Hi all! It's a pleasure to bring you a lady I respect, a good friend, and an author who writes one heck of a story -- Alicia Dean. I've worked with Alicia on many different things through the years, from beta reading, to critiquing, to a collaborative project, The Three Kings trilogy. Her newest book, Soul Seducer (which she's going to talk about today) is frankly blow-you-out of the water amazing. I had the privlege of reading an advance copy and provided a cover blurb for her release.
You don't want to miss this book.
So I asked Alicia to come by and answer some questions, tell you all a little more about herself. She happily obliged!
Briefly take us on the journey with you – when did you start writing, did you start in the genre you’re published in now, what hurdles did you have to overcome, etc.
A.D. I started writing as a child but seriously began pursuing publication in September of 2001 after taking a class with Mel Odom. I started with suspense and still write it, but I wrote a paranormal in 2006 that eventually sold. I’ve faced the same hurdles as most every writer, the difficult in getting an editor to look at your work, the even more difficult task of getting them to buy it. I faced even more challenges in that my writing didn’t always fit a specific genre. My first paranormal also had a great deal of suspense and publishers didn’t know whether to market it as paranormal or suspense.
Obviously you write in the paranormal romance genre. Is that your favorite genre to read? Do you write in any other genres, or under any other pen names you’d like to share?
A.D. My actual favorite to read is suspense. I haven’t written under any other pen names up to this point, but I’m currently writing a gothic mystery novella that will be released under the pen name, Winter Frost. It’s a project I’m working on with Mel Odom.
And I can't wait to read it!
Of the books you have published, do you have a favorite? If so, which one and why?
A.D. I think Soul Seducer is my favorite. I believe it’s the most unique, that it has the most tension and emotional impact. I also love my heroine, I really love my hero, and I even like my villain…a lot.
Me too, me too!! That's one yummy hero, to be certain. And your villian will leave chills in his wake.
What are your published titles and please tell us about anything coming down the pipe next.
A.D. I have some older titles, but my latest works are my recent Crimson Romance Paranormal release, Soul Seducer. I also have two books out in my Northland Crime Chronicles series, Death Notice (Book 1) and Death Offerings (Book 2). My next release will be a suspense short story through The Wild Rose Press, Thicker than Water (Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll) and will be available August 8th of this year.
All really, really excellent books. I fell in love with your Northland Crime Chronicles hero -- he's yummy also. Happy sigh.
So let's talk about Soul Seducer.
Tell me about your plot development? How did the idea spur, did you have to do much research, any interesting tidbits that we should know?
A.D. I wanted to write about a supernatural being that wasn’t common. I thought about how creepy a Grim Reaper story could be. Then, I thought, wouldn’t it be hard to love Death? The story developed from there. As far research, there wasn’t a great deal, but I had to do some. A writer friend of mine who was a nurse helped me with those details. I researched the practice of putting pennies over the eyes of the dead because copper is my Reapers’ kryptonite, so I had to figure out exactly why. One interesting tidbit I learned is that the average human breathes about 12 to 16 times per minute. My Reapers can turn human, but only for a thousand breaths, so I calculated that it would be right at an hour that they could remain human.
What’s one thing about your hero that we wouldn’t necessarily learn in the book? A secret dream, an embarrassing habit, an episode from childhood.
A.D. He wishes he could get a second chance at his previous human life. He’d right his wrongs and make amends.
All heroes are unforgettable in one way or another. What’s one thing about your hero that makes your heart go pitter-pat?
A.D. His dangerous side. What woman doesn’t love a bad boy?
If your hero doesn’t have a pet in your novel, what kind of pet would best suit his personality?
A.D. He doesn’t, but probably a black panther. I realize they’re not your average pet, but my hero’s not your average human.
Laugh so true. So tell me about Audra, your heroine. Everybody has flaws. Sometimes they are endearing, other times they are annoying. What is Audra's greatest fault?
A.D. She tries too hard to ‘fix’ everyone and every situation. It makes her come off a little stubborn and controlling.
Without giving away details that might spoil the story for those who have not read it, could you tell us the one strength your Audra provides to your hero?
A.D. She makes him more human. She helps him get in touch with the part of him that values life.
If your heroine was your daughter – what advice would you give her upon meeting your hero?
A.D. I would tell her to run as far and as fast as she could. But, only because of who he is when she first meets him.
If we peek in on your hero and heroine’s lives ten years from now, can you give us a glimpse of what we’d see?
A.D. They would still be in love, still be together, but they would probably be struggling a bit with conflicting views on how to reconcile the living world with the dead.
Well, let's take a peek at this awesome pair!
Sensing movement behind her, Audra whirled. In the shadowed corner of the room, she could make out the figure of a man, although she couldn’t distinguish his features.
Visiting hours weren’t until ten a.m. And even then, only family members were allowed in this wing of the ICU. Audra had met each of Ms. Chapman’s relatives, and this man wasn’t one of them. She could tell by his body type and height. The only male in Ms. Chapman’s immediate family was her son, and he was short and stocky.
“I’m sorry,” she said, her voice hushed. “You can’t be in here.”
He looked behind him, then back at her. “You can see me?”
She frowned in puzzlement. “Of course.”
“You saw me that night. Both those nights.”
Her frown deepened. “What nights?”
He moved from the gloom, drawing closer. Her instinct was to back away, but she forced herself to remain in place.
As he left the shadows behind, his features emerged and part of her brain recognized him, but she wouldn’t let the terrifying thought solidify.
He wore faded jeans and a form-fitting black T-shirt. His pectoral muscles and biceps would rival a male model’s. They were tight and well-defined, not overly bulky like those of steroid-enhanced body builders.
Reluctantly, her mind acknowledged she’d seen him before. He’d been part of her hallucinations. Her worst nightmares were becoming a reality.
Somehow not as frightened as she should have been, she stared into his icicle blue eyes. She waited, holding her breath in expectation.
Why did she feel this tingly sense of excitement? This glimmer of anxiousness mixed with fear? Why did she feel like she might explode with anticipation?
He halted a couple of steps in front of her and lifted his hand, brushing it along the scar on her cheekbone, causing a shudder in the pit of her stomach. A current moved in the air, like a burst of electricity.
“The first time was the night you got this.” His words were a whisper along her skin, as was his touch . . . as if his caress was the hint of a sensation, but not actual contact. Her eyes drifted shut and she swayed toward him. One slight move forward and she could touch him, press against his chest. Biting her lower lip, she just barely held back from giving in to the urge.
Softly, she murmured, “That night—I—you—” Her heart pounded, her belly clenching. She lifted her lashes, staring up at him, wanting to lose herself in his glittering blue gaze. Wanting to feel his hands on her body . . .his full, sensual lips on hers. Wanting to be swept away in whatever madness this was. It felt so strange, yet at the same time, exhilarating, compelling, irresistible . . . dangerous.
Yes, dangerous. Gulping in a breath, she stepped back. His touch fell away, breaking the strange hold he had on her.
“You! It was you there that night. In the alley . . . .” Her breath came in short gasps as the odd yearning was replaced by fear. “Then again, at the hospital.” She shot her gaze around the room. “Where’s the other one? The blond guy? Who the hell are you?”
How has writing changed your life?
A.D. I’ve gotten an opportunity to do what I’m passionate about. Many people don’t even know what they’re passionate about, let alone have the opportunity to actually do it. It’s given me contentment and satisfaction I wouldn’t have otherwise.
What fictional character would you like to be, and why?
A.D. Samantha Stevens. (Bewitched) I’ve wanted to be her since I was a little girl, and I still haven’t run across a fictional character that has her beat. I mean, she’s magic. She can do anything. And, she’s beautiful. I would have to dump the husband, though.
Laugh -- yeah he was kinda a stick in the mud! In your opinion, what is the hardest part of writing a novel? Why?
A.D. Creating believable characters that people can connect with. I find it very difficult. It’s almost like being a mad scientist. You have to breathe life into a figment of your imagination. It’s very difficult to create characters that resonate with readers. They need flaws, but not enough flaws to make them unlikable.
Okie dokie -- We'll let you get back to work on that. Although I, for one, don't see flaws with your characters. ;) Thank you so much for stopping by today!
If you want to know more about Alicia Dean, you can find her at:
Her Website | On Twitter as @Alicia_Dean_