Get into Bed with Elisabeth Naughton (Author Interview 2)

Elisabeth NaughtonKeira: The Eternal Guardians are seven warriors descended from the seven greatest heroes in all of Ancient Greece who protect the mortal realm from threats of the Underworld. Which one does Nick descend from?

Elisabeth Naughton: Nick is a special case. Technically, he’s not a guardian. Though he has the marking of the guardians and he’s Demetrius’s half brother, he isn’t one of them. He’s the leader of the half-breeds, the exiled half-Argolean, half-human population that resides in the human world. From book one, MARKED, Nick has been a mystery. Though he and Demetrius are brother’s, they don’t hail from the same hero. In fact, he doesn’t hail from any hero. Nick and Demetrius share the same mother mother—the once mortal-turned goddess-now dead Atalanta. However, Nick’s true father was revealed in BOUND, book six. He is the son of Krónos, the most malicious of all the gods. And in an attempt to free himself of his prison in Tartarus, Krónos has hidden special powers inside Nick which are now coming to the forefront.

Keira: How does he end up in the son of Hades’ clutches? Why must his will be broken?

Elisabeth: Nick and Demetrius share the same soul mate – Isadora, the queen of Argolea – and Isadora chose Demetrius. In the end of Bound, Hades arrived to claim Isadora’s soul because of a deal she made with him earlier in the series. In an attempt to save her, Nick made a deal with Hades…his life for Isadora’s. But Hades took one look at him and realized he was Krónos’s bastard son and could sense the powers hidden inside him. Hades wants those powers for himself, so he’s handed Nick off to his son Zagreus—the Prince of Darkness—to break him and unleash those powers. And when that happens, Hades will swoop in and claim them and become the strongest of all the gods.

Keira: Cynna is not a typical heroine. She’s had to do some pretty bad things (especially to our hero). Does this make her a damaged heroine?

Elisabeth: Yes, definitely. Very damaged. She comes from a very dark place, made some bad choices, made a deal she can’t change, and she’s had to live with that ever since. In Nick she sees a glimmer of the person she could be. The question is whether or not she’s willing to stand against the god she’s indebted to and take the chance to become something more.

Keira: We know the appeal of damaged heroes – was there any differences (pitfalls/pluses) to writing about a damaged heroine?

Elisabeth: Emotionally closed off heroines are very hard to write because authors have to walk a fine line between being true to the character and making her likeable. In romance, it’s a lot easier to get away with a jerk hero than it is with a jerky heroine. Tough females—especially ones like Cynna who are so very damaged—often come across bitchy. The struggle with Cynna was making her tough, but allowing readers a glimpse inside her head so they could see why she was doing the things she was doing and how she felt about them.

Keira: How does Nick reconcile the differences between her outward actions and inner beliefs?

Elisabeth: At the beginning of TWISTED, Nick has been imprisoned for six months. Six months of torture, all at the hands of the heroine. He’s had plenty of time to watch her. And watching her has given him something to think about other than his pain. And in watching her, he’s observed several interesting things. The most important of which is that he’s not so sure she’s the captor like she wants him to believe. He’s starting to wonder if she’s just as much a captive as him.

Keira: How do you define love? What makes it last for the long haul? And will Nick and Cynna have what it takes?

Elisabeth: True love, to me, is sacrifice. When you’re willing to give up everything you love and the one thing you want most in the world for someone else, that’s love. Do Nick and Cynna have what it takes? I guess readers will have to decide for themselves when they read TWISTED.

Buy: TWISTED (Eternal Guardians Book 7)

About Elisabeth:

Before topping multiple bestseller lists—including those of the New York Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal—Elisabeth Naughton taught middle school science. A rabid reader, she soon discovered she had a knack for creating stories with a chemistry of their own. The spark turned into a flame, and Naughton now writes full-time. Besides topping bestseller lists, her books have been nominated for some of the industry’s most prestigious awards, such as the RITA® and Golden Heart Awards from Romance Writers of America, the Australian Romance Reader Awards, and the Golden Leaf Award. When not dreaming up new stories, Naughton can be found spending time with her husband and three children in their western Oregon home. Visit her website atwww.ElisabethNaughton.com to learn more about her books.

Connect with Elisabeth:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elisabeth.naughton1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElisNaughton
Newsletter: http://www.elisabethnaughton.com/lists/?p=subscribe&id=1

Tempted.inddAbout TWISTED:

Series: Eternal Guardians, Book #7
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Release Date: September 29, 2014
Publisher: Elisabeth Naughton Publishing, LLC

NICK – Leader of the half-breeds and the last true hero. He’s spent his life fighting a dark pull toward the gods. A pull he now knows is linked to his father Krónos and the Titan’s plan to escape from the Underworld.

But Nick’s hidden powers are coveted by more than just his father. Imprisoned by Hades, Nick battles every form of torture imaginable as the sadistic god schemes to break him. Only one thing is keeping him sane. One woman who gives him the strength to fight the relentless darkness. She has a dangerous plan of her own, though, and as Nick’s powers grow stronger, even she might not be enough to alter his destiny.

As the fate of the world hangs in the balance, Nick’s allegiances are tested. And no one knows whether he will choose to fight for good or succumb to the sinister lure of evil. Not even him.

Buy: TWISTED (Eternal Guardians Book 7)

Other Books in Series:
Marked (Eternal Guardians Book 1)
Entwined (Eternal Guardians Book 2)
Tempted (Eternal Guardians Book 3)
Enraptured (Eternal Guardians Book 4)
Enslaved (Eternal Guardians Book 5)
Bound (Eternal Guardians Book 6)

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Elisabeth is giving away a bag of goodies – books, lotions, chocolates, jewelry, etc.

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Review: The Iron Queen (Daughters of Zeus, Book 3) by Kaitlin Bevis

iron queenSummary: Kidnapped by her father, Persephone is not looking forward to be reunited with dear old daddy. The guy has several screws loose and wants one thing – to live forever in the peak of his power. And if not his, then to steal another’s powers and realms. Persephone is the key to do this as she’s a link between the mortal realm and the Underworld. If he can get her to swear loyalty to him, Zeus will get everything he wants by consuming her powers.

Hades and Demeter can’t let this happen. The remaining gods and goddesses must choose sides. Stick with Zeus or rebel? Hades strongly suggests they choose his side because with or without them he will tear the world apart to bring Persephone back home to him… the one place she truly belongs.

Review: The tension in this book is high right from the beginning. Persephone is captured by her evil father Zeus and held in his sky castle. She is completely isolated from the others. The angst (always one of my favorite parts of any romance) was strongly present. Be prepared for your heartstrings to be tugged. You will swoon over Hades. I did.

My least favorite part of this story was the jump into Aphrodite’s head (cue a clear setup for future books). It wasn’t needed in a story that previously focused only on Hades and Persephone. I would have preferred more from Hades and Persephone and if another character was needed then, Zeus, as he’s the bad guy.

I love the fact that Zeus is not the traditional good guy. It’s a great twist which I have appreciated throughout the whole series. Overall great story. Great series. Great romance. Who doesn’t love Persephone and Hades? I would totally read more about these two in a heartbeat.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: The Iron Queen (Daughters of Zeus)

Review: Daughter of the Earth and Sky (Daughters of Zeus, Book 2) by Kaitlin Bevis

daughter of earth and skySummary: You have to be careful as a goddess. You are held by your word – quite literally. So promises are made sparingly and avoided at all opportunities. Persephone was tricked by someone she thought a friend and now she can’t tell anyone about the betrayal.

Hades places Persephone in the care of the betrayer not knowing what was going on and thinking all the stress his dear wife shows has to do with her father, Zeus, and her new sister Aphrodite… and perhaps this human boy, Persephone is drawn too.

If Persephone can’t tell soon or beat the betrayer at his own game, there might not be anything left fighting for… surely, she’s not in an insurmountable situation? Think! There’s got to be a way before the silence wedges itself permanently between her and Hades.

Review: This novel got dark and quick. Persephone is tortured by Thanatos and his reapers by night, by day she escapes to school – but is escape or torture of another kind? This was definitely a novel that if the hero and heroine would communicate, things could be fixed and quickly. However, Persephone is bound by the rules of being a goddess and she promised not to tell Thanatos secret – too late realizing that he’d trapped her.

Zeus is a horribly creepy father figure and there are overtones of incest because of him at a part in the novel. Yuck. Luckily, Persephone is a lot stronger than anyone gives her credit, including herself. When Hades finally sees what is happening he is as fierce and as dark and as wonderful as you can imagine. His retribution is swift and merciless. Nobody messes with his wife. Nobody. Oh and there’s another epic cliffhanger. Ahh!

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Daughter of the Earth and Sky (Daughters of Zeus)

Review: Persephone (Daughters of Zeus, Book 1) by Kaitlin Bevis

persephoneSummary: Persephone lives a normal life with the exception of a few abnormal things here and there. She can always explain it away – even the creepy feeling of being watched. But she can’t ignore the weirdness when a winter storm springs out of nowhere on a trip to see a rock concert with her best friend.

She tells her mom (smart!) who reveals to Persephone that she’s a goddess and says the winter storm is not a good sign. Because the storm is Boreas (the winter god) and he wants to kidnap her. Boreas almost succeeds too until Hades steps in and rescues her… oh and makes her his bride. Persephone just wants things to go back to normal… but is normal possible anymore? Was it ever? Perhaps this is all a strange dream!

Review: While there were some shaky areas of the novel, my take away from it was a world I wanted to continue reading and a couple for whom I would be rooting. The strong points include the romantic leads, the underworld and its rules, the evil villain, and the plot twists. Yikes! I didn’t see that ending coming at all. Hades is a good ruler trying to do his best to understand the souls in his care and provide a good afterlife for most of them. He’s not a particularly dark underworld king (which I would have liked – he’s the Beast in a Beauty and the Beast fairytale… he’s got to be beastly, right?)

I didn’t particularly like Persephone’s friend, Melissa, and I felt most of the side characters in the Underworld were a little shapeless (Cassandra, Helen, and Charon). Cassandra slightly less so, but she’s so bubbly and exuberant it felt like it wasn’t her true nature (forced, if you catch my drift). Thanatos was a great minor character for reasons I won’t go into, you’ll have to trust me.. Solid start to a new series and I look forward to the sequel.

Also, look at this cover! Yum! Love!

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Persephone (Daughters of Zeus)

Men and Wolves and Myths, Oh My…

Stephanie JulianGuest Blog by Stephanie Julian, author of Goddess in the Middle (Forgotten Goddesses)

I’m a huge mythology fan so when I realized that GODDESS IN THE MIDDLE, the third book in the Forgotten Goddesses series, was going to be a ménage, I knew I had to come up with two strong men.

Amity, the Etruscan Goddess of Health, is being chased by the minions of Charun, God of the Underworld, who wants to consume her powers so he can break free of the underworld.

She’s going to need all the help she can get to beat Charun. She’s not exactly built to handle an attack by blue-skinned demons with razor-sharp teeth and claws. She’s a healer, not a fighter.

Enter cousins Remy and Rom. They’re actually tracking the demon that’s after Amity and they plan to seduce her so they can be there to catch the demon when it attacks her.

Since I knew I was going to need to two heroes, I didn’t have to look very hard to find the perfect names for my heroes.

Romulus and Remus are the legendary founders of Rome, the sons of a Vestal Virgin and Mars, the God of War (or the demi-god Hercules, depending on who you’re reading). They were raised by a wolf (score! I mean, come on, my heroes are werewolves) and they grew up to become kings.

Okay, so most of the rest of the story isn’t all heroics and glory (we’re talking myth so there’s lots of blood and betrayal and raping and pillaging) but I could ignore all that because I had a great foundation to launch my characters from.

And they really are great guys. Remy and Rom are strong, heroic, loving, loyal and when they decide that Amity is their woman, they give her everything they’ve got. And more.

Here’s a little taste of GODDESS IN THE MIDDLE

“Rom, knock it off.”

Rom turned and found Remy staring at him with stormy eyes and a scowl on his scarred face. Grown men had been known to run the other way when Remy turned that look on them.

Rom glared back at his cousin. “Get dressed before someone sees you, scassacazzo. I don’t want to get stopped by the police with your dick wagging all over the place.”

Remy just raised one brow before he took his sweet time pulling on clothes as Rom buckled Amity into the seat. She seemed to have fallen asleep, which was fine by him.

Dressed, Remy moved forward so he could let his hand stroke along Amity’s disheveled hair.

Rom started the Jeep, wincing at the loud growl from the engine. Vaffanculo, he needed to get this thing tuned up so it didn’t make so damn much noise. Or maybe he’d finally buy a new car since they wouldn’t be battered and bloody so damn much now that they’d killed the demon.

“And there you go again, thinking too damn much.” Remy’s voice held just the right note of sarcasm to fire up Rom’s ire. Remy was the only one who could do that so fast.

Rom prided himself on being relatively calm, cool, and collected during most situations.

Even in a fight, he never let his emotions get the better of him. Remy had enough for both of them.

One of them needed to be thinking ahead to the aftermath. Remy often lost himself in the fight, in the heat of the battle.

Even in the thick of things, Rom was thinking ahead to how to dispose of the bodies.

“It’s a damn good thing one of us actually does think.” Rom deliberately poked at Remy to see what he’d do.

Remy surprised him. He only gave Rom the finger then returned his attention to Amity.

“Why the hell didn’t she tell us who she was?”

Buy: Goddess in the Middle (Forgotten Goddesses)

Review: Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test, Book 2) by Aimee Carter

Summary of Goddess Test to Date: Persephone dumps Hades and while several humans have tried to pass the Goddess Test to become his queen, they all failed (and died) except Kate. After Henry and Kate’s wedding, Kate is whisked off on a romantic tour of Greece by James for her summer away from the Underworld.

Summary: Kate Winters can’t wait to get back to Henry and start their life together in the Underworld. Her return though isn’t at all what she expected it to be. Henry is more aloof and secretive than ever before and Kate doesn’t know why. When an expected Titan disrupts Kate’s coronation as Queen of the Underworld, Henry and the other main gods run off to fight only to get captured. Kate now has to fight through hell to get him back – and she’s going to need to enlist the aid of the one soul she least wants to deal with – Persephone, Henry’s unrequited love and ex-wife.

Review: I really liked how empathetic and sympathetic Kate is to Henry and Persephone even when she doesn’t want to be and wants to figure out what is going on between them. It led to a lot of internal angst and you know me I love my yummy angst. Ms. Carter is a master at it too.

What’s nice about Kate’s angst compared to – let’s say Bella Swan’s – is that Kate takes action. She immediately sets off to save Henry despite his odd behavior and while she’s uncertain of her future with him she’s determined to do her best.

Some of my favorite moments are when she begs him to give her a reason to stay in the Underworld. When they clear the air it is very touching and moving and full of depth because we recognize how deeply painful it is to each character to reveal themselves. I also liked an earlier scene when Kate witnesses something without meaning to and has nowhere to run and no way to stop seeing what she is seeing.

Then there’s that cliffhanger – OMG! Book three, where are you? I want it!

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Goddess Interrupted (Harlequin Teen)

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Review: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

Background: Greek mythology is reinvented and romanticized in Aimee Carter’s start to a new young adult trilogy. What if the Hades and Persephone story wasn’t as it appeared to history? Instead of stealing her from her mother, they had an arranged marriage. Hades loved Persephone, but Persephone didn’t love Hades. She falls in love with a mortal and asks Hades to take her immortality away so she could die to be with the mortal in the afterlife, leaving Hades without a wife and co-ruler.

Summary: Kate isn’t ready to say goodbye to her mom, a long time sufferer of cancer. The doctors and her mother feel that there isn’t much time left. At her mother’s behest, Kate moves them back to Eden, the mother’s childhood small town home. Kate isn’t worried about a new school or even making friends. She wants to spend all her time with her mother, but in an effort to please her mother she attends a party which ends with a deadly prank and a deal with a handsome devil.

Henry offers to keep her mother alive (not healed) in exchange for Kate’s agreement to live the winter with him in his home. The catch is that she also has to pass seven tests and it could get deadly. Eleven girls have tried to pass, but most end up dead before they can complete them. If she succeeds, she’ll become Henry’s wife, and a goddess.

Review: I was surprised that the seven tests are hidden within the text. Kate is told she will be tested, but she’s not told how or even what these tests are. They’re designed to test her character. I wonder if you can spy them on your first read through the book. I know I didn’t. I also didn’t recognize the testers, which is the point. We, the readers, are like Kate in the story, clueless to these facts.

I adored how the relationship between Henry and Kate developed. It was slow, it was thorough, and it was delicious. I loved the Beauty and the Beast aspect to it and the Greek mythology reinterpretation. It’s young and fresh. Henry is a fabulous tortured hero. I can’t wait for the sequel, Goddess Interrupted.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: The Goddess Test (Harlequin Teen)

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Meet Kyra, Daughter of Ares, Nymph of the Underworld

by Stephanie Draven, guest blogger and author of Poisoned Kisses

Hey everybody! Thanks for having me here in anticipation of my debut novel, POISONED KISSES. I still find it a little amazing that it’s really happening, and my first book is about to hit the shelves! Since I’ve been working so hard on my writing lately I’ve become a very boring person, so I thought it might be better if we heard a few words from my characters.

Allow me to introduce Kyra, a knife-wielding nymph of the underworld. She’s agreed to answer a few questions for us today, which I can only think means that we’ve caught her in a very good mood.

Q. When you were a little girl your father gave you ambrosia to make you immortal. Why aren’t you a little more grateful to him?

Kyra: Look, it’s hard to be a daddy’s girl when your father is Ares, Greek god of war. He’s not really the affectionate type. Besides, immortality isn’t all its cracked up to be. At first, mortals worship you, but then your friends die. You make new friends and they die too. And before you know it, the mortals forget you and chase after the latest religious fad. I bet half the people reading this don’t even know what a nymph of the underworld is…but I bet they all believe in angels!

Q. What do you have against angels?

Kyra: If I needed someone to guide me from this life into the next–I’d want a warrior. Someone who would fight for my shade with a torch in one hand and a knife in the other. I wouldn’t trust the salvation of my eternal soul to some cherubic coquette with feathery wings.

Q. Were you looking for love when you went searching for Marco Kaisaris?

Kyra: I was looking to kill him, actually, but he almost killed me instead.

Q. I thought you were immortal.

Kyra: Yes, well, so did I! As it turns out, his poisonous blood is the only thing that can kill me.

Q. So why did you go after Marco in the first place?

Kyra: I didn’t know he was dangerous. At least, not dangerous to me. I just thought he was another monster that Daddy wanted to add to his menagerie. But when I was a young nymph, Hekate prophesied that I’d conquer a hydra. I thought it was my fate. My destiny. Maybe it still is.

Q. Why did you impersonate Marco’s first love?

Kyra: Well, I knew he wasn’t going to trust me. I had to impersonate somebody in order to get close to him. His ex-girlfriend seemed like the best choice, but wow, what a mistake that turned out to be. I can make mortals see whatever I want them to see when they look at me, but even wearing another woman’s face, I can’t really pull off prim and proper. Basic black and pearls just aren’t my style.

Q. Did he see through your disguise?

Kyra: Only after we’d slept together. I think he knew the truth, deep down, but that didn’t stop him from being furious about being tricked. And it didn’t stop him from taking revenge, either.

Q. You and Marco have both done some pretty terrible things. Do you think you’ll be able to forgive each other?

Kyra: Well, let’s just hope I still have an eternity to find out.

Buy: Poisoned Kisses