I am excited to welcome Lauren Dane, who is celebrating the release of her last Brown Family novel, Drawn Together. If you’re as sadden by this fact as I am, then don’t worry. Lauren tells us we’ll be seeing more of the Browns in the future, just not as the center of attention. *grin*
Beauty is more than skin-deep…
Tattoo artist Raven Smith is blunt and hard, broken and jaded, dark and beautiful. While she doesn’t hide her painful past, she does keep a wall around her heart. She’s free sexually—but no one gets to the real Raven beneath the prickly exterior.
With a voice like smoke, Jonah Warner is a smooth-talking, highly successful attorney, with a body that should never be hidden by a suit. He’s the kind of man who never takes no for an answer and always gets what he wants. And what he wants is Raven. She’s a survivor, and he finds that incredibly alluring.
Jonah gets under her skin in a way Raven has never experienced. He makes her break all her rules—including her no-monogamy rule.
But when a figure from Raven’s past shows up at the tattoo parlor and drops a bomb into her life, their relationship will face the ultimate challenge…
Click here to read an excerpt.
Make sure you stick around to the end. We’re giving away a signed copy of Laid Bare.
Literary Escapism: For those of my readers unfamiliar with the Brown Family series, can you give us a brief look at the various couples we’ve met so far and what readers can look forward to with Raven and Jonah? Something we haven’t seen yet?
Lauren Dane: In Laid Bare you’ve got a ménage – Erin (a former rock star and bass player), Todd and Ben, then Elise and Brody (Erin and Adrian’s big brother who owns a tattoo shop) in Coming Undone, Ben’s brother Andrew and family friend Ella in Inside Out, Adrian (who’s a rock star) and Gillian in Never Enough. Laid Open is a digital only novella featuring Erin, Todd and Ben and then Drawn Together which features Raven and Jonah.
There’s quite a few of them so an easy way to find out more is to head on over to my website: www.laurendane.com and under the “Brown Family Novels” http://www.laurendane.com/books/brown-family/they can see the book pages for each of the books (excerpts too!)
Drawn Together is the story of Raven Smith and Jonah Warner. Over the Brown Family series we’ve seen lots of prickly behavior from her and had a few glimpses of her softer side but she’s always had this backstory – this reason she acts the way she does and I didn’t want to tell her story until I had the right match for her.
As it happens, Jonah Warner, uber alpha, came along at just the right time and I was so excited to write this book and give her the HEA she needed.
She doesn’t totally change because of love. She’s still Raven. But Jonah gets her and he’s worth opening up for. And he’s sort of pushy and bossy and so totally patient she can’t resist. She finds herself breaking all her personal rules for him and sort of liking it too.
It’s a love story on a few levels, not just between Raven and Jonah, but also between these characters and their friends and family too, which is the heart of this series. Oh and smoking hot sexytimes too ;)
Literary Escapism: Raven has been a part of the Brown Family, and in every book, since Laid Bare. What was it about her that drew you to her and want to tell her story? Why the wait to see Raven get her own HEA?
Lauren Dane: I’ve been waiting to write Raven’s story for several years now so on one hand, it was a lot of fun to write. On the other hand, it was a story I really wanted to do right and the pacing and reveal of her story and the way she fell for Jonah had to be perfect so it was a slower and more painstaking process than other books can be. I didn’t want to do it until I was sure she was ready for her HEA and I wanted to have the right story for her.
It’s not just “Oh I sold 3 books so she’s up next better come up with something.” When you have a character who’s been part of a long time series who has been perceived over and over through other people’s perspectives, it’s absolutely necessary to give her the story she needs. I wasn’t going to do it until that happened.
In the end, I am so thrilled with the way it turned out – I think I did Raven and her HEA with Jonah justice and I hope readers agree.
Literary Escapism: Since starting the Brown Family, we’ve also had a chance to meet a group of friends with close ties and it seems that Drawn Together brings these two groups even closer. Will we get to continue seeing the Brown Family and the Delicious Girls interact in the future? Is there anyone associated with either group that is demanding a little attention?
Lauren Dane: This part of the series is over. I’ve written books for everyone and I don’t want to drag it out and have readers thinking, “She should have ended this three books ago.” But there’s a whole new generation of Brown/Keenan/Copelands coming up as well as Jonah’s brothers so we haven’t seen the last of these characters.
Literary Escapism: In Tart, we were introduced to the Sweet Hollow Ranch boys – will we get to see more of them, and if so, when? Is it wrong that I’m hoping for another spinoff featuring this delectable group of men?
Lauren Dane: Yes you will! The Hurley Boys series, starting with The Best Kind of Trouble, will be out from HQN in mass market paperback in September of 2014. That’s Paddy’s story. Ezra’s story will follow in December 2014 and the series will wrap up with Vaughan’s book in March of 2015. I’m writing Best Kind of Trouble right now!
Literary Escapism: Wild Darkness, the next Bound By Magick novel, comes out in November. What was it about this world that made you want to share it with everyone?
Lauren Dane: This is a world I’ve written in some way or another since 2006 when I started my Cascadia Wolves books. I love that the various series have gone on over a course of years and different paranormal communities (though man, it’s a HUGE encyclopedia at this point to keep track of timelines, characters and all that stuff). It’s not too very different from a contemporary, you just add Others and the social issues I think could very well happen if people woke up one day and found out they lived next door to a witch or a cat shifter or whatever.
Literary Escapism: Can you introduce us to a few of the side characters that we’ll be meeting in Wild Darkness or who will play an important role to/for Helena and Faine? Was there any character that didn’t make as big of an impact on the story that you thought they would? Was there a character who stayed on the page longer than you thought they would?
Lauren Dane: Wild Darkness is the final book in the Bound By Magick series and it’s Helena and Faine’s story! The stakes are pretty high as the anti-Other groups begin to clash with Others worldwide. The government is dealing with some important legislation that would rescind basic civil rights from the Others.
So as Senator Toshio Sato works within the law to stop these horrible bills (he’s got a secondary romance in the book too), Helena is doing all she can to protect the Others working to defend themselves. She and Faine are both warriors so they’ve got a heavy duty attraction, but once they act on it, it’s pretty hot and heavy, even as everything they hold dear is threatened.
Lots of action in this one!
Originally I thought it would be Helena and Tosh’s book, but as I was writing Chaos Burning and Going Under, I knew Faine was right for Helena. He pushed his way onto the page and I’m glad he did. I think he and Helena are perfect for one another.
Literary Escapism: What was it about the fantasy genre that drew you to write in it? Was there a certain book that captured your imagination and lead you to think you could do it or did it come to you naturally?
Lauren Dane: Paranormals you mean? I like the ability to tweak the world. I can make it up from whole cloth like I have in my futuristics, or to make changes – big or small- to a contemporary world. I love being in charge of everything (yes, I am a control freak)
Literary Escapism: For my readers unfamiliar with your work, what would you say to convince them to pick up one of your numerous books? Which book/series would you suggest a new reader start with?
Lauren Dane: Because I write across genres and heat levels it’s really going to depend on what that individual reader likes. If you like gritty urban fantasy with a romantic sub plot, plenty of action and blood – my Goddess books – Goddess With a Blade and Blade to the Keep (Dec 9, 2013). Sexy contemporaries? The Brown Family Novels (Laid Bare). Sweeter small town contemps but still sexy? My Chase Brothers books (Giving Chase). Paranormal romance with lots of action? Bound By Magic (Heart of Darkness).
Literary Escapism: When you’re not writing, what are you reading? Have you found an author that’s new to you or one that the rest of the world really needs to find? Is there a certain niche in the fantasy genre that you prefer to escape to? If so, why that one or if not, why not?
Lauren Dane: I read a lot of urban fantasy – some of my loves are Seanan McGuire’s October Daye books, Jaye Wells’ Sabina Kane books (cannot wait for her new series!), I love Mira Grant’s stuff (Feed is one of my all time favorite books) and she’s got a new series starting that I’m super excited about (Grant is also Seanan McGuire). I LOVE Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock books (and her Rogue Mage books are fantastic too), Jennifer Estep’s Gin Blanco books, Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires.
I also read a lot of romance and some horror as well.
Literary Escapism: Which authors do you read and/or think “Damn! I wish I had thought of that”?
Lauren Dane: Oh it happens all the time. There are some wonderfully talented people writing books. I read William Gibson and he blows me away. Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter angels are so fantastic. Mira Grant’s take on zombies is super fun and sharp. Faith Hunter’s Seraphs knock my socks off.
The list goes on and on. Every time someone takes a subject and truly does something marvelous with it I’m in love.
Meet Lauren Dane!
The story goes like this — Seven years ago, Lauren Dane decided to quit her job and stay home with her brand new second child. As a result, she had lots of conversations in a sing-song voice but no real outlet for adult thoughts and words. While on bed-rest with her pregnancy with the tiny monster, Lauren had plenty of down time so her husband brought home a second hand laptop and she decided to “give that writing thing a serious go.”
Lauren had no idea how fabulously wonderful it would feel to actually make a go of her writing and she’s thankful every day people actually want to read what she writes! She’s well aware of her good fortune and loves every moment of it, even when she has to edit and put Barbie’s dresses back on over and over again. She still hasn’t managed to figure out how to shut out the sound of Wizards of Waverly Place so she can write a love scene, though.
Bound By Magick
Thank you Lauren for taking the time to stop by Literary Escapism!
Lauren is giving away a signed copy of Laid Bare. To enter, all you have to do is answer this one question: Which one of Lauren’s series would you start with or recommend to someone else and why? Urban fantasy w/romance Goddess With a Blade, Sexy contemp Laid Bare, sweeter contemp Giving Chase, or paranormal romance Heart of Darkness. Remember, you must answer the question in order to be entered.
Even though I’m not giving the additional entries any more, you can still help support the author by sharing their article, and this contest, on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, or anywhere you can. After all, the more people who are aware of this fabulous author ensures we get more fabulous stories.
The winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.
The contest will stay open until October 15th at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from this snazzy plug-in that I have.