Today I'm so pleased to A.M. Hudson to the blog today. A.M. is currently on tour with her book Mark of Betrayal at Bewitching Book Tours, and is offering you a chance to win the entire set of her Dark Secrets Series (4 books) via Smashwords coupons by leaving a comment for her. Feel free to ask her questions or simply say Hi.
Welcome to Immortality and Beyond. May I offer you a drink?
Oh, thank you. I’ll have a Zombie Blast.
Wonderful! Zar, please get our guest your specialty.
Hey, waiter, is this brain fragments in my cup??
Zar! You know A.M.'s not a zombie! Fetch her a new drink...WITHOUT the extras! Sorry about that A.M.! He gets so excited when we have guests, he forgets himself.
*Zar scuffles back in* It's clean this time?
Thank you Zar. Now that we're settled in, let's chat, shall we?
BK: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I was 14 when I first decided I wanted to write books, but 27 before I made the choice to do it as a career. I was always good at writing, always had a good imagination and found it easy to explore different worlds in my own mind, as well as see the opposite side of any argument, so I guess there wasn't any significant event that flicked the ‘writer switch’. I was just born to write and knew it was what I had to do.
BK: Please tell us a little bit about your current release...
It’s the fourth book in the series. This one goes a little deeper into the vampire world. There’s a lot less ‘romance’ and quite a bit more history and ‘steam’. Another layer of mystery is peeled back, and characters begin to reveal their true colors.
BK: What inspired this particular novel/book?
Mark of Betrayal is the continuation of everything we’ve loved from the beginning. Dark Secrets was only ever meant to be one book, but it grew so much, all the characters suddenly having these backstories and agendas, that I was forced to elaborate and extend the ‘one book’ to a series of 6.
BK: How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre?
Most vampire stories focus on the bite, the blood, possibly even the sensual part of being a vampire. My book is a love story with a vampire in it, not really a vampire story. And I pride myself on addressing common issues with teens while also pointing out opposite arguments for what is perceived to be right and wrong. Also, I avoid vampire books like the plague, so as not to accidentally copy anything. If Dark Secrets turns out being different to other books in this genre, that’s just a giant bonus.
BK: What was the hardest thing about writing this story?
The plot twists. I literally spent 3 days flat on my back, with a pillow over my head, trying to weave the story. It’s very confusing figuring out who knows what, and when they know it.
BK: Which character was your favorite to write for in this story? Why?
Jason!! I love Jason. He’s so sweet and so complex. I loved every scene with him in it. But it was hard to keep him honorable, when all I wanted was to make him have a happy ending with the girl he loves. I think he deserves that.
BK: Tell us about the one scene you had the most fun writing…
I enjoyed the ‘hot’ scene. Can't discuss it because of spoilers, though. But I tend to really enjoy writing arguments. The one between Ara and Arthur at the beginning of the book was fun. But all their conversations were actually fun to write. I think I just enjoyed writing the whole book.
BK: Will this become a series? If so, what inspired it to be a series? OR If it is a series, what inspired it to become a series?
My love for elaboration inspired this to become a series.
BK: Now for a little fun, and into your everyday life, What is a day in your life like?
I wake to a knock on the door at 7 am, from the boy I drive to school each day. I groan, whine, climb out of bed and see that my kids are all having breakfast and getting ready. Off to school, do puzzles in kindy for a bit then go for a walk while listening to music, come home, rehydrate, eat, drink coffee then sit down to write and answer emails and Facebook posts. 3 pm comes around, I pick up the boys, write until dinner, then put them all to bed and write again or watch TVD, Arrow or Walking Dead, depending on the day.
BK: What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Read, dance or watch movies.
BK: What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?
I am incredibly shy.
BK: What do you like to read? Who is your favorite author?
My favorite author is usually whomever I'm reading at the time, but I do really look up to Stephen King and his tell-it-as-it-is attitude. I like to read books from the paranormal romance sections, spooky sections and colorful children’s books with my boys.
BK: What is one piece of advice you can give to aspiring writers/authors?
Just keep writing, writing, writing. You have to write bad to write good. The more you do it, the better you get. And get an agent before seeking a publisher. They will save you a lot of heartache.
BK: What are you currently working on?
Book 5 of Dark Secrets.
BK: Where can readers connect with you?
Facebook and Twitter, though I'm hardly ever on Twitter anymore. I really just don't ‘get’ Twitter. But if you post or comment on Facebook, I always answer.
Thank you so much for chatting today A.M.! It was so much fun delving into your brain. *Zar Drools*. No, Zar! I didn't mean that literally!
A. M. Hudson loves her life in Australia and, despite wishing it would snow at Christmas, couldn't imagine living anywhere else in the world.
She fell in love with her husband at just sixteen, and since then, has added three boys to the mix.
A. M. prides herself on writing the shocking, the depthy and the highly-emotional subjects other writers steer away from. She addresses the uncomfortable with conviction and enjoys taking stories down dark paths.
Some of her heroes are Stephen King, Walt Disney, Hamish and Andy, Muse and 30 Seconds to Mars, and with influences like these, one can only imagine what stories will unfold.
When she's not writing, A. M. reads books, watches movies and chats with fans on Facebook.
Dark Secrets Series, Book Four
A. M. Hudson
Genre: Paranormal romance
Word Count: 170, 000
A love so strong fire and torture could not break it. A heart so pure neither death nor hate could taint it. But, left alone in a world of lies and secrets, Ara will find herself down the road of treachery, walking very dangerous ground, while those closest to her fight to keep her safe from dangers unseen.
The boundaries between friends and enemies will blur, and the return of an old friend will see Ara crossing a line she can never return from.
Excerpt of Mark of Betrayal
(#4 Dark Secrets series)
By A. M. Hudson
He took my hand and drew me closer, sliding his cool touch down my spine and back up again, lifting my dress, taking it over my head. I watched it fall to the floor in the dark, tucking my elbows into my bare chest—not quite ready to let him see.
“You’re so tiny. Such a fragile little thing.” He cupped his hand to the side of my face, gently moving my wrists away from my chest. “Don't be scared, Amara. I won't hurt you.”
“I'm not scared,” I whispered in a shaky breath. “It’s just…it just feels so wrong.”
“I know.” He slid his fingers down my face, over my neck and cupped my hips. “Let’s just do this quickly, okay. Lay down.”
My knees trembled until I felt the ground beneath them—felt the aged blood and sweat these floorboards had soaked up since this whole thing began. And Arthur lowered himself, too, kneeling before me, making the hairs along my neck prickle under his smooth touch. He traced every inch of my spine, slowly wrapping me up in his arms; I felt small but safe, cradled into his chest.
“You smell like strawberries,” he said, kissing my neck; his lips were so warm, so wet and so foreign, his breath hot down the curve of my tight shoulder—his teeth grazing the flesh above my artery. And it felt nice, but wrong; this was Arthur—not David, not even Jason; he was my husband’s uncle—a man I looked up to. A man I cared about, but never wanted to be with this way. I closed my eyes, praying for strength.
“It’s time,” he whispered in my ear, and though my stomach was tight and my body so stiff I could hardly swallow, I managed to roll myself back, restraining my tears, focusing on the chill of the cold ground on my tailbone, up each vertebra in my spine and across my shoulders. As I lay flat, the world around me felt wider, larger, like there was suddenly more space, or like the roof I’d seen a thousand times before, laying right here, usually pinned by a knight, seemed to sit miles up in the sky.
My chest lifted, my ribs expanding around the fear and hesitation inside me. “What are you looking at?” I asked Arthur.
He studied my thigh, running his hand along it so slowly I held my breath. “You’re just so young, Amara—too young.”
“Precisely.” He dropped his hand, his head following. “I'm afraid what this will do to you.”
“I’ve been through worse.”
He laughed, but I couldn't really see his smile; his face was shadowed by the darkness. He could see me, though—his perfect vampire vision making him privilege to all the things I would never have showed him. I bit my lip when his cool touch parted my legs at the knees, and he knelt between them, his bare hip brushing the inside of my thigh.
“Oh, God,” I said to myself.
“Just don't look.” He wiped his thumb over my eyelid. “Just close your eyes.”
“I…I can't,” I said, looking up at him, and I couldn't help it, I cried.
He clicked his tongue, sinking back on his heels. “Amara.”
“I'm okay. I'm…I'm okay.” I let my knees fall softly together.
“You’re not okay.”
I nodded. “I am.”
“We can do this another time if you’re not ready.”
I shook my head. “It needs to be now.”
He moistened his lips, breathing out through his nose, his eyes square with hesitation. “Okay. Just…just imagine I'm him.”
I nodded, tangling my fingers in my hair when he reached for the rim of my underwear.
“Lift your hips. We won't get far with these in the way.”
I shut my eyes again, feeling the lace slip past my thighs, over my knees and away from my ankles. And we were naked. Together. My legs completely open; Arthur between them. He slid his hands under my bottom and pulled me forward so the harder part of him brushed softly against the warmest part of me.
I looked into his eyes, seeing the fear and concern I was feeling, too. One movement, one millimetre and he’d be in me—and with just a few strokes, all this would be over. Providing I actually fell pregnant.
“I'm just going to check you before I put myself in you—make sure you’re wet.”
“Wai—?” My toes curled over and I jumped when he placed a cold finger just inside me, then pulled it away.
“You’re not ready. It’ll hurt if you’re dry.”
All I could feel was a flood of adrenaline in my arms, making them weak, unattached, disturbed by the tension and memory of his finger inside me, and as soon as that feeling reached my heart, I broke apart into a mess of short, hiccupping sobs.
Don't forget to leave a comment and include your email for a chance to win a copy of ALL 4 of the books in the Dark Secrets Series by A.M. Hudson! I'll draw a winner next week! Good Luck :)