Monday, July 22, 2013

Interview with paranormal romance author Arial Burnz

Paranormal romance author Arial Burnz is in the house today. She's doing a virtual book tour for Midnight Conquest – Book 1, and Midnight Captive – Book 2 in her Bonded by Blood, Vampire Chronicles series. 

Arial will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card (winner's choice) to a randomly drawn commenter during this tour and her NBtM Tour. Also, at every stop a randomly drawn commenter will be awarded a 5-Star Short Story eBook, Romance Trading Card set & signed Bonded By Blood series post card. To be entered for a chance to win, leave a comment below, and to increase your chances of winning, visit other tour stops and leave comments there. 

Arial Burnz has been an avid reader of both paranormal and fantasy fiction for over thirty years. With bedtime stories filled with unicorns, hobbits, dragons and elves, she had no choice but to craft her own tales, penning to life the many magical creatures roaming her mind and dreams. And with a romantic husband who's taught her the meaning of true love, she's helpless to weave romance into her tales. Now she shares them with the world. Arial Burnz lives in Rancho Cucamonga, California, with her husband (a.k.a. her romance novel hero)—who is also a descendent of Clan MacDougal—along with their dog and two cats.

Please tell us about your current release, Midnight Hunt (Book 3).
Driven by the desire to have the true love she's experienced in her dreams, Monika Konrad uses her magical skills to weave a love spell during the waxing of the moon. As if in response, a strangely familiar and handsome Scotsman is looking to settle in their village. But the werewolf stalking Monika has other ideas about who her love interest should be.

Broderick MacDougal is drawn to the powerful witch by a familiar force and he makes the raven-haired wise woman his next pursuit to unravel this mystery of why she reminds him so much of his late wife, Davina. However, there are other supernatural forces surrounding her, exposing Rick to a darker side of this deal he made for immortality...and this enchanting nymph may be his salvation.

Broderick's quest for answers causes a chain of events that starts a witch hunt, dooming both him and Monika to the fiery stake of judgment. And through these trials, they learn the Church has a new ally who is hunting down the members of the Army of Light.

What inspired you to write this book?
This venture into my Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles started over twenty years ago when I wrote Midnight Conquest, Book 1. I created Broderick MacDougal to be completely opposite of any other vampire I’d read about at the time. He loves immortality, is a complete rogue and womanizer, he’s six-foot-three, has flaming red hair and is a Scotsman through and through.

Even today, most vampire stories are contemporary. There are very few set in historical periods. Kate Pearce has her Tudor Vampire Chronicles (Love them!) and a few books here and there have a single story set in the past. Bonded By Blood starts in the early 1500s of Scotland with Books 1 & 2. Each book thereafter is approximately 100 years apart until we reach the 21st Century in Book 6. Makes researching history a pain in the tushie, but makes for an interesting series.

Through the years, when I had to put my writing aside, I had jotted down ideas for other vampire stories. But in 2006 when I took out Midnight Conquest to rework it, Broderick MacDougal (the hero of my novel) told me all those other stories were his and needed to be part of a series.

Midnight Conquest was a romp into the traditions of vampires and their associations with Gypsies and it’s the establishment of the overarching storyline for the series. Broderick travels among the band of Gypsies, to hide his immortality, when he meets Davina, the heroine. He’s a rogue and brute and is absolutely transformed by her and her daughter, Cailin, a toddler. Both of them remind him why he became immortal to begin with—for the sake of family. He sacrificed having his own family to gain immortality (my vampires cannot have children) in order to seek revenge for the slaughter of his brothers and their families.

I’d fallen in love with Cailin as a toddler, so I felt her story needed to be told next, so I inserted Midnight Captive. This story was never part of the original plan, but it allowed me to build the rest of the foundation I was planning for the premise of the entire series. Broderick has his own side story, where I explain my vampire lore in more detail and reveal the prophecy only briefly mentioned in Book 1. During this unveiling, Cailin and James are in their own whirlwind of an adventure with Broderick’s age-old enemy, Angus Campbell. Plus we’ll get to see James and Cailin have their love story.

Jump forward by almost a hundred years (1636), and we’re at the tail end of the witch trials sweeping across Europe in Midnight Hunt. I wanted to add more creatures and lore to my paranormal world, enriching the element of vampires, so this book has werewolves and witches, and explains the reason why vampires and werewolves are enemies.

Since most of your visitors are probably not familiar with the series, I’ll include an excerpt from Book 1, Midnight Conquest. Keep in mind that my vampires can hear the thoughts of others and feel their emotions. Additionally, they have a limited influence on a person’s memories, implanting thoughts and transferring emotions. Davina and Broderick initially meet at the beginning of the book when she is thirteen years old. The Gypsies came to their village and Broderick read her fortune. She quickly developed a girlish crush on him, but his kind image is what she held onto through the years of her abusive marriage, which ended with the death of her husband. Nine years later, after their first meeting, the Gypsies have returned and Davina is now a woman grown. Broderick is once again, reading her palm, while he is seeing images in her mind.

“I see blossom oil in a glass vial.” His smile broadened. “Intimate places are touched by this fragrance,” he whispered as he saw her touch the valley between her breasts, the two sensitive skin patches behind her knees. Broderick opened his eyes and breathed in deep through his nose. “A fragrance I smell coming from you, lass.”
Fire flew to her cheeks and warmth emanated from her.
He settled his eyes upon her square neckline, where she had dabbed her rose oil, to linger before they traveled up to her sapphire eyes. Without releasing her gaze, he dipped the thumb of his free hand into a bowl of oil heated by a candle.
She tried to pull away once more, but he refused to let her go. “For what is the oil used?” Her voice trembled in spite of her efforts to keep it steady.
“The oil makes the lines upon your hand easier to read,” he explained, and he smoothed the warmth over her palm, each stroke of his thumb slow and deliberate.
The sound of Davina’s heartbeat quickened. Broderick sensed a hunger blossom inside her, and her eyes roamed over his neck and shoulders. Those swirling emotions diluted the last remnants of fear and became a mixture of curiosity and desire. Davina struggled to maintain a slow even breath, fighting the urge to pant. She wondered what his body pressed to hers would be like; feeling his weight upon her and hearing him call her name, his voice thick with desire.
Even with his eyes open, his mind flooded with her erotic images, which joined with Broderick’s own recollection of his dream. He could taste her when he examined her mouth; could feel her sliding down his shaft when his eyes traveled over her curvy figure. Seeing the erotic images she entertained in her mind, mimicking the dream, was his undoing.
With a groan, he dashed around the table, and before she could gather her wits, he pulled her to her feet, wrapping her in his embrace and crushing her arms between them. Davina’s hands upon his chest spread warmth over his body. The wild thumping of his heart beneath her palms matched her own heart’s cadence, pounding in his ears. Davina stared up at him with parted lips, full and tempting, begging to be tasted, and his mouth descended upon hers. With a dexterity that surprised him, she dodged him.
Amusement played havoc with his features and he eased the tension of his embrace just enough to allow Davina some breathing room. His voice purred, “Stop? You are ripe and ready, lass. What say we indulge in each other in a more private atmosphere?”
Davina stepped out of his embrace and cracked her hand against his cheek.
“What in—” Broderick’s brow scrunched in confusion, and then smoothed as he tipped his head back and hearty laughter poured out of his mouth, his fists planted on his hips. Oh, I like her!
She stammered back, speechless, and her mouth fumbled with what to say. Before she could begin her insults, Broderick snaked his arms around her again. Davina struggled, pushing her fists against his broad chest still rumbling with his laughter. After much effort she found her tongue. “Let me be, you— you—!”
“Brute?” he supplied, unable to keep from chuckling at her passionate display. “Or am I more appropriately a—”
“An animal! That’s what you are!” She pushed against him with all her might. “Let me—!”
He hadn’t meant for her to fall. He just released her as she wanted and before he could think to snatch her hand, the force of pushing against him landed her right on her bottom.
Davina sat on the ground, dumbfounded, staring up at him. His arms folded across his chest, Broderick smiled down at her for a moment before stretching out a helping hand. Davina refused to take the offered help and rose to her feet unaided, dusting the dirt from her skirts and hands in furious gestures. His continuing flutter of laughter deepened the furrow of her brow.
When she faced him, they stared at each other in silence—his face sparkling with amusement; hers twisted in agitation. The fires of her temper were so easy to stoke, he couldn’t resist teasing her. He nodded toward the offering basket on the table.
She gawked for a moment then gasped. “How dare you ask for contributions when you have done nothing but manhandle me!” Picking up the basket, she threw it at him.
He ducked with ease and chuckled. “Methinks if you had gone with me to more private quarters, you would have been more charitable.”
Fury trembled throughout Davina’s body and he knew she caught his twofold meaning. With a huff, she stormed out of the tent.

Broderick is indeed a cad, but the beauty of this story is how Davina doesn’t give him what he wants when he’s behaving so. What starts out as a quest for information ends up being the chink in Broderick’s armor that he’s built to protect his heart and turn to immortality in the first place. I hope you enjoy his and Davina’s transformation in Midnight Conquest.

What exciting story are you working on next?
Midnight Eclipse is next in line. Here’s the blurb:

Broderick MacDougal follows the familiar yearning of his soul to the captain of a mercantile vessel who is as seductive as a siren at sea–and she is just as deadly. The world of the supernatural opens to Broderick when he is thrown into the midst of an ancient war between shape-shifting pirates.

Born into a race of Norse werewolves, Celina Hunter and her brothers are the seeking the coveted Lunar Eclipse Ring…the deadly mate to the Solar Eclipse Ring. Both divine items created by the Norse Gods have the power to unite or destroy the two werewolf clans. She knows all too well the dangers of trusting anyone other than her two brothers. And yet the survival of her werewolf pack hinges on trusting the strangely familiar Broderick MacDougal, a natural enemy of her kind. Enemy or not, Celina slips under the spell of this vampire’s promises of eternal love, gambling with all she holds dear.

Broderick and Celina are bound by a curse, but having come this far through the centuries, Broderick is not about to risk his chance at having his soul mate for eternity. The price, however, may be more than Celina is willing to pay as there is more at stake than just her immortal soul.

I bring in the Norse pantheon with this book, showing that there are not only other supernatural creatures in the world, but there are other theologies that govern them. I hope to have Book 4 published in the Spring of 2014, but we’ll have to see how things are going with our remodel and the selling of our house. I’ll be taking a break from writing after I’m back from Jimmy Thomas’s Romance Novel Convention in Las Vegas (August 7-11, 2013) and focusing on getting our house fixed up to sell or rent. Then we hope to be moved out by Christmas. *crossing fingers* Lots of changes!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve been penning tales since I was in second grade, but I hadn’t considered myself officially a writer until my twenties, when I started writing full-time and completed Midnight Conquest. At the time, I’d had several newspaper and magazine articles published as well as a few children’s magazine articles.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Yes, I am a full-time writer, cover designer and audio book recorder, and I do it all from my home office. At present, my day consists of marketing, marketing, marketing, writing, writing, and audio book recording. LOL Occasionally I’ll design a cover or two for my publisher or do some freelance graphics for authors, either book covers or web images (e.g., blog or website headers, signature blocks, Twitter backgrounds, etc.). I’m usually at the computer at 8 a.m. and I’m in bed somewhere between 12 a.m. and 2 a.m. On rare occasions, I’ll be in bed by 10 or 11 p.m.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Not sure I really have a quirk. Years ago, I had to have my two-beer buzz to feel motivated to write. Now I have to hunker down and focus because I have too many ideas and I can only write one story at a time. I have something like 24+ stories outlined and ready to be written…no joke. I’ll never want for ideas, that’s for certain. As a certified hypnotherapist, I learned that writer’s block is caused by the conscious mind arguing with the subconscious mind. All our story ideas come from the subconscious, so when we don’t let that run free, it shuts down. Between knowing that and my husband helping me brainstorm all my stories, I don’t ever have to worry about getting writer’s block. Is that a quirk?

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A veterinarian, until I discovered I was no good around needles. Then I wanted to be in the military, which I did (six years in the USAF and a Desert Storm Veteran). I eventually became a software instructor and was paid for about fifteen years to write training manuals, so for almost twenty years now, I’ve been a paid writer. Only as of 2011 have I been paid to write fiction. I also was an editor for two years, but no time for that now. In between, I dabbled in alternative medicines (e.g., herbal remedies, hypnotherapy and Reiki healing), however, that wasn’t paying the bills as much as I enjoyed it. All that experience, though, helps me be able craft realistic characters and I have the skills to self-publish my novels with little to no money, so I’m in a great place. I now have my dream job.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Over twenty years ago, I chose the name MacDougal for my main character. At the time, I had been married to my first husband and living in Europe. My now-husband and love of my life encouraged me to get my writing back out, and it turns out his family are actually descendants of Clan MacDougal. Meant to be? I think so!!

Also, thank you so much for having me here today! I’m available for any questions and if you leave a question for Broderick or even Angus Campbell, they’ve been known to make appearances on blogs. Warning: They’re both real rogues!!

Thanks for the warning, Arial. Readers, don't forget to comment for a chance at the giveaways!


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

Andra Lyn said...

A wonderful interview! THanks so much for sharing! :)

Andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

Kate said...

What an excellent giveaway! Thanks for sharing! Your book sounds wonderful!

hense1kk (at) cmich (dot) edu

Rita Wray said...

Great excerpt, thank you.


Arial Burnz said...

Thanks so much for having me at your blog today, Lisa!!! I'm looking forward to spending the day here. :D

Arial Burnz said...

@Andra - *waves* Hey, Andra!! Nice to see you at the next stop. Good luck on the drawing, hun! :D

Arial Burnz said...

@Kate - Thanks for your wonderful comments. I hope you enjoy the tour! Good luck!

Arial Burnz said...

Hello, Ingeborg!! Good luck on the drawing. Thanks for stopping by!

Unknown said...

Hello again! I swing by all of the stops just to tell everyone how wonderful the books are.

Hi Broderick! How is my strapping fella doing this evening?

Broderick MacDougal said...

Greetings, Lass!

Your 'strapping fella' is doing very that I've seen ye this evenin'. (wink)

I hope you're doin' just as fine.


Arial Burnz said... it weird my own character gets me HOT!?! I guess that's why I write about him. Unnnnngggghhh! Love me some Broderick. *sigh*

bn100 said...

Nice inspiration for the book

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Arial Burnz said...

Thanks BN!! Thanks for commenting. See you at the next stop! :D

Unknown said...

I love him too! And I love his son in law! Although Broderick, you certainly know how to make a lass weak in the knees!

Arial Burnz said...

@Lisa - I know, right?? It's nice to see someone (Mary Anna - thanks!) drew James out. Poor darlin's been neglected.

But when you have a bigger-than-life guy like Rick around...well, typical Aries that he is, he steals the show. Hee hee!

Broderick MacDougal said...

James is indeed a fine lad. 'Tis proud I am to call him 'son'.

Och, lass! I dinna mean to make your knees weak. Here...allow me to hold them for you. (wink)

The sun's cresting in the sky soon, lassies, so I must be going. Until the morrow.


Unknown said...

Well please do hold my knees, by all means. G'day sir, have a pleasant slumber.

Arial Burnz said...

Wooot! Yeah baby! Actually, he was pretty tame. When you said knees, I said, "Uh-oh!" I thought he was going to ask you what position. *rolls eyes*

Thanks for being such a great sport, Lisa!!

Unknown said...

ACK! I am behind, I gotta catch up. Where the heck did Monday go! Anywho, you are welcome Arial, I left him a comment in response ;) err..James that is. I'm off to the next stop

Mary Preston said...

A great post & loving the comments too.


Arial Burnz said...

Hello, Mary Anna!! I missed this comment you left, so *I* have some catching up to do, too! LOL

I'll check on the comment for James and let him know if he hasn't answered already.

Good luck on the drawing!!

Arial Burnz said...

@Mary Preston - Thanks, Mary!! Yes, Rick's a rogue...gotta love him. He's a fun character to write.

Good luck on the drawing!

Unknown said...

lol thats okay Arial, I know how busy we all get. I don't think James has replied, at least i didn't see anything today. It was at The crafty cauldron. perfect if you ask me, cause that's where i began to "stir the pot" with Kira BAHAHHAHA

Arial Burnz said...

Hee hee...I think you and Kira scared him off.

Unknown said...

He shouldn't be such a scared-ey cat. Rick needs to toughen him up some,

Unknown said...

I guess Angus isn't going "bite" on that either huh LOL

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

@Mary Anna - God's blood, commented so quickly on this post, I thought I posted on the wrong blog, so I deleted my comment.

Scared off? (chuckles) Hardly...although I will admit Kira seems like quite a handful. Cailin is handful enough for me.

Have fun ladies!

Unknown said...

{grin)Sorry there James :) I do tend to get ahead of myself sometimes..a handful...(smirk) that's a nice way of putting it. I don't even think Angus could handle her (stifles a giggle)

Unknown said...

(throws head back and laughs)

Unknown said...

Have you nothing better to do.

Unknown said...

what? (looks up at the ceiling whistling innocently)

Unknown said...

You find this humorous do you now , Angus?

Unknown said...

I am outtie now before i get double hexed

Cya Arial & James :)

Unknown said...

Aye, that I do, lass. Inciting you to anger is worth a chuckle. (wink)

Unknown said...

Don't let the door smack you on the a$$ on the way out MA....

Unknown said...

I'm glad to entertain you dear Angus, but I would much rather my frustration or anger be utilized on better things. Wouldn't you agree?

Unknown said...

Or can you "handle" that?