Do you have a specific writing style?
LJ: In a way I’d say yes! We don’t like to spell things out to the reader, the mystery is a big element and our books come with a warning… they end o cliff-hangers but they are integral to the series.
Rhonda: We made a conscious decision very early on in the planning of our series that each book would end with a spectacular cliff-hanger - they are not there just to frustrate the reader or to give the stories the added ‘wow’ factor. The books have so many underlying stories interwoven with the main story that it allows the reader to speculate what is going to happen to the characters and how they could possibly resolve the complex situations that they find themselves. Also, I fibbed - it is to give them the ‘wow’ factor -laughs-
Do you write in different genres?
Rhonda: Yes, I dabble in sci-fi and also BDSM - not personally, in writing!
LJ ~ I gave Sci-fi a shot with Rhonda and have a little Historic piece that is hidden away
Rhonda: It won’t be hidden for long because I am a black-belt in nagging… Also, we have a series of historical romance with a paranormal twist in production at the moment. Watch this space!
If yes which is your favorite genre to write?
LJ: Paranormal! My first love
Rhonda: Anything with LJ...
Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?
LJ: All the books have their Title before we start it
Rhonda: We make our plan, then name the book and only then do we start to write.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Rhonda: That every action has a consequence. Also, that your past should not define your future.
LJ: Nothing is what it seems….
What book are you reading now?
LJ: Nina’s Choice by Natasza Water (SEALs -swoons) Forget me not by Susan E Scott and W.R.A.I.T.H Blood Prince by Shannon West….I’m a multitasked!
Rhonda: 1984 by George Orwell; Blood Prince by Shannon West and Forget me Not by Susan E Scott. I also have a couple of audio books on the go at any one time, the latest being Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?
Rhonda: Well, Books two and three of the Tainted Blood series have been contracted, so we are in the middle of writing book four. We also have a sci-fi erotica as part of the WRAITH series due to come out in July and a couple of other projects which are work-in-progress.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
LJ and Rhonda: Alicia Carberletti is the only surviving member of her family, and when reading an old journal of her Mothers' she finds herself on a journey to avenge her Family and reclaim the 'Carberletti' name. Alicia has lived most of her life alone, self-reliant and resourceful - intelligent and skilled, yet quirky as she often gets popular references and phrases round. She is upbeat and sharp, but doesn't suffer fools gladly.
We are introduced to Alicia as she embarks on a holiday in Mexico.
Commander Xavier Raige is ex-Special Ops, and now runs his highly successful and profitable Unit of Mercenaries. Xavier has a secret that only one person knows - he is from a family of Werewolves, but has never been able to Shift before and was shunned by his Pack. When Xavier meets Alicia, his Wolf is awakened for the first time.
Our Second male lead Character is Lieutenant Hugh MacAndrew - also known as Shuggie.
He is an ancient Immortal Vampire, a Scottish Warrior who is also Commander Raige's Best Friend.
The Belcastro Family are the exiled Mafia Family now located in Mexico. They are ruthless, nasty and underhand. Expanding their empire to include people trafficking from contacts in the Mob in Russia, they bring us into their sleazy, dangerous underworld.
Throughout the book background to all major characters are built up skilfully to create a full and comprehensive picture of who and what - and why they are the way they are.
Who designed the cover of your latest book?
Both: 3 rusted spoons… Freaking epic!
Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book?
Rhonda: oh yes, we absolutely do! We have ‘Never Tear us Apart’ by INXS which is Xavier’s song for Alicia; and Alicia’s song for Xavier is ‘Nobody Does it Better’ by Carly Simon. I’m handing over to LJ for her explanation of the other songs -laughs-
LJ -squints my eyes at Rho, sticking my tongue out- The Calling, Anything… Once you read the book… you’ll see these Lyrics are perfect for Xavier to Alicia and of course can’t forget Cheryl Cole and fight for this love!.
A Tainted Blood Novel
RT Lucas and LJ Halkett
Genre: Urban PNR (erotic)
Publisher: Dark Hollows Press
Date of Publication: 6/2/14
Number of pages: 207
Word Count: 75542
Cover Artist: Three Rusted Spoons
Commander Xavier Raige, ex-Special Forces and now a leader of an elite team of mercenaries. At 6’7” he is as lethal as he is handsome. Xavier doesn’t have time to sugar the pill - he is abrupt, direct and demanding. He accepts a new mission - to stop a skilled thief that has been plaguing the notorious Belcastro mafia family. Xavier is unaware that this job will change the course of his life forever and threatens to awaken the wolf he has kept at bay all his life.
Alicia Carberletti is a small woman with a BIG attitude! She is feisty, sexy, independent and smart - she also admires people who know their manners! Alicia has been all alone ever since her beloved family were brutally murdered. Trying to find peace, she embarks on a holiday of a lifetime which takes a sinister turn.
Tainted blood, wicked lies, deception and cruel fate: when Alicia and Xavier collide with one another, will events spiral out of control - or can they hold onto one another and face the dark consequences of their actions?
Together they will entice you into their world - and this new book series comes with a WARNING - once you enter, you won't want to leave!
In a world of humans; vampires; werewolves and set in murky mafia underworld, is it so easy to tell who are the real monsters and who still holds their humanity?
Weaving his bike at the sharp bends in the narrow road on the way to the Martinez mansion, Xavier mulled over the fine details of his agreement to their job offer. He didn’t notice the vehicle hurtling towards him in the opposite direction, and he hadn’t factored in that the sun was just rising. He most definitely didn’t expect that the driver of the other vehicle seemed to have a death wish.
The rising sun bounced off the windshield of the oncoming vehicle, blinding Xavier momentarily. As he swerved to the right he felt his front wheel dip, and he flew over the handlebars of his bike as it slid under the front wheels of the offending vehicle. Lying in the bushes at the side of the road, Xavier checked himself over to ensure he wasn’t bleeding or broken, and slowly stood up. Making his way over the now stationary vehicle, he curled his hand into a fist and punched through the driver’s window, pulling out the driver. As he was about to make chowder out of his face, he noticed that the driver’s feet were dangling off the ground.
He then noticed that he was a she. A very small she.
“What do you think you are playing at, female? You could have killed me!” Narrowing his eyes, Xavier dangled the female in front of him.
“I was driving my car - you crashed into me you prick so don’t ask me what I was playing at!” Alicia glared at the huge male that had her suspended in the air, her boots hovering as he gripped her tightly by the shoulders.
“Help me! Help me! He’s trying to kidnap me!”
Alicia started screaming at the top of her voice as she looked up at the most unusual shade of green eyes that she had ever seen. A small smirk started to appear on her lips and she began to deliberately sway herself like a pendulum in the brute’s hold.
Slapping a gloved hand over the screeching female’s mouth, Xavier lowered her to the ground, giving her a warning look before removing his hand.
“Kidnap you? You are out of your goddamn mind?” Xavier growled low as he moved away from her to survey the damage she’d done to his bike. Crouching down, his hands caressed it like a lover and he looked back at her, his face full of fury.
“You were driving like a maniac and nearly totalled my damn bike,” he said clicking his fingers then opening his palm out. “Your insurance details. Now!”
“The sun hit off my windshield for the love of the gods! I swerved as I was momentarily blinded - you must have been coming around the bends too fast! Where did you say you got your licence? A Kinder egg?”
Alicia stood looking down at the male. He looked to her like he was having an emotional breakdown over the now twisted piece of metal. Her hand moved - but not to give him any piece of paper with her details. Her left hand reached into her jacket pocket where she pulled out a lolly, unwrapped it, and popped it in her mouth before turning and proceeding to walk back to her car.
Never. Never in his adult life had anyone addressed him like this - especially not a pixie sized female with the driving skills of a kamikaze. Xavier’s jaw nearly hit the ground as she smart mouthed him, then casually stood at the roadside sucking on the candy. It was only then that Xavier got a good look at her. The rising sun had illuminated her outline and his eyes took their time, checking her out from feet to head.
She was slender, but her curves were in all the right places. Her long auburn hair tumbled over her shoulders and her big brown eyes seemed to look right into his soul. Her full pouting lips were taunting him with that damn candy. Almost forgetting why he was pissed off with her, he shook his head and focused.
“The sun was in my direction, so there’s no way it could’ve blinded you. Besides, you were steaming down that road like a bat out of hell. Now, I’m not in the habit of repeating myself - your insurance details.” His jaw ticked as he faced up to this little female with the huge attitude. Usually his sheer size and no nonsense approach had people running in the opposite direction, not trying to go head to head with him. This was a new experience for him, and he was pretty sure he didn’t like it.
Using her thumb and forefinger to gently tug on the stick of the lolly, Alicia removed the candy from her lips, her hand moving as she addressed the giant with the vibrant green eyes and blond hair, strands of which had come loose from his ponytail.
“And I am not in the habit of giving my personal details out to hooligans that crash into me and then blame me for their reckless driving! Look…neither of us were hurt so what’s the problem here? You go your way and I’ll go my way, simples.”
Exasperated, Xavier was for the first time in his life stuck for words. This small female was facing up to him - and winning! Twice he’d demanded her details, and both times she shot him down without as much as a blink.
“Sweetcheeks,” his voice lowered as he stood up to tower over her, “you damaged my bike through your dodgem-car style driving. If you don’t have insurance then you can give me the cash up front to fix it, yeah?”
Xavier had no need for the money, he was wanting to scare the female into providing her details. It wasn’t so much about fixing his bike anymore as much as…he just had to know her name. He’d never met anyone quite like her and as much as she irritated him, there was something about her stubbornness and conviction that intrigued him.
Alicia’s words came out through her gritted teeth. “Please! ‘Please may I have your insurance details ma’am?’ Manners seem to be very much lacking in you don’t they, sir?” she said, thinking to herself that he did not just refer to her as ‘Sweetcheeks’!
About the Authors:
Both Scottish Authors are best friends and for years they have been developing these amazing and complex characters. Having both suffered strokes at a young age, within months of each other they decided that life was too short and now was the time for Xavier and Alicia to be unleashed onto the waiting public! That was when the world of Tainted Blood and #XAli was born!
L J Halkett is 35 years of age, Mother, Wife and Housing Officer for Local Government. She is a smart, sassy and superbly imaginative woman who devours books - especially in the paranormal genre! She is the master at multi-tasking and she is always thinking ten steps ahead. With her passion for creativity, she brings to life her imagination with vivid detail. Family is the cornerstone of LJ’s life, and her greatest achievement is her wonderful son.
Left Partially sighted after her Stroke, LJ has to write in what the Authors call ‘Nasa’ font and can only detect the colour red, which can be difficult when reading print on a daily basis - her determination is testament to her personality - as she says.... "Where's there's a will? There's a way!"
RT Lucas is 41 years of age, soon to be Divorced [Hurrah!] and had a very successful career in Recruitment and Business Development until it was cut short through illness. Having worked in the Health Sector, Human Resources and Ministry of Defense, she has a myriad of experiences to draw from - and says that sometimes life can be stranger than Fiction! RT is an avid reader of the paranormal/romance genres but her first love will always be Science Fiction. She says that she has far superior music taste to that of her Best Friend and Co-Author - and uses every available opportunity to tell her so! RT lives alone with her #XavCat who faithfully lies by her computer whenever she wanders into the world of Tainted Blood.
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