"Gabrielle Holly spins her stories in a way that will take you on an emotional rollercoaster you'll never forget!"
~Paranormal Romance Junkies

Monday, March 10, 2014

Getting Personal With Author Tina Donahue

This week we’re Getting Personal with Author Tina Donahue. Tina stopped by to talk about the writing life and share an excerpt from her SciFi romance Stolen Desire, book 4 in the Outlaw Realm series.

Tina is also giving away one of her award-winning, bestselling eboks. Comment below for your chance to win!

About Tina Donahue 
Tina Donahue is an award-winning, bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance for Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, and Kensington. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. Three of her erotic romances (Adored, Lush Velvet Nights, and Deep, Dark, Delicious) were named finalists in the 2011 EPIC competition. The French review site, Blue Moon reviews, chose her erotic romance Sensual Stranger as their Book of the Year 2010 (erotic category). The Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books was created specifically for Lush Velvet Nights, and two of her titles (The Yearning and Deep, Dark, Delicious) received an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition (2011 and 2012). Take Me Away and Adored both won second place in the NEC RWA contest (different years). Tina is featured in the 2012 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. She was the editor of an award–winning Midwestern newspaper and worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company.

Connect with Tina

And now, let’s get personal with author Tina Donahue

What’s the best part of being a writer?
Being able to live someone else’s life! By nature, I’m shy. You’d never believe it given what I write (highly erotic). But I’m definitely more nerd than femme fatale. When I’m in my characters’ heads the entire world is open to me (without buying a plane ticket). Very cool.

What’s the most challenging part of being a writer?
For me, it would be promo. Although I’ve laughingly referred to myself as ‘the promo whore’; remember, I am shy by nature. Too, it takes up a lot of time that I’d prefer to be with my characters.

What’s the most challenging part of writing erotic romance?
Coming up with new and exciting ways for my people to ‘do it’. I mean, there are only so many ways, you know, and each sex scene has to be as unique as possible. They also have to be emotionally moving. As we all know, orgasms start in the brain not the bod, so a writer has to incorporate feelings into those down-and-dirty sex scenes. Not always easy. Sometimes there just aren’t enough words in the English language to convey what I’m feeling and seeing in my head.

What is your writing process?
I do plot extensively before I write one word of the manuscript. Makes the going easier when you know where you’re headed. Because my outlines are so extensive, I try to do a chapter a day. I write early in the morning while it’s quiet.

Where do you write?
Kitchen table. I write while I eat, so it’s very efficient.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
Never give up. It’s about the long haul. And no one ever said it would be easy.

Can you tell us a bit about what Outlawed Realm is?
When I first conceived of my Outlawed Realm series, I had the idea of Earth having more than the dimension we know. In fact, I gave it five dimensions or worlds.

Like this graphic:

These dimensions are layered one on top of the other. E1, Earth as we know it, is closest to the sun, followed by E2, E3, etc. beneath it. Because of their time differentials, the inhabitants of each realm don’t know the others exist. That is, unless they cross over through the connecting portals.

As the series begins, my hero crosses over and sets into motion a cascade of events that cause inhabitants from one dimension to go into the others. All with exciting and very romantic results.

In Unending Desire, book one of the series, the hero comes from E2, a place where everything is controlled, emotion isn’t allowed, all the men look the same. All the women are identical in appearance. He comes to Seattle (E1) to rescue the heroine from certain death. Imagine his shock in seeing our messy, vibrant world after being so restricted in his own. In book two, Illicit Desire, I wrote about E4, a world of twilight and jungles. E2’s rulers have built a palace there where they enjoy pleasure slaves. These slaves aren’t born, they’re grown in artificial wombs to begin a lifetime of servitude to their masters. Shameless Desire, book three, again takes place in Seattle. One of the shifters from E4’s jungle has crossed over. Like the hero in Unending Desire, he needs to warn the heroine of danger.

Stolen Desire, book four, takes place on E5, a dimension of ice and fire. Paige, my heroine, awakes to find herself in a world she can’t comprehend, faced with a man she doesn’t know but has to trust. Her life and freedom, their future depends upon it.

While I was writing Stolen Desire, I kept think of Avatar, the sense of wonder I had as the story unfolded. That’s what I strove for in my tale. To create a world so unique, thrilling, dangerous, and in many ways beautiful, that a reader couldn’t help but be enthralled.

There’s also a moving love story, and yes—lots of hot sex.

What’s your ‘guilty pleasure’?
Reading the comments section on news articles about controversial issues. I’m always amazed at how nasty people get because they can hide behind a computer.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Reading. Watching a good film.

Favorite swear word?
Am I allowed to say it here? To be safe, let’s just say the “F” word. I’m a nerd, but I am human.

Favorite food?

Favorite book?
I’d say all of these. The Millennium Trilogy (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, etc. ), The Handmaid’s Tale, The Lovely Bones.

Favorite author?
Steig Larsson (Millennium Trilogy – awesome, just awesome)
Thanks for stopping by, Tina! And now, Darlings, pour yourself something cool to drink and enjoy an out-of-this world sample of Stolen Desire

About Stolen Desire
Her freedom depends on one man. A criminal to his realm…

Outlawed Realm, Book 4

One minute, Paige Ross is outside a Seattle bar, grieving a failed engagement. The next, she jerks awake in a weird, candlelit room with velvet walls, black silk sheets, and a man who motions for silence.

Paige has little choice but to trust the powerful stranger who promises a way out of what looks like Satan’s brothel. And pray his promise to keep her safe is as real as the heat burning in his eyes.
Banished from E2’s ruling elite for supposed crimes against the realm, Zekin risks everything to rescue those brought to E5 for the guards’ carnal pleasure. Paige will be leaving this inhospitable realm of fire and ice—if he can somehow forget the way her trembling body melts in his arms.

Safe—temporarily—in an underwater world populated by strange creatures, Paige’s sexual awakening explodes into an unquenchable need that consumes them both. But the guards will be looking for her. And Zekin’s plan to send her home is a dangerous journey she cannot—will not—take without him.

Warning: Scorching-hot sex and loads of aching tenderness between a drool-worthy hunk who’s determined to do the right thing and a woman who’s not about to give him up.

Zekin wondered if Paige had closed her eyes and figured she had, given how she ran into him, her shoulder bumping his back.
“Sorry,” she cried.
Zekin nodded in acknowledgment, not certain she noticed or could even comprehend his response given her panic. She huffed as she tried to keep up with him, and stumbled again, her body ramming against his. He staggered briefly before regaining his balance. To keep both of them steady, Zekin wrapped his arm around Paige’s waist to help her across the foreboding terrain.
In the distance, he heard the faint rumbling of an ice tsunami, the spitting and crackling sounds warning this dimension’s creatures to flee or risk its mammoth weight pulverizing them. The mountain of ice was faintly visible now and moving quickly past the enormous drifts. Zekin figured they had just enough time to reach the route to the colony before the tsunami arrived.
Paige swallowed loudly, then gulped air at his quickened pace, the sounds transmitted from her facemask to his. She rested her free hand on his chest. “Thanks for holding on to me. I’m having trouble walking… Thanks.”
The heat of her fingers quickened Zekin’s already rapid pulse. Her gratitude soothed and humbled him. She still had no idea what they faced but trusted him far more than when he’d entered her room, a cage decorated with rich velvet, silk and candlelight, built by the guards. Thankfully, none of them followed now. If they had, Zekin wouldn’t have been able to fight all of them off. He’d used most of his darts at their outpost. With only a few shots left, he had only his fists for added defense.
Tightening his arm around Paige, Zekin held her close, keeping her as safe as he could. He’d promised her that. Although he was a criminal on E2, sentenced to imprisonment and death in this harsh realm, he wasn’t a man who went back on his word, even if it meant murdering others.
There’d been a time in Zekin’s life when he would have experienced horror and remorse at what he’d done to the guards. No more. Paige’s anguish when he’d first seen her told him all he needed to know. No matter what it took, even if it meant his life, he had to help her.
He recalled how she’d looked when he promised to bring her home. Something had shifted within her, the emotion sparking briefly in her eyes, a hazel shade that complemented her pale skin and light blonde hair. She wore it parted on the side and chin length, the ends turned up slightly.
Hardly the kind of female the rulers craved. Zekin sensed the guards had abducted her because she’d been available, unprotected. Unlike the female pleasure slaves who were designed to be perfect women, Paige wasn’t beautiful. Her features were ordinary…until she smiled. A radiant smile, the most dazzling he’d ever seen.
It had reached her eyes, and, strangely enough, had touched his soul.
Zekin wasn’t certain what to make of it. He’d been raised in a culture where emotions weren’t allowed. Duty to the realm mattered above all for the populace. Only Vakar, their highest ruler, and his inner circle were exempt. At least when they visited E4’s Pleasure Palace, created for their basest desires. Few of Vakar’s subjects knew the place existed. For the majority of the citizens, there was no indulgence in raw lust, no displays of love, anger, joy. Their conditioning precluded that. Order ruled.
Zekin’s world was nothing like what he knew of Paige’s.
As a privileged boy, he’d studied the major languages on Earth and the life on each of its dimensions. Hers had alarmed and fascinated him. There was so much chaos, wars and tragedies interrupted by brief moments of indescribable joy. A man adoring a woman who felt the same about him. The ecstasy of creating new life. Loyalty to one’s children and family that made even the worst situation bearable and all things possible.
Values that his teachers and parents had denigrated, warning against them.
How foolish they’d been. How stupid he was for having believed them.
He continued to marvel at the weight of Paige’s hand on his chest, the comfort of her body nestled against his. She was a tall woman, her ample curves far more feminine and natural than the narrow waists and too slender thighs of the female slaves and the women on E2. To Zekin’s way of thinking, Paige was rounded and soft as a woman should be. Yet, he’d seen her unease as she’d undressed. It appeared to reach deeper than being watched by a man she didn’t know. It was as though she were ashamed of her—
“Oh my God,” she cried, breaking into his thoughts. “What’s that?”
The first wave of the ice tsunami creaked upward. Taller than all the drifts, it blocked out what scant light bled through the clouds.
With little time to spare, Zekin headed for the next body of water, now only a few yards away. From several areas of it, frail threads of steam trailed upward before the wind blew them apart. Quickly, Zekin pulled Paige onto the barely frozen surface.
“What are you doing?” she cried.
He yelled above the noise of the crashing ice, “Hold on to me.”
Zekin couldn’t, not if they were going to live through this. Pressing the length of his body to hers, he kept one arm around her waist, and wrapped the other across her shoulders so she couldn’t break free.
Clearly terrified, she tried.
He tilted their bodies to the right.
They hit the fragile ice, breaking through it, falling into the water just as the tsunami
crashed above them.

Like what you’ve read so far? Find out what happens next. Buy Stolen Desire today from Samhain Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other fine eBook retailers


Tina will choose one commenter as her winner. Winner gets her choice of one of Tina’s award-winning, bestselling ebooks from this list:

·        Adored – RWA award-winning; EPIC 2011 Finalist; 4 Stars RT
·        Deep, Dark, Delicious – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Holt Medallion Award of Merit
·        Lush Velvet Nights – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Golden Nib Award
·        In His Arms – SIX 5 Star Reviews; 4 Stars RT
·        Sensual Stranger – 2010 Book of the Year (erotic); 4 Stars RT
·        The Yearning – Top Ten Bestseller
·        Take Me Away – #1 Pick, Miz Love Loves Books
·        Unending Desire – Best Book Rating LASR
·        SiNN – Nominated for Book of the Week LASR
·        Sinfully Wicked – Magnificent – Romancing the Book
·        Claiming Magique – Top Pick – NOR
·        Illicit Desire – Four Stars Romantic Times
·        Come Fill Me – Five Stars – Guilty Pleasures

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