Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Interview with Patricia A. Knight and an Excerpt from Hers To Command

1.         What inspired you to become an author?
I love high fantasy and sci-fi and I love erotic romance. I was having an increasingly difficult time trying to find books that combined the two. I would read wonderful epic fantasies with gallant men and courageous women – but they never even kissed! Urrrgh. I would read hot erotica but the storylines were so dreary and the heroines and heroes so mundane that I found myself skipping through and just reading the sex scenes. One evening in a snit of frustration I sat down to write a short story that combined the two. Several years and three books later, here I am. It has been a very unlikely journey.
2.         Do you write in different genres?

Yes.  My next series of books will be erotic westerns set in post-civil war Texas.  As I have lived in Texas for over forty years and have “knocked boots” with lots of cowboys it just seemed natural.

3.         Which is your favorite genre to write?

My heart will always be with the epic fantasy – good triumphs over evil – Lord of the Rings type of stuff. LOL Except in my books the H/h will have lots of hot sex. Aragorn would so “do” Arwen.

4.         Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?

I like to title them first. With the Verdantia series they were all Hers To ____ something. [laughing here] I remember sending an email to all my critique partners on the last book asking for every verb they could come up with that began with a “C”. I may have to rethink my titling system.

5.         What books/authors have influenced your life?

I grew up reading all the classics. The stuff that people don’t read anymore, Sir Walter Scott’s,  Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, The Lady of the Lake - Richard Doddridge Blackmore’s, Lorna Doone. I read J.R. Tolkien’s, The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy back in the 60’s and Mom would read C.S. Lewis’ tales of Narnia to us every night. She read all seven books. I read Heinlein – all of them, not just Stranger in a Strange Land and Asimov and Pohl and Herbert. As I grew older I discovered “hot historicals” and devoured Rosemary Rogers and Amanda Quick. Through the years my tastes ran to authors like Loretta Chase (her book Lord of Scoundrels makes many “all time great” lists) and Julia Ross, Emma Holly and Lauren Dane. I guess everything from Shakespeare to the Cambell’s soup can label has had an influence. (I like creamy tomato.)

6.         What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?

I have just finished the first round of edits for Hers To Cherish, the last in the Verdantia series for awhile. (I’ll return to it, just taking a break.) I am looking forward to getting back to my 1800’s western, The Dry Season. It’s about a hunky cowboy returning home to Texas after the civil war and trying to establish a life for himself. There is a strong woman defending herself from a bad guy who my hero rescues – and of course, lots of hot sex.

7.         Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Sure! This an excerpt from Hers To Cherish

Chapter One

N.T. Solar Date 4637

Captain Steffania Rickard of the elite Blue Daggers fumed silently as her eyes scanned the seedy brothel’s dark, empty, upstairs room. Damn-it-all. I was certain I’d finally caught up to him. She’d consumed the better part of two months looking for this man. Her shoulders slumped in fatigue. She’d expended no small amount of energy slipping into this absurdly well-guarded bedroom. 

A small prick at her carotid, from what was certainly a razor sharp stiletto, froze her in place. She hardly dared to breathe. Her heart leapt like a spring bok eluding a hunting cat. Stupid, stupid, stupid. You know not to let down your guard.

“You are not my type, Steffania. I like my women submissive and kneeling at my feet – not contentious and sneaking behind my back. But if you want me bad enough to break in here, I’ll accommodate you.”

Ramsey DeKieran’s deep, arrogant voice drawled low in her ear. He jerked her close and his hard body pressed into her back. His hand roamed freely, intimately, between her thighs, across her abdomen then higher to fondle her breasts. He paused to toss her hidden blades and throwing crescents to the floor. She couldn’t mistake the prodding at the middle of her back for anything other than it was – a solid erection.

“You conceited ass, I’m not here for that,” she hissed as his fingers rolled one of her nipples sending sensation zinging to her lower region.

Never removing his knife, he growled, “Turn very carefully. I need to check your back for weapons.”

With a snarl of her own, she complied. Unusual eyes of glacial blue with an outer ring of darker blue locked with hers. An unfriendly grin stretched a full, generous mouth on a gaunt, chiseled face of high cheekbones and an aristocratic nose. An unkempt comma of black hair hung in the middle of his forehead. A day’s worth of dark beard shadowed his cheeks. He looked feral, undomesticated.

Now his free hand roamed her back and buttocks, his arousal pressed into her soft abdomen. He found the knife at the small of her back and tossed it to the growing collection. To her horror, she began to moisten between her legs. Damn him!

He leaned in and whispered in her ear. “Are you getting wet, sweetheart? Does dominance do it for you?”

“Bastard!” She shoved herself violently away with both hands, angered further by his oh-so-accurate taunt. It had to be a guess. She’d kept those desires carefully hidden. She retreated several steps to face him, gasping in air. “Don’t flatter yourself.”

A dark eyebrow arched slowly. “If you don’t want a good fuck, then what do you want, sweetheart?”

Steffania prided herself on being a good liar. The trick was to throw in some truth with the lie. In truth, ever since she fought beside DeKieran in the Haarb wars, the scoundrel had headlined in her sexual fantasies. 
“I’m not your fucking sweetheart. You’re the last man I’d want.” She threw her head back and glared. “High Lord DeTano wants you. I’m just his messenger.”

“Why would I do anything for Ari DeTano?”

“For a pardon.”

DeKieran straightened his relaxed posture. Not shrinking under his piercing examination took discipline. She stood motionless until the tension between them became physical. Damn you, Ramsey. Say something. 
Finally, he shrugged.

“I’ll hear what he has to say.”

~ ~ ~

Ram was a stranger to this part of Verdantia’s capital. He knew only the underbelly of Sylvan Mintoth – the part where the filth of their planet collected – human and otherwise. He’d never imagined a time when he’d sit in Queen Constante’s opulent antechamber – the evident wealth an unwelcome reminder of a life that should have been his. It is what it is. Deal with it. He idly worried a toothpick, flipping it from one side to the other in his mouth. Two members of the ruling Tetriarch, High Lord DeTano and his lover, that blond devil of an assassin, Doral DeLorion, appraised him in silence. If they thought to make him nervous, they could think again. Only those with something to lose got nervous.

Ram grinned at the feminine mercenary, Captain Steffania Rickard. Her unusual eyes of honey-gold glared back at him. Redheaded spitfire. He’d love to have her to himself for several days. The thought of taming her speared heat through his groin. His dominance had aroused her. Ram knew it. He had an unerring instinct for detecting women who enjoyed what he delivered. 

With a long-suffering sigh, he didn’t have all day – well, he did, but those three didn’t need to know – Ram addressed DeTano. “Rickard said you wanted to talk to me. I’m here.” He crossed his legs with a casual indolence and rested an ankle on his knee. “What can a dispossessed nobleman and accused murderer do for High Lord DeTano?”

DeTano nodded at his blond lover and second in the ruling trio. Other business occupied their beloved queen or Fleur Constante would have been here, too. “We have an issue. Segundo DeLorion suggested your name as a solution. The Senzienza, in her obscure, mystical way, has indicated Lady Alessa DeAlbero is critical to the future of our world.”

“So? You don’t need me to find a lost noble woman with invaluable genes. You command the resources of the Second Tetriarch. I’m just one man.”

DeLorion crossed his arms and his rich voice fell softly into the room. “We’ve tried for almost a year to recover her. We sent others – many others. They turned up dead – or not at all.”
After a moment of silence, High Lord DeTano continued. “The Haarb sold Lady DeAlbero to Veacon Narr. We located her but before we could move, Narr hid her.”

Ramsey grunted. “What makes you think the most notorious slaver in the Hyperion Galaxy is going to let me waltz in to extricate the woman if all your efforts have failed?”

Again, DeLorion’s voice fell quietly in the room. “We just need you to find her and get her to a rendezvous point. We’ll get her off-planet. I have approached the League of Federated Planets for assistance but unless I can document multiple violations of galactic law, they won’t act for the recovery of just one person.”

Ram shook his head. “Still, why send me where others have failed?”

The smile DeLorion bestowed on Ram would have shriveled lesser men. “I am tired of losing good men. You are more . . . expendable. No one will mourn your death.”

Ramsey chuckled and returned his smile, in kind. “I did allow your sister to escape.”

“You kidnapped her in the first place.”

Ram shrugged. “I was paid to do a job. I did it.”

Doral held Ram in an icy stare. “And yet you live.”

DeTano interrupted their innuendo-laden exchange and tossed a rolled parchment into Ram’s lap. “Read it. It absolves you of all crimes recorded against you, past or present. Find Lady Alessa DeAlbero and we will sign it.”

Ram picked it up and scanned it casually. DeTano was correct. The unsigned pardon was broad sweeping. “However will you convince our good queen to sign this?”

DeTano looked at him thoughtfully. “Supreme Commander Eric DeStroia uncovered evidence that may cast doubt on your conviction.” Ari shrugged. “The case can be reopened.”
 A resurgence of old pain and anger flooded Ram. Hell’s breath. Thought I had left those emotions behind. His sardonic gaze rose and caught first DeTano then DeLorion. “So . . . if I’m successful you have Lady DeAlbero, if unsuccessful, my dead body, and all it costs you is a piece of paper.”

A feral smile pulled at DeLorion’s face. “Yes. What I call a ‘win-win’ situation – for me.”
Ramsey threw his head back and laughed. When he sobered, he observed, “Vxloncia is a high-tech planet. I will be handicapped by my lack of knowledge.”

“Yes. A Blue Dagger will accompany you,” DeTano said.

Ram considered the elite group of off-world mercenaries who had stayed on Verdantia at the end of the Haarb war. His illicit, paramilitary group assiduously avoided any encounters with Captain Steffania Rickard and her Blue Daggers. The Daggers had earned their reputation as galactic ‘bad-asses’ in spectacular fashion. Ram grunted his acceptance. “It is also a world where male domination and female submission is enforced. I think their terms are dominus and slaaf. They hold their women close. Where do you suggest I start?”

“With Narr, himself,” said DeTano. “One of our contacts said Narr was enamored with Lady Alessa. He knows we look for her. He keeps her well hidden.”

“And just how do I get close to Narr?”

DeLorion uncrossed his arms and tossed another paper into Ramsey’s lap. “The planet holds ‘gladiator games’ as entertainment. Narr is obsessed with the bloodshed and spectacle. He always invites the winner of the games to his compound for an orgy of celebration. That will be your best chance to find Lady DeAlbero.”

Ram sighed and rubbed his face tiredly. “Gladiator games.” Shit.

“We took the liberty of entering your name,” DeTano said. “It’s ‘no holds barred’, but the only weapons allowed are archaic. You should be familiar with all of them.”

“Should be right up your alley, DeKieran. You get to fight dirty.” Captain Rickard’s feminine lilt spat the insult at him. “But this presupposes you’ll win.”

He’d forgotten her presence. At her challenge to both his honor and his fighting prowess – all right, perhaps he had no honor, but the slur to his skills stung – Ram rose to his feet and turned to look at her. A wickedly satisfying thought formed. He threw a quick glance at DeTano. “A Blue Dagger goes with me, yes?” DeTano nodded. “I’ll take your job, on one condition.” Ram pointed at Steffania. “That Blue Dagger goes – as my sexual submissive.”

8.         Who designed the cover of your latest book?

All of my book covers are a collaborative effort between me, my publisher, Troll River Publications and a wonderful graphic artist, Skylar Faith of TruenotDreams.

9.         Do have a song or playlist that you think represents this book?

Well, if I tell you do you promise not to laugh?  Check out the album, “Invincible,” by the artist “Two Steps From Hell”. It is in the classical section on iTunes. The music is “epica” (what else). You know the music behind those thrilling movie scenes of the brave cavalry charging into certain death, the castle being held to the last man, and so forth. Well, this is that music. This album could be played on random pick for all three books of the Verdantia series.

July 15 Guest blog
A.C. James 

July 15 Spotlight
Bewitching Book Tours Magazine 

July 16 Guest blog
Tracing the Stars

 July 17 Interview
Pembroke Sinclair.  

July 18 Spotlight
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom

July 19 Spotlight and review 
The Boyfriend Bookmark

 July 19 Spotlight
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 July 23 Interview
Roxanne’s Realm

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Faerie Tale Books

July 25 Interview
Erotica by Cori Vidae

July 26 Spotlight
Buried Under Books

July 29 Interview
Romance on a Budget

July 30 Spotlight
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July 31 Spotlight

August 1 Guest blog and review
For The Love of Reading

August 2 Spotlight

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Smoldering Heat

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Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess

August 5 Guest blog
Love in a Book

 August 6 Spotlight and review
I am a book addict...and proud of it  

 August 6 review
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August 7 Guest blog
Share My Destiny

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Erotica For All, 

August 9 Spotlight
Let's Talk About Books

 August 9 review
Literal Hotties Naughty Book Reviews

August 12 Guest Blog
Grave Tells

August 12 review
A Bibliophiles Thoughts on Books

Hers To Command
Verdantia Series Book One
Patricia A. Knight

Genre: ♂♀♂ Erotic Romance, Sci-fi/futuristic

Publisher: Troll River Publications
Date of Publication: 6/4/2013

ISBN: 978-1-939564-10-8

Number of pages: 193
Word Count: 73,428

Cover Artist: Truenotdreams

Book Description:

Conte Camliel Aristos deTano, Ari, has long spurned the marriage forced upon him. Princess Fleur Constante, his contractual bride and the beautiful future queen, though young and inexperienced, is willing to risk everything – including her own sanity – to save her planet.

The inhabitants of the sentient planet, Verdantia, are poised on the precipice of extinction following a brutal invasion by an off-world, nomadic horde. Verdantia’s capital, Sylvan Mintoth, must have its failing energy shield restored, or the planet is doomed. The Elders know the shield can draw energy from only one thing—a very arduous and grueling coupling of two specific people pre-chosen by the planet, Herself,  and promised by prearranged marriage contract.

Verdantia draws strength from the duo, but the sentient planet whispers to Ari that a third is necessary – Ari’s aide de camp, Visconte Doral deLorion, an angelically handsome, skilled assassin who silently surrendered his heart to Ari long ago.

The trio struggles to make this surprising partnership harmonious, pushing through pride, scars of past abuse, fears of inexperience and distrust. To save Verdantia, they must overcome their individual weaknesses and realize their full potential. Only the tetriarch and their combined synergy, can harness Verdantia’s immense power to shield its citizens from invasion.

About the Author:

Patricia A. Knight is the pen name for an eternal romantic who lives in Dallas, Texas surrounded by her horses, dogs and the best man on the face of the earth – oh yeah, and the most enormous bullfrogs you will ever see. Word to the wise: don’t swim in the pool after dark.

I love to hear from my readers and can be reached at http://www.trollriverpub.com/ or  http://www.patriciaaknight.com

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