Monday, September 01, 2014

Interview with Tiffany Reisz

Today I'm thrilled and honoured to welcome the one and only Tiffany Reisz on Darkest Sins!

Tiffany Reisz is the author of the highly acclaimed series The Original Sinners. Her first novel, THE SIREN, won the RT Editor's Choice Award for Best Erotic Romance of 2012. Slightly shameless, Tiffany dropped out of a conservative Southern seminary in order to pursue a career as a writer. This move, while possibly putting her eternal salvation in peril, has worked out better than she anticipated. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her boyfriend, author Andrew Shaffer.


INTERVIEW WITH TIFFANY REISZ

• How are things over there? Do you find your new city, Portland, inspiring?

We love Portland. It’s an unusually pretty city, and everywhere we go I find a setting for a novel I want to write. Ecola State Park looks like Narnia but people live there in ivy-covered houses. And there’s a ski lodge on top of Mt Hood (it was the exterior of the Shining Hotel) which is very dark and sexy and mysterious looking. I can’t wait to start incorporating Oregon settings into stories.

• Is there a favourite author of yours who might have affected your writing in a special way?

Anne Rice. Absolutely. When I write THE SIREN I included elements from lots of Anne Rice novels (a group of mysterious erotic individuals who are part of a dark secret society, underage sex, BDSM, Gothic settings), and I did so entirely without thinking that I might get into trouble. After all, Anne Rice wrote it first (The Sleeping Beauty Chronicles, Belinda, etc) so why would anyone care if I tied up a sexy teenage boy and let a dominatrix make a man out of him? So I give Anne Rice much love for being such a brave writer. She gives me courage.

• Do you usually follow any kind of writing schedule?

When I’m writing a book, yes. But I don’t write every day. Today is “answer emails day” since I turned in book seven in my Original Sinners series on Sunday (The Virgin). But when I’m writing a first draft, I set a daily writing goat (yes, goat, not goal. Goats are cute and goals are intimidating.) My usual writing goat is 3000 words a day. I go to a meditation chapel near our house that has no internet access and just zone out and write. After about six to eight weeks, I have a first draft. Then I rewrite and rewrite and rewrite. Usually about four carefully chosen beta readers read it and I take their revisions suggestions very seriously. By the time my editor gets it, the book’s been through about eight revisions. Then it goes through about two to four more after she gets me her notes back and I do massive rewrites. A fan recently said to me on Twitter that she was shocked I do so many revisions. The books read very seamlessly to her. I told her, “The reason they read well is because I do so many revisions, not in spite of it.” Rewriting is writing!

• I know research is very important—if not essential—for an author. Would you like to tell us something about the one you did for The Original Sinners?

When you’re an erotica writer, you can say having sex is research. One of the perks of the job. One of the most fun things I did while researching THE SIREN was booking an appointment with a real Manhattan dominatrix at her dungeon. She beat the hell out of me after I told her I didn’t mind bruises. A lot of her clients are married men who visit dominas in secret. We had an awesome time and we’ve stayed in touch here and there. She’s as beautiful as Mistress Nora and just as wild.

• The series is divided in two parts: The Red Years and The White Years—the latest opened by "The Saint". Want to explain what this division is about to new readers?

We wanted to make sure readers understood that with The White Years, they would be getting stories that take place in the past, stories about Mistress Nora before she was Mistress Nora. The frame story of The White Years books continues the timeline into the future, but each book’s main purpose is to tell a story about the past. Mistress Nora the dominatrix wears red as her signature color. As a submissive she wore white and a white collar. That’s the difference.

• Did you have the main plot all planned from the very beginning, or it just kept taking shape book after book?

Both. I had a general outline in my head of what I wanted to do with the series but when I sat down to write each book, that outline changed. But the basics have always stayed the same—Nora the dominatrix has wild adventures with weird and wonderful men and lives happily and naughtily ever after.

• What part of which instalment has been the most hard to write so far?

The most recent book, The Virgin, was the hardest to write because I had no idea how to write it. I was at a loss. I knew what I wanted to do but it just wasn’t working. I finally gave up, took a few days off, went for long walks and bike rides and then BAM! I was hit with inspiration. Everything fell into place and I could finally write the book I wanted to write. Basically I had to give myself permission to jump ahead in time a couple of years to write the stuff I wanted to write as opposed to what my readers probably expected me to write. And it worked out for everyone. Readers will get a huge surprise when they start The Virgin and I got to write something I’d been dreaming of for a long time. Castles, kilts, and kink! I can’t wait for y’all to read it!

• And the most pleasurable?

Writing The Mistress Files which is a series of five novellas about Mistress Nora and her clients was maybe the most fun I had writing in the Original Sinners universe. Nora is at her absolute best when she’s working as a Dominatrix, helping people with their problems, teaching them to be comfortable with their sexuality. She’s a bit of a sex guru and when she comes into your life, you always walk away a better,  happier, and hornier person.

• As much as I loved each and every book in the series, "The Prince" still remains my absolute favourite. Do you have a personal one?

The Prince is still my favourite too. The scenes in the past between teenage Kingsley and Søren were painfully erotic. I just let my dark imagination fly with those too. No limits, no rules. And they’re so beautiful together. I could have written an entire 500 page book about their high school affair. It wouldn’t have had much plot but God, it would have been fun.

• Every single character plays an important part and leaves a mark in your books. Nevertheless, from those 'minor' ones, who would you say you're particularly attached to?

Sheridan, most definitely. I love Mistress Nora’s little blonde actress submissive. She’s my dream girl.

• I have to say, I can't look at Rachel Weisz without picturing Nora and, as I told you once on twitter, I also can’t look at Nikolaj Coster-Waldau without thinking of Søren. That means my mind sort of tricks me with images of Søren in Game of Thrones. (Twisted enough?) How pleased are you, knowing your characters and visions have such a big impact/power over a reader?

It’s hilarious. I have so many people tell me they can’t sit through Mass anymore without having naughty thoughts about priests. Oops. Well, what can I say? I’m a sadist like Søren and nothing pleases me more than messing with minds.

• How would you describe the relationship with your readers?

I have a very open fun relationship with readers. I like to play Domme to their sub. Recently I tweeted “Please lick my Facebook page. Don’t LIKE it, lick it. Email me pics.” They thought I was joking but one reader did email me a picture of herself licking my Facebook page. I surprised her with a signed copy of a book as a reward for her obedience. Inside I wrote “Good girls get rewarded for following orders.”

• What are you working on at the moment?

Nothing! And it’s wonderful! I’m taking a whole entire week off writing to clean up my inbox before I start writing a new book. The next book I’m writing isn’t in the Original Sinners series. It’s a sexy  southern romance (southern meaning American southern, specifically Kentucky) with a marriage of convenience plot. I’ve wanted to write a marriage of convenience book set in contemporary time for a while now. There’s no kink in it, but I promise it’ll be dark and twisty. Wish me luck!

Good luck and thanks again for your time, Tiffany. I wish you, your superb The Original Sinners series and any other one you plan to write in the future all the very best! —Silvia

Thank you for having me on the blog! I really appreciate it. Happy sinning! Tiffany Reisz
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GIVEAWAY!
(UK ONLY)

Thanks to the amazing team at CherishPR, I'm happy to offer one lucky winner the printed copies of The Siren, The Angel, The PrinceThe Mistress and The Saint by Tiffany Reisz!

To enter the contest, just follow the blog, leave a comment below and add your email address at the end.

I'll randomly draft the winner and contact them directly via email next week.

Good luck, sinners!! ;)

Friday, August 29, 2014

Life of a Blogger: Fears

Life of a Blogger is a weekly feature hosted by Jessi @ Novel Heartbeat.
Every week we talk about a non-bookish topic, so that we get to know each other on a more personal level.

This week's topic: FEARS

Fears...Uhm, besides dying? Because, let's face it, who isn't scared of that? THAT is definitely the scariest thing we can possibly think of BUT, since the last thing I want is make us all depressed and turn this post into a sort of therapy session, I'm going for some 'minor' fears that are still too big to overcome...

There are maaaany insects I would never touch (gladly never look at, either) and others I'd rather prefer to not cross my path and yet, they always find their way...(Damn you, spiders!) I don't have a great relationship with snakes either. No, scratch that, I don't have a relationship with them, period. Gosh, I got shivers just for having thought of those creatures... Well, let's not mention my pigeon phobia then. Yeah, you heard that right and, trust me, it's not fun at all!

Outside the animal world, there are needles I can't stand, lifts that cause me a bit of claustrophobia and then there is altitude to consider. Although this is more of an issue. I can't really look down when I'm on a balcony for example, I get vertigo and I get really afraid. Again, not fun :( but then what fear isn't?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

"Rival" by Penelope Douglas



RIVAL BY PENELOPE DOUGLAS

SERIES: Fall Away #2
PUBLISHER: Piatkus Entice
GENRE: NA Contemporary Romance
SOURCE: Review copy received from the publisher via NetGalley

SUMMARY
Madoc and Fallon. Two estranged teenagers playing games that push the boundaries between love and war... For the three years she's been away at boarding school, there was no word from her. Back when we lived in the same house, she used to cut me down during the day and then leave her door open for me at night. I was stupid then, but now I'm ready to beat her at her own game... Three years and I can tell he still wants me, even if he acts like he's better than me. But I won't be scared away. Or pushed down. I'll call his bluff and fight back. That's what he wants, right? As long as I keep my guard up, he'll never know how much he affects me...

MY REVIEW

This was the first book I read for this series, and it certainly won't be the last...As a matter of fact, I feel really motivated to go back and read the first instalment just to enjoy Tate and Jared more! They may not be the main characters in here but oh, if they rock the scene when they're on. Put them together with Madoc and Fallon and you have quite the perfect company.

The story flows so well that as soon as I was telling myself 'just another chapter', I was already three more in. Madoc and Fallon are strong characters with issues mostly caused by their parents. They have a background that puts someoneespecially at such a young age—in a very difficult position, and what I particularly liked and appreciated were their reactions. There are certain situations in which you would expect hysteria and drama—like it usually happens—but besides the inevitable fights and misunderstandings (which can only make the read more interesting, by the way), they handle the whole situation in a better way than you'd believe. Thanks Penelope Douglas for such a refreshing turn!

It's an addictive read with great twists, touching but even funny moments and hot-damn-hot scenes... If I were you, I wouldn't think twice and I would be already on my way to get my own copy!

RATING: 4/5
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This review was part of the Official UK Blog Tour organized by Piatkus.
Check out the poster below for every stop and buy your own copy of Rival,
now officially out in eBook!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Torrent Review Tour!

Today I'm happy to host a stop for Torrent Review Tour, organized by Dark World Books!
(Click on the banner above to see the schedule.)



TORRENT
(Condemned #1)

I’ve been obsessed with Rafe Mason since I was thirteen. The twisted part of this story is that I still want him, even now.
Now that he’s holding me captive on an island.
Rafe has his reasons for doing what he’s doing, and if I’m honest, I can’t blame him. I’m the girl who sent him to prison for a heinous crime he didn’t commit.
But now he’s free and the tables have turned…now he’s the one driven by obsession.
TORRENT is a new adult dark romance with disturbing themes and explicit content that includes sexual situations and violence. Intended for adult readers 18+ only. Part one of the CONDEMNED series. This is not a stand-alone read.

*Click on the cover to read my review*



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gemma James (a pseudonym for Christina Jean Michaels) loves to explore the darker side of sex in her fiction. She’s morbidly curious about anything dark and edgy and enjoys exploring the deviant side of human nature. Her stories have been described as being “not for the faint of heart.” She lives with her husband and their four children—three rambunctious UFC/wrestling-loving boys and one girl who steals everyone’s attention. Sign up for her newsletter so you don’t miss out on future releases!

"Torrent" by Gemma James



TORRENT BY GEMMA JAMES

SERIES: Condemned #1
PUBLISHER: Gemma James
GENRE: NA Dark Romance
SOURCE: Review copy received from the author

SUMMARY
I’ve been obsessed with Rafe Mason since I was thirteen. The twisted part of this story is that I still want him, even now. Now that he’s holding me captive on an island. Rafe has his reasons for doing what he’s doing, and if I’m honest, I can’t blame him. I’m the girl who sent him to prison for a heinous crime he didn’t commit. But now he’s free and the tables have turned…now he’s the one driven by obsession.
TORRENT is a new adult dark romance with disturbing themes and explicit content that includes sexual situations and violence. Intended for adult readers 18+ only. Part one of the CONDEMNED series. This is not a stand-alone read.

MY REVIEW

"Torrent" is a dark book, not darker than the ones I'm used to, but it surely has to be classified as a dark romance. How else would you describe a book in which there are twisted (and I mean really twisted) characters/relationships? And if you're a lover of the genre, you know this is the charm of such stories.

I think we all—or at least most of us—agree that the plot is fundamental, and I was pleased to find a good one in here. Nevertheless, I honestly thought that something was off at the beginning, even though I couldn't immediately place what it was. Thankfully the read flew well, but at some point that initial feeling came back and I started to realize that my issue was mostly with the characters. I couldn't completely feel involved with them, although Rafe's charisma didn't go unnoticed. Still, it's one of the minor characters who got me quite intrigued. I really wouldn't mind finding out more about Jax, and I do hope the author will put him more under the spotlight.

I read the book in just one sitting and, although I would have appreciated seeing some events developed more than others, I'm curious enough to see where Gemma James decides to take the reader. The end of this first instalment certainly makes you wonder...

RATING: 3/5
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