Monday, June 21, 2010
Please help me welcome, Annie Nicholas, author of multiple paranormal romance novels. She has a new release out today, The Alpha, published by Lyrical Press, and has stopped by Para-fanatics to share a little about her latest release.
Annie, Please tell us a little about yourself.
Who says a sexy man has to be human?
I remember making this argument to some friends a long time ago. At the time, I got a few strange looks but this happened before paranormal romance busted out of the publishing industry, when the closest thing I could find to read was Anne Rice.
Now, whose friends are buying out the vampire/werewolf sections of the bookstore?
I’m Annie Nicholas and I write Paranormal with a Twist, which means if you like your stories off the beaten path, your characters cut from a broken cookie cutter, and to get your beliefs challenged then welcome to my worlds. My mind is a dark and strange place where odd people live.
You wouldn’t know it by meeting me. I’m a baseball/swim team mom, standing on the sidelines cheering my boys, baker of cookies, healer of scrapes, and keeper of the household peace. Yet, monsters live in my head.
Some of them are members of werewolf pack but not your regular alpha, over-the-top dominating gang. These are pansies of the paranormal, my kind of people, computer geeks, gaming fiends, and jokesters. The second book of their series The Vanguards releases June 21.
Because it’s fun. What purer form of escapism is there? And it’s free. LOL
What were your early influences in writing?
I actually wrote an article posted on my website thanking all those specific authors who influenced and how. But the ones that come to mind right away are Larry Niven, CJ Cherryh, and Anne McCaffery.
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
About a year ago when I got my first contract, until then I just wrote for enjoyment. My CPs encouraged me to submit my work and a whole new world opened for me.
What kinds of research do you do for your work?
I research the city my story is set in and try to make it as realistic as possible, naming real landmarks and streets. Language, currency, transportation…etc whatever details I can get. For Bait, I found a blog about pink payphones in Budapest. Of course, I had to use that tid bit.
What are you favorite scenes to write?
I love banter. Be flirtatious or dangerous or both, I love writing the dialogue of quick-witted, smart ass conversation that could boil a person’s blood. I also love tension and creating the build-up.
Do you have a favorite character?
Connie Bence is still my favorite heroine. She’s featured in the Angler series as quick on her feet, street smart woman who can’t stop getting tangled in vampire affairs.
What are the hardest scenes to write?
Happily Ever Afters. Maybe because it means my journey with theses characters is coming to an end.
Do you have a writing tip to share?
I’m offering a series of blogs called Writing 101. They are on my blog with links in the side bar.
Any new novels in the works?
Book 2 of The Angler series: CATCH is coming soon.
I’ve always got a story up my sleeve, now, which one to play with next?
Any up and coming releases? What are they and when will they be available for purchase.
The Alpha Book 2
Someone is about to get some Spice in his life.
Spice has nothing but the clothes on her back when she returns to Chicago. She's looking for a better life, and that means reuniting with her estranged twin sister, Sugar. She isn't thrilled to find out Sugar's boyfriend is a vampire. But then she meets Eric, once the bottle-cap-glasses wearing nerd next door - now grown into the kind of man she'd love to snuggle with on this cold winter night...and he’s offered her his room in Sugar’s house.
Eric can’t believe Spice has returned. He’d given up hope of ever seeing her again, let alone having her stare at him as if he’s sex on a stick. But now that all of his fantasies for them are coming true, reality rears her ugly head and Eric must tell Spice his intimate secret; he’s actually an Alpha werewolf looking for his mate and he thinks he’s found her.
Warm yellow light streamed from behind her. “Forget your keys, Sugar?” a male voice asked from the doorway.
She stopped and glanced over her shoulder but saw only his silhouette.
“Oh my God, you cut your hair. Daedalus is going to freak.” The laughter in his comforting voice disappeared and he moved closer. “Don’t cry.” He wiped a tear from her face. “It looks great.” With a grin, he ruffled her short blond curls.
She couldn’t help but smile back.
He thought she was Sugar, her twin sister. Something in his voice sounded familiar. The face didn’t ring a bell though, but shaggy brown hair fell around most of it. He had a nice, easy-going smile. It would be wonderful to come home to a smile like that every night, but it belonged to her sister.
Her grin faded.
He wrapped his strong, thick arm around her shoulders and pulled her inside. Laughter drifted from the living room where three men and an oriental woman were setting up a board game.
One of the men, who had short cropped red hair, looked up. “Where’s the food? You were supposed to grab some grub on the way home from work.”
“We’ll order pizza.” The guy next to her squeezed one more time before walking into the next room, a huge kitchen.
“You cut your hair.” The woman spoke with a thick accent and sprung across the room to run her fingers through her hair.
Spice retreated and bumped against the entrance wall. This game of pretending to be Sugar used to be fun as kids but not anymore. With her hands raised, she kept the strangers at bay as they surrounded her like a pack of wolves. None of them looked dangerous, but what were they doing in her sister’s house while she was at work?
The way they grinned at her and each other, she concluded they were all good friends.
Sugar had everything she wanted; a loving man, friends, and a home.
“Daedalus let you cut your hair?” A short man built like a bodybuilder approached her.
The awe in his voice snapped Spice out of her self-pity and the protector inside reared its head. This was the second reference to someone allowing her little sister to do something. “What do you mean ‘let me’?”
What kind of relationship did Sugar have? She needed permission to cut her hair? Maybe destiny brought her back to Chicago to save her little sister from some monster. Again. All those bad things happening to drive her here couldn’t be coincidental.
She crossed her arms over her chest. “Where is my sister, and what are you doing in her house?”
They glanced at each other, confusion apparent on their faces. “What?”
The man in the kitchen stuck his head out of the door, chocolate brown eyes wide as he stared at her. “Spice?” The smile he’d given to her when he thought she was Sugar returned but wider.
Her heart skipped a beat. In the light his face seemed familiar as well. “I know you.”
“You should, we were only neighbors forever as kids.”
“Eric!” He had grown. Stupid, of course he’s changed. But she never expected that the skinny, lanky bottle-cap-glasses-wearing nerd would develop into a charming, handsome I-wanna-snuggle-you-on-a-cold-night kind of man. “Hi.” The jobs as a hostess, a bartender, and the most recent, a stripper taught her how to talk to men the way they liked. But with him grinning at her like a happy puppy, her mind went blank.
He swept her into his arms in a bone-cracking hug.
“Wow, I’d forgotten Sugar had a twin.” The redhead scratched his chin. “You look exactly alike, except your hair is short.”
Eric set her back on her feet. “Let me take your coat.” He tugged on the belt and untied it. To her surprise, the small action sparked warmth between her thighs. Not like he took off her clothes but she began to wonder what it would feel like if he did.
Their eyes met. His pupils dilated, the chocolate brown faded to amber, and something feral peeked at her.
She gasped and stepped back.
The pretty oriental girl took her arm and dragged her into the living room. She chattered about making tea, but Spice’s attention riveted on Eric as he stood with the men surrounding him.
What the heck? She’d seen need in men’s eyes before but this was darker, deeper, and so much more alluring.
You find me and more of my books at www.annienicholas.com
Thanks for stopping by Para-fanatics, Annie and telling us about your new release and novels we can look forward to in the future. It's been a pleasure.