Pick of the Month & Giveaway: A Dark Lure by Loreth Anne White

It has been a long while since I have published a pick of the month post. One reason is because such outstanding reads have been few and far in between.adarklure

Loreth was kind enough to answer a couple of questions about the book and writing in general, for which I am grateful. Hope you guys find the interview as insightful as it was for me!

What made the book stand out:

  • A Dark Lure was a book that warranted a 5-star rating from start to finish!
  • The book is intensely emotional – there is no way you can be removed from what takes place in the story!
  • There is darkness, depravity and hope in the story. Nothing can beat that.
  • Dark romantic suspense of the well-written kind is rare in the world of romance today. All the more reason to appreciate it!

Interview with Loreth Anne White on A Dark Lure

MBR: What inspired you to write A Dark Lure?

Loreth: The story was born out of several fishing trips into British Columbia’s Cariboo country and fleshed out around campfires at night. While sitting under a vast northern sky, listening to coyotes cry in the Marble Mountains, and hearing the crack of hunters’ rifle shots at dawn, as all writers do, I began to wonder ‘what if’ there was a human hunter in those dark woods around us. And I began to braid these thoughts with inspiration that came from the real life serial killer, Robert Hanson, the so-called Butcher-Baker of Alaska who abducted, tortured, then set his victims out to be hunted in the wilds.

MBR: A Dark Lure deals with disturbing material. While writing this particular novel, which aspect of it would you say was the toughest to write?

Loreth: I think my greatest challenge came in trying to create a heroine who is both vulnerable, and afraid, yet also incredibly strong, resilient, and brave—a true survivor. Even the strongest of people have fears, yet they face them—I hope I’ve managed to show this. And I wanted to do justice to PTSD.

MBR: Olivia is a woman who has gone through more than most people for that matter would go through their entire lifetimes. Where did you draw inspiration from, in crafting her character?

Loreth: I have long been intrigued by real life survival stories of people who triumph against seemingly impossible odds, while others die when all they needed to do was wait for help. There appears to be some interesting common traits among these survivors, and they’re not what one might imagine … I wanted to show these traits in Sarah/Olivia, yet also show that while people can survive a devastating event, they remain forever changed in some form.

MBR: Are any of the events that took place in A Dark Lure drawn from real life events or experiences?

Loreth: As mentioned above I drew some inspiration from Alaska’s Butcher-Baker case. Other than that, inspiration comes from some of my own real life experiences. For example, like the dead character in the book, Melody (Tori’s mother), I worked as a journalist. And while working for the newspaper in the ski resort in which I live, I covered countless search-and-rescue and survival stories. People go missing in our mountains all the time. Some come back. Some never do, and what happened to them remains a mystery to this day. This in turn led to a personal interest in the psychology of survival. And like Melody, and Olivia, I’m also a mother. Like Tori, I lost a parent at a vulnerable age. And like Olivia, I am rarely without my dog.

I have also done tracking with my dog, Hudson. This was something else borne out of my obsession with people who just go missing, and are never found. Hudson and I have attended several BC Search Dog Association wilderness training camps where we were lucky to have tracking and air scent instruction from some of the best Royal Canadian Mounted Police K9 handlers and BCSDA volunteers. And I’ve done courses in man tracking through the BC Outdoor Association. My husband is also a keen fly fisher, and I do fish with him, too. We often camp at a place called Big Bar Lake in the Cariboo, which was the inspiration for the setting of Broken Bar Ranch.

MBR: What did you, as an author and as a person, learn from crafting A Dark Lure?

Loreth: In writing A DARK LURE I went deeper than my earlier/shorter romances into developing secondary characters and layering story lines, and I learned how much I enjoy digging into this direction. This book also veers further into mystery/thriller territory than my earlier romantic suspense stories which is something I am enjoying.

MBR: Is there any message or messages that you wanted to convey to your reader base with A Dark Lure?

Loreth: I hope the book shows the resilience of human nature, and how important forgiveness is, especially forgiveness of oneself. And how dark and dangerously powerful a sense of shame can be, however unjustified. I also hope to show how love, and how belonging to, or being welcomed into a family/tribe in its many disparate forms can help healing.

A Dark Lure, at its core, is a story of survival and finding the strength to accept oneself in spite of scars both inside and out, and allowing oneself to be loved.

MBR: Are you currently working on any projects? If so, would you care to share some information regarding that with us?

Loreth: I have a book coming out August 16 – IN THE BARREN GROUND. It’s a dark, atmospheric romance and police procedural with gothic/horror overtones set in a remote fly-in community just south of the arctic circle.

I’m also working on a more mainstream suspense/thriller, which I hope will appeal to those readers who enjoyed A Dark Lure, as well as a new romantic suspense police procedural series.

MBR: Looking forward to all of it! So excited! Thank you so much Loreth, for taking the time!

Giveaway!

You can choose either one of the following. Just state which one you would like in your comment below the post!

  1. One e-copy of A Dark Lure by Loreth Anne White.
  2. A US$ 10.00 gift certificate from either Amazon or B&N.
  3. A paperback version of A Dark Lure to those residing in US.

Giveaway Rules:

  1. Tell us the darkest romantic suspense you have read, to-date!
  2. Specify the number or which of the 3 options of the giveaway you would like!
  3. Leave a valid e-mail address as a way for me to contact you in case you are the winner.

Giveaway Timings:

  • Giveaway begins: 00:00 hours, February 4, 2016 – Maldivian Time
  • Giveaway ends: 23:59 hours, February 5, 2016 – Maldivian Time
  • Maldivian Timezone: GMT+5

Promotional Post & Giveaway: In Deep Series by Kella McKinnon

Author Kella McKinnon has a two book series out In Deep and In Deeper, both full length novels. Graced with gorgeous man-titty covers, both books with rave reviews on Goodreads seems like the kind of story that most romance readers would love!

Kella is visting MBR’s Realm of Romance today and has answered some questions about her releases, giving readers an insight into what writing is about for her. And don’t forget, Kella is giving away 2 boxed set of e-copies of the books and a 50$ Gift Certificate. Giveaway will continue to run for 4 days, starting from the 24th till the 27th. Don’t forget to share the good news with your friends!

Interview with Kella McKinnon

MBR: Welcome to MBR’s Realm of Romance Kella. Its a pleasure to have you here with us. My first question is about your inspiration for writing the series. What would you say inspired you to write this two book series; In Deep and In Deeper?

Kella: Well… I had decided to take a break from paranormal/fantasy and write a contemporary romance. I wanted to create an alpha male character who was somewhat dark and broken, but still worth the heroine’s love. Around this time, my husband and I went to Las Vegas for a long weekend (we have three kids and almost never get away!), and I realized that Vegas was the perfect setting for a little bit of crazy because just about anything can happen there.

MBR: Why the first person POV for both characters? Any particular reason for writing in first person?

Kella: It’s true that third person is the more ‘traditional’ POV in the romance genre, but I think more and more authors are beginning to write in first person because of the immediacy and intimacy it can create. When you read a book with first person POV, you aren’t listening to someone tell you a story, you’re in that story as it’s happening. I find that, for me, it’s easier to connect with the characters.

MBR: Which part of Cristos’ character was the hardest to write and why?

Kella: Cristos is a man who has lived through a horrific childhood, and because of that has some pretty deep psychological scars. The way he thinks and reasons is not what most people would consider ‘normal’, or even appropriate, and yet Brielle still eventually falls in love with him. In writing Cristos, it was difficult to have him be, as one reviewer put it, “certifiable”, and still have the reader be sympathetic to how he got that way, and what Brielle sees in him that makes him redeemable in the end.

MBR: Was there anything that surprised you about Brielle while you were writing her and why?

Kella: Brielle is a young woman who knows exactly what she wants out of life. She has been through some pretty hard times herself, but that’s only made her more determined to grab hold of life and live her dreams. When she meets Cristos, she knows in her heart that she’s not going to be able to walk away from him again once their relationship progresses, yet she takes that risk. She knows that he’s hiding something that could be a game changer for her, but she can’t stop herself from letting him into her life.  

MBR: What would you say was the most challenging aspect of writing the In Deep series?

Kella: Probably weaving snippets of Cristos’s past into the story so that the reader would learn little by little where he’s coming from, without giving too much away. Oh, and the quotes at the beginning of each chapter… I must have gone through thousands to find just the right ones that spoke to where my characters were in their story!

MBR: Would you say writing romance, being an author is a fulfilling career? Why?

Kella: Being a romance writer, or a writer in general, is really a very solitary endeavor, and is definitely not for someone that needs to be around other people all the time. Luckily, I truly enjoy my quiet, alone time when I can grab a cup of coffee and my laptop and get down to work. Finally finishing a manuscript is very gratifying. Putting it out there for the world to read is just plain scary (what if I’m the only one who likes it?) Getting feedback from readers who have enjoyed my work is very fulfilling and makes it all worthwhile.

MBR: Your Goodreads profile states that you write Contemporary, Historical and Paranormal romances. Which other genre might you be interested in and would you ever pursue your interest in writing one in that particular genre?

Kella: Hmmm… I have to say that those are my three favorite genres to read, and therefore also my favorite genres to write, at least right now. In the future, who knows?  

MBR: What would be the message that you want readers to draw from your In Deep series?

Kella: I think that the overall message of this series is one of understanding and forgiveness. While Cristos has done something that I think even the readers will have a hard time forgiving, Brielle is able to put it all in the perspective of his past and the emotional damage he suffered because of it. She knows that she has a choice: either live her life without him in it, or accept him for who he is. In the end, she knows exactly what she wants and isn’t afraid to take it.

MBR: Are you currently working on any books? If so, tell us a bit about them?

Kella: I am! Right now I’m working on another contemporary romance featuring a tattooed, fighting, pierced badass with an emotional, artistic side. It’s going to be quite a ride!

MBR: Who would you say is your favorite author and why? Any book(s) that you might recommend for readers who might not know him or her?

Kella: What a hard question, there are a lot of authors that I love! I have to put Karen Marie Moning on the list, along with Kresley Cole., Larissa Ione, K.M. Scott, and K. Bromberg to name a few. The one book that was a surprise to me and I still think about is Transcendence, by Shay Savage. It was so touching and so different…

MBR: Thank you so much for your time Kella. Hope to see that bad boy, tattooed badass come to life soon!

Book Blurb

Briellenew cover in deep

What would you do if you met a man that made you burn like wildfire from the inside out? Burn so hot that with one touch you forgot to breathe?

And if you knew that he had dangerous secrets? Would you be able to walk away?

I couldn’t. As strong as I know I am, I kept going back for more of him. That body… those eyes…

I saw him for the first time on my very first day in Vegas, and even then I think a part of me knew, because I couldn’t look away. It was like that moment when you see something flying towards you and you know it’s going to hit you before you can ever move out of the way, so you just watch, transfixed, as it crashes into you. Cristos Vicario: owner of the illustrious Adagio hotel and casino and reputed billionaire playboy. He sure as hell wasn’t what he seemed on the surface. That man had secrets. No one knew what a dark and dangerous world he lived in, and when I finally saw him for what he was, it was already far too late. I found myself inextricably tied to him forever. The course of my life altered. My entire world changed forever as he took away my freedom and gave me the key to my dreams in one fell swoop.

How could I have known that the one man who should have been my greatest nightmare would become the one thing I couldn’t live without? And all I had to do was forgive him…

Cristosnew cover in deeper

I was only living for one thing, one goal, one endgame… until I saw Brielle. And when I touched her, it was all over for me… I just didn’t know it yet. Not until I broke all of my rules for her, one after another, and that still wasn’t enough. I wanted more.

I wanted it all. Yeah, what I did to her was pretty much unforgivable. I know that now. Some small part of me might have known it then, too, but it didn’t matter. I had to hold on to her. I would have done anything to keep her… and I did.

Now I’ve put her in danger, dragged her into my world, and I don’t know whether to push her away or hold her tighter. Letting her go would be the right thing to do… but every time I try to do the right thing… I can’t.

When I take her, it’s always hard and desperate, as if she’ll disappear if I can’t make her feel the same things I feel… if I can’t force her to care about me enough that she’ll look past everything else and see into my heart.
Last night, after she fell asleep, still wrapped in my arms, I rested my lips against the top of her head and inhaled the scent of her as she slept. Trusting me, even though she shouldn’t. “I don’t deserve you”, I whispered. “But I want you. God, I want you so badly.”

Purchase Links: Amazon

About Kella McKinnonkella

Kella McKinnon lives in New England on a mini-farm with her husband and three children, and is finally making time for her favorite past-time: writing passionate stories that take the reader away to another time or place.

Contact: FB | Goodreads | Email | Twitter | Website

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Promotional Post & Author Interview: Tail Lights by Connie L. Smith

Connie L. Smith has a new book out today, November 18, 2014. Tail Lights, a New Adult clean romance that fans of the genre might want to have a look at. Connie answered a couple of questions about her new book and writing in general.

MBR: Welcome to MBR’s Realm of Romance Connie. And happy release day! So let me move onto the first question. Where did you draw the inspiration for writing Tail Lights?

Connie: I read a lot of contemporary romance these days, and I guess that sparks ideas here and there for my own books. Some of my favorite reads here lately have been in the genre, so I was interested to try my hand at it. And, for the record, it was a little different than writing fantasy 🙂

MBR: Is the first person POV your chosen writing style? If so, why?

Connie: This is first person, from Preston’s POV. In the past, all of my published works have been third person, but there’s something simple and fitting about telling a person’s love story from his or her perspective. In fact, I have a YA Romance that’s expected to be released around May of next year, and it’s first person as well.

MBR: How did you come up with the title Tail Lights?

Connie: It’s based off of a song. The plan is for each book of this series to have a title related to a song. Basically, Nick and Preston broke up years ago, and Preston has taken to calling her ex “Tail Lights” because the breakup is so similar to Hinder’s song, “Red Tail Lights.” That’s another piece of inspiration I had for this book, and it’s a nickname (and kind of a theme) that persists through the story.

MBR: What was the most challenging aspect of writing Tail Lights?

Connie: Switching gears from fantasy! I didn’t completely realize how different the two styles are. What might be appropriate in a fantasy story could come across as boring or too wordy in a contemporary romance. It was a bit of a learning process!

MBR: Are there any quirky characteristics to either Preston or Nick that you love? If so, do share!

Connie:I like the way Preston dresses. She’s a rock star who dresses like a hippy in cowgirlboots 🙂

MBR: Is there a hidden message in your novel that you want readers to get once they are done reading your book?

Connie: Oh, wow. Well, first off, I want people to know that I want to write more books for the series! Beyond that, I guess I would say that things aren’t always what they seem, sometimes home is the right place to be, and if people matter, then don’t forget them if possible.

MBR: What about writing romance is the hardest part for you?

Connie: I’m so self-conscious about it! It feels way more personal than writing battles scenes or something less emotional. All of my romances are clean, but even with the sweet moments, I feel so on-display, sharing things and words that I think are heartwarming or tender. It’s like, “Here world! Gawk at what I think is romantic!”

MBR: According to your Goodreads profile, you tend to write Young Adult, Fantasy and Romance. Are there any other genres that you might like to explore one day and if so why?

Connie: I’ve considered writing a historical piece about pirates, but that’s not really on the immediate menu. But, most likely, it would have a romance element to it 🙂 As far as why… Maybe a POTC obsession? History nerd? Who really knows!

MBR: Are you currently working on any books? If so tell us a little bit about them?

Connie: I’ve actually had to write scenes for different books for a graduate program I’m involved in, so there are at least four books that have some part of them already written! There’s one in particular that I’m thinking I might tackle early next year. It’s a Sleeping Beauty retelling set in an epic fantasy world. Besides that, two other characters in Tail Lights are planned to have a book written for them, and Jivin’ Tango could easily end up with a sequel.

MBR: Who is your favorite author, why and which book(s) of his/her would you recommend?

Connie: I won’t say that she’s my favorite, but Becca Fitzpatrick definitely caught my interest with her Hush, Hush books. I loved that series, and Patch is my #1 book boyfriend!

MBR: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer the questions.

Book Synopsistaillights

Preston and Nick endured the breakup of all breakups when Nick accused her of cheating on him. He insisted, and she denied while the rain pounded against her driveway and thunder roared in the distance. Then they both ran – Preston to a life of Rock and Roll, and Nick to a career in the Army.

Over four years later, they’re damaged and broken almost beyond repair. He’s carrying baggage from his military days, and she bears the scars of living a lifestyle she’s grown to hate.

When Preston’s label forces her to take time away from music, their paths cross in a parking lot not twenty-four hours after her hometown return, anger and sparks flying in a confusing blend. But regardless of the feelings neither has been able to shake, too many lies and secrets stand in the way of the one thing they need in order to recover.

Each other.

Purchase Links: Amazon

Excerpt

Surprisingly, he was leaving his apartment when I reached his floor, and he smiled at me like no animosity existed between us. “Hey, Preston.”
“Hey, Preston,” I mocked, then held up the figurine and fastened a glare on him. “Take it back.”
He had the nerve to smirk. “How do you know I gave that to you?”
“Who else would leave a dolphin on my doorstep besides the guy who knows I love dolphins and wants to suddenly fix four years’ worth of betrayal?” His smirk disappeared, and I shoved the object closer to him. “Take it back.”
He shook his head. “I don’t want it back.”
“Well, I don’t want it ether.” When he arched a brow, I rolled my eyes. “Okay, it’s cute. It’s absolutely adorable, and it would look fantastic on my end table, but I can’t take this.”
“Why not?”
“Because I know what it means! You made a mistake, and you’re trying to make up for it. But it’s too late, Nick. And if I take this, it’s like saying that you have a chance to make things right, and you don’t.”
His brow again lifted. “You sure about that?”
I frowned. “Which part?”
With a grin, he shrugged in an almost casual manner, far too comfortable in a conversation that made me anxious. Evidently he’d meant what he said about mending things between us, and he wasn’t about to let my reservations ruin his determination. “You’re absolutely right about what the dolphin means, but are you sure I can’t make things right?”
“I’m so far beyond sure that sure isn’t even in my line of sight anymore.” I held the dolphin farther out, hoping that he’d take it. “I can’t keep clinging to things that weren’t good for me in the first place if I want my next four years to be any better than the last four years.”
Then he scowled. “And you think I wasn’t good for you in the first place?”
“I know you weren’t. If you were, you wouldn’t have believed Dad and dumped me, and…” Sighing, I waved the figurine in his direction. “Take it.”
“Your sentence trailed off,” he pointed out, a small smile forming on his lips. “That’s a good sign for me.” Eyes on me, he stepped closer, completely invading my personal space and causing the hand holding the dolphin to fall back against my stomach. After a moment of silently looking at me, so intense and needing, he pointed a finger at my face.
“That’s exactly why I can’t take it back,” he whispered. His finger moved to brush my hair behind my ear, trailing along my jaw before tracing my lips. I knew I should move, slap his hand away, something. But I couldn’t. I just stared, my mouth gaping in shock, my mind consumed with Nick and his caresses. “That was the biggest mistake of my life. And you are my life.”
His index finger exchanged for his thumb, outlining my bottom lip over and over. “I should’ve fought for this, and I’m not making the same mistake twice. I’m getting my life back.” Then he stepped away, gesturing at the dolphin. “That’s only the first step.” Turning, he walked to the stairway entrance at the other end of the hall, leaving me standing – still gawking where he’d been and suddenly holding the dolphin figure much tighter.

About ConnieUntitled2

Connie L. Smith spends far too much time with her mind wandering in fictional places. She reads too much, likes to bake, and might forever be sad that she doesn’t have fairy wings. And that she can’t swing dance. Her music of choice is severely outdated, and as an adult she’s kind of obsessed with Power Rangers. She has her BA from Northern Kentucky University in Speech Communication and History (she doesn’t totally get the connection either), and is currently working on her MA.

Links: Website | FB | GR | PInterest | Readwave