Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Today we have Deborah Cooke stopping by as part of her EMBER'S KISS Blog Tour!!!

1.We are so thrilled you could be here today Deborah! Please give some background to our followers about your DRAGONFIRE series.  
Thanks for inviting me. My Dragonfire series features a group of heroes who are dragon shapeshifters - they call themselves the Pyr. They are an ancient race who are guardians of the four elements and defenders of the Earth and its treasures. The true Pyr consider humans to be one of the Earth’s treasures, while the Slayers consider humans to be a threat to the Earth (and to their own desire to have everything for themselves.) The Pyr and the Slayers are in the middle of a battle to determine ascendancy for once and for all. So, the series takes place over the course of this battle.
Every Pyr in the Dragonfire world has one chance in his lifetime (which is long, although they aren’t immortal) to make more dragon shifters. When he meets the human woman who can bear his son, they both experience a firestorm - sparks literally fly between the couple. Once their relationship is consummated, the firestorm’s flames disappear, because a child is conceived the first time they “do it”. Slayers don’t have firestorms because of their choice, so they think that killing the human mate is the best way to rid the world of Pyr. So, each book in the series is a paranormal romance, focusing on the firestorm of one of the Pyr. Because all of the dragon shifters can feel the heat of the firestorm, the firestorm is a challenging time for the dragon dude in question - he has to seduce the woman who can be his mate, convince her to have his son, defend her from Slayers who are trying to eliminate her and also continue to play his role in fighting the big war against the Slayers. These are action-packed romances, and I have a lot of fun writing them. You can see them all right here:  Website

2. The 8th installment of the series, EMBER’S KISS, is due to be released in just a few days. Would you tell us about this story?
I wanted to try something different this year with the Pyr heroes and mix things up a bit. 2012 is the year of the Pyr outsiders! In January, we met Lorenzo, who had his firestorm in FLASHFIRE. Lorenzo had no desire to be Pyr (he thought the whole dragon thing was barbaric and vulgar) and in fact had a plan to change his nature so he wouldn’t be Pyr anymore. But the firestorm intervened, and Cassie not only entered his life but was determined to stay in it - and changed his thinking about his nature.
 
In October, we’re going to meet Brandon, who also has no use for his dragon nature. It’s caused him trouble in his life and he’s decided it’s evil - that he inherited the ability to shift shape from his father and he blames his father for his parents’ divorce (and his mom’s unhappiness) just makes that a stronger reaction. What’s interesting about Brandon is that he’s so resistant to the notion of being a dragon shifter that he knows very little about his powers and the lore of his kind. So, when he has his firestorm, his reactions are heightened and he’s a bit spooked. Fortunately for Brandon, I found Liz to balance things out for him.
:-) Liz is the first heroine in the Dragonfire series who has paranormal powers of her own. This evolved because someone had to understand magic, and I liked how Liz’s knowledg balanced Brandon’s power. In the end, they have a lot more in common than they realize, and I think they make a very potent team. More right here: http://www.deborahcooke.com/emberX.html

3. You also have some wonderful books under the name Claire Delacroix and Claire Cross, can you tell us about this? Why the name change?

I originally was published by a publishing house that preferred authors to use pseudonyms. I didn’t have huge problem with this - it sounded like fun, actually - and I’d always thought French names were romantic. I was writing medieval romances and the first one was set in France during the Crusades, so we came up with the name Claire Delacroix. I still write medieval romance as Claire Delacroix, and in fact, one of my medieval romances is currently a free digital read. You can learn more about THE BEAUTY BRIDE and check out the links right here: http://www.delacroix.net/tbbX.html 
As Claire Delacroix, I also write urban fantasy romance. My Prometheus Project trilogy is set in a dystopian future (FALLEN, GUARDIAN, REBEL) and features fallen angel heroes trying to save us from ourselves. It’s a pretty gritty world, but I loved writing this series. (More here: http://www.delacroix.net/angels.html) There’s another linked novella coming out this fall called “Halo Not Required” which gives one continuing character from that series - Tupperman - his HEA. More about that right here: http://www.delacroix.net/nohaloX.html
Claire Cross was a pseudonym I used for a brief period. My original publisher didn’t want to publish my romances with paranormal and fantasy elements, which was fine. I took them to another house and distinguished them from my “straight” historicals by using another name. There were only ever eight Claire Cross books by me, and there is another author named Claire Cross (she writes non-fiction). As a result, when I republished my Claire Cross books, I divided them between my other two names - the contemporary romances (The Coxwell series) became Deborah Cooke books The Coxwell series and the time travel romances became Claire Delacroix books Delacroix Basically, Deborah Cooke romances are set in the present day and Claire Delacroix romances are set at any other point in time.

4. We hear you have a hobby, (that you are very good at) and it helps you to solve bumps in the road when writing. Can you tell us about it? (we would love to see some of your handy work also)
I knit. Quite a lot. I’ve been knitting for most of my life, although I’ve become more rabid about it in the past couple of years. I suspect it’s the incredible number of new yarns and patterns available, and of course, the existence of Ravelry. You can find me on Ravelry as DCDKnits, as well as try some of my free knitting patterns. DC Knit My fave is probably my Stripey Noro Messenger Bag. I use mine all the time! Favorite
You can also check out my knitting projects on my blog or on my Flickr photostream, right here Projects You’ll find some vintage sewing machines photographed in that stream, too.


5. Do you and your husband still like to take on big projects and renovate homes? Do you do most of the work yourselves?
We love to renovate houses. This time, we’ve taken on a real challenge with a 19th century house that was pretty much original when we bought it. (They’d added plumbing and wiring, but most of the interior details were either original or very old.) I’m hoping that when this one is done, we just stay put - it’s old enough and demanding enough that by the time we get through it once, it’ll probably be time to start at the beginning again. There
are certain things we do ourselves, but we use contractors for specialized work or jobs requiring expertise. (We don’t do wiring, for example.) I paint because I like it. My husband is getting really good at restoring plaster work. Overall, it’s a very creative activity and one we do together. We love to plan and collect pictures from magazines before big jobs like the kitchen. Once the worker guys leave, and I finish painting, then we decorate, move in and fin out how well it works. That’s the really fun part!


6. All the dragons are very desirable, without a doubt. Yet everyone has a favorite. (Shonna) – OH Oh!! My favorite is Rafferty. *wiggling eyebrows* YUM!!
So Deborah, which dragon do you think fans are most drawn to?

There are and were a lot of Rafferty fans, certainly. That was one of the things that made DARKFIRE KISS a challenge to write - I knew that some readers would inevitably be disappointed, because I couldn’t possibly create a heroine to mirror every single reader with the hots for Rafferty. Some have written to tell me that Melissa isn’t good enough for him. I suspect they just wanted him for themselves!
Of course, now, we’re getting down to it - I’d say both Sloane and Thorolf have equal numbers of fans. Thorolf will get his book first, but I still need to do some work with him before he’s ready for his firestorm. We’re going to launch 2013 with three novellas, following Drake’s Dragon Teeth Warriors. (They have one of the darkfire crystals, remember.) You can find out more the Dragonfire plan for 2013 on my blog on November 1. Here’s the permalink, but it won’t go live until the morning of the 1st: Nov 1 link

7. Is it true that you don’t go by the old saying “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”?
Me? I buy books all the time simply on the basis of their covers. I love cover art and am definitely one to buy books that “look good” to me - independent of the story or author. There is a graphical language to covers that publishers use to communicate subliminally to readers about the content of the book, and it works. I find that fascinating.
I also am pretty fussy about my own covers. My Dragonfire editor and I have a long conversation about each cover before she goes to the art department. EMBER’ S KISS is an exciting cover because we both had a similar vision of what it should be, and the first cover presented to us was exactly right. That doesn’t happen very often! All of the Dragonfire covers have been really good, IMO.
One of the things I’ve really enjoyed about republishing my backlist titles has been working directly with the artist to get the cover the way I want it to be. That’s been a new challenge and a lot of fun.


8. Since you like to listen to music while you write could you tell us some of the CDs you have used for the DRAGONFIRE series?
My playlist is a bit boring to most people. I listen to Queen while I write. It’s always Freddie Mercury and me - slaying dragons, beseiging fortresses, seducing heroes. It works.


9. We LOVE sweets and hear you like to bake goodies. How about sharing one of your favorite recipes with our followers?
This is a fave and it’s easy. Also now is the perfect time to make it as you need fresh black cherries. Traditionally, the cherries aren’t pitted but I pit them - that way, we can focus on enjoying the clafoutis instead of worrying about chipping a tooth!


Clafoutis

1.5 lb (750g) ripe black cherries, washed, halved and pitted
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pkg vanilla sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter an 11” round baking dish. Put cherries in one layer. Combine eggs and yolk in bowl, add sugar and whisk until pale yellow. (A Braun handmixer makes this step fast!) Whisk in butter. Sift flour and mix in well, then mix in milk and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth then pour over cherries. Bake 40 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with vanilla sugar and serve warm.(If you try to serve this and it’s coming out of the pan like a train wreck, it’s too hot. Just let it cool a few minutes longer and it will come out easily.)


10. For one week the world will stand still while you get to go anywhere and do anything you wish. What would happen during those 7 days?

Oh, I’d go to Paris where I’d have an apartment with a great view and a fabulous kitchen - you’re waving the magic wand, right? - and I’d go to the markets everyday, buy fresh groceries, cook and eat. In between meals, I’d visit the catacombs, the Louvre, the left bank, Sacre Coeur, the Musée de Moyen Age and Sainte Chapelle. I don’t think a week would be enough, since I’d have to revisit Chartres plus pop down to Provence and wander out to Brittany. Hmm. Maybe I can go to Venice for a week or two, as well. Can we make it a year?





EMBER'S KISS Blog Tour Giveaway
Deborah will be giving away a paperback of EMBER'S KISS for each blog stop US and Canada winners only.


PLEASE be a follower of this blog and leave a comment with your email address

GRAND PRIZE:

There is a Grand Prize drawing of an autographed set of the DRAGONFIRE series, (that's all 8 Dragonfire novels) over on Deborah's blog. To enter, click the link: Blog Tour



DRAGONFIRE Series

Kiss of Fire (Dragonfire #1) One kiss can change the course of destiny...
For millennia, the shape-shifting dragon warriors known as the Pyr have commanded the four elements and guarded the earth's treasures. But now the final reckoning between the Pyr, who count humans among the earth's treasures, and the Slayers, who would eradicate both humans and the Pyr who protect them, is about to begin...


When Sara Keegan decides to settle down and run her quirky aunt's New Age bookstore, she's not looking for adventure. She doesn't believe in fate or the magic of the tarot-but when she's saved from a vicious attack by a man who has the ability to turn into a fire-breathing dragon, she questions whether she's losing her mind-or about to lose her heart... Quinn Tyrrell has long been distrustful of his fellow Pyr and a self-reliant loner. So when he feels the firestorm that signals his destined mate, he's determined to protect and possess Sara, regardless of the cost to himself. Then Sara's true destiny is revealed-and Quinn realizes he must risk everything- even Sara's love-to fulfill their entwined fates...



Buy it now!

Kiss of Fury (Dragonfire #2) One act of passion can save the world...

Scientist Alexandra Madison was on the verge of unveiling an invention that would change the world. Then her partner was murdered, their lab was burned, and their prototype was destroyed. While Alex is in the hospital recovering from burns suffered in the fire, recurring dragon-haunted nightmares threaten to land her in the psychiatric ward, but she knows she has to escape to her lab to rebuild the Green Machine.
Handsome, daring, and impulsive, Donovan Shea is more than willing to do his part in the Pyr/Slayer war. Assigned to protect Alex, Donovan is shocked when her presence ignites his firestorm. He has no desire for a destined mate, but Alex's intelligence and determination inspire him to join the fight to save her invention. With the Slayers closing in, Donovan knows he would surrender his life for Alex...and lose his heart to possess her.
Buy it now!

Kiss of Fate (Dragonfire #3) One foretold love deserves a second chance...

Haunted by dreams of a lover who takes the form of a mythical dragon, Eileen Grosvenor searches for the truth. She never expects to find a real dragon shape shifter, let alone one who awakens her passion and ignites memories of her own forgotten past.
Erik Sorensson is focused on leading the Pyr to triumph over theSlayers, even if it costs him his life. When an ancient relic that can turn the tide of the battle reveals itself, Erik knows he has to retrieve it from Eileen's possession. But when he tries to do so, he's shocked by an incredible firestorm that compels him to confront the truth about Eileen's identity. Her presence reminds him of mistakes he's determined not to repeat, and Erik is forced to make a choice: duty or love.
Only by unlocking the secrets of the past can Erik and Eileen fulfill the final prophecy of the Pyr. Can they face their deepest fears and claim their destined love in time to defeat the Slayers?
Buy it now!

Winter Kiss (Dragonfire #4) A kiss can melt the coldest heart...

The mysterious Dragon's Blood Elixir gives immortality to Magnus, the Pyr's greatest enemy, and his minions. The Pyr must destroy this source of power, and outcast Delaney vows to complete the quest himself. Delaney was exiled because of his dangerous impulses, and success in eliminating the Elixir will either redeem him or end his suffering.
But his plans don't take into account his sudden firestorm - or fiery Ginger Sinclair. The firestorm revitalizes Delaney, restoring him to his old self. And when Ginger learns about Delaney's mission, she realizes she cannot resist a strong man with a noble agenda.
Buy it now!

Whisper Kiss (Dragonfire #5) One man's mission ignites one woman's fire...

Niall Talbot has volunteered to hunt down and destroy all the remaining shadow dragons - who were weakened by the destruction of the Dragon's Blood Elixir - before they can wreak more havoc. Among them is his dead twin brother, making Niall's mission not only dangerous but personal.
Tattoo artist Rox believes the world is a canvas to be made more beautiful. An unconventional spirit who isn't afraid of anything, she doesn't even flinch when a shape-shifting dragon warrior suddenly appears on her doorstep. And as a woman who follows her heart in matters of passion, she makes the perfect mate for a firestorm with Niall...

Buy it now! 


Darkfire Kiss (Dragonfire #6)For one woman, he will risk more than his life...

Rafferty Powell has exchanged challenge coins with his arch-nemesis Magnus Montmorency, and their next battle will be their last. But Rafferty never expected to meet a woman whose desire for Magnus’ downfall matches his own—and whose presence sparks Rafferty’s long-awaited firestorm.
Since facing her own mortality, investigative reporter Melissa Smith has resolved to live without fear. She’s determined to make the seemingly untouchable Magnus pay for his role in ending her friend’s life – no matter the price to herself.
When her quest entwines with Rafferty’s, Melissa finds herself risking more than she ever thought possible. Because the heat between them unleashes the darkfire—an awesome force of Pyrlegend, one that won’t be sated until everything they know has been tested and remade.
Buy it now!


Flashfire (Dragonfire #7) He's lost all hope...until she changes everything. 
Master illusionist Lorenzo wants nothing to do with the Pyr. His dragon nature is just another secret to hide and another detail to juggle, like ensuring that each of his Las Vegas magic shows is a true spectacle. Until he feels the burn of his firestorm and his whole world shifts....
Cassie Redmond is tired of photographing celebrities. She wants to pursue her dream of serious photography—despite the lucrative offer for a shot of a dragon shifter. Las Vegas is the last place she wants to be, but Lorenzo arouses more than her curiosity when he shifts shape as the finale of his show. Instead of forcing him to reveal his secrets, Cassie gets swept away by this illusionist’s masterful touch.
Lorenzo wants to satisfy the firestorm and put it behind him. But Cassie is hard to forget—and he can’t ignore the danger whenSlayers target the mate Lorenzo didn’t believe he wanted...
Buy it now!


Ember's Kiss (Dragonfire #8) Only one woman can persuade him to embrace his powers.

Brandon Merrick is determined to banish his shifter nature forever. The charismatic tattooed surfer is on the cusp of the ultimate challenge - to prove himself on the whitecaps of Hawaii and secure his future as a pro surfer. But his dragon isn't prepared to be tamed so easily...
One look at marine biologist Liz Barrett ignites the spark of the firestorm: Liz is his destined mate and his chance for happiness. While Brandon sees their first night together as just the beginning, his dragon seizes the upper hand. Awakening in the company of a raging dragon challenges Liz's ability to believe her own eyes. Can Brandon accept his inner beast in time to make it work with Liz?
Neither one realizes that Brandon is caught in an ancient Slayer's scheme to enslave him. When the deadly plot ignites, the very island will be at risk...and Brandon and his mate could be the ultimate sacrifice.
Buy it now!

29 comments:

  1. I LOVE ALL THE BOOKS AND RAFFERTY STORY WAS ENOUGH TO GET ME MISTED, BUT I REALLY WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THOROLF STORY AND Drake’s Dragon Teeth Warriors.. I'M HOPING THAT RING WILL GET A STORY TOO.. I'M VERY SAD HOW THAT ENDED

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  2. Hi LT - Glad you're enjoying the series! I have a plan for Drake's warriors as you'll see if you follow the posts on this blog tour (it didn't come up in this interview) and Thorolf's time is coming, too.

    Rafferty's ring features in Zoë's story. If you read The Dragon Diaries trilogy, you'll find out more about that. The ring is a Wyvern thing, after all!
    http://www.deborahcooke.com/dragondiaries.html

    best
    Deborah

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    1. Omg you telling ive missed some books? I thought i was up to speed. Going to go look them up right now

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  3. So glad you were able to stop by today!

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  4. The covers are so yummy. The books sound so good. Can't wait to get my hands on the whole set. So then I can read them in order. And not miss out on anything. Thanks for the great give away. muffy55981@yahoo.com

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  5. I week from today and I'll be in line somewhere in St. Louis to get my copy Deb.
    thanks for the tour and for the contest
    dhaupt3 at gmail dot com

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  6. * Raises a hand * I am in the Rafferty bootcamp and well I seen no problems with his heroine. I thought she was perfect for him, and well I was just happy he got his firestorm! He'd been wanting it for sooo long! I've read them all but am missing one or two I believe.

    Yay we get more of the Dragon's Teeth!!

    Raonaid at gmail dot com

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  8. Can't wait to get Ember's Kiss. I'm a big fan of this series and also a member of your Pyr Patrol. ��
    Connie.johnson1@verizon.net

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  9. I've added this series to my TBR list, sounds great. Thank you for stopping by

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  10. Thank you for the contest. This would be a wonderful series to have . I can see re-reading these often.
    amotherway@ aol (dot)com

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  11. This series sounds great. I love dragons and can't wait to read it. Thanks for the giveaway.

    mythic021@gmail.com

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  12. Deborah's books look so amazing. They are definitely getting added to my TBR pile!!

    lindsayavalon (at) gmail (dot) com

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  13. Thanks so much for stopping by and I can't wait to read this series.
    sandracarol123@yahoo.com

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  14. This sounds like a great series! Another set to add to my need to read list. Thanks for the giveaway!

    luranker@hotmail.com

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  15. Ok. wow. So much to comment on but I don't think we need a book! LOL! The only shapeshifters I've read are by GA Aiken...and these dragons sound just as good!! Deborah, please feel free to come paint ANYTIME but sooner than later as we are working on one room at a time and can really use help....unlike you, I do NOT like to paint!

    Thank you for the giveaway...off to wash the paint out of my hair and follow the rest of the tour!

    books4me67 at ymail dot com

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  16. Congrats on the release! Looking forward to it

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

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  17. Love the series......can't wait for Brandons story.....my fave Pyr is Sloan, with his green thumb and healing qualities...lol...can't wait to see what happens next!

    dgeovas98@gmail.com

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  18. Sounds like an amazing series!! and the recipe, mmmm those are my fav too!

    sabrinabeilharz@gmail.com

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  19. I love dragons! I can't wait to read this series! Thanks for the post and the chance to win! I follow GFC, FB, NB, and e-mail :)
    ehaney578 at aol dot com

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  20. Thanks for inviting me, Shonna!

    And thanks everyone for your comments. I love hanging out with dragon fans. :-)

    Thanks @Raonaid Luckwell - I loved Rafferty's book and am glad to hear from someone who also thought Melissa was perfect for him.

    LOL @books4me I have plenty of painting of my own to get done but I'll keep yours in mind.

    And @dgeo you're not alone in loving Sloane. You have to guess that his book will be the last one in the series - who else can heal the world but the Apothecary?

    d

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  21. I absolutely love this series, cant wait to read Ember's Kiss. Thx for the giveaway.

    blinkysthebest at aol dot com

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  22. I love this series and all the dragons and the different stories that happens to each one of them. I enjoy this series very much. sdylion(at)gmail(dot)com

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  23. Dragonfire is 1 of my favorites series. All the dragons are YUMMY. Eagerly waiting to read Ember's Kiss. Thanks for the giveaway.

    Kidsue99@yahoo.com

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  24. Oh yum. That recipe sounds pretty good! I'm thinking I need to try that next time we have company :)

    Thanks for the giveaway. Loving the series :)
    ~Anna
    acade29@gmail.com

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  25. Congrats on the new release and thanks for the giveaway. I'll have to try that yummy sounding recipe.
    GFC Marlene Breakfield
    marlenebreakfield(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  26. I follow by email.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

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