Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Blog Tour: Dark Longing by @megami771 read the author #interview #paranormalromance #pnr #fantasy

Paranormal / Fantasy Romance
Date Published: January 18, 2018

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Dark Longing’s central characters are Inanna and Gabriel. She is a vampire warrior, one of Queen Jade Cicada’s Chosen guard, and has lived for several millennia. She is also one of the few remaining True Bloods in the world, vampires who are born, not made. He is a human, a widower and father who would sacrifice all for those he loves. Unbeknownst to Gabriel, he also possesses a Pure soul and has an ancient past, as well as a future destiny, that is inextricably entwined with Inanna.

Fate (and a helping hand from Gabriel’s dying wife) has thrown them together in this present age as joint guardians of Benjamin, the son of Gabriel’s heart if not his body. An avalanche of expenses and debts compel Gabriel to enter a deadly network of fight clubs to earn some quick cash, but pulling out of the club is not as easy, as he quickly becomes the spectator favorite.

Meanwhile, the Chosen has been working to eradicate the masterminds behind the fight clubs, which not only result in an increasing number of gory human deaths, but also threaten to expose the Dark Ones to the world at large. In a rare concerted effort, the vampires and their nemesis – the Pure Ones – come together to pursue a common enemy.

To protect Benji from harm, Gabriel risks his life once more in the fight clubs and is almost killed by an unknown vampire assassin. In order to save him, Inanna breaks the sacred laws of her Kind, including turning a human and taking him as her Blooded Mate. What’s worse, they discover after the fact that Gabriel has a Pure soul. A union between Dark and Pure Ones has been strictly forbidden since the dawn of time for reasons no one fully knew.

While the Chosen makes progress with slowing down the expansion of the fight clubs, they uncover new information that points to a traitor in their own midst. Gabriel has a rough adjustment to his new state of being as a vampire, at the same time struggling to make sense of his relationship with Inanna, with whom he’s felt an instant and irresistible connection from the first moment they met. Inanna, on the other hand, devotes her heart and soul totally to love her Mate, just as she had loved his previous incarnation in her youth many millennia ago. To save her from pain, Gabriel’s ancient self, Alad, had her memories erased of him until he could find her again in another life.

Through her newly-forged friendship with the Pure Ones, including their young queen Sophia, Inanna discovers that not only is she a True Blood, but that her mother was a Dark Princess and her father was a Pure warrior and the leader of the Rebellion that led to the destruction of the Dark empire. She is the offspring from this union, and she has a twin brother who all the records say had died. Inanna also finds clues that at least her father might still be alive, and perhaps her mother as well.

By now Gabriel has fully accepted his new lease on life and is determined to help in the war against vampire rogues and their human conspirators any way he can. He has also accepted Inanna fully into his heart, having fallen for her all over again in his present incarnation. But the vampire assassin who threatened them before reveals herself again to challenge Inanna for the right to claim Gabriel as her Blood Slave and takes him prisoner to use against Inanna in the final death match.

Inanna goes with eyes wide open to the site of the challenge and fights the vampire who used to be her comrade. To distract her, the vampire holds Gabriel captive and deals him mortal wounds for every wound Inanna deals her. The ploy works, and Inanna loses concentration, suffering a mortal wound herself.

Inanna and Gabriel’s deaths trigger their Awakening, a process by which those with Pure souls embrace their past lives with all their memories and gifts. When they regain consciousness, they rejoin the battle already waging between the vampire assassins and the Chosen and Pure allies. They win this battle, and together, Inanna and Gabriel execute the traitor who plotted to usurp the Dark Queen.

But the war is not won. The battle between the vampires, humans and Pure Ones was recorded and uploaded onto the Internet to spur the growth of new fight clubs and potentially hastening the widespread exposure of the immortal races to humans. Meanwhile, Inanna and Gabriel rediscover each other with full knowledge of their ancient past. They plan to search for Inanna’s father with the aid of the Pure Ones.

The future is not yet written. Inanna and Gabriel would face the unknown together. Forevermore.

Interview

Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?

True Love conquers all.
We are who we choose to be.
There is always more than one side to every story.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Finding the time! With two boys under the age of 5, a full-time job in Corporate America that requires frequent travel across multiple projects, it’s hard to stay on top of everything.
The second challenge is my writing approach. I love the writing process because it’s about 50% planned, 50% unplanned for me, and it organically evolves as I write. It’s extremely enjoyable in that sense because I—as the writer—am also breathless with anticipation what happens next—the characters and plot sometimes take a life of their own. On the other hand, when there are many threads to weave together into a coherent, well-designed tapestry, wrangling all the pieces together can take some extra creativity at times. 

How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

I’ve written 9 books if you count the earlier efforts in my teens. More recently, I’ve completed 5 books in the Pure/Dark series and starting on Book 6. It’s so hard to pick a favorite! I’m tempted to say whichever one I’m currently working on.
I like parts about all the books. I’m completely in love with Valerius from Book 1, Pure Healing. I love the “True Love conquers all for star-crossed lovers” in Book 2, Dark Longing and Book 5, Pure Rapture. The “Great Act of Love” part in Book 4, Dark Pleasures, was especially fun to write, and the Hero is very different from my other books.
But maybe my favorite thus far is Book 3, Dark Desires, at least from a writer’s POV. It’s set in a completely different country, with a very exotic background—fans of Japanese manga and anime ought to like it a lot :P And the story just came out of me like it begged to be told, and I was just the conduit of its will. So that was a very brisk and exciting ride!


If You had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?

This is a tough one! For Pure Healing, I have the female lead cast (though not for her acting skills, more for her looks), and the best person for the male lead has unfortunately passed away from cancer (Andy Whitfield from Spartacus Blood and Sand).
For Dark Longing, the female lead, Inanna, is modeled after a young Natalia Vodianova, but I’m hard pressed to find a corollary in terms of acting skills. The male lead, Gabriel, might be played by a young, leaner Eric Bana. What he looks like in my head, is this:



When did you begin writing?

 Writing as a lifetime passion and love probably started when I learned how to write. My father made me write a story in my journal every day from the age of six, which he would come home to grade at the end of each week. I’ve won every writing contest my teachers entered me in all through primary, secondary education and college, but my family is extremely “practical” and forbade me to pursue any type of creative or artistic career (art is my other passion). To feed the writing demon inside, I just wrote for the pleasure of it. My first novel was written by age thirteen; I finished 5 novels within the next 5 years. I can’t say now that they were any good, but one literary agent told me there was a lot of potential.
I didn’t get much sleep as a teenager. It would take many years after that to pick it up again, as I built a safety net of “practicality.”


How long did it take to complete your first book?

About 6-9 months. Back then, research for books was much harder. You had to go physically to the library and search through books, archives, primary and secondary reference material, etc. It was the research that took the most amount of time. That and writing hand-written lines in notebooks, then having to go back and edit everything and type it up!

Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?

I would say the romance authors I read as a teenager probably inspired this path. Romance has always been my first pick for leisure reading since I discovered it at age eleven or twelve. My favorite authors from back then were Julie Garwood and Jude Devereux. My favorite book was Knight in Shining Armor. It’s probably why I don’t see myself writing any other type of books (or at least enjoying the writing process) besides romance.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

The organic development of the characters, their interactions, and the story.
Each story is always inspired by something specific in my life or imagination. The scene forms in my head and I start writing. And then it just flows naturally from there as if the story has a life of its own. I have a general sense of where things are headed, what the characters are like, their personalities, etc., but I’m always surprised along the way by how the story unfolds as I write it. I love the unpredictability of the process. I feel like I’m just a narrator in a movie who tells a story that’s burning to be told by characters who are worth knowing. At the same time, I’m also like an invested movie watcher who’s rooting for her favorite characters and who just wants to find out how things end.

Describe your latest book in 4 words.

Heart-wrenching. Intriguing. Tantalizing. Hot.

Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?


I just finished book 5 in the Pure/Dark series, titled Pure Rapture. For the readers who will follow me through the journey, they will finally get a very good look at some of the events that started it all—this epic struggle between Pure and Dark Ones. As a bonus, the Prologue and Epilogue, which is always narrated by one of the key characters in the series (though never the main character in the story being told), will be narrated by (one of) the bad guys!


I think the Pure/Dark series has a very long runway, as long as there are readers out there who enjoy it. Just when you think something is solved or resolved, two other loose ends or questions appear. I can go many different directions with this series—it combines multicultural, historical and contemporary, fantasy and paranormal…there is no limit. So, I expect to be building this world out and telling tales of True Love for many years to come!


About the Author

Aja has been writing stories since the age of six, and novels since the age of thirteen. While she'd be the first to admit that those early efforts weren't particularly good, she sure loved putting them down on paper! 

The best part of writing, according to Aja, is that it’s completely organic, the way the stories develop. When the inspiration hits, she writes just so she herself can learn where the characters are headed because oftentimes, they take her by surprise! It is her ultimate dream to share her stories with as many readers as she possibly can.

Her other loves include art, cooking, old movies (anything with Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Robert Redford, Vivien Leigh, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Clark Gable, and all the song and dance numbers because she can’t watch them and not be happy!)

She adores taking long walks with her husband and running after her two rambunctious kids. She has traveled extensively (all seven continents except Antarctica) and has a multi-cultural upbringing. She speaks two and a half languages and binge watch TV shows when the mood strikes.

Aja has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Comparative Literature and Economics and two Master’s degrees, one of which is in East Asian Studies.


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1 comment:

Emily H said...

Thank you for posting

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