Monday, July 29, 2013

Christine Presents: Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles

Please welcome Arial Burnez author of Bonded By Blood.

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 Virtual Book 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. A $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card (winner's choice) will be awarded to a randomly drawn host between both tours.

Don't forget to comment for a chance to win.

Bonded by Blood: Vampire Chronicles
by Arial Burnz


Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Christine!! I’m thrilled to be here!
 1)   What or who inspired you to start writing?
a)    Originally, it was Anne Rice. I dedicated my first novel—MIDNIGHT CONQUEST—to her. But my primary inspiration to keep writing now is my husband. He’s shown me what true love is, that love worth dying for, the love Broderick and Davina share. I hope my books are able to give people a taste of what that really feels like.

2)   How did you come up with ideas for your books?
a)   Twenty years ago, when vampire romance was just starting out, I was tired of the woeful vampire hero who hated his existence and thought he was this evil entity that didn’t deserve love. And these wimpy, immortal heroes were always thin and blond or brunette with pale skin. I decided to write what I wanted to read—Alpha male, hot Scottish vampire with flaming red hair, wielding a sword! Yeah baby! Such a man deserved a driving passion to become immortal, so I took everything away from him that meant anything—his family. Revenge was his motivation, but through the series, Broderick will be able to gain back everything he lost…though not without much effort and at a great price.

3)   What components are necessary for the genre of this novel?
a)   Hot sexy vampires with a dark side. That about sums it up! We all love the dark side of vampires and the lure of immortality, and there is that forbidden but sexy element of feeding off others, which vampires are known and loved for. But more importantly, which should be included in any story, is the struggle of the spirit. Characters need motivation and conflict, and I do my best to throw everything at my characters—immortal or not. I think part of that conflict is their struggle with humanity in light of their dark side, and how to balance those…or how they don’t.

4)   What expertise did you bring to your writing?
a)   Psychology. I’ve made it a hobby to study human nature and what drives us all to be so dysfunctional. I think it’s helped me create realistic characters. There are some traits in my characters that people say they don’t like, but they are true to the characters’ situations and the nature of their being. For example: I’ve had several readers tell me they don’t understand why Davina fights her attraction to Broderick so much. The reality is she’s the victim of extreme domestic abuse from her husband before she meets Rick. Rick’s size alone is intimidating enough for her, AND he comes on really strong. On top of that, she has a daughter to protect and isn’t going to let just anyone—especially this Gypsy rogue—into her life to endanger the one person she loves above all others. It’s not about sexual attraction. It’s about defending her heart and her family.

5)   What would you want your readers to know about you that might not be in your bio?
a)   I’m actually descended from Romany Gypsies! That was my primary motivation for putting Broderick in with the Gypsies. It’s part of my family heritage—the tarot cards, the natural remedies, the acceptance of the supernatural.

6)   As far as your writing goes, what are your future plans?
a)    Book 2—MIDNIGHT CAPTIVE—was just release in February, which I’ll be signing at the Romance Novel Convention in Las Vegas (August 7-11). Book 3—MIDNIGHT HUNT—is scheduled for a July 19th release. I have three more books in this series planned as well:
i)     MIDNIGHT ECLIPSE (Book 4) with Norse shapeshifters and pirates in the 1700s.
ii)    MIDNIGHT SAVIOR (Book 5) will take place in Victorian London, featuring Jack the Ripper—1888
iii)  MIDNIGHT DELIVERER (Book 6) will be 21st Century Los Angeles and the conclusion of the overarching story of the series, but I’m leaving it open for a slew of contemporary tales to follow.
iv)  I’m also planning a few spin-offs, one of which will be a male/male from one of the characters in Midnight Eclipse.
b)   Visit my website to see the other stories I have lined up—a series of short paranormal erotic stories with twist endings (One To Die For is already out); a three-book fantasy adventure series on a planet called Evanterra; an Old West, fantasy adventure with Norse mythology and a treasure hunt in New Mexico; and a nine-book YA Steampunk fantasy series (written with my husband under the pen name C.G. Henderson), which takes place on Evanterra 3,000 years after the adult series. There’s a ton more I haven’t put up on the website, so I have plenty of stories to keep me busy for years to come!
7)   If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?
a)   Broderick MacDougal! I know…it’s a male character, but he’s just so sexy and dynamic and…RAWR! I love his heart and how fiercely he loves those around him. They’re all good traits to have.

8)   Do you belong to a critique group? If so how does this help or hinder your writing?
a)   I do belong to a writer’s group and they’re very encouraging and supportive. I also have a critique partner who is also my best friend and my editor, so that relationship is one I most definitely cannot do without. She edits my stuff and I edit hers. It also helps that we’re both editors.

9)   When did you first decide to submit your work? Please tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step?
a)   That was over twenty years ago and I’ve never turned back. I’ve never had a problem with getting my stuff out there. I’ve always believed in my own writing and stories, though always open for learning more and improving.

10)         What is the best and worst advice you ever received? (regarding writing or publishing)
a)    BEST advice: Self-publish
b)   WORST advice: It’s not actually advice but LACK of advice. I WISHED someone would have told me YEARS ago to pay an editor to edit a short story or the first chapter of my book. NOTHING is more educational than having your own work professionally edited. And writers always have that Catch-22: You can’t get edited unless you’re good enough to get a contract…but you can’t get contracted until you’re writing well enough to get an offer. So anyone who is starting out writing: The BEST money you will ever spend is to pay an editor to edit a short piece and finally get the experience of understanding what you’re doing wrong. BEST experience ever because it will literally save you YEARS of learning time.

11)         Do you outline your books or just start writing?
a)   I’m a total plotter. I have to be, especially when writing a series. I love to add layers to a storyline and characters and the overarching plot of the series. There are many things I’m planting all the way back in the early books that won’t even manifest until Book 6 and beyond, so I have to plan everything out to insert those little Easter eggs along the way.

However, that doesn’t mean my characters don’t take on a life of their own. I plot my stories for a general guide, but my characters will often do things unexpected and will actually improve upon the original ideas. I love it!

12)         Do you have any hobbies and does the knowledge you've gained from these carry over into your characters or the plot of your books?
a)   I would say my love of vampire novels, of which I’ve probably read over 200 of them through the years, has given me a wide sampling of what’s been published and helps me avoid what’s already been done. My love of history has helped with the research for the historical backdrops in my books. And going to the Renaissance Faire in full garb has done wonders for understanding the wardrobe of the times in which I write.

13)         Do you have an all time favorite book?
a)   I’ve read so many wonderful books through the years, it’s so hard to choose. I would say the ones that influenced my writing the most would be The Hobbit, Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth Series, and Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles.

14)         Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your book?
a)   As mentioned above, MIDNIGHT HUNT is coming up next and I’m in the middle of writing that one, already plotted. This one takes place in the mid-1600s during the witch trials and religious Reformation sweeping across Europe. I’m excited to introduce my own lore for werewolves and why they’re enemies with vampires. That’s never really explained in a lot of vampires vs. werewolf plots. And the heroine of this story is pagan through and through, so we have real witches involved in the tale, too, but from a more nature-loving religious perspective instead of the sparks-flying, Harry Potter kind of magic.

15)         Do you have any family traditions or recipes you might like to share?
a)    Not really, but how about a curse? My great-grandmother said we had a Gypsy curse in our family and its origin is unknown. We are forbidden to give or get a watch from our spouse. If we do, the relationship always ends in divorce. Strange and I never believed it until it happened. My first husband gave me one watch. We divorced, but it was a very amicable parting and we even had the same lawyer. My second husband spit at the curse and bought me five watches during our eight-year marriage. That divorce was horrible! Dragged out, emotional and cost thousands of dollars. What a mess! I told my now-husband about the curse and he said, “I will never, ever, EVER buy you a watch. You can count on that!”

16)         What is your favorite reality show?
a)   Don’t watch reality TV. In fact, I only watch some TV shows, but on Netflix or Hulu. Looking forward to Dracula and Sleepy Hollow. I watch Vampire DiariesGrimmOnce Upon a Time and Supernatural. I’m sooo behind, though. Don’t have time! Too much writing to do!

17)         Who is your favorite actor and actress?
a)   I have quite a few of those, but I would say Gary Oldman and Michelle Pfeiffer for the same reasons: They are such versatile actors, chameleons in their field. They are not only good, but always different.

18)         Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book?
a)   Not without spoilers!

19)         If you were a casting director for the film version of your book, who would play your lead roles?
a)   Oh, that’s an easy one and already done!! Chris Hemsworth IS Broderick MacDougal. Gemma Arterton is Davina. And I would cast Liam Hemsworth as Angus Campbell. (see attached pictures). As for appearance, I’ve picked out David Gandy for James and Kelly Brook for Cailin in Midnight Captive. Can’t think of actors for them right now. My Pinterest boards have pictures featuring the actors or models who match how I envision my characters, as well as the story setting and mood.

20)         Anything else you might want to add?
a)    Just to give readers an idea of what’s in store, these vampire stories do each have their own HEA, but they’re similar to urban fantasy books in that the love affair with Broderick and Davina is ongoing through the series. The characters get together at the end…but they don’t. I can’t say more than that without spoiling a few plot points.

And I would highly recommend reading the books from the beginning. The series is not like reading Sherrilyn Kenyon’s books where you can read them out of order. Bonded By Blood’s storyline progresses chronologically.

 Midnight Conquest

Masked in a Gypsy guise, Broderick MacDougal hides his vampiric identity while seeking to destroy the man who slaughtered his family. When an old Clan rival ensnares Broderick in a trap using an enticing widow, he is compelled to discover if she is bait or an accomplice, and the cinnamon-haired beauty is his next conquest.

Widow of an abusive husband, Davina Stewart-Russell clings to the only image that gave her strength during those dark times—the Gypsy rogue who stole her heart as a youth. After nine years, she is finally face-to-face with him again, but reality clashes with fantasy as she is confronted with Broderick’s passionate pursuit.

When Davina’s past returns to haunt her, Broderick is forced to reveal a dark secret worse than anything Davina thought possible. The challenge before them has fatal risks and neither of them is prepared for the sacrifices expected for the sake of eternal love.

Midnight Captive

Cailin MacDougal has lived a dangerous life being the adopted daughter of vampire Broderick "Rick" MacDougal, so she had no choice but to learn to fight in order to protect herself. However, such behavior is hardly desirable in a dutiful wife who's supposed to embroider and run a household. This aggressive side of her behavior should be easy enough to hide from her betrothed...shouldn't it?

After being away at fencing school for seven years, James Knightly has returned as a master swordsman, ready to captain his own ship and finally wed his childhood sweetheart, Cailin MacDougal. What he finds waiting for him is a dagger-toting hellion for a bride, an immortal father-in-law, and an enemy bent on extracting revenge by threatening the family James holds most dear--the MacDougals.

Broderick MacDougal is lured away from his family with the promise of-at last-learning a way to protect those he loves from his clan enemy, Angus Campbell. Broderick knows he's headed for a trap, but the bait is too tempting to resist...and he unravels the beginning of a prophecy that will lead to redemption for all vampires. The cost of such redemption, though, may be the very soul of the woman he would die for...his wife, Davina.


Midnight Conquest—Excerpt 1

Seeing the erotic images she entertained in her mind, mimicking his 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!

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.



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Unknown said...

This sounds like a great series! I can't wait to sink my teeth into it! Good luck with your tour!

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for having me as a guest on your blog!! I look forward to interacting with everyone!

Unknown said...

Hey, Vampire Queen!!! Good to see you on this tour! Good luck in the drawing. :D

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today.

Andra Lyn said...

I think Anne Rice was a great inspiration to a lot of us vampire lovers. She was one of the grandaddys of Paranormal lit!

andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

Unknown said...

Hey, Andra! *waves* I totally agree! She was the reason I became an author, her books inspired me so much. I actually dedicated MIDNIGHT CONQUEST to her.

Woo hoo! We're dancing through another tour!! Thanks for participating and good luck!

Kate said...

Well, it's the beginning of another week! I look forward to all the great posts and excerpts! Thanks so much for sharing and for the great giveaway!

hense1kk (at) cmich (dot) edu

Unknown said...

Hey, Kate!!! Great to see you again! I think the excepts will be same three from the other tour. I'll have to see if I can grab a few different ones and get them to the other stops. Sorry about that! Good luck on the drawing!

Christine Young said...

Welcome to my blog. I hope you have a great tour.

Unknown said...

Thanks so much, Christine!!! I appreciate you hosting me! :D

Catherine Lee said...

You're descended from Gypsies...How interesting!

I'm like you...I don't watch reality TV, unless you consider House Hunters or Antiques Roadshow as reality TV. Like you, I prefer shows like Once Upon a Time and Supernatural.
catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

@Catherine - Oooooo...HGTV...I LOVE me some HGTV! Get so many wonderful ideas from that channel when I can watch it!! And I do indeed LOVE that antiques road show!!!

Yep, Gypsies! A part of my heritage I'm rather proud of...and I'm dragging my husband into it. We want to fix up our motorhome and tour the USA before we sell it and move tour Europe. I CAN'T WAIT! So excited!

Thanks for stopping by, Catherine! See you at the next stop.

Mary Preston said...

The curse with the watch is fascinating. No curses in my family that I know of.


Unknown said...

@Mary Preston - I'm glad to hear you don't have any curses in your family! Whew! They're a pain. LOL

Good luck on the drawing!!

Stormy Vixen said...

Thanks for sharing the great interview and the giveaway. This series has bonded to me and wants to come home with me. evamillien at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

LOL! Thanks, Eva!!! Great to see you at this next stop on the tour. Good luck on the drawing. ;)

bn100 said...

Nice casting choices

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Unknown said...

Thanks, BN!!! See you at the next stop. Good luck! :D

Unknown said...

Just so everyone knows, my characters and I are still available for questions or comments during the tour. :D

Emily said...

Great interview, thanks for sharing!


Unknown said...

Thanks, Emily! And good luck on the drawing!!

Unknown said...

I finally finished my tour and I've done the drawing for the individual blogs and the overall winners.

Overall Commenter Winner for the $15 Gift Card – Andra Lynn
Blog Host Winner – Straight from the Library

Individual Blog Winners (Commenters) for eBook short story & swag:
Danita Minnis Blog – BN100
Christine Young Romance Writer – Kate
Crazy Four Books – Andra Lynn
Musing and Ramblings – Shelley Summers
Words of Wisdome from the Scarf Princess – Mary Preston
Unabridged Andra – Amer (VampedChik)
Andi’s Book Reviews – Valerie R
Straight from the Library – Only 2 people commented, so they both win – Mary Preston & Eva Millien
It’s Raining Books – Rita Wray
Long and Short Reviews – BN100

Thanks to everyone who participated!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!