Hi Zoe and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Nightshade’s Bite!
So excited to pop by!
Please summarize the book a la Twitter style for the readers here:
Kiera’s not good at resisting temptation. So what if vampires always bite when they’re turned on? And so what if one drop of blood from the werewolf she just rescued will kill her? What’s life without a little risk?
Please share the opening lines of this book:
“There’s a new hunt underway.”
“Now?” Every time the Werewolf Termination Squad went after someone, the timing sucked. Kiera Rossard adjusted her crepe Dior evening gown, the one she’d picked out two months ago for the event she was about to attend.
She sensed Finn Travers, her driver, bodyguard, and co- conspirator, watched her reaction in the SUV’s rearview mirror. “Who’re they after this time?”
Please share a few Fun facts about this book…
- Kiera’s not good at resisting temptation, even if one drop of his blood will kill her.
- Michael doesn’t like vampires. He kills them. At least he did until one Kiera rescues him.
- She’s an adrenaline junkie who saves werewolves in the middle of an interspecies war. Better believe that secret will get her executed by both sides.
- He’s the werewolf war general who’s hunted her kind for centuries and never thought twice until she saves his ass.
What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?
Michael: He should plot her death since she’s his enemy, a vampire, and he’s the war general in the fight against her kind. Only, she’s hot and mouthy. And she saved him. Staying near her a bit longer is irresistible.
Kiera: He’s an intelligent, fearless and focused fighter. And did she say his blood smells amazing? No biting because that’ll kill her.
Using just 5 words, how would you describe Hero and Heroine’s love affair?
Breathless, forbidden, dangerous, irresistible, and explosive.
The First Kiss…
He ducked his head and brushed his mouth lightly against hers. She inhaled sharply. But instead of stepping away like she should because this couldn’t happen… because this guy made her lose her mind, she melted into him, desperate for a taste. She grabbed a handful of his shirt to pull him to her.
He took the invitation. Desire ripped through her when his tongue slid across hers and lightly explored. His grip was powerful, his kisses soft and explorative. There was no fumbling as his lips took control.
Oh, God. He wasn’t stopping. Neither was she.
Giving herself freely into the surprise of the kiss, she allowed herself to relax, to enjoy the forbidden moment. Every hard angle of his body pressed into her in all the right places. She dropped her hands to his waist, fighting the urge to drop them so much lower.
What was she doing?
She pulled away and pushed his chest to put a few inches between them. “No. Whatever this is…I’m sorry. All my fault, I’m sure.”
“Erase it from your mind. It didn’t happen.” She touched her now-puffy lips with a finger.
“It happened.” His blue eyes remained focused on her
lips where she touched.
Oh my. How she wanted to do it again. And again. She
shoved the longing back into its box and locked it away for examination at another place and time far from here and now. She muttered, “I’m losing my mind.”
Without revealing too much, what is your favorite scene in the book?
He drank from the open bottle, chugging a third of it like a soda. “You here…what do you want from me?”
“I thought I was here for one thing, but now I don’t know why I’m here.” She reached up and pulled his hair free of its tie to touch the strands, which were soft yet thick, and ran to his mid-back.
The bottle paused mid-air, halfway to his mouth. His entire body tensed even more.
“When I thought I was dying, I regretted not doing this.” She combed her fingers through his dark hair.
He dropped the bottle, which hit the floor with a thud and slosh of liquid. The odor of liquor saturated the air. Neither of them looked down at the bottle. “You wanted to touch my hair?”
“There are a lot of reasons I deserve that you’re-a-freak look, but let me take in your enthrallment aura for a minute because it’s so powerful.” She raked her nails lightly along his scalp.
His blew out an uneven sigh, but she couldn’t interpret if this meant enjoyment, frustration, rejection, or something else. Her empathy ability failed to pick up his feelings, perhaps because she was on emotional overload herself.
He rasped out, “You should go.”
She yanked her hand away. “That must’ve seemed really weird. I’m…I’m sorry.” He didn’t want her, and she was here forcing him to allow her to touch his hair. “So sorry. How about we keep this between you and me?”
“My lips are sealed.”
“This has got to be enough for me…for us. I’m babbling. I blame it on whatever kicked-up magnetic attraction thing you have. It makes me crazy. I’m leaving.” Her heart was about to crack from embarrassment.
He caught her hand before she moved further away.
He dropped his head until his chin touched his chest. So soft she could barely hear, he whispered, “It’s not enough.”
The longing in the admission kicked up her heart rate. She could barely squeak out, “Not enough?”
“Kiera…” He glanced out the window over the moonlight- and snow-covered lawn. “I just finished plans for an attack on several vampire facilities, sentencing many of your kind to death. You’re supposed to be my enemy.” For the first time, confusion and torment met her in his gaze. “You weren’t supposed to be beautiful…or brave. You weren’t supposed to invade my mind every second of the goddamn day.”
He released the windowsill to cup his hand around her cheek in a light touch. He pressed his lips to her forehead. When she lifted her face to meet his soulful eyes, he angled her face upward, just right. Now her lips matched directly with his.
But he didn’t kiss her lips.
Was he waiting for something? Did he need an okay from her?
This torture…she might spontaneously explode simply from the not knowing what came next. Please, do something! “I’m tired of being lonely,” he said. “Somehow, you take
“I feel that, too.” She gripped the front of his shirt but
refused to be the one to make the first move, to release the angst and wildness clamoring to suck her into a vortex of forbidden action.
If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would be absolutely crucial to include?
A scene I’d love to see is the one where the hero, Michael, consults with another ancient werewolf to gain perspective on crushing on a vampire:
“Why are you here?” Blay asked. “Sixty-one years. Not a peep. Why now?”
Michael hung his head. “I’m sorry. For all I said long ago about you losing your mind when you mated a vampire and for being a shitty friend. I’m here because…” He tugged his hair back and released a long exhale. “Kiera Rossard.”
Blay tensed. “Hurt her and I’ll kill you. She’s a godsend for our people.”
“I don’t want to hurt her. Far from it.” He scrubbed a hand down his face. “Met her and she’s got me messed up. I’m feeling again. Ennui is gone.”
“Really?” Blay held up a flask. “You need a drink?”
“I think I do.”
Blay tossed the flask his way.
He unscrewed the cap and gulped the hard liquor. His
throat burned as the Scotch slid down. “Thanks.”
He threw the flask back and cleared his throat. Nerves twisted his gut. “I should’ve listened when your life went to hell. I felt betrayed when you…and a vampire. It shouldn’t have mattered. I should’ve helped you find your mate’s murderer.” Blay had always been the first in line to stand next to him against vamps or quick to defend him to others, right up until the moment he’d met the vampire he fell in love with. Then things got blurry for Blay. Michael had lost
trust in his loyalty and cut ties.
“When she died…I won’t lie:there are some rough days. I missed you, Michael.”
“I’m sorry. Jesus, I’m so sorry.”
“You’re here now. I’ll take it.” Blay stepped forward and slapped the flask back into Michael’s hand. “You’re going to need all of this, my friend. She’s wormed her way under your skin. You’re here because you’re chewing yourself from the inside out to deny it. I know that bitter hell. I mated her sister, who was over a hundred years younger than Kiera and far less complicated.”
“I thought you were insane to mate her.” It’s why they hadn’t spoken in so long.
“Insanity…love…they’re the same. I did lose my mind. I loved her with everything that I am. Still do, even though she’s gone.”
“I’m not interested in Kiera for…” The l-word caught in his throat. “No. That’s not why I’m here. I just can’t figure out her motives.”
“Not interested, huh? Sure. You tell yourself you don’t want her naked beneath you with your teeth buried deep in her shoulder to justify why you flew almost two thousand miles to ask me about a member of the species you’re at war with. You want to know how to deal with her wanting to bite you. Vampires and sex, you know.” He tilted his head to the side, gripped Michael’s arm, and tugged him toward the door. “Damn, it’s good to see you messed up over a girl. It’s good to see you being you again and not all tight-ass about species purity or an idiot about another war.”
Readers should read this book …
if you crave action-adventure starring vampires, werewolves, and other magical creatures with super steamy moments and a guaranteed HEA.
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned?
Current work in progress is a hot lycan trilogy about four blood-cursed brothers.
I have a vampire novel, The Way You Bite, releasing in two months and the next in this series, Bite Another Day, will be out in October as part of the Hearts Unleashed anthology.
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: $20 Amazon Gift Card
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Excerpt from Nightshade’s Bite:
The wolf’s scent was… Holy mother, he smelled incredible. This was nothing she’d ever run across before. Then again, she’d never met a warrior like this guy. He was enormous with a huge shoulder span and thick arms. His heavy thighs were encased in dark pants, and big boots covered his feet. But it was his face that got her attention. Intelligent ice-blue eyes glared threat from beneath long, dark, wet hair. Bottom line, the fact he seemed unconcerned about his state of restraint while a new vampire approached made sense. He intimidated with his sheer presence alone.
She asked, “What are you doing out here? Alone… in Paris, which tonight is a vampire mecca with Viktor in town?”
He squinted. Blood mixed with rain dribbled from his forehead to his nose, but he didn’t wipe it away—as if the red trickle was a badge of honor. He remained laser-focused on her as his newest threat. Even trapped, he’d fight, brutal to his last breath.
“I’m here to help you,” she announced.
“You’re a vampire, just like them.” His rough, low- timbre accusation revealed a foreign accent she couldn’t place.
“Not arguing that. I’m going to get you out of here.”
“As if I believe anything from a leech wearing a mask.” The stubbornness of his expression beneath at least day-old facial scruff represented six and a half feet of determination that was about to become a pain in her ass.
She pointed at his skewers. “How would you suggest I get those out? We could—”
“Stay away from me.” He raised his knife in a clear I’ll- rip-you-to-shreds-if-you-touch-me message. Interesting he preferred a knife, which suggested he was an up-close fighter. That required a higher level of skill and made any fight personal. Most younger wolves favored distance weapons like guns.
“I’m going to have to get personal to get those out of you.” The aroma of his blood tickled her nostrils. She stumbled backward a few steps when her mind wobbled, and blood craze exploded inside her head. Her fangs tingled with desire to latch onto his neck and taste the red vintage pounding through his veins.
Oh, hell no. His blood is toxic.
Call it evolution or a kick-ass defense mechanism. Either way, werewolf blood toxicity guaranteed her kind wouldn’t feed from them. Usually, the smell warned a vampire off. It never called to a vampire.
Until now, apparently.
He broke off the front portion of each harpoon and pushed forward to unimpale himself. Witnessing the sheer strength necessary to break one of the metal spikes shot a shiver of warning through her. Not a single grunt of complaint came from him. Amazing he didn’t have broken bones, or maybe he did.
He dropped the metal and stilled. His gaze dipped to her shoulder and returned to her face, an obvious show to alert her he’d identified her injury—her point of weakness. This hesitation before attack was calculated, which she found far more intimidating than an overt assault. Tension layered the air between them.
Few beings awed her, but this guy…wow.
No, he’s most certainly isn’t a wow. He wants to attack. This awe is blood craving talking. And it was suicidal.
Shaking herself out of her daze, she slammed the lid closed on blood fixation. “I don’t want to fight with you. Let’s get out of here.”
“Go to hell.” He kept his knife ready.
Time to use her gift of reading emotions. Some might think it was a vampire-enhanced sense. She considered it magical since this witchy-type power was not inherent to being vampire.
She opened up her mind to him.
Mostly, he felt confusion. He wasn’t sure what to make of her.
Her head buzzed. A flutter started in her stomach and spread outward. How unusual. She found him fascinating? Attractive? After walking the earth for three hundred seventy years, new experiences were rare. Her curiosity about him went beyond blood craving. She wanted to know everything.
He reminded her of the wolves in her youth, not the ones who raised her—they hadn’t been warriors—but the wolves trained as fighters. Only the strongest and most cunning had survived the Emancipation War two hundred years ago, which put an end to wolf enslavement.
A pencil-sized dart that she hadn’t noticed until now stuck out of his shoulder. She jumped forward and plucked it out.
He slapped his hand over where the dart had been and backed away from her, knife raised defensively.
Finn shot forward, gun raised.
“Hold,” she ordered Finn. She yanked off the mask. “I’m not your enemy. I’m even letting you see what I look like.”
She wanted him to trust her.
Oh, hell, she wanted him to see her.
Wariness lingered on his face. “You’re a vampire. All of
you are my enemy.” His deep voice sneered contempt. “And you’re a female.”
“I don’t get how me being female makes me any worse of an enemy than any other vampire. If that’s chauvinism, then we’ll chat about it, but later. I get the vampire hate. No doubt more than a few of my kind have been real bastards to you.” She held up the dart. “They drugged you. Removing it might stop it from delivering any more sedative.”
“What type of drug?”
“Not sure. Something guaranteed to knock you on your ass for hours. They probably hoped it’d work a bit faster. Interesting that it didn’t. We need to get you out of here before you collapse. Do you need help?” She reached out.
“Don’t touch me.” He held his knife in ready stance.
“Fine. I prefer you walk on your own to the car. It’s messy if you bleed on me. I can’t smell like werewolf blood tonight. I could carry you if I had to, but it’s such a hassle. Don’t give me the skeptical eyebrow. I could do it.” The rain had slowed to a spitting drizzle. She wiped moisture from her face. “I despise being wet in clothes.”
“I’m not going anywhere with a leech.”
A smart person would back away from an injured werewolf who wielded a knife and preferred to be on his own. She slowed her breathing and focused inward, mentally reaching out to get a handle on his emotions once more. He wouldn’t kill her. Hurt her, maybe. This was bluster to hide his frustration. And fascination. There was a lot of revulsion at her being a vampire, but this was interlaced with interest. He’d hate her if he found out she could tell he thought her a curiosity.
She took two steps forward, until the knife he held slightly indented the skin just above her left breast. The flutter beneath its point had nothing to do with fear.
She direct-eyed him and bit back a chuckle at the shock on his face. “Are you going to sit here bleeding with a buttload of vamps on their way here?”
“Better that than trust you.”
“I swear I’m here to help you.” She accentuated each word with a poke of her finger into his hard chest, each jab jiggling the chains around his neck supporting an ornate protective amulet and an ancient-looking beaded necklace. Someone less solid would’ve rocked backward a bit at the strength of each contact.
His eyes widened with a you’re-crazy stare. She got that a lot from wolves.
She poked him one more time with her forefinger. “I just saved your life. I’m not about to waste that work by letting you get caught. I also got a nice slice in my shoulder. Instead of all this hate, I’m due a big thank-you.”
He clamped his lips shut.
“I’ll give you a choice,” she said. “Come with me, and I’ll get you out of Paris. Or stay. Face the fifty Squad vamps on their way in—” She glanced at Finn.
Finn checked his watch. “Seven minutes.”
Excerpts. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Kiera Rossard’s secret life just got complicated. When not being a vampire aristocrat she’s leader of the Nightshade League, a rebel vampire society that rescues werewolves during the interspecies war. Everyone wants her dead—vampires and the werewolves who don’t know her secret. Starting with the wolf she just saved—Michael Durand, the most vicious killer of her kind in existence. Something about the notorious werewolf sets her blood on fire.
She’s not good at resisting temptation. So what if vampires always bite when they’re turned on? And so what if one drop of his blood will kill her? What’s life without a little risk?
Michael doesn’t like vampires. At all. But now he’s losing his mind over the dark desire Kiera stirs in him. He should plot her death. Only, she’s hot and mouthy. Staying near her a bit longer is irresistible. When unforgiving forces hone in on her secret identity, he must decide between duty to his people and protecting her. But if he stays, who will protect her from him?
(Might be book 2 in a series, but this entirely stands by itself without need to read the one before it. It’s got hot moments…you’ve been warned. Guaranteed HEA.)
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Meet the Author:
Award winning author Zoe Forward is a hopeless romantic who can’t decide between paranormal and contemporary romance. So, she writes both. Her novels have won numerous awards including the Prism, Readers’ Choice Heart of Excellence, Golden Quill, Carolyn Readers Choice Award, and the Booksellers’ Best Award.
When she’s not typing at her laptop, she’s cheering her son on at baseball, chasing after the toddler or cleaning up the newest pet mess from the menagerie that occupies her house. She’s a board-certified veterinarian. You can ask her about your pet’s problem, but be warned she’s into integrative medicine so her answer might involve treatments you’ve never heard of.
She’s madly in love with her globe trotting conservation ecologist husband and she’s happiest when he returns to their home base.
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