Thank you for stopping in to meet Denyse! I know you'll find a book or three of hers that will interest you as you roam her websites. Right now, come on in and let's chat a bit with my guest author of the week. She's holding a contest so be sure to get into it at the bottom of the interview then read her excerpt from her newest print release!
Tonya: Denyse, thank you for being my guest this week and congrats on your new release! In addition to helping authors get new books noticed, readers love to know more about their authors. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Denyse: I’m Canadian born and bred, and while I’ve lived in the US a few times for work, I always come home to Canada. Most of the people who do read my books are aware that the great love affair in my life, after writing, is Italy. I think I was born in the wrong place at times?? I love to mix up genres and seldom write in the same genre too often, so I don’t get bored. I’ve never been married, I love dogs, especially huskies, and music is the inspiration for many of my stories.
Tonya: That's quite a background. Do you have a day job?
Denyse: I’m a full time caregiver, so the days are long and often very difficult.
Tonya: And stressful! We hope you find time for yourself! Some of us have things we do to get into the writing frame of mind like music, or drinks. Do you have anything special you do to get into the writing mood?
Denyse: Nothing that is for the “mood” of writing, really. I enjoy having music on in the background when I work, particularly environmental sounds and wolf howls.... I occasionally have a glass of lovely Italian wine, and just enjoy that while I create. Over the years I’ve reached a place where I can pretty well write anywhere, anytime, so it’s not a mood, really, it’s the job I do and I can steal my moments whenever and wherever they present themselves.
Tonya: You sound comfortable with yourself and not many find that area. Where do you keep story ideas? Where do they come from?
Denyse: All over, really. I see pictures and often they inspire stories, or I hear a song that strikes a resonate chord and then characters begin to whisper. I have notebooks, and always keep a book and pen beside the bed, and on my desk, so I can jot down things for later. I carry a notebook and pen with me in my purse, too, so I’m never without the means to record possible story ideas.
Tonya: Are you a daytime writer, night time writer, and do you have to be alone to write?
Denyse: I write anytime I can find a few minutes, and have learned to think quickly. If I get called from what I’m doing, I leave a few key words on my manuscript so I know what I want to do when I get back to it. I don’t have to be alone, but I do write better at night, it seems.
Tonya: Good idea to leave a few words to remind you when you restart the writing. What advice would you give to new authors?
Denyse: Keep writing, always. Don’t keep rewriting what you’ve done, or you’ll never leave it. There is no perfect book, so do your best, and then put it out there – while you’re waiting for a response, begin a new project. Listen to editors and professionals who take the time to help you and offer advice, they don’t criticize for the sake of it – if they make suggestions, seriously consider what you’ve been offered. Your friends and family will be your biggest supporters generally, but they are rarely your most honest audience.
Tonya: That's so true; family doesn't want to hurt your feelings so you may not find out what needs fixing. Do you write better when you first have an idea of what your characters look like or do you write, then add character looks?
Denyse: I often have a very general idea of what a character looks like, but for me they evolve from the inside outward. Characterization, personality – those I find very easy to remember, I find myself often having to go back and look to see what physical colouring I give heroes and heroines. If I do happen to model them on someone, I tag their photo on the manuscript, just to keep it in my mind for description.
Tonya: What attracts you most about men?
Denyse: First thing is usually the smile, or the eyes. Then the voice... I have fallen in love with voices, which goes back to the absolute passion for music, I guess. However, if there is little in the way of intelligence and depth, doesn’t matter what the outside looks like, he’s boring as the day is long. I love smart, strong men. That’s where all real beauty emerges from anyway, in men or women.
Tonya: We’re dying to hear about your latest book. What can you tell us without spoiling the storyline?
Denyse: My latest book is actually the print version of one of my best novels ever. It’s been available in e-book formats for a year, but this week marks the release in paperback. So, that’s pretty exciting for me. It’s a three-part story, one set in Victorian London circa 1888, one section in Northern Ontario in the fictional town of Brighton, and the third part, the main section is set in modern Toronto – the three stories are completely dependent on each other, and merge smoothly to conclude the book. The hero is a vampire cop, and the story is part romance, part mystery, and part paranormal thriller. Like many of my books, it crosses genres and combines them – in this case, according to reviews, very successfully!
Tonya: Congrats! Where can our readers find you and your books?
Denyse: My links are here:
Fantasy Pages (general): http://fantasy-pages.blogspot.com
Bound by Passion (adult content): http://boundpassion.blogspot.com
Sensual Treats Magazine: http://www.sensualtreats.webs.com
Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/Romance.and.Fantasy
Tonya: Is there anything else you want to tell our readers?
Denyse: This is going to be a year of transitions for me, and so far many, many good things have been happening. I have several more works to clear off my desk, then I will be returning to fantasy and a story I’ve been waiting two years to write! An Alternation in Destiny is the title, and it’s set in Sicily, in the Valley of the Temples.
Tonya: That sounds like a fun one to write. Let's do a few questions for fun. What is your favorite night time snack?
Denyse: Cinnamon Toast and tea.
Tonya: Do you like toppings on your ice cream?
Denyse: Caramel or butterscotch is really nice!!
Tonya: Mmmmm! What’s your favorite meal - Italian, Mexican, Thai, etc?
Denyse: I know this will be a shock, but it’s Italian! *lol* Now for the contest info...
CONTEST: Drop by my blog, Bound by Passion, leave a comment on the Sinful Sirens Hop post, and you’ll be entered twice to win the prizes there. Just say you’ve come from Tonya’s blog, and I’ll double your entry, plus give away an e-book of your choice to the winner who leave comments on my blog and Tonya’s!
Excerpt: OUT OF THE PAST
The flames rose, blindingly intense, searing away the last vestiges of reality. Somewhere inside her, Shanna Blackthorne felt a scream of terror begin. Her hands moved, sluggishly, as though through mud, until they reached her face. She wanted to obliterate the inferno that raged before her, but it refused to be extinguished so easily. She gulped air into desperate, struggling lungs, but only the hot, dry fire poured into her body.
The scream escaped.
There was no one to hear it.
Pain exploded within her, but in its wake was clarity. She writhed, whimpered weakly, and shook her head in denial of what unfolded before objecting eyes...
Fog shrouded the night, curling, mist-like tentacles that floated above the street in search of human warmth. Despite the relative earliness of the hour, the normally busy roads were eerily quiet. Only the occasional burst of noise from an opening door gave evidence to the teeming life of the vast city. Outside the noisy pubs, a lone figure prowled the streets.
He watched, and waited. Patience was a familiar imposition, but it ended well, usually.
Tonight would be no different.
He picked one of the oldest dives in the vicinity, a place he knew well. He also knew most of the women who frequented the establishment. He had long ago decided he preferred the sweetness of feminine flesh to males. There was one lady in particular that he had wanted to get close to, but she had always eluded him. It was the eve of a new year tonight, and he decided it would begin with her company.
He didn't have to wait long, but she emerged from the tavern with another man in tow. Furious, he followed.
He hesitated as he watched the couple from the mouth of a darkened alley. They were less than a block from the Britannia, a public house located at the North corner of Commercial Street and Dorset Street. He'd witnessed the customary exchange of coin, and could clearly hear the sounds of the whore's business being carried out. The chill of December didn't reach him as he continued to hover, torn between his anger and the fury of his lust. He could have had his pick tonight, but he had chosen this one. She had always disappointed him, of course. The entire great city was in a drunken Holiday stupor.
The scents of sex and sweat teased his senses and he felt another, stronger pang of hunger deep within him.
He stepped into the alley and approached the couple in complete silence. She knew he was there, he realized a moment later when her liquor-brightened eyes pierced the shadows and found him in the darkness. His heartbeat quickened, he heard his own sharp intake of breath, felt the rapid pulse he'd learned to associate with fear and excitement. Her customer quickly pulled himself together and stumbled off without a backward glance. The passage of time held hunter and prey motionless, clear blue eyes locked with glassy hazel. When she held out her hand to him, he stepped toward her.
"You're not like the others, are you?" she questioned in a slurred voice.
There was still enough awareness to make him pause. He took her chin in his hand and tilted her head so he could look more closely at her. She was very young, especially for life in Whitechapel. She was not overly pretty. Before long she would be like so many of the women who populated this area, aged by the harshness of a life that meant little to any of them.
"What's your name?" He pretended not to know as he kept his tone a gentle, compassionate whisper.
"They call me Emma, my lord," she grinned, the expression exposed rotting teeth and foul breath. He might have been wrong about her age, he realized distantly. She straightened her clothes and inched closer to him. Here was a handsome young lord, and if she played this right, she might be rewarded richly for her trouble.
"Do they?" He smiled, imagined he could hear the shift of her thoughts as she contemplated her chances of successfully robbing him. Still smiling, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a gold coin. Her eyes fastened on the proffered money, greed easily read past the haze of alcohol. When she snatched the coin from his hand, he pressed her back against the cold brick of the building.
Emma's spurt of laughter was abruptly silenced when her head was yanked to one side. The snap of bones was audible, followed by a groan of pain. Then the only murmur that could be heard in the blackness was the soft maddened laughter of pleasure as his teeth tore her flesh from her bones...
"No... Dear God! Enough... please?"
Shanna wept bitterly, disoriented and horrified by the latest dream/vision. The savage inner conflagration had receded, replaced by the reality of the tiny blaze in the ancient stone fireplace that dominated her small living room. There was little comfort in the awareness that what she had seen was very old. The agony of the killer still twisted around her heart, chilled her despite the heat that emanated from the hearth. This was simply the latest in a long line of dreams that had brought unbearable terror into her life. She'd heard about the others, those that were not ancient deaths, but happening now, and with each murder came the fear that she might have stopped it. The reasonable part of her mind knew better, of course, she never saw a death before it occurred, but that did not make it easier to witness people being destroyed. She cringed, tried to escape the rest of the thought, failed. She could still feel the flesh being torn from fragile bones, muscle and sinew shredding like paper in the hands of a killer that was more monster than man.
She forced herself to her feet, and walked into the lovely, old-fashioned kitchen. As she went through the ritual of making tea, she made herself recall every detail of the murder she had been forced to witness and feel. Within the heart of the killer was a conflict as old as the latest vision itself.
Pain, coupled with deeply repressed fears. The mind of this killer was not mayhem and madness, despite the obvious appearances. She sensed agony, and loneliness, and confusion. Like an empath, she absorbed the emotions, made them part of herself, and cried softly without truly being conscious she did so. Shanna had known isolation and ridicule in her own life, knew what the scorn and contempt of others could drive someone to, if they didn't learn to draw on inner strengths.
She pulled her lacy shawl closer to her, huddled against its illusory warmth. Long waves of auburn hair fell to her waist, and she swept the heavy fall back in a gesture as natural as breathing. The whistle of the kettle drew her wandering attention back to mundane tasks, and she finished her chore automatically.
A short while later, curled before the fire once again, Shanna shivered. Her gaze flew to the door of her cottage- style home, and the sound of a low, anguished howl wrenched at her soul. Pure, raw agony flooded her body, and with it came a terror stronger than anything she had ever before known.
Bio: Canadian born and bred, Denysé has been signed with over a dozen publishing houses in the past nine years. Recently winning the prestigious title of Best Author of 2012 from the Predators and Editors site, the best-selling author has been nominated for and won numerous awards. Never confined to one genre, she writes in many and has garnered a loyal audience of readers over the past decade.
Site Links: http://denysebridger.com/booksV2.php
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