough. You've lost blood." Ladislav pressed his fingers against V One's carotid artery.
When his gaze met hers, she asked, "The verdict?"
Ladislav leaned forward, pinning her between his arms. His expression was unmistakable. V One panicked. "What are you doing? I asked for pain medication and you want sex?"
His face hovered near enough for V One to feel his breaths on her skin. She detected an odor that made her stomach roll. She stiffened, trying to contain her panic and revulsion.
"Please don't. I just want some pain medication. Maybe when my wrists are healed, we can get to know each other better and have a more . . . intimate . . . relationship." She almost gagged on the idea.
His lips were near her neck when he spoke. "I don't want sex from you, darling V, although you may want it from me. You may beg me for it."
Get off me! The second the thought entered her brain, Ladislav grasped one of her bandaged wrists and squeezed the tender injury. V One shrieked in agony and, this time, her tears fell.
"Don't ever push me away. Ever. You'll be rewarded when you do as you're supposed to—"
Her voice was barely stronger than a sob. "I'm supposed to let you rape me?"
"You'll never be raped. You have my word."
The sensation of his lips on her skin sent shivers through V One. A second later, the pain in her wrists was wiped away and exchanged for blistering pleasure. V One gasped with its intensity. Her body became rigid with the startling, overwhelming sensations. "Oh god," were the only words she could utter. After the initial reaction, she wilted in his arms, completely ready to surrender to whatever Ladislav wanted to do to her. She wound her fingers in his thick, long hair and pressed his face against her neck. "Don't stop."
His tongue felt cool against her skin and Ladislav sat up, looking smug. "That's enough for today."
V One was nowhere near ready to end this pleasure. She drew him by the shirtfront back to her lips. Her grip was weak but the pain was gone. "Finish it. Make love to me."
"I said that's enough for one day. I'll be back."
Confused by his response, she asked, "What do you mean? Aren't I going back to my room?"
"This is your room. I've had it made up especially for you. When you want me, I'll know." He erased the crease in her furrowed brow with the pads of his thumbs. "I know you have questions. They'll wait. We have all the time in the world." He stood next to the bed and pulled a light throw over her. "Everything you need is in this room. Now and always."
She called out as he reached the door. "Wait!" When he didn't stop, she quickly got out bed. Recognizing the mistake, she wobbled back to the mattress and sat, overcome with dizziness. She could do nothing but watch the door close and hear the lock click.
Ladislav teleported himself to the reception room where Mateo waited. Pleased that the unreliable prophet had obeyed his orders, Ladislav said, "Get V Two ready. I'm going to change."
Mateo snorted. "You think V Two would become upset seeing your bloody shirtfront?"
Ladislav arched an eyebrow and couldn't contain his smirk. "Patience. In time they'll both bend and what they see or think won't matter as long as they get what they want."
"What about the others?"
"Tell Dirk he can do what he wants with them. The usual rules apply, Mateo. Don't go off half-cocked leaving a trail."
The look on Mateo's face was murderous but he kept his trap shut.
"Good boy, you're learning. Between Dirk and me, you'll figure out your place." Ladislav laughed at the prophet who seemed to be trying so hard not to lose control. "Your place is dust. I walk on you. I shake you from my shoes, and I'll turn you to dust if you disobey. Maybe Dirk has a soft spot for you." A new realization dawned on Ladislav about why Dirk acted so protective of this particular prophet.
"Is that true? Are you his favored one these days?"
Mateo clenched and unclenched his fists. "My relationship with the Master is none of your fucking business." Before he knew what hit him, Mateo found himself thrown in a heap against the wall like a windblown chair.
Husek released the death scent vampires cloak from humans—dank, overpowering, and vile. "Everything about Dirk is my business, you worthless maggot." Husek grabbed Mateo by the shoulders and dragged him to his feet like a puppet. "I see your expression and read your thoughts. You want to kill me? You think you can destroy The Ancient One? You'll gargle piss for an eternity if I say so." He spat in Mateo's face. "That's the kiss of death." Shoving the prophet away, Husek said, "Get out before I change my mind about letting you exist."