Do you have a specific writing style?
My stories tend to fall on the side of deep character point of view told in third person. Those who’ve read my work and met me in person say they find my style closely matches my personality—edgy and colorful, and yet still very down to earth.
Do you write in different genres? If yes which is your favorite genre to write?
So, far I’m only published in fantasy romance, but I’ve just started book one in a contemporary series I’ve been dying to write for about a year. If all goes as planned, I’d have it available sometime in early 2016.
As to which of the two genres is easier, I’d say contemporary. Fantasy takes the top off my creativity and lets me go places a story based in real life never could. But creativity can also lead to enormous challenges. You just don’t realize how many nuances there are to world building until you dive into the fantasy realm. Clothes, food, customs, language…all of the details we take for granted in day-to-day life fall to the author to create. With contemporary it’s all about the characters and emotion, and I find those aspects of writing much easier to tap into.
Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?
The concept for the Myren race and the necessity for a person needing to be “awakened” to their powers actually came from real life.
I was in my kitchen, scrambling to get food together for some guests, when I reached out my hand and tried to summon something from across the room. I literally expected it to fly across the room and land in my palm!
About a second later, I realized that the reason I’d been so confident the item would do as I’d commanded was that I’d been dreaming of being able to levitate items for quite some time. And I’d been flying a lot as well.
Needless to say, I was super embarrassed because everyone in the room saw what I’d tried to do, but the experience got me thinking…
What if my dreams were a sign of some ability I had that was locked away, just waiting to be awakened? What if I was really from a different race? One that looked like ours, but had more power? Perhaps control of the elements? Maybe I was lost and needed to be found by my own kind?
The result was Lexi Merrill and the Myren race.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
There are so many wonderful writers that I follow and respect—JR Ward, Sylvia Day, Karen Marie Moning, Kresley Cole, and Darynda Jones, to name a few. But hands down the one writer I would love, love, love to claim as a mentor someday is Kristen Ashley.
Her writing style is much different from mine, but her stories always leave me with the most amazing emotional satisfaction. That’s the kind of response I want to generate in my own stories. I think having her as a mentor would be a ginormous coup.
Beyond that, she seems so fun, real, and approachable. I’ve reached out to her a few times to ask her advise on small questions/struggles I’ve encountered on my writing journey, and she’s always responded. You never see her say anything negative online, and her words are always filled with life.
I can’t think of better qualities to look for in a mentor.
What books are in your to read pile?
Well, there’s a dangerous question to ask. J It’s a pretty mixed bag at the moment, but from the looks of things I’m in serious series catch up mode. I’ll keep it to the top ten:
1. Kristen Ashley’s Wild and Free
2. Darynda Jones’ Seventh Grave and No Body
3. Alice Clayton’s Screwdrivered
4. Jeaniene Frost’s At Grave’s End
5. JR Ward’s Immortal
6. Nalini Singh’s Archangel’s Blade
7. Kresley Cole’s Dreams of a Dark Hunter
8. Bella Jewel’s Melancholy
9. Kristen Ashley’s Fire Inside
10. JA Huss’ Panic
What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?
Book two in The Eden Series, Healing Eden, is with my editor and is scheduled for release with Kensington’s Lyrical Press near the end of 2015. I’ve just wrapped up the first draft of book three, Waking Eden, and am now full speed ahead on my first contemporary romance, tentatively titled Accept. There’s still one more book to go in The Eden Series, Eden’s Deliverance, and it should be completed by the end of 2015.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’d love to! This is an excerpt from Healing Eden, Reese and Galena’s story, and it’s in Reese’s point of view:
With only the candle’s glow Galena’s hair gleamed more chestnut than auburn. She dipped her head and the flower he’d struggled to name registered with a kick. Lotus flower. A fitting match for her exotic eyes, like water off a white, Caribbean shore.
He’d never dreamed he’d get this close to her. Not even when he’d visited the castle with Ramsay all those years ago.
“I used to watch you.” Probably not his wisest confession. Then again, he’d be dead in who knew how many days. As repercussions went, they couldn’t get much worse.
Her gaze met his and her lips parted.
“It was a long time ago,” he said. “When I trained with Ramsay. Did he tell you about me?”
She ducked her head and studied his wound with extra focus.
Not a yes, but not a no either.
“I didn’t come to the castle often, but when I did I’d watch for you. You were barely out of your transition. I thought you were perfect.” He lifted his hand, slow so he didn’t frighten her, and cupped her cheek. “Still do.”
Galena lowered her hand and met his stare, a wary tilt to her head.
He traced her cheekbone. “Your skin’s just like I’d imagined it. Warm. Soft.”
She leaned into his touch. Not much. Probably didn’t even realize she’d done it. Her eyes softened, lids dropping, and her hair slicked against his knuckles. “Reese…”
A whisper. Nothing more.
“You see the good in me, but your brother can’t pardon what I’ve done. Nor should he. I’ll die for my actions in days, if not hours.” Was he really going to do this? Could he live with the humiliation if she refused his request?
“I always imaged what your lips would feel like.” He traced her lower lip, her breath skittering against his finger. “Will you give me that gift?”
Galena froze. “You want…”
“A kiss.” He chanced another glide along her mouth and the tip of her tongue trailed the path he left behind. “Just one.”
She swallowed and her eyelids fluttered shut as she pressed a kiss into his palm.
He braced, ready for her shutdown.
Her eyes opened and his body jolted beneath the passion in her gaze. “One.” So much emotion. Need. Urgency. Fear and shame. All rolled into one power-packed word.
He leaned forward and curled his free hand around the side of her neck. A decent man wouldn’t follow through, but a primal drive buzzed beneath his skin. Instinctive. Not at all gentle.
Her lips were close enough his own tingled. He held himself there, soaking in the sensation. Something to remember.
“Please.” A soft plea, barely spoken.
Compulsion tightened his fingers and angled her face for his advance. Slow. Careful.
Her lips gave way, soft and sweet, parted just enough to lick along the lower one.
She moaned and edged closer, opening to the bold sweep of his tongue.
He growled at her taste, mint and something that reminded him of long lazy mornings and sunshine. Her breath mingled with his, hot and heavy between each slick glide of their lips.
Fuck ordinary air. This. This is what he wanted to live on. In his lungs, day in and day out.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The first draft. I’m good with the brainstorming, the plotting, and can wallow in edits forever, but the first draft is the hardest. Putting those initial words on the page is the most vulnerable, discipline challenging part of the process for me—but it’s also the most rewarding. It’s what a marathon runner experiences at the end of a race, or an athlete experiences at the end of an event they’ve trained years to compete in.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Surround yourself with people who love the genres you love. With people who’ve accomplished what you want to accomplish.
And write. Everyday. Without apology for those who don’t understand. And never, ever, ever give up on your dreams.
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Kensington/Lyrical Press
Date of Publication: 12/29/2014
ISBN: 978-1-61650-629-2 Print
ISBN: 978-1-61650-628-5 ebook
Number of pages: 259
Word Count: 81,411
Cover Artist: Fiona Jayde Media
Most people believe Eden no longer exists. Lexi Merrill’s about to learn they’re wrong. A hard-working bartender with a self-sufficient backbone and a wary nature, she knows pickup lines like a second language. So, when Eryx Shantos barges into her world with too-smooth words and a body to back it up, she locks up her libido and vows to keep her distance.
Eryx has other ideas. As king of the Myren race, Eryx is duty-bound to enforce the laws preventing exposure of their existence to humans. Yet The Fates have led him through his dreams to Lexi, a temptation he doesn’t want to resist. The question—is she Myren, or human - which makes her forbidden fruit?
When Eryx’s nemesis tags Lexi as his next target, Eryx insists on taking her home where he can keep her safe. Lexi had no idea “home” would mean the one-and-only land of creation…or that she’d trigger a prophecy that could doom her newfound race.
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Lexi high-stepped it down the hall to the room she shared with Eryx. Sconces blazed to life along the walls with each step, Eryx setting them alight with his mind to light her way. Providing what you need.
Ugh. Not something she could think about right now. His sure, confident strides sounded behind her. No matter how far ahead she tried to stay, his hunger burned inside her. Stupid gift. Now that she’d somehow uncorked it, she couldn’t get it turned it off—and damned if she wasn’t a raging inferno as a result.
She’d thought asking for time would calm his fears. Maybe ease his foot off the throttle a little bit. But oh, no. She’d tugged the lion’s tail, tossed out a slab of meat, and thrown the cage door open wide.
The door to their room whipped open and thudded against the wall.
She flinched, but kept going. “You don’t need to be so melodramatic.”
She’d gone for playful, but ended up sounding like Marilyn Monroe on a heaped-up dose of Spanish Fly. Moving to the dresser, she tugged off her blue leather sandals. “Maybe we can rest later and you can teach me how to move things with my mind instead.”
Eryx ripped his tank over his head and tossed it to the floor. Smooth muscles, flexing under tight, tan skin.
She closed her gaping mouth. Tugged the lion’s tail indeed.
“I thought I’d give you something else.” He stalked her until her back met the wall and caged her with arms on either side of her head. “Something that will feed you instead of drain you.”
He ran his nose along the column of her neck and inhaled, slow and deep.
Goosebumps prickled along her forearms and her belly fluttered. “I thought you said I needed to rest.”
“You need energy. I’m going to give it to you.” He nipped her earlobe then sucked at the same spot. “You said you’ve never known family or love.” His hot breath brushed across her skin and his tongue traced the shell of her ear. “So I’ll give you that too.”
A blowtorch, insane, leave-me-here-to-die-in-glory fire blasted from her insides out. Where the hell was her caution? Her worry?
“I warned you.” He bit her lower lip and the sting zinged to her nipples. His hands abandoned the wall and caressed her back, her thin cotton tunic a nearly non-existent barrier. “You said you could take anything I threw at you.” He whipped the tunic over her head and the indigo fabric sailed to the floor behind him. “Then you’ll have me.” His gaze lowered to her bare breasts. “All of me.”
About the Author:
Rhenna never thought a weird dream, a bucket list, and an addiction to romance novels would lead her into publishing, but that’s exactly how Unexpected Eden came to life. Okay, there might have been a jillion revisions in there somewhere, and a few points where her family thought she’d lost her ever-lovin’ mind, but pretty much everyone’s accepted that this author thing is chronic.
When she’s not working on the rest of the Eden books or her naughty contemporary romances, you’ll find her chasing two precious little girls, batting eyelashes at her indulgent husband, or driving with the top down and the music up loud. Oh, and “researching” on the internet. Those half-naked men she uses for inspiration don’t download themselves.
She’d love to share her “research” with you too and get to know you a little better in the process. Find her blog, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media links at www.rhennamorgan.com. Be sure to sign up for her newsletter there too for snippets, upcoming releases, and author news.
If you enjoyed Unexpected Eden, Eryx and Lexi would sure appreciate it if you shared your review at Goodreads, Amazon, or other favorite online bookstore. Lexi would make you a mean cyber-cocktail in exchange if she didn’t have her hands full with Eryx, but rumor has it they haven’t left the royal suite in days.