Thursday, February 16, 2012

Interview + Giveaway with Heather Long

Hullo all you wonderful people! Not too long ago, Kati read a book called Marshal of Hel Dorado and loved it. It was a bit X-Men-ish and throw in some Captain Tightpants and you've got a fantastic start to a new series. Today, Heather Long is stopping by to share her latest release, Cassandra's Dilemma which involves two males and one woman. A polyamourous story. A total 180 from Marshal of Hel Dorado. We love The Sexy here at Romancing Rakes For The Love of Romance and Heather has come to share it with y'all today.


WELCOME TO THE BLOG HEATHER!!!

Meet Heather:
Heather Long lives in Texas with her family and their menagerie of animals. As a child, Heather skipped picture books and enjoyed the Harlequin romance novels by Penny Jordan and Nora Roberts that her grandmother read to her. Heather believes that laughter is as important to life as breathing and that the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus are very real. In the meanwhile, she is hard at work on her next novel.

Find Heather: Author Site | Twitter | Facebook | Blog


Jamie & Kati: Who is Heather Long? (Author, mother, animal lover, international woman of mystery)
Heather: Heather is an overworked, overtired, and overcommitted author who bit off a lot more than she can chew in the last several months, but to be honest…I don’t think I’d have it any other way. Being a mom is probably my hardest job, but ultimately it’s the most rewarding. My mini me is my loudest and most enthusiastic cheerleader. I am just days away from turning in my thesis and completing my master of business administration. That’s a huge whoop whoop for me, because it means after eighteen months, I won’t have homework on top of deadlines, day job and my mini me’s dance commitments.

As for the rest, I’m definitely an animal lover. Nearly every animal in my home is one that I found as stray (including an emergency rescue in the middle of a downpour on a busy road) or provided a home for. We’re of the opinion that the animals in the neighborhood have marked a path to my door that says, “Need a home? Scratch here and bark for Heather!”

J&K: Tell us a little bit about CASSANDRA’S DILEMMA. [no copying blurb :)]
H: Cassandra’s Dilemma is a book that took me on more than a little bit of a journey. The first draft of it was written in 2009 while my daughter swam. I am a huge fan of urban fantasy and in most of those books, you’ll find that witches, vampires or werewolves have come out into the world, but we never actually ‘saw’ that happen, it was always a ‘previous’ event. So I wondered how would a species introduce itself and thus Cassandra Belle was born.

The name was a natural fit, because she’s named for Cassandra of Troy, the prophetess who wasn’t believed. From that kernel of an idea that story evolved and what was originally an MF love story developed into a poly amour when Jacob walked onto the page. He’s a bit of a forceful personality and when Helcyon showed no signs of bowing out, I had to rethink how we were going to do this.

J&K: What book or author brought you into the romance genre?
H: I don’t know that there was one exact book that ‘brought me in.’ I’ve been reading romances or had them read to me since I was little. My grandmother wasn’t a fan of picture books and so she used to read to me from her Harlequin Presents. I grew up listening to stories by Penny Jordan, Carole Mortimer, Nora Roberts and more. I’ve been exceptionally fortunate to meet two of the ladies on that list. When I was nine or ten, I read my first Harlequin and learned that the characters didn’t quite take naps the way my grandmother said they did (*wink*) and that book was Escape to Desire by Penny Jordan and I was hooked.

J&K: Do you have any writing rituals? (blasting music, drinking wine, complete silence...)
H: Those tend to vary a little based on the book that I am working on, but typically my writing day starts between 4 and 4:30 in the morning. I get up, let out the dogs, make coffee and all of us head out to the garage. I have a little portable desk out there, I crank up Pandora radio’s epic soundtracks channel, flip open the laptop and start writing. I write between two and three hours every morning like that with a break to get the mini me off to school. But that’s when my mind is freshest and the words really flow.

J&K: Plotter or pantser?
H: Yes, I’m a bit of both. I usually start out with a fairly solid idea; jot out a synopsis that takes me from beginning to end and highlights the turning points or at the very least a blurb. Then I dive in and write. For me, stories are organic so they don’t always travel the path I mapped out in blurb or synopsis.

J&K: If Hollywood came knocking and wanted to make CASSANDRA’S DILEMMA into a movie (a super sexy movie), whom would you cast?
H: Hrm this is super tough. For Jacob, I think I would go with Karl Urban. Cassie would need to be someone who struck a happy middle between Rachel Weisz (I actually had her in mind when I started writing this) and Scarlett Johansson. (That's right people, Kati found a mash up of these 2 actresses.) As for Helcyon, I think they’d need an unknown but someone who could do for green eyes what Ian Somerhalder did for blue.


J&K: How do you pick names for your characters?
H: Character names come from a lot of different places. I think Jacob’s name came from my daughter reading the Twilight series at the time while Helcyon came from the idea that he was going to be called Helo for a while, but I didn’t like the way that ‘read’ on the page. Cassandra as I said earlier earned her name from her place in Troy. Other characters just show up, most of the time, they have a name. Every once and a while I have to stretch and look names up look for meanings and then see what I come with.

J&K: If you could write an anthology with any author (dead or alive) who would it be and what would it be about?
H: Um…all of them? No, seriously. I’d say of the authors I love, I would love to do an anthology with Patricia Briggs, Kelley Armstrong and Nalini Singh about shifters. Those three women are definitely among my favorite authors list. I also wouldn’t mind doing an anthology for fun with Mel Schroeder and Nikki Duncan, something saucy and sassy, maybe set in a piano bar. Yes, I know, a little odd!

J&K: What can readers expect from you next?
H: This is going to be an excitingly busy year for me. I have two more Fevered Hearts novels coming out (Brave Are the Lonely which is Fevered Hearts #2 releases in March). I have this series of sexy shorts coming out from Decadent beginning this summer about Marines. I am currently working on a superhero novel for Carina and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I am cavorting in my own version of a play land of stories and characters. I love playing in so many different worlds, genres and getting to know the characters.

J&K: Authors choice.
H: Do you prefer authors who stick to the same genres or do you enjoy experimenting in different genres if you already like the author?

J&K:  Thanks Heather for hanging out at Romancing Rakes For The Love of Romance!


CASSANDRA'S DILEMMA:

A woman on the edge.
Cassandra Belle is about to break the story of the century. But one well-placed bomb devastates her plans and leaves her on the run and in a fight for her life and her heart. Caught between wild allure and primal need, Cassie is torn by the desire to submit to both of them.

Two enemies on a mission.
The sexy Fae lord Helcyon wants to protect her, but his pleasure leaves her quaking at the loss of control. The dangerous Wizard Jacob wants to save her, but his war with the Fae frightens her even as he captivates her with passion.
With her enemies closing in, Jacob and Helcyon must challenge everything they’ve ever known to work together or risk losing her.
Where To Buy: BookStrand.com
Book Extras: Read an Excerpt

Okay lovelies, here's the deal. Heather has been kind enough to offer an e-book copy of CASSANDRA'S DILEMMA to one(1) lucky reader. The giveaway is international. Yay!

Here's how to get your sexy on:
  • Leave a comment for Heather answering her question: Do you prefer authors who stick to the same genres or do you enjoy experimenting in different genres if you already like the author?
  • Fill out the rafflecopter form with the name you commented under and your email address. All other entries are optional.
A huge thank you to Heather for hanging out and to her PA Brandy for forwarding correspondence between Heather and us.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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