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Hello, my name is Valorie. I have a Master's Degree in History and a license to teach-- I have been both university professor and public school teacher. Currently, I am a middle school social studies teacher. I love horror movies and spooky things. Every day is Halloween. I am also a passionate book blogger.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Blog Tour, Book Review & Author Interview: My Forbidden Desire by Carolyn Jewel

Welcome to Carolyn Jewel, who is here with us today at Morbid-Romantic.net while on her blog tour of My Forbidden Desire. I am fortunate enough to have her, and she even stopped in to answer a few questions! So, everyone say welcome and hello to Carolyn Jewel.

About Carolyn Jewel

When not writing, Carolyn Jewel is a Database Administrator. She lives in northern California with her son, three cats, a border collie, several chickens, and some sheep. 

About My Forbidden Desire

Alexandrine Marit is a witch in mortal danger. An evil mage craves the powerful, mysterious talisman that supplies her magic, and the only person who can keep her safe is a dark and dangerous fiend called Xia. With his fierce animosity toward witches, he's hardly the ideal bodyguard. Yet as days turn into nights, she can't deny the white-hot passion between them. Xia hates witches. They enslave and mercilessly kill his kind. But he's been ordered to protect Alexandrine, who, to his surprise, has a spirit he admires and a body he longs to possess. With the mage and his henchmen closing in, Alexandrine and her protector must trust the passion that can unite them...or risk losing everything to the enemies who can destroy them both. Watch the trailer:

My Review of My Forbidden Desire
Alexandrine Marit is a witch who can barely form a spell, abandoned as a child by her powerful mage father Rasmus for having too little power. However, as a grown woman, what she does have is a talisman imbued with a power her father supposedly wants. So to protect her from her father and his league of fiends, her no longer long-lost adopted brother Harsh puts a fiend named Xia in charge of her protection. Xia is a powerful creature, the tall and dark handsome kind, but hates witches because witches enslave and kill his kind. He would like nothing more than to kill Rasmus with his bare hands, and watching over a witch who is also the daughter of Rasmus is a terrible fate for him. Neither of them trust each other, but slowly Alexandrine sees he is more than just a witch hating fiend, and Xia comes to see that she is more than just a witch. Especially when the two discover that maybe Xia needs to be protected just as much as she does. The closer they get to one another, the less they can deny the chemistry and physical attraction pulling at them. Nothing like a good book full of magic and sexual tension to curl up with at night. I have a weakness for magic in books, though not only of the "witch" kind. I think the various concepts of magehelds and blood-twins and such are very unique and give more layers to the story than your typical witch-meets-demon-and-they-do-magic-together kind of story. There is more potential for conflict and storyline when relationships are varied and complex. And though you know Alexandrine and Xia are going to end up getting hot and petty, the anticipation is tense and their mutual dislike is amusing. Xia is the absolute bad boy type and women can't get enough of men like him. In that way, he is charming but frustrating, but bad boys tend to be stubborn. And Alexandrine, darling, after all the things Xia did and said to you, you still thought he was going to abandon you at the end? Where is your faith, girl!? But hey, the story needed that last surge of drama, I suppose, and it was a great ending to see the two of them together but not sugary. After all, Xia is still a bad boy fiend and Alexandrine is still a "take no crap" kind of girl.

Interview With Carolyn Jewel

Q: What do you do to prepare to write? What is the process that gets you ready to sit down and lay out a story?
A: I sit in my chair or boot up my laptop if I'm not at home.
As for my process, I have learned that laying out a story in advance is a huge waste of time and fatal to my success in ending up with a book that anybody would care to read. That's how it is for me. YMMMV (Your Mileage May Vary).
Not only am I a seat of the pants writer, but I am one of those character-driven authors. It does me no good to conconct elaborate plot charts or lists of goals and motivations before I start. (Believe me, I tried and failed at all of that planning stuff.)
My story develops in the course of writing about my characters. What they do on the page drives my plot. I do a lot of brainstorming in a notebook just to hash out ideas, possiblities and what-ifs so it's not as if I start completely unprepared. And then, when I sit down to write, 98% of the time something completely different happens.
If I don't pay attention to what's happening in the story that's actually developing on the pages and instead try to impose my will, I end up with dreck. So I don't do that anymore.

Q: How much of yourself do you put in your characters? Are they extensions of you, or are they independent creations that take on a life of their own after coming from your imagination?
A: To some extent my writing is an extension of myself -- the thoughts and ideas, after all, come out of my head, and I have a certain set of experience, knowledge, politics etc.
If I were to write characters who were extensions of me, they would all be the same and that would be dull. I'm sorry to report that I do not live a life of thrill and excitement. My characters, however, frequently do. They constantly surprise me and I do my best to keep up.

Q: What sort of research went into making this book?
A: Not a tremendous amount, since I was wise enough to set the book in places I used to live; San Fransicso and Berkeley, or places I was, for one reason or another, very familiar with.
The house in Tiburon is based on a multi-million dollar home that was once the subject of a lawsuit -- at a time when I worked at a law firm. The house in Sausalito is loosely based on a house I knew of from a friend. The places where Alexander and Xia walk are all places I used to walk or run myself.
In my student days and beyond, I lived in crappy cheap apartments, so it was pretty easy to recall that experience when describing Alexandrine's apartment. The only hard part was getting in contact with real mages and fiends to confirm my understanding of how their world works. Fortunately, I took pretty good notes.

Q: What is the most valuable piece of knowledge that you've picked up after becoming a published author that you wish you knew from the start?
A: The secret handshake, without a doubt. Kidding! I wish I'd known how important it is to stay in contact with other people who write, to be around people with the same obsessions.

Q: What is one thing you've never done but would love to do?
A: I have never gone to Spain, and I would like to one day.

Q: Finally, could you share with all of us a quote that you love?
A: How about one of my favorite poems instead?
Nothing is so fleeting as the cherry flower, you say. Yet I remember well the moment when Life's bloom faded at a spoken word And not a breath of wind had stirred. - Tsuriyuki, 5th century.

Participating Sites:

http://bridget3420.blogspot.com - June 28 review and giveaway 
http://booksoulmates.blogspot.com/ - June 28 review and giveaway 
http://ajourneyofbooks.blogspot.com - June 28 review and giveaway 
http://debbiesworld.wordpress.com - June 28 
http://yankeeromancereviewers.blogspot.com/ - June 28 giveaway 
http://rannthisthat.blogspot.com - June 28 
http://dreyslibrary.blogspot.com/ - June 28 review, giveaway, and Q&A 
http://undercoverbooklover.blogspot.com/ - June 28 giveaway and Q&A 
http://bookinwithbingo.blogspot.com - June 28 
http://martasmeanderings.blogspot.com/ - June 28 review and giveaway 
http://www.mgpblog.com/ - June 28 review and giveaway 
http://www.startingfresh-gaby317.blogspot.com/ - June 28 review and giveaway 
http://trinsnook.blogspot.com - June 28 review and giveaway 
http://mustreadfaster.blogspot.com/ - June 29 review and giveaway 
http://www.loveimpossible.com - June 29 review and Q&A 
http://seductivemusings.blogspot.com/ - June 29 review and giveaway 
http://reviewfromhere.com/ - June 29 review 
http://booksandneedlepoint.blogspot.com/ - June 29 review; giveaway 
http://mindingspot.blogspot.com/ - review, giveaway, and Q&A 
http://reesspace.blogspot.com - review and giveaway 
http://carolsnotebook.wordpress.com/ - June 29 review, giveaway, and possible Q&A 
http://horrorandfantasybookreview.blogspot.com - June 29 review and giveaway 
http://www.myspace.com/darbyscloset - review

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