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Oct 16

Welcome Tina Donahue

Great to have you as my guest, Tina. Tell us about yourself. 
In addition to being a hopeless chocoholic, I’m an award-winning, bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance for Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, and Kensington. I’m relieved to say that Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised my work (I’ve been known to get quite giddy when I get an awesome review). Three of my erotic romances (Adored, Lush Velvet Nights, and Deep, Dark, Delicious) were named finalists in the 2011 EPIC competition (yay!). The French review site, Blue Moon reviews, chose my erotic romance Sensual Stranger as their Book of the Year 2010 (erotic category) (double/triple/quadruple yay!!!). The Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books was created specifically for Lush Velvet Nights, and two of my titles (The Yearning and Deep, Dark, Delicious) received an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competition (2011 and 2012) (to say I was relieved/giddy/flabbergasted is an understatement). Take Me Away and Adored both won second place in the NEC RWA contest (different years). I’m featured in the 2012 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market (a dream come true). In my pre-novel days, I was the editor of an award–winning Midwestern newspaper and worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company.

Wow! Impressive. Are you a full time writer or do you have a “day job”?
I have a day job, also know in the trade as an EDJ (evil day job). However, I do also write full time (before/after work and on weekends).

Do you have other talents? 
I have a talent for shopping.  Can usually spot a bargain a mile away.

What do you do to promote your work?
A better question might be – what don’t I do to promote my work? I do all that I can. I have a website/blog – http://www.tinadonahue.com/.
I’m also owner of Sweet n Sexy Divas –http://sweetnsexydivas.blogspot.com/ – where I showcase my work and that of other authors. I’m one of the resident members at Romance Books 4 Us – http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/. I visit other authors’ websites, The Romance Studio, and other locales to promo my new releases. Yes, I’m a promo addict and I’m not ashamed of it.

Tell us about your current series.
Just finished the cover art request for Stolen Desire, Book Four in my Outlawed Realm series for Samhain. It’s due to release March 11, 2014. Don’t have the cover art as yet. But here’s the blurb:

One touch is never enough.
Outlawed Realm, Book 4
Her freedom…her heart…depends on one man. A criminal to his realm.
Abducted from Seattle to E5—a hostile dimension of fire and ice—Paige has little choice except to trust a stranger who’s come to rescue her. A man like none she’s ever met. Potently masculine. His courage and honor remarkable. His past unknown and a shocking surprise.
Zekin was once one of E2’s ruling elite. Sentenced to E5 for his supposed crimes against the realm, Zekin and his men have taken over E5’s prison colony. Risking all, he rescues those brought to this dimension by the guards for their carnal pleasure.
In a stunning underwater world populated by strange creatures and liberated pleasure slaves, Paige experiences a sexual awakening within Zekin’s impassioned embrace. True intimacy neither of them has ever known. Their need becomes unquenchable.
Their future uncertain. From different realms, they must find a way to survive the dangers of E5’s harsh environment, the possibility of the guards’ attack and Paige’s eventual return to Seattle. A journey she will not—cannot—take without him.

Warning: Scorching hot sex and loads of aching tenderness between a drool-worthy hunk who’s determined to do the right thing and a woman who’s not about to give him up.

What inspired your latest book?
Stolen Desire takes place on the 5th dimension of Earth. In my Outlawed Realm series, I’ve explored the other dimensions, so it was natural that I’d finally get to the 5th one. J I actually created this other world while I was on a business flight to the home office for my EDJ. Most pleasant flight I’ve ever taken, because I was lost in this new world I was creating, along with the characters that would populate it.

What is most difficult for you to write? Characters, conflict or emotions? 
Emotions, hands down. Executing deep POV and emotional build is extremely difficult. I have absolutely no trouble with humor in my writing. In fact, my first books were romantic comedies. However, getting the angst the characters feel on the page, or the carnal hunger, their intense desire…wow. Sometimes there just doesn’t seem to be enough words to convey what I’m feeling in my heart.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Definitely a plotter. I plot out everything fully before I write one word of the story. Most times, my outlines are longer than my novels. Plotting, to me, is like taking a road trip. If I want to get to New York City from Los Angeles, it’s easier if I use a map and a definite route, rather than hopping in my car, just taking off and hoping for the best.

Are you traditionally published, self-published or both?
Traditionally published.

How do you create sexual tension in your romances?
By keeping the characters out of each other’s arms for as long as I can, while also throwing in a lot of direct gazes, unexpected touches and quiet moments where the rest of the world seems to fade away for the hero/heroine. You know, those times when they’re aching to touch each other, share their heat, but something is in the way, forcing them to wait, increasing their passion, their intense desire to be together.

What is your writing routine like?
I write everyday of the year except for Christmas and New Year’s. I get up hours before I’m due in for my EDJ and write. I write after I work my EDJ. I write on the weekends.

What are you reading now?
Vanilla Ride by Joe R. Lansdale. Great book – awesome writer. I tend to read other genres (this one is sort of a crime/suspense), rather than romance. Keeps my writing fresh.

We’d love a blurb and an excerpt from your latest book.
That would be Deep Within Me, Book Two in The Prophecy series for Samhain.
Blurb:
Unrestrained desire…danger without end.
The Prophecy, Book 2
For one agonizing moment, Zeke Neekoma thought his most feared vision had come true. Liz was lifeless in his arms, murdered by her own clan for one traitorous act—loving him. Then her father’s healing touch brought her back.
She hasn’t emerged from death unchanged. Now her healing gift leaves her drained, weak. Worse, Zeke is still tortured with visions of a woman covered in blood.
Liz aches for a future with Zeke, to always know the thrill of his body imprisoning hers with mindless pleasure. At her reanimation, she redoubles her determination to use her healing gifts to help his people—except Zeke refuses to allow her to use them.
But with her clan leader set to launch his next attack, Zeke and Jacob have no choice but to try to heal Liz with the same sensual force she used to save them. Yet it may not be enough to avert a merciless plan that will test Zeke’s humanity, risk Liz’s life—and threaten their timeless bond.
Excerpt:
Liz could feel Isabel’s glare and had to force herself not to glance over her shoulder at the woman. Once Zeke brought Liz past the last of the crowd, she murmured, “Where are we going?”
“My room.”
As he had during her first time in the stronghold, Zeke led Liz past a series of halls, each of them bullet-ridden now and filthy with blood. Earlier, they’d been filled with children playing games, watching TV. Liz’s stomach rolled. If Carreon’s men had harmed one of those innocents tonight…
At the awful thought, she squeezed Zeke’s hand.
He looked over. “What?”
“Were any of your people harmed?”
“Except for Jacob and Samuel, no.”
Samuel. He’d been guarding the outside door when Kele and Carreon’s men had arrived. One of those lieutenants had shot both of Samuel’s knees, leaving him in agony. Before Liz had left the stronghold, she’d healed him. Not to the extent that he was whole again. That would have taken time she hadn’t had in her determination to see Carreon dead. The last she’d seen of Samuel, he was sagged against one of the vehicles, shouting at her not to drive away.
“Wait,” Liz said.
“Why?” Zeke kept his pace, forcing her to follow.
“I didn’t heal Samuel fully. I should—”

“Your father will take care of it.”
Was he joking? “He’s more tired than I am. He’s old, Zeke. I want him to rest, not tend to your men’s injuries when I can do it.”
“Samuel will be fine.”
They’d reached the stairway that led to the stronghold’s second level. Zeke directed Liz up those steps. The first time they’d done this, he’d taken her to his brother’s room where she’d pressed her body against Jacob’s, restoring him to full health. Unlike her father’s power that allowed him to heal the gravest injuries with a mere touch, Liz’s gift wasn’t as strong. When a man was near death, all of her had to touch him in order for her to push enough of her healing gift and life force inside.
It was only when the injury was relatively minor, like her father’s sprained ankle or even Samuel’s bloodied knees, that her touch alone would suffice.
A touch she hadn’t used since leaving Carreon’s stronghold.
When she and Zeke reached the landing, Liz asked, “Why don’t you want me to heal anyone?”
He went in the opposite direction of Jacob’s room, toward the end of the hall and a set of grand double doors. Constructed of a dark wood, possibly mahogany, they bore geometric designs—the same as those on the rugs gracing the walls—and had ornate silver handles. “Did I say that?”
No. But he kept keeping her from doing it. “I can heal Samuel’s knees without crawling all over him, if that’s what you’re worried about.”
Zeke stopped at the double doors and regarded her, his emotions well concealed. “Good to know.”
Was he teasing her…or was he worried about something? Liz recalled his weird questions in the Jeep, his unease as he’d studied her as a physician might, looking for signs of what? Sickness? Physical decline? Death?
She stared at him.
He ignored her and opened one of the doors. “Go on.”
She backed into the room, noting its limestone walls, the same as those in Jacob’s, decorated with similar snake totems in vivid hues. However, this space was three times as large. She regarded the wide bed of a rustic construction, its design matching the nightstands and lamps. What tourists would pay thousands for in order to possess authentic Indian art and craftsmanship.
“What’s going on?” Liz asked, wanting to know what Zeke was thinking. What worried him about her.
He closed the door. Its spring lock clicked faintly. The moment he touched the limestone wall, it glowed as it had in Jacob’s bath and room, the rock a soft golden shade, lending a dreamy, cozy feel to this space.
The setting should have relaxed, then aroused Liz with what was surely coming.
Zeke’s silence precluded that.
More questions poured from her. “Why won’t you let me heal anyone? In the Jeep, why did you ask if I’d fallen asleep? Wait.” She interrupted herself even though he hadn’t said anything. Liz shook her head. “You said I’d passed out. Why? And why did my father ask how I was feel—”
He stopped her with his kisses on each corner of her mouth, surprisingly tender and gentle, his arms wrapped protectively around her.
Unable to resist, Liz twined her arms around his neck and sagged into him. “Zeke—”
“No more questions,” he said with a sigh, his mouth on her ear, his body pressed close. “Not now. Just hold me. Please.”
His weary plea did more than any command. The love Liz heard in those few words touched her soul. Drawing him as close as she could, she nestled her face against his neck and suckled his skin.

Thanks for being here today, Tina.

*One commenter will receive one of Tina’s backlist ebooks from this list:

Adored – RWA award-winning; EPIC 2011 Finalist; 4 Stars RT
Deep, Dark, Delicious – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Holt Medallion Award of Merit
Lush Velvet Nights – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Golden Nib Award
In His Arms – SIX 5 Star Reviews; 4 Stars RT
Sensual Stranger – 2010 Book of the Year (erotic); 4 Stars RT
The Yearning – Top Ten Bestseller
Take Me Away – #1 Pick, Miz Love Loves Books
Unending Desire – Best Book Rating LASR
SiNN – Nominated for Book of the Week LASR
Sinfully Wicked – Magnificent – Romancing the Book
Claiming Magique – Top Pick – NOR
Illicit Desire – Four Stars Romantic Times
Come Fill Me – Five Stars – Guilty Pleasures

6 comments

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  1. Tina Donahue

    Love your site, Anna – thanks so much for hosting me today!! 🙂

  2. Brenna Chase

    Great interview! Love your advice too.

    1. Tina Donahue

      Thanks, Brenna!! Appreciate you coming by. 🙂

  3. Melissa Keir

    I love your Outlawed Realm books. Sounds like another winner. I can’t wait to see the cover art!

    1. Tina Donahue

      Thanks, Melissa!! The artist always does such a great job. 🙂

  4. Tina Donahue

    Thanks for stopping by, Brenna and Melissa! You’ve both won your choice of one of my backlist ebooks from the above list. Please contact me at tina@tinadonahue.com with your selection. 🙂

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