Monday, January 31, 2011

A‘Resting’ Souls

In police work I saw my fair share of dead bodies. To the average American it would be a lot. To a Medical Examiner it’s all in a day’s work. And for the most part, I dealt with it as a fact of life. Blocking out emotion to look at the scene for any sign of a struggle, foul play or evidence that lead to the killer. If it was a crime scene, I was too busy with the job to feel anything. Time is precious in life, and in an investigation.

But the calls involving natural death when I had to sit in someone’s home, alone with the deceased, waiting for the medical examiner’s office or a funeral home to come pick up the body, I would be lying if I didn’t admit I felt something in the ‘air’ on occasion. Whether it was the overactive imagination of a bored cop, or an ‘other’ worldly experience, who’s to say? I can only acknowledge that I felt a sense of invasion into their privacy. I wasn’t invited to sit at their table where a half-eaten cookie lay on a plate next to a glass of juice, nor was I offered a seat on their couch or a spot to stand in their foyer, and I certainly wasn’t asked to stand over their naked body in the bathroom.

My first sergeant in Violent Crimes, known as the Queen, always said, “Everyone in Homicide knows, there are to be no naked pictures taken of ‘the dead Queen’ in her bathroom.” She was the boss and she was going to make sure we heard her voice in our heads even after she was gone. And it was like these people were doing just that. Expressing their own discomfort, “That’s my breakfast, don’t touch it,” “That’s my favorite spot to sit and watch TV,” “Get out of my house,” or “Hello trying to take a dump here. Do you mind giving me a little privacy?” I felt their voice echoing through the residence and they were trying to say something. I just couldn’t understand the language.

I will say, I never felt anything from a body. When a person dies, I firmly believe the soul leaves it. Like a butterfly leaving a cocoon, it soars around the room, a little disoriented, maybe a little frightened of its new form or tired from the transformation and needing to rest. It’s like there is a time period, when the soul isn’t quite ready to leave, that a presence can be felt by those who are in-tune with its feelings. If I was busy--I didn’t feel anything. If I was bored—I got the message, but it wasn’t loud or clear.

Whether it was my own design, or their souls really were there, I don’t know. As the body was removed and I turned out the lights and locked the door, who’s to say how long it hung around. But I do believe when a soul is finally ready to spread its wings, this gorgeous creation is off to see new things.

What do you think happens to the soul after a person dies? Do they walk among us? Head straight for the Maternity Ward to be born again? Or are they figments of our imagination to ease our own fears of death? I’d love to hear about your thoughts and experiences.

Visit me at

Or email me!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Vampire Diaries Post Mortem: The Descent

After seven long weeks, The Vampire Diaries returned last night and it was a challenging episode. I suppose I shouldn’t have expected any less. By the Light of the Moon was full of angst focusing on Tyler’s painful transformation, the arrival of Jules in Mystic Falls and Elena’s deal with Elijah.

The Descent opens the morning after and it’s a brutal new day in Mystic Falls. Despite Elena’s deal with Elijah, her loved ones are far from safe. The episode’s pacing is slow, deliberate and cold. It’s a tribute to Rose’s final hours, because death by werewolf bite is hardly an instantaneous process. Worse, in fact, it is slow, insidious and painful.

One might argue all the reasons a vampire’s bite is painful to a vampire. Is it because they are combating the werewolf bite’s effect of trying to turn the already turned vampire? Is it more like the mixing of two sets of supernatural blood and saliva creates a toxic combination? The science of it, in the end, doesn’t matter. What matters is that Rose suffers.

The audience suffers alongside her.

Stefan on the Hunt

Stefan remained determined to protect Elena and spent most of the episode “away” contacting Isobel. Despite everything else Katherine did, she told him that Isobel might know something about the Originals even if none of them know what it really means to be an Original. Although Elena made a deal with Elijah, Stefan and Damon did not.

Caroline, Tyler and Matt

Tyler was grateful for Caroline’s help, but was surprised when she told him that a single bite from a werewolf could kill a vampire. Tyler isn’t taking anything at face value and is continuing to press for more information. Matt wants Caroline back and even kisses her deeply. Though Caroline still loves him and admits as much, Caroline is still determined to protect Matt from herself. It’s easy to forget that Caroline is new because she has so much control, but it wasn’t that long ago that she bit Matt and fended off Mason, not once but twice. Vampire Barbie has legs, unfortunately, Tyler is continuing his pursuit and when he kisses her, it stuns both of them with its passion and sends Caroline running again.


Let me just say, this is one she-bitch that needs to die. I get that she has her own story and that she is upset by Mason, but there is a cold, deadness in her eyes that is truly appaling. Her glee over Rose’s situation and her taunting of Damon aside, she murdered a group of campers and then a Sheriff’s deputy (I hope Mystic Falls’ sheriff’s department gets hazard pay and benefits), but it was her actions at the end of the episode that left me truly, mouth agape. She told Tyler that Caroline killed Mason, Caroline and her vampire friends.

Besides being patently untrue, it’s definitely going to be a shock to the system for Tyler who has been emotionally abused for years by his father. He doesn’t truly think he’s worthy of being loved or cared for, now to paint a target on Caroline by the merciless Jules is just plain cruel.

I really hope someone rips her head off.

Damon and Rose

I will be the first to admit that I was not a fan of Rose. She was fine in her first appearance (titled appropriately enough “Rose”), but since then, this five hundred and sixty year old vampire has spent most of her time being a victim. She didn’t fight, she ran. She didn’t struggle against attacks, she just gave in. How she survived the hunt from the Originals all those years truly does surprise me, because neither she nor Trevor were especially bright.

Rose couldn’t hold Jules away from her, yet Caroline managed that when Mason jumped her in the woods as a wolf. In the coffee shop, when Elijah smashed the glass and everyone else ran away, even the vampires who were burning, she just lay on the ground screaming. I hate weak characters, I hate it when they can’t find spine or backbone.

Rose didn’t seem to have either.

Until “The Descent.”

Damon’s actions while never terribly or overtly sweet, demonstrated a man on the edge. He was consumed by the guilt over her attack and the need to save her. Leaving Rose in Elena’s hands, he went looking for Jules. But he showed even more restraint than I thought possible not waiting to ambush her somewhere he could make it a fight. Instead, he asked for her help, but Jules told him that the unbearable pain, the dementia and the poison of the bite would make Rose rabid. The only thing to do was to stake her.

Meanwhile, Elena is struggling to care for Rose in Damon’s bedroom (who loved how that room looked? It was magnificent, kudos to the set designers). Rose was in a lot of pain and her mind wandered, twice she thought Elena was Katerina and nearly killed her. Twice Elena talked her down. Rose eventually glutted on blood in the basement, but it wasn’t enough and she stalked the house to attack Elena, Elena got away by digging her fingers into the wound and then barricading herself in Stefan’s room with the drapes drawn wide. She even armed herself with a stake.

Rose’s Last Moments

Damon arrived before any permanent harm was done, but Rose had already escaped into the night. Damon on the edge, worried about Elena and Rose both was difficult to watch. But he went hunting her and they found Rose, but only after she’d killed three people. Her horror was palpable, it seems Rose had always an aversion to killing. It makes one wonder if she chose to be turned or was turned without her consent. Although I do not think we will ever know.

Back at the boarding house, Damon comforted her and slipped into her dreams, taking her to the place that she described to Elena. It as a beautiful field, drenched in sunlight with horses lazily grazing. There Damon made Rose smile and for the first time since we met her, we saw happiness around the frayed edges of the vampire.

When her fear and pain were gone, Damon and Rose played and as she counted down to the start of their race, Damon staked her and put her out of her misery.

It was a magnificent scene, delivered in tour de force by Lindsay Cohan and Ian Somerhalder. The raw pain in Damon’s eyes as he held a dessicating Rose and later when he presented her corpse to the Sheriff were agonizing. Damon made me cry.

The Final Cuts

Elena sought to comfort Damon, but it was hardly enough and while she could see the pain on his face, she didn’t acknowledge that they’d been at odds for weeks and the absence of the scene with Rose telling Elena it was okay to love both brothers was very apparent here. I am not sure why they cut that scene, it would have made Elena’s need to reach out to Damon more palatable. As it was, when she said “We’re friends…” I actually yelled at the screen “Since when? You’ve had a hate on for a while girl!”

Elena left Damon and went home, where she discovered that Stefan had brought home John Gilbert and she did not look happy. Damon got more than a little drunk and went out for an existential crises on the road with a motorist that he ended up killing.

It seems that Rose, who knew Damon for the least amount of time, knew him better than his own brother, because it was Rose who said she desperately wanted to be human again. That she missed it and it seems that in all his agonies, so did Damon.

He only ever wanted the turn for Katherine, but that choice cost him decades and decades of misery. It was heart breaking to watch Damon struggle with his pain and anguish and the desperate realization that he doesn’t believe he can ever be the man that Elena wants him to be.

What’s worse, is that he already is, but cannot see it because he doesn’t want to feel the overwhelming emotions churning inside him.

Final Thoughts

In the end, I was actually saddened by Rose’s death. I didn’t care for the character, but there was a real beauty in the way she was written off. I am glad it was not done where Damon had to choose between Rose and Elena, Rose would have lost, but it would have made her death a choice for Elena. In the end, her death was a choice that Damon made for Rose.

He ended Rose’s suffering.

Unfortunately for Damon, I think his suffering is only beginning and the long-hard-road from all his killing, his debauchery and his bad choices is going to leave a lot of marks on the man’s soul.

What did you think of “The Descent?”

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hot Top Tuesday: Books You Shouldn't Miss

Welcome to Hot Top Tuesday here at the Daily Dose.  I'd like to introduce you to your hostesses: Jaime and Ruthie.  I had the extreme good fortune of meeting these two wonderful women at a reader's event last fall called Readers 'n' Ritas.   Jaime and Ruthie are exceptionally well-read and have fabulous taste in books (and I don't say that just because they happen to like mine, but it doesn't hurt).   With their unique and varied tastes, I've invited them to share their pick of the top buys each week.  If you discover just one book or author to love, then I think it's time well spent.  This week's inaugural post offers up six including one by one of my favorite authors of all time and another by a recently discovered gem and so much more.

So grab your coffee and enjoy a daily dose of what's hot at the bookstore this week!  And feel free to leave your own suggestions as well!

Burning Darkness by Jaime Rush

Burning Darkness (Offspring)
Burning Darkness
I have loved the Offspring series since I picked up the first book, A Perfect Darkness, at a local Half-Price Books because cover caught my eye. Between those pages I found a modern world where everyday twenty-somethings find themselves being hunted by an unknown government agency. There is suspense, action, and steamy sexiness that keeps the reader glued to the pages. This week we see the forth addition of the series hit the bookstores. Our favorite irritable, and sometimes unstable, big brother has found the missing part of his life in Fonda.

Blurb from Jaime Rush's website:

Fonda Raine lives for one thing: killing Eric Aruda for slaying her lover. But she'll have to be careful--Eric can set fires with his mind. Seconds from plunging a knife into his heart, an assassin tries to take them both out. Now, she must choose: join forces with the man who's burning through her defenses or go down in flames.

Burning Darkness is easily my most anticipated release for the week. To read more about the series, please visit

Dragon Warrior by Janet Chapman

Many know that if I see the word dragon in a blub, I am immediately interested. Dragon Warrior Focuses on independent Maddy Kimble and an Irish nobleman with a dragon wild side, William. With strong personalities, will they butt heads or can a passion build to the point of combustion.

Dragon Warrior (Midnight Bay Trilogy)
Dragon Warrior
Blurb from

The steamy second book in Janet Chapman’s dazzling Midnight Bay series seduces readers with an enticing tale of a fiery independent woman and an irresistible immortal warrior with a dragon’s courageous heart.

Maddy Kimble has no time for a suitor—not with caring for her spunky nursing home patients, her shy nine-year-old daughter, her widowed mother, and her rebellious teenage brother. William Kilkenny’s stunning lack of modern dating protocol doesn’t help. The man is uncouth and outrageous—a towering, drop-dead, breathtakingly hot warrior. Who refuses to give up.

William is secretly a ninth-century Irish nobleman formerly trapped in a dragon’s body. All Maddy knows is that lately, she can hardly resist the urge to lose herself in his powerful arms. But as their uncontrollable passion grows, eerie occurrences in her small coastal Maine town begin to rouse Maddy’s suspicions about her lover. He begs her to trust him, but how can she surrender—body and soul—when she fears the danger he poses to her yearning heart?

Dragon Warrior received a "Top Pick" award and a 5 star rating from an early reviewer at

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Queen (Harlequin Teen)
The Iron Queen
This book is the early present for YA readers. Originally to be released on February 11th, The Iron Queen is to be shelved in bookstores this week. The third book in the Iron Fey series will have the excellent reviews and high rating of its predecessors to live up too. This series is the coming of age story of Megan Chase. A wonderful fairy tale gone astray filled with mythical creatures, danger, and the confusion that comes along with young love. 

Blurb from Julie Kagawa's website:

In less than twenty-four hours I'll be seventeen.

Although, technically, I won't actually be turning seventeen. I've been in the Nevernever too long. When you're in Faery, you don't age. So while a year has passed in the real world, agewise I'm probably only a few days older than when I went in.

In real life, I've changed so much I don't even recognize myself.



I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.

I am looking forward to seeing how Megan balances the responsibilities of war approaching and the strong emotions of a forbidden romance. To learn more about the Iron Fey and to watch the trailer for the series visit her website.

The Countess by Lynsay Sands

The Countess
The Countess
If you haven’t read Lynsay’s Argeneau vampire series yet you are missing out. However, Lynsay writes excellent historical fiction. The Countess is the first book in her series the Madison Sisters. I love Lynsay’s super hot writing style and look forward to another clever plot written against a historic background.

Blurb from Bitten by Paranormal Romance blog:

The fairy tale courtship did not turn into a happily ever after…

Not until her husband dropped dead, that is. He had been horrible enough to Christiana during their short marriage, and she was not going to allow the traditional period of mourning to ruin her sisters’ debuts as well. So Christiana decides to put him on ice and go on as if nothing’s happened…

Until the real earl appears. Richard Fairgrave had every intention of confronting his villainous twin who robbed him of his name and title…only to discover that he’d died. Quietly assuming his identity, Richard must now deal with a maddening desire for his ravishing inherited “wife”—certainly a gold digger and possibly a murderess. And Christiana must deal with an unwanted new “husband”…and they both must figure out what to do before the ice melts!

Archangel’s Consort by Nalini Singh

Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter)
Archangel's Consort
Nalini Singh’s worlds are always so creative. The Guild Hunter series puts a different spin on angels, vampires, and vampire hunters. Like her Psy-Changeling series, Nalini takes the myths and gives us a glimpse into a world that could actually be real. The reader will get drawn in by the excellent character development and creativity. The Guild Hunters series is definitely another must read series. If you like super hot, dominant male figures then Raphael is definitely for you and of course the book includes the super snarky alpha female that refuses to submit easily. I’m looking forward to reading about Elena’s new struggle with her hot angel and the evil that is chasing her.

A blurb from

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux and her lover, the lethally beautiful archangel Raphael, have returned home to New York only to face an uncompromising new evil…

A vampire has attacked a girls’ school—the assault one of sheer, vicious madness—and it is only the first act. Rampant bloodlust takes vampire after vampire, threatening to make the streets run with blood. Then Raphael himself begins to show signs of an uncontrolled rage, as inexplicable storms darken the city skyline and the earth itself shudders. The omens are suddenly terrifyingly clear.

An ancient and malevolent immortal is rising. The violent winds whisper her name: Caliane. She has returned to reclaim her son, Raphael. Only one thing stands in her way: Elena, the consort who must be destroyed…

Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs

Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson)
Silver Borne
This book is a paperback release, but I want to talk about the series. I am so happy I finally picked up one of books in the Mercy Thompson series. I love these books because Patricia is one of the authors that has thought out every detail of the world she writes. When the detail is so explicit, you can see every facet and understand every part as much as you would if it were all real. If you haven’t had the chance to read this series I hope you will because it’s definitely a must read.

Blub from Goodreads.

When mechanic and shapeshifter Mercy Thompson attempts to return a powerful Fae book she’d previously borrowed in an act of desperation, she finds the bookstore locked up and closed down. It seems the book contains secret knowledge-and the Fae will do just about anything to keep it out of the wrong hands. And if that doesn’t take enough of Mercy’s attention, her friend Samuel is struggling with his wolf side-leaving Mercy to cover for him, lest his own father declare Sam’s life forfeit. All in all, Mercy has had better days. And if she isn’t careful, she might not have many more to live…

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tawny’s Top Ten Reasons to Read Romance

A special thanks to my Harlequin (& Playground) bud, Tawny Weber. Tawny graciously agreed to be my guest today and keep my focus on writing my proposal. Thanks much, Tawny. And congratulations on another great book from Harlequin Blaze!

Tawny is usually found dreaming up stories in her California home, surrounded by dogs, cats and kids. When she’s not writing hot, spicy stories for Harlequin Blaze, she’s shopping for the perfect pair of boots or drooling over Johnny Depp pictures (when her husband isn’t looking, of course). Come by and visit her at her website.

Tawny’s Top Ten Reasons to Read Romance

Years before I started writing romance, I was a voracious romance reader. It was that love of reading romances that eventually sparked the dream to write one of my own. To this day, my favorite way to relax is to curl up with a romance novel and get lost in the wonder of a fabulous story.

This got me thinking about all the reasons romance rocks (and hopefully reasons that people might be reading my books *g*) so I made my top ten list...

Tawny’s Top Ten Reasons to Read Romance

  • Happy Every After’s Rock
  • Hellooooooo... Hunky Heroes
  • We can see the world without leaving our reading-spot
  • We can travel through time in the pages of a romance
  • Did I mention hunky heroes?
  • Living out a love story as we empathize with the heroine lets us explore the wonder of falling in love
  • Romances have a message of hope, and they make us better people
  • Strong heroines teach us to be strong ourselves
  • We get to explore a plethora of job options, without having to be qualified for any of them
  • And once again, the hunky heroes! Because it’s those sexy heroes, their enticing personalities and their many... talents that we love to read about in great detail
Breaking the Rules

How about you? Why do you read romance?

To celebrate the release of BREAKING THE RULES, I’m giving away some Valentine’s treats to one Daily Dose commenter today! A hand-crafted (by me) heart-shaped tin filled with candy, and a book of the winner’s choice from my backlist!

What do you get when you mix a military hero on a mission with an independent artist hell-bent on proving something? A battle that can only be won between the sheets.

Sophia Castillo is finally calling the shots in her life, and she’s determined to stay in charge. The last thing she needs is a babysitter. Not even a babysitter as sexy as US Army Sergeant First Class and EOD Squad Leader, Maximillian St. James. But when someone is sabotaging her art gallery, she turns to Max for help. When he proves to be a challenge to her independence, she lays down their relationship rules. Hot sex, good times and a lot of laughs are all good. Anything involving their hearts is strictly off limits. Before they catch the vandal, Max and Sophia both have to decide just which rules they are willing to break, and how high a price they are willing to pay.

Be sure and check out my upcoming party!
Valentines Party! 

I’m so excited that my tenth release, BREAKING THE RULES, is on shelves now! I loved writing this story, because it focuses on something near and dear to my heart – a Military Hero (my own hero-hubby was in the Army). Even more fun was making this a Valentine’s story, complete with hearts and flowers.

To celebrate, I’m having an invitation-only Valentine’s Day Party! Including:
♥ A downloadable short story written just for this party as a door prize for everyone who attends
♥ A sexy Top Ten to wind up my Top Ten tour: Ten Tips for a Hot Valentine’s Night
♥ One lucky person will win a Valentine’s Basket!

All you have to do to join the fun is go to the Breaking the Rules Valentines Party page on my website, and RSVP!

Again, thanks to Tawny for covering for me today.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday Smackdown - Vampires versus Werewolves

The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Second Season
Season 2
It's the return of the Saturday Smackdown and our inaugural match of the year (don't hesitate to drop me a note if you have smackdowns you want to see in the future). In the meanwhile, today's smackdown takes on my favorite vampire brothers, Damon and Stefan Salvatore versus their new nemesis, the werewolves. Vampires versus werewolves is hardly a new item in the genre, where you have vampires, you typically have wolves and both are heroes that bite. But what happens when they put the bite on each other?

Juicy stories galore!

Great Vampire versus Werewolf Tales

Love it or hate it, Twilight reminded us just how big and bad a fight between werewolves and vampires can be. If you head over to Louisiana and Charlaine Harris territory, you know that the vamps aren't all that worried about the wolves. After all, Eric took out several without trying, but in the romance department he's had to compete with Alcide, a werewolf and a certain white tiger for Sookie's affection. So while their fights may not always get physical, they do get entangled.
Bitten: A Novel (Women of the Otherworld, Book 1)
Dark Desires After Dusk (Immortals After Dark, Book 5)
Dark Desires after Dusk

As for Kelley Armstrong, her wolves, particularly Clay, Elena and Jeremy are pretty damn tough and the vampires they have run into are just as tough. With the exception of Cassandra, most don't elicit the smackdown desire (though who didn't want Elena to pop Cassandra a time or three?).

Over in Underworld territory, the war between vampires and lycans raged for centuries until Selene found love in a most unexpected place, but that war dates back to the match with Lucian and the death of the vampire princess that loved him.

Take a swing by Kresley Cole and her Lore-kind and you'll see that the heat between vampires and lykaes is still thick, but they are having to work on new alliances, particularly when lykae and forebearers are marrying themselves off to the Valkyrie. Bowen versus Conrad, anyone? That would be a wild fight.

Bringing the Bite to Mystic Falls

Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec have brought that bite to Mystic Falls. We've met Mason (and watched him die), we've met Jules (and watched her attack Rose) and we've seen the agony of Tyler's change (watched over by a compassionate Caroline), but more wolves are coming. Wolves that don't like vampires and there's this little matter of the Sun and Moon Curse floating around. 

Damon and Stefan are tough guys, but in a throw down with the wolves on a full moon, they may hsve more than met their match. So tell me, what do you think will happen? What do you want to happen? And who gets your vote for this smackdown? Oh and for bonus points, what is your favorite vampire versus werewolf tale? Come on, you can tell me.

Comment for a chance to win a $10 gift card to Amazon!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Five Fabulous Questions with Lynsay Sands

Hungry For You: An Argeneau Novel
Hungry for You
Lynsay Sands is the multi-talented author behind the Argeneau Vampire series and much, much more.  I've been hearing about Lynsay for years, but (and much to my own chagrin), I just hadn't picked up her books to read them.  So over the holidays, I received a gift card to Barnes and Noble and while I was out perusing the shelves, trying to decide what I would read in my "free time," I spotted those Lynsay Sands novels.

It seemed like the perfect time.  So I picked up Bite Me if You Can and A Bite to Remember.  While hardly the first books in the series, I read A Bite to Remember first and fell in love with Vincent, Jackie, Tiny, Christian, Marguerite and all the rest.  It was just that good a book. As soon as I finished it (roughly 1 a.m. in the morning), I snatched up Bite Me if You Can.  Imagine my surprise when crusty, grumpy old Lucian rapidly became my favorite character.  Just this passed weekend, I read the last of her books in the series that I hadn't (Born to Bite) and I found myself feeling a bit lost.  I was done. I've read all fourteen of the books currently available (and I think I'm counting short stories too).  So what's a girl to do?

She gets in touch with the author of course!  I dropped a note to the very busy lady and she graciously agreed to answer a few questions for my readers.  So check out the interview below and if you haven't read her Argeneau vampire series, what are you waiting for?

Five Fabulous Questions with Lynsay Sands

When you began writing the first Argeneau book, did you have any idea of the scope of the family and just how extensive it could be? Or did you meet them as they arrived on the scene?
Lord No. I had no idea how long I’d be writing them so I had no idea, barring the immediate family, of how extensive the Argeneau family tree would be or how big it will still get. And the characters introduce themselves into the story as I write them so we never really know who will be popping up in the next story.

Do you have to maintain an extensive family tree beyond what is published in the books in order to keep your family lines straight?
The Renegade Hunter: A Rogue Hunter Novel (Argeneau Rogue Hunter 3)
The Renegade Hunter

Actually my publisher isn’t putting a family tree in the latest books anymore. We are in the process of updating the family tree again. As for me, myself, I’m pretty good at remembering them, but definitely use a tree to double check facts.

Are you plotter or a pantser, and how do you choose which couple will be "next"? (i.e. do you put the single ladies and gentlemen into the hat and draw one out randomly?)

Oh, well I’m mostly a pantser, but I do have a loose plot in mind when I start. In fact, I have loose plots for four or five books ruminating in mind right now. They are very loose though because the characters usually ignore me and just do whatever the heck they want anyway (grimace).

How do you keep the stories fresh for yourself? As I have read each of these, I have found myself constantly amazed at how unique each pairing has been both in circumstance and personality, they each stand strongly on their own.

Well my sister likes to tease me and say it’s a healthy outlet for my multiple personalities, but I guess that’s what bratty sisters are for… LOL.

I guess I get inspiration for my stories from my daily experiences; news stories, history, family, friends, people I meet, things I see or do, etc. 

In real life, there are a lot of different personality types to choose from and that just naturally finds its way into my stories. I’d be bored to tears if they were all the same characters with different names too, so they each have their individual personality traits and quirks, their own careers, personal issues to resolve, humor (or lack thereof), naivety, experiences, etc. I enjoy it better that way myself.

Which was the easier pairing to write and which was the hardest? And why if you don't mind, because they all flow so naturally together - even the ones that fight from the beginning.

I can’t really think of any that was especially easy. Lucian was fun to play with. I do love taking a gruff, grumpy guy and dumping him in a situation he’s completely unprepared for. And they are never prepared for love. (grin)

But the hardest ones for me to write are those in which I have a female immortal paired with a male mortal. It’s hard because I don’t want the hero to come across as being weak, but obviously the heroine would be so much stronger physically. And I also don’t want the hero to come across as overbearing to make up for it either as that’s not something any woman wants. Well, at least not what I’d want… LOL. So I find that combination challenging at times.

Thanks to Lynsay Sands for taking the time to chat with me (and you) about her series.  Here's a list of her upcoming releases and if you're me, you "squee'd" when you saw who the December book was about: