Thursday, July 9
All over blogland it seems that people have been asking the question, do you judge a book by it's cover? My answer...kind of. Because if the cover art is not very good, or eye catching amidst a sea of other books, I may not notice it. I see a cover I like then investigate further. Tortured was one of those books that visually intrigued me "at hello", and then I saw the book trailer, and then I put it on my wish list. I can't wait to read this book, and August 1st can come soon enough for me. Want to see what I am talking about, here's the book trailer...
it gives me chills...have I said I can't wait to read this yet :)
AM: I am a best-selling, internationally published author, and have sampled everything from an office career and motherhood to being a newspaper columnist turned fiction writer. I'm the author of over two dozen novels, novellas, short stories and anthologies. My highly sensual and character-driven work covers several genres including paranormal, historical, and contemporary romance as well as non-fiction. I currently write historical erotic romance for Harlequin Spice. My debut novel, DIARY OF COZETTE released in October 2008, followed by TORTURED in August 2009 and WINTER AWAKENING in Winter's Desire anthology in November 2009. I am currently working on my next book for Spice.
SM: You were a newspaper writer before becoming a romance author. Why did you decide to become a romance writer?
AM: I have always been a creative person. An artist at heart I say now that I paint with words. I read an ebook, my very first by author, Lori Soard. I contacted her and she introduced me to RWA. I had always had this story in my head (as I find a lot of people do!) that I wanted to write. I started the story one day and ended up staying awake the whole night writing the first draft. I'd have to say that maybe that accomplishment was the catalyst that inspired me to continue learning and stretching my writing. I don’t think a good writer ever stops doing that.
SM: Please tell us about your latest book, Tortured
AM: The concept of Tortured was conceived after I found an obscure piece of historical info about the handful of women executioners there were in medieval times. The thought alone intrigued me and I began to wonder what type of woman would accept such a position. Then it occurred to me, what if she didn’t have a choice? Sierra, my heroine, was born and while it is set in a very dark time, I knew her story needed to be told. It wasn't as easy of a task to delve into that era. But I wanted to find the story of a courageous woman and how she would survive such an ordeal to find her HEA.
SM: I love all of the pictures and “inspirations” for Tortured listed on your website. It really lets readers see into your mind and how you envision the world you have created. What comes first for you, history, the setting, an idea for a plot, or are the characters your muse?
AM: It depends, often times it’s the history, then I begin to ask questions (what if...) from there I usually find my characters and if the muse is happy, it rolls on from there ;)
SM: Tortured is categorized as an erotic romance. What do you think makes a great love scene?
AM: Definitely the emotional build up. My work with Spice is classified erotic, but I consider it erotic romance, which I feel is different than straight "erotica"--in that while there is a good bit of steamy scenes, there is a wonderful complex story and characters with emotional, vivid depth. In this story my heroine finds her "escape" through encounters with one man in particular (until she meets the hero) because that is the only time she feels human. As you might well imagine living for years in this environment, she learns to cut her emotions off in order to survive. Part of her personal journey then is to learn how to embrace not only her strengths but her vulnerabilities as well. That discovery I think is what makes this story unique.
SM: And finally just for fun…if you could write the “fortune” in a fortune cookie, what would it be?
AM: Your inquisitive nature will take you on adventures
In a time of chaos, darkness, and violence it is better to live only in the moment, lest your memories eat you alive.
A young woman blessed with “sight seeks vengeance against a tyrannical lord responsible for her mother's murder. Forced to become an executioner's apprentice, she encounters a Roman prisoner who offers her a away to escape her prison and find a future. Torn between desire, duty, and the chance for revenge, her choice to live or die leaves her TORTURED.
Excerpt from TORTURED
Saxon Shore,A.D. 500
“Dunna ever be afraid, Sierra,” her mother’s voice whispered in her head. “Fear will be your downfall, as it is mine.”
Sierra shoved her body against the dungeon’s heavy, wooden door. With the dense smoke from the executioner’s chamber still clogging her throat, she breathed deeply of the rain-soaked smell of earth and moss. The clouds above were gray and ominous, covering the sun and offering little hope of warmth in this most unholy of places. Her eyes rose to the hill overlooking the outer wall of the castle. Once occupied by the Romans, the fortress was now home to Britannia’s Saxon king, Lord Aeglech. Nine years ago, his tribes had taken over, obliterating all that was once a thriving Britannia. Those who did not accept the new Saxon rule were killed. Those who did became Saxon property. In some ways, Sierra considered herself lucky to be alive. She owed her life to her mother, and to the threat of a Druid curse that her mother left on Lord Aeglech and his guards in the moments just before she was hanged as a traitor.
More than once over the years, Sierra had wished she had not been allowed to live. Or that her mother had not left her with the gift of sight passed down on the maternal side of her family. She had never wanted the gift, seeing the life of servitude it had enslaved her mother to. Untrained, Sierra was not able to summon her sight at will, but over the years, she had managed to use it well enough to stay alive. And if she could stay alive, perhaps she had a chance of one day finding the brother who had been taken from her the night their mother died. If nothing else, living in the Saxon fortress had served to strengthen her in odd ways. No longer did she despise the sight of Lord Aeglech or look upon him as a murderous barbarian. Nor did the cries of anguish from Balrogan’s torture chamber—where she grew from a young girl to a woman—make her vomit, any longer.
For nine years, she’d lived in this Saxon hell, clinging to her mother’s last words, “Dunna fear.” It was her f irst and last thought each day. She had long ago learned to void herself of the things inside of her that could lead to fear. It was all she knew. It was how she survived.
Sierra choked on the cold air that filled her lungs. Blinking the wetness from her eyes, she squinted at the Saxon gallows up on the hill. Placed there for all the village slaves to see, it currently stood empty, gently blowing in the breeze and patiently awaiting its next guest. She absentmindedly touched the lavender wristlet on her arm. Her mother had given it to her once long ago.
Careful not to respond too quickly to her birth name, she glanced toward the nearby stable from whence the whisper came. There beneath the eave, with his arm braced above him, stood Cearl—her lord, her savior—the boy who started as friend and who’d now grown to a handsome man. The one and only boy she had ever given herself to. Sierra waited a heartbeat and checked around her before she hurried toward him. She gripped the water bucket as it slapped hard against her thigh, and let it tumble to the ground so she could leap into Cearl’s waiting arms.
“’Tis good to see you as well, Mouse.” He laughed and clamped his mouth down on hers. She savored his lips, the sharp taste of mead on his tongue, the feel of his arms secure around her. When she was with Cearl, the dark world she lived in faded away, if only for a few moments.
“Is Balrogan expecting you back soon?” he muttered, dropping her to her feet and wrestling with the knotted belt at her waist.
“I have a little time, not much,” Sierra replied and turned her head to allow his fervent kisses on her neck. In truth, Sierra did not know what Cearl saw in her. Sentenced to aid the executioner, as his apprentice, she was ordered to keep her hair short and wear men’s clothing. It was part of her punishment to have no identity, no gender. Yet Cearl did not seem to mind that she was covered in soot and filth.
“Take care when you call my birth name aloud,” she reminded him as his fingers fumbled with the leather knots of her belt. “It is dangerous out here. Someone might suspect that you are familiar with me.”
“Is it not true that I am?” He grinned and brought his mouth down hard on hers, before refocusing his efforts on his task. “What shall I call you, then? My wench?”
He laughed and grabbed her buttocks through the thin breeches she wore as he pulled her tight against him. Sierra knew they took a great risk. Lord Aeglech’s decree for himself and his guards was that no Saxon was to join with a Briton woman. He did not want the bloodline marred by a Celt bastard; if one of his guards disobeyed his rule, the woman would have to be killed. Though Cearl was not a guard, she feared what would happen to them if they were found out. “Your wench would imply that I serve only you,” she teased.
He stopped, his hands pressing into her upper arms as he studied her face. “Another is pleasing you, then?”
She cupped his unshaven jaw. Cearl was such an innocent. Though his body was that of a man, he often thought like a young boy. “Nay, Cearl, only you do that.”
“All right then, let it remain so.”
He gave her a smile before he captured her mouth. She knew the routine well, and she accepted the rough manner of his tongue delving between her lips. Sierra’s breasts tingled beneath her bindings, and she longed to remove them so she could again feel Cearl’s hands on hernaked f lesh, but today there was not enough time. She felt safe around him. In all the years of her imprisonment, she had never had reason to fear him. Cearl had not the rules of the other men in her life. He had no need to dominate, perhaps because his place in life was to serve those of higher rank. He was the handsome son of a Saxon villager and helped in the kitchen, in addition to crafting the drums the Saxons used in battle. His hair was a mass of golden curls, the color of the summer sun, and his blue eyes danced with mischief when he was aroused. His smile was the only bright spot in Sierra’s dreary existence.
Diary of Cozette-HQ Spice -Available!
Winter Awakening in Winter's Desire-HQ Spice Nov.'09
You can find all of Amanda's web locations and newsletter subscription at : http://www.amandamcintyre.net/
Amanda will be giving one lucky commenter a copy of Tortured. So leave her a comment and ask her any questions that you might have. Don't want to wait to win it, pre-order Tortured (and it's on sale).
How to enter:
- Leave a comment asking Amanda a question. Your comment MUST include your email address in order for you to be eligible
Rules and disclaimers:
- The winner will be chosen by the author on Saturday 7/11 and posted on Sunday July 12, 2009
- The book will be mailed directly from the author and no substitutions are allowed. This giveaway is open to residents within the continental U.S. only.
- Seductive Musings is not responsible for prizes that are not honored, distributed in a timely manner, lost, stolen, or damaged during transit
- All giveaways are subject to change/cancellation without prior written notice
Make sure to join us tomorrow for another great medieval romance giveaway.