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Guest Blog by Tes Hilaire - Luring Lady Muse - December 5, 2012

Please welcome Tes Hilaire to The Qwillery.  The second novel in Tes' Paladin Warriors series, Deliver Me from Temptation, was published yesterday, December 4, 2012.


Guest Blog by Tes Hilaire - Luring Lady Muse - December 5, 2012



Luring Lady Muse

Book one, Deliver Me from Darkness, has been out for months, Deliver Me from Temptation came out yesterday… book three? About to be passed to the hands of the editor, YIKES! Next? Well it’s time to sit down and start making music with my keyboard. Only, darn it, Lady Muse has gone on vacation! Please come back, Lady Muse! I need inspiration.

This is the desperate plea of authors (and creative peeps) everywhere. When those creative juices clog up and lady muse has gone on a walkabout what is a writer to do? It’s a battle we face a lot more than our fans probably realize and one that takes its own creative attack to fend off. Here are some tried and true strategies used by yours truly along with some of my other awesome author friends. Enjoy! :-)


1.) Take a shower! This one is my go-to method, thought I know the dear Vicky Dreiling, who rights fun, witty historical romances says it’s a cure-all for her too. Maybe it’s that cleansing action of removing all the crude you have built up on you that somehow manages to do a scrubby on your brain too. Whatever the case, it works!

2.) Give a call to Mr. Sandman… Vicky is also a proponent of anything that lets your subconscious takes over. When she’s deep into a story, she will often wake up in the middle of the night having dreamed about the characters. She’s also awakened in the morning with full blown scenes in her head. She says, “I have no explanation, other than the infamous muse - or what I call my magic romance fairies.”

3.) Leave the chains behind…and take a walk. Nothing like some fresh air, right? Not only has the exercise been linked to spiking brain function, it just feels good to get out there and leave your problems from the desk behind. It’s somewhere around the two mile mark that my clogged gears do there little shift and settle and a few minutes later I’m all but running to get back to my desk.

4.) Pump up the volume! While writing her sexy paranormal romances, Sara Humphreys says there is nothing like a bit of music to lure back the muse and I have to agree. I have my own collection based on what sort of scene I’m trying to write from pure despair, to happily optimistic, to that action-packed beat. Right on, Sara! (or is that write on ;-)

5.) Grab some popcorn and a DVD! Sara isn’t the only one who loves music to work to. KC Klein also finds it to be good therapy when her cowboys (both space and here on the Texas ranch) aren’t cooperating. Even better though is grabbing some popcorn, a notepad, and settling on the couch for some screen time. She says, “I will load up on drama filled movies on Netflicks and have myself a lazy day.” The visual stimulation and the down time helps her get past the writing block and soon enough she’s scribbling on her notepad with ideas!

6.) Don’t put down that pen! Just switch gears. When Elisabeth Staab needs a break from her gritty paranormal romance world, she likes to set a fifteen minute timer and do a writing exercise that she pulls off of http://diymfa.com/writer-igniter. The process of setting her mind to a task that is not her current WIP, but is still engaging her writing brain helps. (I’m going to have to try this one!)

7.) Visit an old friend. My own dear friend and fellow paranormal author Erin Kellison says that when she’s hit the proverbial writers’ wall, she reads old favorites to get her creative juices flowing. Reading also reminds her that books are friends--longtime friends--and that helps her approach my own with a positive outlook.

8.) Write for love, not the deadline. Samantha Grace, who writes sweet regency romances, says she recently wrote an extended epilogue to give away as a free read to fans. Not only was it a nice diversion to her deadlines but it was liberating to write something that wasn't going to her editor. The process reminded her of how much joy she had in the beginning writing stories, and it freed her muse to have fun. Now she’s having a blast writing her newest book.

9.) Write for yourself, not the audience! Megan Mulry who writes sexy, playful women’s fiction also believes in writing for fun. She says that lately her muse has been totally fired up by writing scenes for friends rather than her fan base. She really wanted her current hetero hero to kiss a guy in front of the heroine, just to mess with her (she is totally messed up about her sexual identity). She says, “I doubt it will even go into the manuscript, but Mira Lyn Kelly said "Ooh! Write that! I want to read it!" So I did. And I wrote 2k in an hour and I *love* the scene. Sometimes pretending no one will ever read it really frees me up.”

10.) Don’t waste your money on bait for luring lady muse…you can make your own! Historical romance author Shana Galan would say that 95% of the time she doesn't believe she has a muse as she pens her adventures regencies. For her, it's all about just putting in the time. But then there are those unexplained flashes of insight and those days when every word flows like water. On those days, she has no explanation except the muse, but she believe what inspires her is all the work she’s put in up to that point…even if that work is just mulling things over as she folds laundry!

11.) Stop thinking! Or at least stop twisting your grey matter in a bunch ;-) Sexy paranormal author Cheryl Brooks says she just keeps writing anything that pops into her head--sort of letting her subconscious become conscious. Brainstorming with friends also helps, but leaving her brain alone so it can come up with the ideas on its own works best.

12.) How about a little mix and mash? Terry Spears likes to brainstorm a lot while writing about her wolves and shifters, but sometimes she just has to take a break, write on another book, reread the book she’s having trouble with, or do some research. Sometimes that gives her a whole new great direction to go in that she would never have considered before!

13.) When all else fails, take some advice from romantic suspense author Julie Ann Walker and drink some COFFEE! …then go scan for pictures of half-naked men. Oh, la la! :-) On a more serious note, Julie says she gets a lot of inspiration from volunteering at the USO and bearing witness to the courage, valor, and sacrifice of men and women in uniform. When she sees all they give in the service of our country, it makes writing stories about them almost a NEED as opposed to a want. She says, “I MUST tell their tales!”

I hope you enjoyed these thirteen little tidbits of advice. Has there ever been a time when your creative muse abandoned you? If so, please tell us how you got out of your funk and if not, feel free to ask any question that comes to mind about me or my writing process. One lucky commenter will win a copy of my newly released second novel in the Paladin Warrior series, Deliver Me from Temptation!




About the Paladin Warriors

Deliver Me from Temptation
Paladin Warriors 2
Sourcebooks Casablanca,  December 4, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

Guest Blog by Tes Hilaire - Luring Lady Muse - December 5, 2012
Logan Screwed Up…Big Time
When things go bump in the night, Logan bumps back. Vampires, demons, succubi—you name it, he’s fought it. His job as a Paladin angel warrior is to protect humans. Not fall for one.

She Never Believed in Divine Intervention…Until Now
Detective Jessica Waters protects humans too—with her Glock and a good set of handcuffs. She doesn’t believe in fate. But if anyone looks like a gift from the gods, it’s Logan. And he clearly knows more about her case than he’s letting on…



Deliver Me from Darkness
Paladin Warriors 1
Sourcebooks Casablanca, February 7, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages


Guest Blog by Tes Hilaire - Luring Lady Muse - December 5, 2012
A stranger in the night…
He had once been a warrior of the Light, one of the revered Paladin. A protector. But now he lives in sin darkness, and the shadows are his sanctuary. Every day is a struggle to overcome the bloodlust. Especially the day Karissa shows up on his doorstep.

Comes knocking on the door…
She is light and bright and everything beautiful—despite her scratches and torn clothes. Every creature of the night is after her. So is every male Paladin. Because Karissa is the last female of their kind. But she is his. He may not have a soul, but he can’t deny his heart.





About Tes

Guest Blog by Tes Hilaire - Luring Lady Muse - December 5, 2012
Daphne Award-winning author Tes Hilaire started creating whole new worlds to escape upstate New York’s harsh winters before finally fleeing to sultry North Carolina. Her stories are edgy, exciting, and bring a hint of dark fantasy to paranormal romance. And no one ever has to shovel snow. For more, visit www.teshilaire.com, like her on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/TesHilaireAuthor, and follow her on Twitter, @TesHilaire. Look for the other books in the Paladin Warriors Series: Deliver Me from Darkness (in stores now) and Prince of Shadows (November 2013).










THE GIVEAWAY

What:  One commenter will win a copy of Deliver Me From Temptation (Paladin Warriors 2) from Tes.

How:   Answer Tes' question:
Has there ever been a time when your creative muse abandoned you? If so, please tell us how you got out of your funk and if not, feel free to ask any question that comes to mind about me or my writing process.
Please remember - if you don't answer the questions your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

There are a total of 3 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry) and Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry).  This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook or Twitter mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, December 12, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


Tes Hilaire & Elisabeth Staab - Interview with a Vampire...or two...or three...or four... Gulp.

Please welcome Tes Hilaire and Elisabeth Staab to The Qwillery at part of The Darkness Tour. Today Tes and Elisabeth are interviewing the vampires from their novels. Let's listen in....



Tes Hilaire & Elisabeth Staab - Interview with a Vampire...or two...or three...or four... Gulp.


Interview with a Vampire...or two...or three...or four... 
Gulp.

Today Elisabeth and I have four very intriguing... peeps... with us. After much arm twisting and withholding of HEA’s our heroes and heroines from Deliver Me from Darkness and King of Darkness agreed to sit down with us and answer a few questions (would you believe they made us wait until after we delivered their HEA’s? Some vampires *shakes head*) Anyway... I got to start off the round of questions and let me just say... I’m very *rubs hands* excited.

Tes:  Okay, then. To start off, I’d like to ask our heroes some basic questions to dispel some of the myths, both correct and incorrect, about vampires... and of course to get to know you both a little better. *bats eyelashes*

Thad and Roland, do you eat or drink anything besides, uh... well, you know?

Thad:  Well prior to becoming king I fought against the wizards for my kind, so I stuck with a high calorie, high protein diet so I could keep in good shape. You know, complex carbs, mini meals, all that. I have to be honest though, Isabel’s gotten me turned on to the occasional Krispy Kreme, and I rather enjoy them.

Roland:  Doritos. Scotch. Coffee.

Sounds like you’re a man of few words, Roland. Maybe you’re better at expressing yourself in other ways? *I laugh at his raised eyebrow* So... if you were to smile for us now, would we see those pretty canines?

Roland:  That’s a very big if. But yes, if you knew to look, you’d see them. Most people figure it’s some sort of cosmetic dentistry… Unless I’m really angry. Then they know. *His lip curls up on one side, exposing the tip of a sharp canine.*

*I give a jittery laugh* Wow! Okay. Those are... impressive. Are you sure you’re not mad? *Roland shrugs. I gnaw my lip. Turning to Thad.* How about you, Thad? Are your canines always elongated?

Thad:  They get longer when I have to feed. Or if I’m pissed off, or...you know... *shifts and nuzzles Isabel’s neck a little before she bats him away* Ahem. To answer your question, yes, they’re always longer than human incisors. Most vampires have them that way. Part of the genetic difference between the species. Mine is an old bloodline, so they’re particularly long and sharp.

Hmmm... I wonder, Thad, what exactly that “or” is? *I smile* If you were to take me to your bed (Oh, please do...) would it be six feet under and lined with silk?

Thad:  Jesus, that sounds morbid. First of all, Tes, you’re a lovely lady but I’m a newly mated king and I’ve been down that road thank you very much. No more one-night rolls in the hay for me. Second, Izzy and I have a four-poster king-sized with a pillowtop mattress. She tosses and turns alot. *he puts his arms around his mate and snuggles her close* Who the f**k sleeps in a coffin? That’s messed up.

Ah. My loss...but I understand. Isabel is a lovely and lucky lady. And you Roland? Coffin? Silk sheets? or... *I bite my lip, wiggle my brow*

Roland:  Regular bed. Cotton sheets. King Size so I can stretch my mate out upon it and show her the world.

Oh wow. You men make normal sound like my hottest fantasy. I think I need some time to recover though so I’ll leave you boys alone for a bit. But in the meantime... *I rub my hands together, shifting my focus to the two females who sit before their mates.* ...I do have some questions for the ladies...

Karissa and Isabel, are you a sun worshipper or do you avoid it like the plague?

*All I receive is a couple of thinly veiled glares.*

Okay.... How about this. *I glance over their shoulders to the two males behind them. The room is vast but their muscular bodies seem to eat away at the space, the air itself dripping with their...appeal. I lean forward, licking my lips as I lower my voice into a conspiratorial whisper.* Is it true that vampires, especially male vampires, have powerful... or shall we say... consuming appetites?

Karissa:  You mean, our men? *She gives me a saccharine smile. I can’t help but notice that her fangs seem longer than when we’d first made our hellos. I sit back in my chair. Sweat beads out across my upper lip as I realize how close I’m sitting to these two very powerful and obviously angry women. What possessed me to ask about their men’s sexual prowess. No, what possessed me to make that stupid coffin comment earlier. Crap, crud, and...oh please don’t kill me!*

Okay, then... So, no more questions about your men. Let’s change the topic to something much more interesting to our readers (and safer for me, yikes!) If I were to come across one of your kind, and they weren’t as... uh... friendly or nice as you all are, how might I defend myself, or better, how would I, um, make sure they never bothered me again?

Isabel:  Oh, I don’t think you’d need to worry about that. So long as you don’t attack us, we don’t attack humans, right Thad? *Thad nods* And we have the ability to alter human memories, for our safety as well as yours. You’d never know you saw us, if the vampire you met is following the code properly.

Well, that is encouraging. And good to know. What about you Karissa? Any words of advice if I were to find myself in your neck of the world? I hear there are some vampires who don’t follow Isabel and Thad’s code there.

Karissa:  You’re right. Many of the vampires from where we come from don’t. Honestly though? The smartest thing to do is stay in at night and not tempt fate. Killing a vampire is not an easy thing to do, especially for a human.

Hmmm. I think I’ll be visiting Isabel and Thad then. Sounds safer! Just in case though, I think I’ll bring my stake ;-). Speaking of which, I’ve been told that a vampire’s heart doesn’t beat. Myth or Fact?

Karissa:  Myth. Or at least both mine and Roland’s do. I haven’t exactly been hanging around with other vampires much recently. *She shudders.* Not after the mines.

Isabel*a deep crease appears in the middle of her forehead* Doesn’t beat? What a crazy idea. Of course our hearts beat. We’re not dead, we’re just another species. Like the humans, like the wizards. There aren’t many of us, so we’ve learned to live under the radar. Humans tend to fear what they don’t understand. We’re stronger than they are, and we already have one fight on our hands, with the wizards. We don’t need another.

Well you don’t have one from me. Or, I bet, our readers. Our readers love vampires... or so I’ve been told. And speaking of our readers. I know they’re still curious about that first question. Not the appetite thing but the sun. Are you ladies morning birds or night owls?

Isabel:  Oh, I’ve always been an up all night sleep all day kind of girl. I mean, it’s in the genes, right? Before I met Thad I lived on my own in the human world, hiding out in the party scene. An endless supply of young blood to help me survive and nothing got going until after 10:00. It was perfect. *she pauses to snuzzle noses with Thad* Not as perfect as what I have now, though.

Karissa:  Ah... I’m still a morning girl. Unfortunately Roland isn’t, so I instead of waking up early, well... *she smiles as Roland leans in closer, whispering something that has color rising to her cheeks*...let’s just say that Roland and I find ways of entertaining ourselves so that I can stay up until sunrise.

And now my mind has found the gutter again. I think I better turn this over to Elisabeth.... Elisabeth? *No answer. I glance over at her chair... which is empty. I raise my voice, thinking maybe she stepped out to the kitchen for some coffee or something (she is a bit of a coffee addict)* Hey, Elisabeth, you have any questions for our vampires? Elisabeth? *I crane my head, trying to see down the hallway. Elisabeth has most definitely disappeared. I frown, glance back at her chair. There is a note tacked to it which I pick up and read*

Tes, you seem to have this all under control. Tell our guests thanks for me and that I wish them the best. Roland looked really angry...if you manage to get out of there alive and with your memory intact... email me. We still have a couple more blog posts to finish! ~Elisabeth




About the Authors

Tes Hilaire & Elisabeth Staab - Interview with a Vampire...or two...or three...or four... Gulp.
Elisabeth Staab still lives with her nose in a book and at least one foot in a fantasy world. Her bestselling paranormal romance novel, King of Darkness, is available now. Her second book, Prince of Power, releases in January. Find out more at ElisabethStaab.com







Tes Hilaire & Elisabeth Staab - Interview with a Vampire...or two...or three...or four... Gulp.
Tes Hilaire’s idea of a perfect vacation would include her porch on a sultry summer night, a good glass of rich, red wine, and a book about darkness, passion, torture and love. Her first novel in the Paladin warriors series Deliver Me from Darkness is available now. The next, Deliver Me from Temptation, releases in December. For more, visit TesHilaire.com.






DELIVER ME FROM DARKNESS BY TES HILAIRE – AVAILABLE NOW

Tes Hilaire & Elisabeth Staab - Interview with a Vampire...or two...or three...or four... Gulp.
A stranger in the night…
He had once been a warrior of the Light, one of the revered Paladin. A protector. But now he lives in sin darkness, and the shadows are his sanctuary. Every day is a struggle to overcome the bloodlust. Especially the day Karissa shows up on his doorstep.

Comes knocking on the door…
She is light and bright and everything beautiful—despite her scratches and torn clothes. Every creature of the night is after her. So is every male Paladin. Because Karissa is the last female of their kind. But she is his. He may not have a soul, but he can’t deny his heart.



KING OF DARKNESS BY ELISABETH STAAB – AVAILABLE NOW

Tes Hilaire & Elisabeth Staab - Interview with a Vampire...or two...or three...or four... Gulp.
ETERNAL COMMITMENT IS NOT ON HER AGENDA...
Scorned by the vampire community for her lack of power, Isabel Anthony lives a carefree existence masquerading as human—although drifting through the debauched human nightlife, she prefers the patrons' blood to other indulgences. But when she meets the sexy, arrogant king of the vampires, this party-girl's life turns dark and dangerous.

BUT TIME'S RUNNING OUT FOR THE KING OF THE VAMPIRES...
Dead-set on finding the prophesied mate who will unlock his fiery powers, Thad Morgan must find his queen before their race is destroyed. Their enemies are gaining ground, and Thad needs his powers to unite his subjects. But when his search leads him to the defiant Isabel, he wonders if fate had gotten it seriously wrong...


Thank you for joining us today!



The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One lucky commenter will win a signed copy of Tes Hilaire’s Deliver Me from Darkness and another commenter will win Elisabeth Staab’s King of Darkness.  So... two winners and one book for each winner.

How:  Leave a comment answering the Tes' and Elisabeth's question:

If you could ask a vampire anything, what would it be? 

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)   Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Monday, June 18, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Winners x 4 - February 13, 2012

And the winners are....


Control Point (Shadow Ops 1) by Myke Cole and SOC Challenge Coin - Ended February 6, 2012 - Read the interview here.

Winners x 4 - February 13, 2012

Question:  What's your magical power?

booklover0226 who said:

My powers would be to "tele-port" from point A to point B in a blink of an eye.


Winners x 4 - February 13, 2012


Giant Thief (Tales of Easie Damasco 1) by David Tallerman - Ended February 7, 2012 - Read the interview here.

Winners x 4 - February 13, 2012

Question:  Who is (are) your favorite bad guy (or guys)?

Tore who said:

My favorite bad guy. I liked Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I always thought he was funny.


Winners x 4 - February 13, 2012


King of Darkness (Chronicles of Yavn 1) by Elisabeth Staab - Ended February 8, 2012 -Read the interview here.

Winners x 4 - February 13, 2012

Question:  What is/are your favorite vampire movie(s)?

Proserpine who said:

Hi!
I love the classic: Dracula : the one with Anthony Hopkins and Keanu Reeves! I really like the Underworld movies and the Queen of the Damn too but my fav interview with a vampire: the ultimate vampire movie!


Winners x 4 - February 13, 2012


Deliver Me from Darkness (Paladin Warriors 1) by Tes Hilaire - Ends February 11, 2012 -  Read the interview here US/CANADA ONLY

Winners x 4 - February 13, 2012


Question: What is/are your favorite HEA(s) (Happily Ever After) from 2011?

StacieD who said:

My favorite HEA was Adrian Brown's in Never Enough by Lauren Dane. Through the entire series he had to watch as his siblings and friends found their HEA. Adrian finding the woman he loves and the son he never knew was lovely.


Winners x 4 - February 13, 2012


The winners have been notified and have until 11:59PM US Eastern Time on Monday, February 20, 2012 to respond or The Qwillery will very randomly pick a new winner or winners.

Thank you to everyone who participated!

Interview with Tes Hilaire and Giveaway - February 4, 2012

Please welcome Tes Hilaire to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interviews.  Deliver Me from Darkness, Tes' debut novel, will be published on February 7, 2012.


TQ: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Tes:  I can’t “create” at a desk. I can edit, I can outline, I can fill out scenes, but I can’t create new material sitting at a computer desk. And when your laptop is on the blitz? Trust me, this can be a real problem.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Tes:  Sticking to a Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy theme, my top five authors would be Patricia Briggs, Karen Marie Moning, J.R. Ward, Karen Chance, and my new one on the list, Ilona Andrews. As far as who has influenced me? Oh my, this list is in danger of being way too long. Of course all my favorite authors both listed above and not listed have had an impact. One not listed above that I have to mention is Mercedes Lackey since she is the author who turned me from your average bookworm into one of those annoying book-in-a-day readers. More recently I’d have to say those that have influenced me are more of a support team than anything else. People like Sarah Parr for her sound advice when I was just getting started. Erin Kellison and KC Klein as the most awesome crit partners ever. Sophie Jordan for her encouragement when I was “almost” there. Delilah Marvelle for her spirit and uberawesome cheerleading skills. And last but not least my Binghamton writers: Joshua Palmatier and Patricia Bray, fantasy authors and short story editors extraordinaire; and April Steenburg, Lady of Voice and backlist beta-reader (who never once told me those hard drive cloggers totally sucked.)

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Tes:  I’m one of those closet pantsers who, though much blood and sweat have taught themselves to plot. Okay, I have to give credit where credit is due: Erin Kellison is the one who convinced me to teach myself to plot. Bet you didn’t know that, did you Erin? But after watching each new, practically flawless chapter come through our crit group I realized this girl knew what she was doing. So--after prying her secrets from her--I started plotting. I still start with my characters, filling in their ARC’s and testing them to get a feel of what their story is, but after that I outline, then outline some more. And trust me, for this pantser, it’s kinda shocking to have my synopsis done before I even finish the first three chapters!

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Tes:  Finding the time when the muse is in session. The muse walks to the beat of her own drummer, coming and going from my presence as she pleases. Unfortunately my life isn’t like that. I have set hours available to me for writing and if the muse isn’t with me during that time then I have to struggle through it and write anyway. This is where Ms. Kellison’s lesson on plotting has saved me time and time again. Without that outline, I would most likely waste much of my time staring at a blank screen due to lack of inspiration, but with my outline I can normally squeak out the very basics of a scene and keep going with the story-- then come back and fill in the rest when that whimsical lady decides to return. ;-)

TQ:  Describe Deliver Me from Darkness in 140 characters or less.

Tes:  Roland, vigilante vamp and fallen angel yearns 4, but doesn’t believe in, redemption 4 his soul—until his soulmate is delivered to his door

TQ: What inspired you to write Deliver Me from Darkness?

Tes:  Good question. Have I mentioned that these ideas just come to me? Okay, honestly, Deliver Me from Darkness was an experiment for me. I wrote the book a couple years after my first RWA conference where I learned SO much about craft. It was also soon after the start of my contest journey where I learned even more about what a romance reader wants. Granted, it wasn’t all an experiment, Roland was one of those characters that just kind of bloomed on the page for me, from the first word I had a hold on who he was, and I’d been wanting to write his story for a while. So I decided that he was going to be “the” hero. The one that got me that first place win and hopefully a subsequent contract. Ha! If I’d realized then… Anyway, Deliver Me was the first novel I plotted out. It was the first one that I sat down and forced myself to write, regardless of muse. It was the first one that I rigorously applied all those “lessons” I’d learned in workshop after workshop and contest feedback. And the first one that I mercilessly slashed and hacked entire scenes from when they weren’t working even though it made me cringe to do so. In effect, it was an experiment—on discipline. And one that paid off with a story that I hope Roland feels worthy of him.

TQ: What sort of research did you do for Deliver Me from Darkness?

Tes:  I did a lot of research on the origins of the Paladin, toying with various sources to create my own take on the ancient order. My novel didn’t start out with a group of warriors, but rather with my hero, heroine, and one loyal best friend. It wasn’t until I’d started sketching out my plot that I realized I needed more complexity in my world. I knew my hero and his best friend had a history and that their relationship, despite their loyalty to one another, was strained, but it wasn’t until I starting surfing through my stack of “research” novels and internet alike that I stumbled upon the idea of the Paladin. Unromantic as it sounds, they turned out to be the glue for my novel, tying all the threads together into one strong rope.

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Tes:  Roland was by far the easiest. He was the original seed of the idea for the novel and everything else, plot, other characters, spun out from him as I strove to write his story. The hardest was actually Karissa. Creating the perfect mate for someone as strong of personality as my hero turned out to be a difficult thing. She needed to be in danger in order to bring out those lovely protective instincts of his, but she couldn’t be a pushover either. So was born my heroine. Strong in her principals, but with a heart so loving she could see to the goodness of one vampire's tormented soul.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Deliver Me from Darkness?

Tes:  Roland’s vigilante scene as it really gives you a snapshot on who he is and what his life has been like up until Karissa arrives. The first kiss as it’s both a highpoint and a low point for our hero and heroine. The love scene of course ;-). Beyond that, Gabby’s scenes were some of my favorite to write too. Something about that fiery adolescent vampire made my job really easy. And then there was Valin, he has this dark sarcastic humor that just makes me smile.

TQ:  What's next?

Tes:  I actually just turned in book two of the Paladin Warriors! Deliver Me from Temptation picks up a few months after the conclusion of Roland and Karissa’s story. It is the story of Roland’s best friend, Logan. Logan is one of those men who’ve set aside all else for the sake of others, his sole focus on his duty as future leader to the Paladin and loyalty to his brothers and friend. Until a stubborn cop trips him up (literally) and knocks his world off kilter. And let me tell you, it was awfully fun to watch this hard-shelled warrior get smacked on his butt by love.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Tes:  Thanks so much for having me! It’s been fun to share. And for those who joined us, don’t forget to enter the giveaway! I’ll be on and off all day to answer any questions people might have.


About Deliver Me from Darkness

Deliver Me from Darkness
Paladin Warriors 1
Sourcebooks Casablanca (February 7, 2012)
Mass Market Paperback & eBook, 352 pages 

Interview with Tes Hilaire and Giveaway - February 4, 2012
A stranger in the night…

He had once been a warrior of the Light, once of the revered Paladin. A protector. But now he live sin darkness, and the shadows are his sanctuary. Every day is a struggle to overcome the bloodlust. Especially the day Karissa shows up on his doorstep.

Comes knocking on the door…

She is light and bright everything beautiful—despite her scratches and torn clothes. Every creature of the night is after her. So is every male Paladin. Because Karissa is the last female of their kind. But she is his. He may not have a soul, but he can’t deny his heart.


About Tes

Interview with Tes Hilaire and Giveaway - February 4, 2012
Daphne Award-winning author and former Tennessee native Tes Hilaire doesn’t remember how old she was when she wrote her first story, but she’s pretty sure it had something to do with a boy and a girl and a happily every after. Displaced at an early age to “the north country,” her stories turned darker as she started creating whole new worlds to escape the harsh, upstate NY winters. Now back in the South, her stories remain edgy, exciting, and bring a hint of dark fantasy to paranormal romance. Best of all, no one ever has to shovel snow. For more, visit her website at www.teshilaire.com.

Website
The Inner Imp (short story site)




Guest Blog Giveaway Winner

The winner of Deliver Me from Darkness from Tes' Guest Blog, Creating a Mythos – Birth of a Paladin Warrior, is traci16!


The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a copy of Deliver Me from Darkness (Paladin Warriors 1) from Tes! US//CANADA ONLY.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

What is/are your favorite HEA(s) (Happily Ever After) from 2011?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)   Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US or Canadian mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Saturday February 11, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Guest Blog by Tes Hilaire: Creating a Mythos – Birth of a Paladin Warrior

Please welcome Tes Hilaire to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. Deliver Me from Darkness, Tes' debut novel, will be published on February 7, 2012.

First off, thank you Sally for having me here today at The Qwillery. I’m very excited to be here for the start off my blog tour! And as a “thank you” to one lucky participant, I will be giving away a copy of my paranormal romance novel, Deliver Me from Darkness (US and Canada only, please).


Creating a Mythos – Birth of a Paladin Warrior

One of the biggest challenges in today’s paranormal romance market is creating a solid mythos for your world. Readers crave a story that is original and believable, yet intimately woven into a stellar romance. For me, the romance was never the issue with Deliver Me from Darkness, but I will tell you that I didn’t have a whole lot of mythos when I sat down to sketch out that first seed of an idea. My characters shape my stories and this one had a vampire hero, Roland, a heroine, Karissa, chased by a horde of evil creatures, and an honorable best friend, Logan, who’d stuck by my hero’s side after Roland became a vampire. I made it to the end of the first chapter before I had to face reality: The chemistry between my hero and heroine was good, but that alone wasn’t enough. My story wasn’t unique. Not yet at least.

Begin the brainstorming. What if Logan’s loyalty was more pronounced? What if he was some sort of hunter whose life goal was to eradicate the likes of his best friend, Roland, from the world? What if Roland had also been one of these hunters? And, oh, better, what if Logan had been assigned to kill Roland after he was turned, but hadn’t because Logan believed in his friend’s inherent goodness? What if that loyalty was now challenged because of the arrival of our heroine Karissa?

Oh, this was good. This had potential for all kinds of conflict in the story. The novel started fleshing out, little snippets of scenes, character arcs exploding on the page before me, yet, it still needed more. I needed a mythos to build my world upon.

So started my search. I’ve always been fascinated with the Crusades: the knights, the vast battles and the clash of cultures. It was a horrific time in world history and one filled with causes both noble and evil in intent. There was so much going on during this time—political, economic, and religious power plays alike—that the wealth of possibilities were endless for the basis of my mythos. I just needed to pin it down. That’s when I stumbled upon The Song of Roland. One of the oldest surviving major works of French literature, the song romanticizes the 8th century Battle of Roncevaux Pass in which Roland, commanding the rear guard of Charlemagne's army, is betrayed by Ganelon and ambushed by their enemies.

The song is embroiled in political and personal intrigue and, if taken literally, paints none of the players as angelic visages or infallible warriors, but the roots were there for something of interest to me. The song is the first literary work to mention the twelve Paladins, twelve religious warriors: a number representative of King Author’s round table, and the number of disciples in Christian scripture. I asked myself what if these men had been in this battle, not as a product of political or cultural intolerance of the time, but on their own mission. What if they were taking orders directly from a higher power, their goal to keep religious artifacts (a coveted prize often at the foundation of the Crusades) out of the hands of true evil? What if my Paladins were actually volunteer angels come down from Heaven to protect His children from Lucifer’s evil army?

Finally, I had my mythos. What’s more, the faults of the characters in The Song of Roland set the stage for taking my mythos one step farther. I turned back to the song, reading again of Ganelon and his sense of jealousy, his paranoia that Roland had set him up to be killed. The character imperfections, that I’d originally been frowning over, became useful rather than a detriment to my goal of creating a band of heroic warriors. For what is more heroic than a man who overcomes his faults when faced with the ultimate challenge of love (okay, ultimate in the romance genre ;-)? So my volunteer angels developed faults. Their conversion from angel to warrior allowed me to develop in them human foibles and emotions. And these human qualities—foreign to these volunteer angels until now but necessary to understand the war of temptation that Lucifer wages—become one of the greatest challenges they face. And something that they must learn to embrace if they have hope of winning their war against evil and finding true love.


About Deliver Me from Darkness

Deliver Me from Darkness
Paladin Warriors 1
Sourcebooks Casablanca (February 7, 2012)
Mass Market Paperback & eBook, 352 pages 

Guest Blog by Tes Hilaire: Creating a Mythos – Birth of a Paladin Warrior
A stranger in the night…

He had once been a warrior of the Light, once of the revered Paladin. A protector. But now he live sin darkness, and the shadows are his sanctuary. Every day is a struggle to overcome the bloodlust. Especially the day Karissa shows up on his doorstep.

Comes knocking on the door…

She is light and bright everything beautiful—despite her scratches and torn clothes. Every creature of the night is after her. So is every male Paladin. Because Karissa is the last female of their kind. But she is his. He may not have a soul, but he can’t deny his heart.


About Tes

Guest Blog by Tes Hilaire: Creating a Mythos – Birth of a Paladin Warrior
Daphne Award-winning author and former Tennessee native Tes Hilaire doesn’t remember how old she was when she wrote her first story, but she’s pretty sure it had something to do with a boy and a girl and a happily every after. Displaced at an early age to “the north country,” her stories turned darker as she started creating whole new worlds to escape the harsh, upstate NY winters. Now back in the South, her stories remain edgy, exciting, and bring a hint of dark fantasy to paranormal romance. Best of all, no one ever has to shovel snow. For more, visit her website at www.teshilaire.com.

Website
The Inner Imp (short story site)



The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a copy of Deliver Me from Darkness (Paladin Warriors 1) from Tes! US/Canada Only

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

Do you have any favorite flawed alpha males or females?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)   Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US or Canadian mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Friday, January 27, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*
Guest Blog by Tes Hilaire - Luring Lady Muse - December 5, 2012Tes Hilaire & Elisabeth Staab - Interview with a Vampire...or two...or three...or four... Gulp.Winners x 4 - February 13, 2012Interview with Tes Hilaire and Giveaway - February 4, 2012Guest Blog by Tes Hilaire: Creating a Mythos – Birth of a Paladin Warrior

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