"I am ready to meet my maker. Whether my maker is prepared to meet me is another matter."
-Winston Churchill

Monday, June 2, 2014

Interview with Carla Susan Smith - A Vampire's Promise Book Tour & Giveaway

A Vampire’s Promise

The Vampire’s Promise Series
Book One
Carla Susan Smith

Welcome to IAB. I'm so glad you could stop in today to chat. May I offer you a beverage? (Please choose Vampire Wine, Witches Brew, Zombie Blast, or Magic Margarita)
Oh, Vampire Wine of course!

Now that we are settled in, let's get to know you better.

BK: Looking out the nearest window, describe the scene you see.
Crows walking across my front yard. Have you ever noticed how crows always seem to travel in threes? (You’re going to be looking - and counting - from now on, right?) I don’t know why, but I love crows. They’re very intelligent birds, and always look to me like they know something we don’t … but should.

BK: Tell us about your office. Is it a mess like mine, or is everything in its place?
Hah! I think the best description is “organized chaos”. The amazing thing is I kind of sort of know where to find most anything I’m looking for.

BK: What is a must-have, such as coffee or a favorite pen, that you need to write?
It’s a small plastic toy that my husband gave to me. An orange stegosaurus - Steggie - that sits on my laptop as I write.

BK: Do you like to write in silence, or do you need music or background noise?
Mostly silence because I get distracted too easily. The one time I wrote with music playing I found I had incorporated song lyrics into my story! I think it’s my brain telling me I suck at multi-tasking.

BK: Tell us a bit about your hero/heroine, and their development.
I wanted Rowan to be the girlfriend we either wanted to be, or wished we had. She’s fiercely loyal, non-judgmental and has a wicked sense of humor. I hope my readers will relate to her (understand and sympathize with her anxieties!) as she deals with the unexpected twists in her life. As for Gabriel, well, let’s just say he’s a gorgeous gift of seduction waiting to be unwrapped, but there’s definitely more to him than meets the eye.

BK: As a writer myself, I'm always curious how other writers get through stumble blocks. When you find a story not flowing, or a character trying to fight you, how do you correct it?
I close my laptop and get drunk! No, seriously if I’m stuck or something just isn’t flowing, then the best thing for me to do is to walk away from it or else I’m liable to delete the entire novel out of frustration. When I can go back and read everything with a new perspective - usually the next day - then there’s a good chance I can fix whatever I was having a problem with. But there are times when I have to say “Carla, this is absolute crap.” The only solution then is the delete key.

BK: Using the letters of your first name as an acronym, describe your book...
Oh, that’s hard, and right now I’m wishing my name was something other than Carla. Um… how about Compellingly Addictive Romantic Literary Appeal?
Too pretentious? Guess I should be thankful my parents didn’t give me a name that was ten letters long!

BK: How did your writing journey begin?
It was all because of a really bad romance novel doing the rounds in the office where I worked. I told my BFF that I could write something better, and she dared me to do just that. Never one to back down from a challenge, I wrote three chapters that night, brought them into work where they promptly got passed around before being returned to me at the end of the day with “Okay, what happens next?” scrawled in the margin. In the end I wrote a whopping “corsets & carriages” saga that was over 250 thousand words - and I still have it!

BK: Using the letters from the word, Summer, how would friends and family describe you?
Hahaha! I learned a long time ago not to put words in the mouths of those nearest and dearest to me. It can lead to all sorts of trouble!

BK: What is the craziest thing you've ever written about, whether it got published or not?
A story about gun-toting hedgehogs! (I’d just read ‘Watership Down’)

BK: Tell us one thing you've done in life, that readers would be most surprised to know.
I did a breakfast cereal commercial for English TV when I was about eight years old, and I hated every minute of it. Thank God my parents never made me do another one.

BK: What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m currently working on a third book for the Vampire’s Promise series (which I never thought was a series until my editor told me it was) and while I have ideas for other paranormal novels, I may just see where Rowan and Gabriel decide to take me. I have the feeling it’s going to be a great ride.

This or That...

Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi

Night Owl or Early Bird? Sadly my Night Owl has morphed into an Early Bird!

Fantasy or Mystery? Ooooh, definitely fantasy

Pen/Paper or Computer? Love the romance of pen & paper, but gotta accept the practicality of the computer.

Pizza or Burger? Both - but not at the same time!

Rock or Country? I have to choose? Aw, c’mon - can’t I love Hinder and Garth Brooks at the same time?

Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla ‘cause you can add so much more to it!

Beach or Mountains? Beach - for the sea not the sand.

Thank you so much for having us as one of your stops today. It has been great getting to know more about you and your book, and hope you will come back when the next release is out (*hinthint*)

Thank you for allowing me to introduce myself, and my work to you. It’s been great and I would love to come back.

Wishing you much success!

BK Walker


Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: eKensington

Date of Publication: June 5th 2014

ISBN: 978-1-60183-289-4

Number of pages: 271
Word Count: 92,500

Book Description:

Trust Your Instincts

Rowan Harper is nothing but a smart-mouthed bookstore clerk with a crappy love life on the night she walks into Rosie’s Bar. Most of the drama in her life is borrowed from her best friend’s adventures. But when she meets Gabriel—tall and movie star gorgeous—everything changes. Never mind that she turns down the drink he offers, or that he brims with secrets she can’t begin to guess at. He ignites a desire in her she never suspected—and shows a fascination with her she can’t explain.

He has no family, no job, no bank account; he knows where she lives and her favorite flower. An aura of mystery cloaks him, even as Rowan grasps for facts, even as she fears an answer that could destroy her happiness. Gabriel can guide her through a wonderland of new sensations. But only if Rowan trusts him enough to follow…

Winner of the OKRWA “Finally a Bride” contest.


I don’t want you to leave,” I told him, my voice a barely audible, husky whisper.
The shadow in his eyes vanished, replaced by something else. Whether it was relief or hope, I couldn’t say.
“Are you sure?” he murmured, taking a step toward me. “I need you to be certain that this – that I – am what you want.”
I had the sense that he was asking me something that went deeper, was more meaningful, but my brain had been through enough for one night. My ability to search for hidden meanings was temporarily lost, and it was more than ready to hitch a ride to Clueless Land. I wasn’t sure about anything, but I trusted my instincts. And they told me this was right. I belonged with Gabriel.
“The only things you can be certain about are death and taxes,” I said, giving him a wry grin, “but if you’re asking me to take a chance, then yes, I will – only,” I paused, “why would you think I wouldn’t want you?” He might not be able to pick up on every emotion I was throwing his way, but surely he could still read how I felt about him?
“Because I wonder,” he said, taking my hand, “if you went back to the very beginning, would you have come searching for me again?”
The silence between us was deafening, and the feeling of déjà vu returned. Only it didn’t feel so strange this time. Whatever Gabriel was referring to was hidden somewhere inside that feeling.
“I wish I knew what you were talking about,” I told him, “because I think it’s important, but I have to tell you that right now you’re making absolutely no sense.” Clueless Land was rapidly expanding into the continent of the Completely Lost in the Dark.
“You need to know the truth about me, Rowan, what I am -”
“No, I don’t, not right now.” I held up my hand and stopped him. I was balanced on a razor-thin wire, and it took all I had not to fall off. “There’s only one issue that’s important right now, and I need you to be truthful with me.”
“Of course, ask me anything.”
“Wife, girlfriend, or significant other?”
The sudden, utter confusion on his face made me want to laugh aloud.
“I don’t understand.”
“Do you have one?”
Gabriel shook his head of glorious white hair. “No, of course not.”
He looked hurt that I was questioning his integrity. “Rowan, I’ve not wanted another woman since the first time I saw you. I never have.”
“That’s good to know,” I whispered.
He let go of my hand and clutched his forehead as though he’d just been afflicted with a brain freeze. Pursing his lips, he blew out a breath. For all intents and purposes, he looked like a man who desperately wanted to speak but was afraid his words would be the wrong ones.
Welcome to the club.
I didn’t want to waste any more time in pointless conversation. It would be an exercise in futility that accomplished nothing. What was about to happen between us right here, right now, was not going to be achieved with words. Unless they were all single syllables used for instructional purposes along with some heavy-duty physical contact. My hands literally itched to get beneath his wet clothing and touch his body.
Something in my life, my luckless romantic aspirations, my failure to successfully seduce a man, had all been pushing me toward this moment. Gabriel was to be my first, perhaps my only lover. I don’t know how I knew this or what turn of fate’s cosmic wheel made it so, but it was true. I had known it eighty-seven nights ago on my front porch, and the conviction was even stronger now. I made it to the staircase before Gabriel’s voice stopped me.
“Give yourself to me, Rowan, and you will take no other.”
I don’t know if other girls have experienced such a declaration, but it didn’t surprise me coming from him. I was almost expecting it, even if I wasn’t completely sure I understood all the implications. Gabriel was telling me exactly what was going to happen. What his intentions were, just in case I hadn’t been paying attention.
I heard myself reply, saying the words that would change my life forever. I just had no idea to what extent.
“Then make me want no other.”

About the Author:

Carla Susan Smith owes her love of literature to her mother, who, after catching her pre-teen daughter reading by flashlight beneath the bed covers, calmly replaced the romance book she had “borrowed” with one that was far less risqué, and much more appropriate! Though she was encouraged to include different genres in her reading tastes, romance - paranormal romance in particular - has always been her first love.

Born and raised in England, she now calls South Carolina home, where she lives with her wonderfully supportive husband, awesome son, and a canine critique group (if tails aren’t wagging then the story isn’t working!) When not writing, she can usually be found in the kitchen trying out any recipe that calls for rhubarb, working on her latest tapestry project or playing catch-up with her reading list.

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