Thanks for joining me today on Night Owl Romance.
Tammie King of NOR: To get us started can you please start by telling us a little about what you are working on or have coming out?
Christa Paige: Following the release of Bound By Deception, the first novella in the Blood-Vine series, I received great news. Liquid Silver Books contracted the second story, Bound By Rebellion. A week later, I was offered a contract for my first ever straight romantic contemporary, Irish Kiss. I figure those two books will be out late winter 2010.
Right now, I am working on the third book in the Blood-Vine series, tentatively titled, Bound By Temptation. For those who have read the first story, this third novel feature's Anna's brother Traian. And boy, is he in for one shocking romance.
I have been diligently working on a longer, novel-length story in the Blood-Vine series based on one of the cousin's named Sevastian. It is a tragic love story and one that is close to my heart.
In the contemporary writing I have begun working on a sequel to Irish Kiss. Tyler Mason is the hero and he is an utterly sexy, Los Angeles County Sheriff's detective.
Tammie King of NOR: Could you please tell us a little about yourself?
Christa Paige: I am a Southern California girl and have lived by the beach all my life. My husband and I have been married for almost fourteen years. We have two very busy, talented daughters. One is an optional level gymnast, which I am sure has added to the gray hairs on my head. The other is a competitive performing group dancer who also spends time in Hollywood on film sets. I homeschool them in a unique schooling design called a Hybrid. We do Classic Education at home three days a week and two days they go on campus with their teachers. Other than the parenting and wife duties, I enjoy spending time with my husband restoring classic cars. My current baby is a 1970 Camaro. Before the kids came along, I was a special-education teacher specializing in autism. Now, I am an author and I am very excited in what the future holds for me.
Tammie King of NOR: Who or what influenced you when you wrote this book? Did you have a CD, Songs, environment, etc?
Christa Paige: The story emerged during our annual trip to Lake Havasu. My mother played a huge role in prodding the details and plot out of me. While we floated in an isolated cove, the landscape of red rocks and vegetation inspired the basis for the back story of the Kan Asma people. From there, the story took off and I turned to a special play-list to help keep my muse in the different moods I needed for each scene. On a crazy note, my massage therapist, Kirk, took an interest in providing me with the variety of music I could check out and listen to for each scene.
So, it began with Enya. 'Hope has a Place' from the Mystery of Trees album had the perfect lyrics: One breath, one word may end or may start a hope in a place of the lover's heart. Those words conveyed exactly what I hoped Anna would be wishing for as she walked to the front of the chapel and faced the blood-rite ceremony of her people.
From the moment she makes her fateful choice the tone of the story takes a u-turn and seduction becomes the theme. There were many songs I had on a repeat loop during the chapters of Anna meeting her new mate. Def Leppard's 'Love Bites' and 'Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad' fit the hero's point of view perfectly.
For the intimacy scenes I began with Alice Cooper's Poison, which is such a vampire based song. I also added several others with poignant lyrics.
At the end of the novel things took a turn into dangerous territory for Anna. I wanted songs that kept things terse and anxious. The Kill by Thirty Second's to Mars had an edginess to it and I found it inspired me to continue with the situation Anna and her mate find themselves in.
The very last chapter ends with Anna accepting the path her life is on and embracing her future wholeheartedly. For this exchange between Anna and her mate, Open Arms by Journey really spoke to my heart and it felt like the right fit in which to finish Anna's novel.
I am always looking for new songs to help inspire my muse. If you have any suggestions please send me an email at christapaigeauthor @ gmail.com (no spaces) and put "playlist song" in the subject line.
Tammie King of NOR: Can you please give us a sneak peek into the book?
Christa Paige: Sure, here is an excerpt from the first chapter of Bound By Deception:
In a few minutes she could die. With each step she took, the reality of her perilous situation increased. The fateful gamble with her life drew near. Lifting her chin, she reached deep within herself and found what little courage she had. Determination alone brought her down the long aisle to an altar positioned in front of the sanctuary. Three lights shone on it, illuminating a trio of identical goblets.
No cleric presided over the ceremony. The ancient tradition required neither preamble nor explanation. This ritual of her people had occurred time and again. Like all the mated females who had come before her, today she had to make her choice.
When she stopped and faced the table, the room filled with silent anticipation. Her pulse kicked up, racing with anxiousness, pounding in her ears. She glanced at the cups briefly and dread washed over her, prickling her skin. Dropping her gaze, she focused on the decorated cloth situated underneath the golden vessels. A thick green vine, embroidered along the edges, twisted and turned, adorning each corner with scarlet berry clusters. This hallowed symbol embodied who they were, a poignant reminder of what they had become. They were Kan Asma, the people of the Blood-vine.
It was fitting that the tapestry contained this emblem, for in the center was the very thing which made them unique. The blood of three males, each in a separate chalice, sat waiting for her selection. Only one of them contained her future.
Except, she didn't know exactly which one it was.
The surreal moment threatened to crack her composure, possibly even topple her over the edge into insanity. She rolled her shoulders and wiped her damp palms on the front of her pants. Scrutinizing the first cup, she wondered what set it apart from the other two. Nothing, really. They all looked the same. Moving closer, she bent her head and inhaled. A spicy scent tickled her nose. Right away, she knew it came from the sample in the middle.
Like a powerful storm, volatile, raw and wild, it captivated her attention. Another breath and this time the flavor lingered, enticing her taste buds with a hint of cloves. She lifted her finger and traced the lip, round and round. The temptation to dip into the liquid, bring a bit to her mouth and lick each tantalizing drop, tasting it, in truth, shocked her all the way to her core.
Maybe, this was the one.
Jerking her hand away, she fought the spell, knowing she must consider the matter with all seriousness. Guessing was out of the question. Cautiously, she stepped back.
She concentrated, shutting out all other distractions. Tilting her head, she peered at the crimson fluid in each goblet, waiting for some kind of confirmation to go zipping through her veins.
But nothing happened.
Behind her, the guests became restless. She could hear them shifting in the wooden pews. The vaulted ceilings of this old Episcopal cathedral echoed the slightest sound. When a youngling whispered urgently, a reply to `wait a little longer' pressured her to make a choice and let the poor kid go to the bathroom.
Hells bells! Not that this life and death decision should be rushed or anything.
One, two or three?
Her stomach flipped, no longer a nervous fluttering but a tidal wave of sour nausea. Which one should she pick?
Oh God, she had noOh God, she had no clue.
Tammie King of NOR: What kind of research did you do for this book? Did you enjoy the research process?
Christa Paige: The day I sat down to write the story of the Kan Asma people, I spent most of the morning looking up and researching longevity mythos. I found one that worked perfectly. It came from a small mountainous village in Georgia, called Abkhazia. The more I looked into news articles and other material, the more my vampire mythology emerged. I delved into the early history of the villagers and found their descendants. When I realized that many Turkish invaders settled there during the fall of the Roman Empire, I decided that warrior culture fit the profile I needed. From there, I looked into the ethnic cleansing that occurred in the middle of the twentieth century and used it to have the Kan Asma flee their homes. Every new detail inspired me to look for more and I really had a great time learning unique and interesting facts of the Abkhazian people.
Because I live so close to Los Angeles, I chose a popular Russian community located in West Hollywood and had my refugees settle there. The research into that area took me from small neighborhoods and busy shops peppered through Westwood, Beverly Hills and the surrounding areas of West Los Angeles County. Traffic in Los Angeles is usually slow and congested, visiting the neighborhoods came when we were leaving filming and getting ready to head home. A few times, I drove down a couple residential streets and I would get giddy with all the sensory detail I could use for my stories.
The rest is all from my imagination.
Tammie King of NOR: Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
Christa Paige: I do. The encouragement is amazing. They are always eager to read the first drafts, to make honest comments that always help point me in the right direction. When I signed my first contract, they cheered along with me. I think the only hindrance is when I get divergent advice and I have to decide which to take, if any at all. Also, success in the group has been minimal, though everyone is extremely talented not all them have found a publisher, yet. So, I try to temper my excitement with new contracts because I am aware that rejection has happened to some of the authors in my crit group. I highly recommend crit-groups though. If not for the friendships formed in a tight-knit group, then for the extra pair of eyes eager to find those little errors that need ironing out.
Tammie King of NOR: Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
Christa Paige: I would be delighted to. Here is an excerpt from Bound By Rebellion, the 2nd in the Blood-Vine series.
The moment Kat entered the house she tossed her keys and purse on the entry hall table and ran down the hallway to her room. With one swift move, she kicked off her heels. On the back of her door hung a large duffle bag; a quick yank and it came off the peg. After bringing it over to the dresser, she rummaged around in her drawers and started to pack all the necessary items for the weekend.
Cotton yoga pants, a ribbed baby-doll tee, her plain every day panties. Nothing special. Not for Luke. No way. Kat's days of wearing lacy scraps to entice him had long past. The thing he hated even more than her hair being left unbound and hampering his every move was when she wore slouchy flannel pajamas. The pink-striped pair he so detested sat in the bottom pile. A decisive grab and she shoved them into the pack.
Moving into the attached bathroom, she leaned over and turned on the spigot. She considered the bath gels and selected the pearlescent jasmine oil. A few capfuls under the water made it foam up nice and inviting. While the tub filled, she went to work adding toiletries into her bag. Once done, she quickly stripped off her work suit, throwing the skirt and tailored coat into a bamboo hamper. A tug at the clasp between her breasts released the stiff support of her bra. She took in a deep breath, reveling in the cool air on her nipples. Rolling her nylons off and shucking her panties, she dropped them both to the ground. Totally naked, she turned off the faucet, set her foot into the hot, sudsy water, ready to lay back and soak for a few blissful minutes.
The shrill ringing of her house phone put her plan on hold. With one wet and one dry foot, she jogged through her room to the nightstand and grabbed the receiver. Irritated at the bad timing, she answered in a frustrated voice, "Yeah, hello?"
"Katiya," the deep, rumbling growl of her name, raked over her like phantom fingers stroking along every sensitive nerve ending.
"I am hungry, baby. For you," he added in a low and enticing voice.
Wicked, lustful images came unbidden into her thoughts. Kat's grip on the phone tightened and her hand shook. Damn it, no. She would not melt into a puddle simply because his tone sounded rough, needy. Where was her own voice when she needed to say something scathing? It seemed like she had lost it. To gather her wits, she looked up at the ceiling, trying to form a coherent but aloof reply. She only managed to say, "Lucas."
Silence stretched out between them. Kat bristled. Listening to him breathe helped to bring back her perspective. Exhaling, she huffed audibly. "What do you want, Luke?"
A long pause. "You know, Katiya. Close your eyes, baby, feel me."
Her eyelids drooped as if he commanded them somehow through the ether. The shadow of a memory speared through her mind's eye. She remembered a whisper of his touch, the brush of warm lips against her soft flesh and a hard male body covering hers. Kat felt them all. Urgency, a bone-melting, aching, yawning emptiness crashed into her, making her shudder with pent up desire and emotions she swore never to feel again.
"Stop it, Luke," she uttered, breathless and trembling.
"Never!" he replied harshly.
They didn't speak and Kat flirted with the idea of hanging up on him. She refused to give in to the urge knowing they must end on some semblance of good will so that later, when they met at the hotel, things went smooth and quick. He needn't know about her dinner date and he certainly had no right to run roughshod over her already made plans. With another man..her conscience screamed out loud and clear.
Gritting her teeth, she hoped that Luke had no connection to her other than through the phone or things probably weren't going to go as planned.
"Why did you really call?" she asked with forced civility. *
She was hiding something from him. Luke sensed it all the way to his toes. The barely concealed spite lacing her every word, also held a tinge of anxiety. If he didn't know her the way he did, he would think the worst possible scenario. But this sounded more like an evasion. Before, when things between them had been good, he would easily delve into her psyche and read what was truly going on. It just so happened Luke had done it one too many times and with too much freedom. Because of it, and other things, he ended up losing her.
Right now, he felt conflicted. His nature screamed for him to slide right into her mind and see what she hid from him, while his resolve told him invading her privacy probably wasn't the best approach to take. Jesus, why did this have to get so complicated anyways? He wanted Katiya back and tonight his plans centered on making her return home, once and for always. This tired quarrel, spanning a decade, had come to a full stop. Not only did he intend to finish their argument, but he planned on reinstating their bond until it grew strong again.
* For news on release dates and other information for Bound By Rebellion check out my website at www.christapaige.com
Tammie King of NOR: What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
Christa Paige: My Website is http://www.christapaige.com - My blog is there too.
Currently I am only on twitter for social networking: http://twitter.com/ChristaPaige
I can always be reached by email: christapaigeauthor @ gmail.com - no spaces
Tammie King of NOR: When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step?
Christa Paige: Last summer, during our annual trip to Havasu, I began the writing journey for my vampire series. Sometime around December the story was completed and going through a round of editing. Midway through the month, my family began their "Christa will submit her novella" campaign. First off, my mother gave me a "Soon to be published author" Christmas Tree ornament. After the holidays were over, she started to email and text me, "have you sent it yet?" messages. I dawdled and cringed at the idea of receiving rejections. I continued to drag my feet for a few more months. One night, my husband and I had plans for an evening out and I needed a sitter. I called my mom and asked her if she could watch my girls. She bribed me with babysitting as long as I sent my story in. For about an hour, I dithered and stalled, dragging my proverbial feet. Hubby stood in the doorway of our classroom/office tapping his fingers on the door jamb. We missed our movie time and I had to find another one a bit later due to my stalling. Finally, he simply cocked up one of his eyebrows and threatened to come over and push the 'send' button himself. I took in a deep breath, held it and clicked my mouse, emailing out my story.
Three weeks later Liquid Silver Books offered me a contract for it. And my mom still wears an "I told you so," grin!
Tammie King of NOR: What was your first published work and when was it published?
Christa Paige: Bound By Deception is my first published story. It was just released on October 12, 2009 with Liquid Silver Books. It is a paranormal romance. My very own take on the vampire mythos. It features a community of people who have altered DNA called the Kan Asma. This novella is about the blood-rites of this culture and how it affects one of their females, Anna Komar.
Tammie King of NOR: Do you outline your books or just start writing?
Christa Paige: I am one of those who write from my memory. I believe the nickname for that is a "pantser". Usually, I piece together the scenes in my mind's eye, like a film strip playing out, then I sit down and try to describe what I envisioned. I write in chronological order for the most part because I don't like to have any plot holes between chapters.
Tammie King of NOR: Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven't yet?
Christa Paige: Hand's down, Regency romance. I have written a bit of it but nothing up to par for being published. It was my first genre, as a romance reader, so it is near and dear to my heart. Beside that, noble aristocratic lords wearing buckskin breeches and shiny Hessians make for great hero material.
Thank you for spending time with me and letting our readers know about yourself and your books! I look forward to reading your series. Your excerpts really impressed me. I so want to read both book one and two...I guess I'll have to wait for book two...luckily book one is already out.