So I Married a Sorcerer by Kerrelyn Sparks – Spotlight

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Kerrelyn Sparks who is celebrating the release of her newest book So I Married a Sorcerer, the second book in her new Embraced series. You can read our review of this book here.

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Love at Stake series comes a novel of the Embraced—an epic tale of two star-crossed lovers destined for doom—or desire…

Growing up on the Isle of Moon, Brigitta knew that she was born with the magical powers of the Embraced—even if she did not know how to wield them. But she has finally learned the truth: Brigitta is the lost princess of the kingdom of Tourin. She was sent into hiding as an infant to escape the wrath of her half-brother, the king. And now he knows just where to find her. . .

Rupert is a notorious pirate and sorcerer. He’s spent most of his life plotting revenge on the evil king—and Rupert believes that Brigitta could be the key to finally destroying his enemy. But what begins as a kidnapping of the innocent beauty escalates into something deeper, and more passionate, than either captor or captive could have imagined. Rupert soon vows to protect Brigitta against the king—but will they survive long enough to find their happily-ever-after. . .or does fate have something else in store?

Enjoy an excerpt

Brigitta turned to peer out the window once again. Over the years, the Telling Stones had proven to be an entertaining game. But then, a year ago, something strange had happened. Luciana’s prediction for her own future had actually come to pass. She’d met and fallen in love with the tall and handsome stranger she’d foretold in specific detail, using the Telling Stones. And if that hadn’t been amazing enough, she’d become the queen of Eberon.

Eager to experience something equally romantic, Brigitta had begged her oldest sister to predict a similar future for her.
A mistake. Brigitta frowned at the churning ocean. Blue, gold, seven, and eight. Those had been the stones
Luciana had selected. Blue and gold, she’d explained, signified the royal colors of the kingdom of Tourin. Seven meant there would be seven suitors to compete for her hand. And eight . . . in eight months, Brigitta would meet a tall and handsome stranger.

The eight months had now passed.

She pressed a hand against her roiling stomach. When they’d boarded this morning, she’d quickly assessed the captain and his crew. None of them had struck her as particularly tall or handsome. Captain Shaw was portly, bald, and old enough to be her father.

As for the seven suitors vying for her hand, she had initially been thrilled, considering the idea wildly exciting. But when her sisters had likened it to her being a prize in a tourney, she’d had second thoughts.

Why would seven men compete for her? She had nothing special to offer. Even the gift she possessed for being Embraced was hardly special. And did this contest mean she would have no choice but to marry whichever man won her? The more she’d thought about this competition, the more it had made her cringe.

So, five months ago, she’d played the game again, hoping to achieve different results. But to her shock, there had been four stones in her hand.

Blue, gold, seven, and five.

Had some sort of mysterious countdown gone into effect? Reluctant to believe that, she’d attempted the game again a month later. Blue, gold, seven, and four. Alarmed, she’d sworn never to play again.

But one month ago, Sorcha had dared her to play, taunting her for being overly dramatic. Those words never failed to irk Brigitta, so she’d accepted the dare. With a silent prayer to the moon goddesses, she’d reached into the bowl, swished the pebbles around, and grabbed a handful. And there, in her palm, four stones had stared up at her.

Blue, gold, seven, and one. A fate was shoving itself down her throat whether she liked it or not.

And she did not.

About the Author:Apparently, she has issues with reality. After writing 16 books about vampires and shifters, Kerrelyn has now completely gone off the deep end and wound up on another planet.

Although Kerrelyn is best known (so far) for the Love at Stake series, which has hit as high as number 5 on the New York Times list and 22 on the USA Today list, she hopes her readers will love The Embraced as much as they did her merry band of vamps and shifters.

Kerrelyn lives with her family in the Greater Houston area of Texas.

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How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days by Kerrelyn Sparks – Q&A

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Kerrelyn Sparks who is celebrating the release of the first book in her a brand new fantasy romance series called The Embraced, How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days (see our review here). She has agreed to answer a few questions for us.

If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?

Teleportation. But unlike my Vamps, who have to stay in the dark, I would want to teleport in daylight. It would be amazing to travel anywhere I wanted in just a few seconds.

If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?

You mean like a werewolf or dragon? Can I have Superman or Thor as a pet? I would take really good care of them! I just finished watching a Korean television show about a goblin. He was very handsome, could conjure up gold whenever needed, teleport, make a sword appear to smite the enemy (I used the word ‘smite!’ Ha!), and he was very romantic. So I’ll take a Korean goblin, please, with a side order of ManDoo (dumplings).

What is something that you absolutely can’t live without? (Other than family members)

Creativity. I need to create, whether it’s stories or crafts. And I need to absorb creativity, whether it’s reading, watching movies or dance, listening to music, seeing artwork or gardens. There are so many ways for people to create, and I love experiencing and celebrating what fabulous things human beings are capable of.

Could you ever co author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?

I would choose my daughter because we would work together well. She’s an excellent writer (unpublished as yet, but I expect that to change), and we have similar styles and very similar senses of humor. Whenever we brainstorm together, we end up laughing our heads off.

If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you do? What would you ask them?

Well, she’s not a historical figure to anyone else but me, but I would want to spend a day with my grandmother who passed away over 25 years ago. She was a librarian, so I suppose I would spend a day in an enormous library with her, and we would talk about stories and life and let our imaginations go wild.

If you were on the staff to have a book adapted to movie, what would you pick?

My new release, of course! And I’m not just saying that to promote myself. I actually think the book has a lot of action (ziplining, parkouring, sword fights, chase scenes, dragon attacks, etc.) that would look great on the big screen.

Luciana grew up on the Isle of Moon, hidden away because of her magical powers. But when her father arrives, he offers her a choice: remain on the island or return with him and marry the Beast of Benwick in order to save their legacy – and her father’s life.

Lord Leofric, the Beast of Benwick, has not been touched since he was a child. Born with the power to harness lightning, he is a danger to everyone he touches. When he meets his betrothed, he expects a loveless, lonely marriage…until he discovers she’s vastly more powerful than he realized. But is she strong enough to withstand his touch?

If they can survive, their love will alter the future of the kingdom. But will their extraordinary powers cost them everything?

Filled with romance, humor, and a beautifully imagined new world, HOW TO TAME A BEAST IN SEVEN DAYS is a fantasy in the vein of Game of Thrones with all the fun of The Princess Bride. Luciana is a vibrant leading lady that will have readers rooting for her spunk and devotion to her family while the Beast is a swoon worthy hero worth taming.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Anticipation swelled inside him as he reached the first set of cliffs. Another lightning bolt ripped through the sky, this one hitting only fifteen yards away. It blasted through the rocks, causing the cliff to crumble away. As the ledge beneath his feet trembled, he ran and leaped.

He landed on the next cliff six feet away as thunder cracked and the first cliff tumbled down the mountainside. More energy surged into him, and he scrambled higher up the mountain. Faster. In a race against the next strike.

He reached the highest cliff. Nearby on the mountain summit, the beacon tower stood, deserted in the storm, its flame long smothered by the rain. The village lay nestled in the valley far below. He spotted houses built of stone with their thatched roofs burned away. The chapel of Enlightenment partially destroyed. The village lookout tower stood as high as the chapel bell tower and was manned by a lone villager. No doubt, he was keeping an eye out for the last two dragons.

Nevis and his troop arrived, and the villagers poured from their homes to welcome them. Leo winced at the sight of small children running about. Dammit, Nevis, get them back into the cave.

A rumbling noise echoed through the valley, sounding much like thunder, but Leo knew better. It was the beating of dragon wings. The last two dragons had waited for the people to reappear.

Leo ripped off his gloves and threw them down, along with his bow and quiver. Then he drew his sword and pointed it to the sky. “Now!”

Lightning broke through the dark clouds, racing toward him. He widened his stance and braced for impact. It struck his sword, fracturing so that a dozen smaller streaks shot off in a circle around him.

The major portion of the lightning sizzled down his sword, eager to reach his flesh. It hit his bare hand and jolted him so hard he fell to his knees and dropped the sword. The dozen fractured shards rebounded, drawn to him like a magnet. They pounded into him, jerking him back and forth. Thunder cracked over him so loud his ears rang.

Power surged through him, so fierce and scorching he thought his skin would melt, his guts would boil, and his head burst like a kernel of corn dropped into a fire. Pain and power, power and pain, he could no longer tell the difference. He only knew he wanted it, wanted to drink it in, soak it up, and claim it all.

About the Author:KERRELYN SPARKS is the New York Times bestselling author of the Love at Stake series.

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Friday Spotlight: Kerrelyn Sparks


BOOK VIDEOS

I hope you enjoyed the book trailers for my two new releases, Secret Life of a Vampire and Forbidden Nights with a Vampire. If you’d like to see the book videos for the fourth and fifth books of the series (The Undead Next Door and All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire), please visit the Vampire World section of my website, www.kerrelynsparks.com, and click on videos.

Book videos can be both exciting and problematic to produce. All of mine have been done by Circle of Seven productions, and they do fabulous work. Even so, each video presents a bit of a challenge. You have approximately one minute to describe a book and hook the watcher into wanting to read it. You usually have about sixty-five to seventy words to work with. Once you’ve mentioned the bare essentials like book title, author’s name, title of the series, release date, and author website, you’ve used up more than a dozen of those words. Introduce your hero and heroine and your word count keeps dwindling. There simply isn’t room for much plot or romantic conflict. All you can do is give an intriguing hint of the plot and a sizzling glimpse of the romance.

A problem I run into is the tone. My books are a mixture of danger and comedy, so it can be very difficult to convey both suspense and humor in one minute.

Another problem is the pictures. Most of the photos out there have the guy and girl with big smiles. Don’t you usually smile for the camera? But a smiling hero or heroine doesn’t work for a video that’s hinting at danger and suspense.

In spite of the difficulties, I have a great time working on the videos. What do you think of book videos? Have you ever watched one that convinced you to buy the book?

Thursday Spotlight: Kerrelyn Sparks


WHAT DO YOU DO WITH AN ANGRY VAMPIRE?

I’m real excited about the next two books in the Love at Stake series which are coming out back to back. The sixth book in the series, Secret Life of a Vampire, released March 31st. I wrote about it yesterday. Today, I’d like to tell you about the seventh book in the series, Forbidden Nights with a Vampire, which hits the bookstores on April 28th.

The vampire in Forbidden Nights with a Vampire refers to Vanda Barkowski. If you’ve read the previous books, you’ll know that Vanda is a former harem member and now manages a male strip club called the Horny Devils. (It’s like a Chippendales for vampires.)

Vanda has a bit of an anger problem. After getting sued by three male dancers from her club, she’s summoned to vampire coven court. There, she’s sentenced to undergo anger management, which of course, makes her very angry. She’s supposed to have a sponsor, but none of the male vamps want to take on the volatile Vanda.

Phil Jones volunteers for the job. He’s had a secret crush on Vanda for years, so he welcomes the chance to get close to her. Vanda objects. She’s attracted to Phil, but she’s afraid he’ll hate her if he discovers the dark secrets from her past that are causing her anger. Besides, Phil is a mortal day guard, and there’s no way a mortal can handle her! Vanda is in for quite a shock. Phil is actually a werewolf! If you’d like to watch the book video for Forbidden Nights with a Vampire, you can find it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCuSz8aeQyY.

Which kind of hero would you want to date? A vampire or a werewolf?

Wednesday Spotlight: Kerrelyn Sparks


VAMPIRES IN VENICE

A few weeks ago, an interesting story hit the Internet. Archeologists unearthed a skeleton from a mass grave near Venice that was apparently feared to be a vampire. The female skeleton, most likely a plague victim from the Middle Ages, had a large brick wedged in her mouth. This brick was meant to keep her from feeding on her grave companions and gaining the strength to rise from the grave. Here was actual proof that people in the Middle Ages believed vampires were real.

I found the story particularly interesting because my curren book which released March 31st features a vampire from where? You guessed it. Venice! The hero from Secret Life of a Vampire is Jack, aka Giacomo di Venezia. Jack is a man of many secrets—not only is he a vampire, but he’s also the illegitimate son of the legendary lover, Giacomo Casanova. Jack’s problems begin when a beautiful police officer, Lara Boucher, decides to prove her skills as a detective by uncovering Jack’s secrets.

Jack does his best to keep his secrets safe, but that’s hard to do when he’s falling in love. Will Jack prove to be a legendary lover like his infamous father? You can find out more about Secret Life of a Vampire by reading the excerpt or watching the book video at my website, www.kerrelynsparks.com.

Jack’s flirting with disaster as he attempts to court Lara and keep his secrets at the same time. At one point in the book, he takes Lara on a romantic date in Venice. If you could go anywhere in the world on a romantic date, where would you go?

Tuesday Spotlight: Kerrelyn Sparks


HEROES AND VILLAINS

I’m continuing today with our adventures in the Big Apple. Can you tell that I don’t get out much? As a writer, I work day after day in my solitary office, so getting away from it all is a real treat. And thankfully, it gives me something to talk about!

We saw a few Broadway musicals in New York. The first one was The Little Mermaid, and it was simply magical. The sets and costumes made you really believe you were under the sea. The storyline was a little different from the movie, and a few extra songs and dances were added. For instance, Scuttle and his gang of seagulls did a really cute tap dance. As wonderful as Ariel, Sebastian, and Prince Eric were, I have to say the show was stolen by the villainess Ursula. Her naughty songs and lines were the best. Her costume with all the giant squid tentacles was the most outrageous.

Another night, we saw Shrek the Musical. Once again, the story was altered a bit and new songs and dances were added. Backstory for the major characters was included, so we would know what Princess Fiona was doing in the tower for twenty years. We learned how Shrek ended up in the swamp, and why he’s so determined never to be close to anyone. And we found out why Lord Farquaad hates the fairytale creatures.

And once again, the villain stole the show! Remember how short Lord Farquaad is? He was short in the musical, too! The actor playing him actually walked and danced on his knees which were hidden by his costume. He had fake short legs with knobby knees that moved with him. It was hilarious to watch!

Have you ever seen a movie or play where you enjoyed watching the villain more than the hero?

Monday Spotlight: Kerrelyn Sparks


SPRING BREAK!

I’m writing this first essay in New York City where I’ve been attending a writers’ conference, sponsored by the published authors’ chapter of Romance Writers of America. Since it’s spring break, I invited my husband and high-school-aged daughter to come with me. While I was listening to presentations during the day, they were going places like the Metropolitan Museum of Art or riding the Staten Island ferry. Then at night, we would have supper and go to a Broadway play. It was lots of fun, but chilly for spring break. Thursday morning, it was snowing!
That might not be a big deal for some of you, but we’re from Houston, Texas, so we’re not accustomed to cold weather or snow. We nearly froze, standing in line for an hour and a half outside the TKTS booth in Time Square in order to get discount tickets for the Broadway shows, but it was worth it! The shows were fantastic!

At the writer’s conference, we heard from publishing professionals like editors and literary agents, and invariably someone would ask how they felt about the future of publishing in these difficult economic times. Their answers were all similar. Sales for books overall may go down, but the Romance genre will remain strong. The tougher times get, the more people want to escape, and Romance provides escape at a price that compares favorably to the cost of other entertainment venues. Romance readers are not about to give up their books! They’re usually very loyal to their favorite authors. It does appear that hardcover books may suffer, but the mass market paperback will continue to thrive.

What do you think? Has the weak economy made you change your book buying habits?