Fangtastic Friday – Interview with Elizabeth Amber

ElizabethAmberBooks

Please welcome Elizabeth Amber, Kensington Aphrodisia author of The Lords of Satyr series: Nicholas, Raine, Lyon, and Dominic.  You can’t miss these hot covers in the bookstore – trust me 

Romantic Times said this of Nicholas, The Lords of Satyr: “The leading man is the sexiest one this reader has seen in a long time!” Nicholas has won, placed, or finaled in 9 RWA regional awards, including the National Readers Choice Award. Lyon and Raine are both currently finalists for numerous RWA regional awards, including the 2009 Booksellers Best award and Passionate Ink’s Passionate Plume. All the satyr novels have received numerous five-star reviews, and are in multiple printings.   

ETS – Welcome to Embrace the Shadow’s blog!  Please tell us a little about yourself and how the satyr series got started. 

I studied Greco-Roman art history in college, and then updated the mythology to create The Lords of Satyr. This is a family of half-satyr half-human men who are driven to observe carnal rituals in their ancestral Italian vineyard, where they also guard ancient secrets. A deathbed decree sends them on a quest for endangered brides in Rome, Paris, and Venice.

There was actually a blight that nearly destroyed all of Europe’s grapevines and the entire wine industry in the 1800s. That comes into play because this threat has will have dire repercussions for the satyr brothers and their families. 

ETS – Those covers of yours…holy %$&*…can I have a serving of Raine with a side of Nicholas, please?  Covers are the first thing that grabs a reader’s attention.  What did you think when you saw your covers for the first time?  Did you collaborate with the artist and tell them what you wanted, or were you pleasantly surprised? 

Although I loved the Nicholas cover immediately, I admit I was a little shocked. It’s gorgeous, sexy, and classy, and gave the series a boost right off the bat. Kensington made sure it got seen in bookstores and things took off well from there for the series.  I’ve heard from many readers asking who the cover models are and jokingly pleading for them to “drop their drapes.”  I think the mystery of what’s under there is more intriguing than seeing the real thing would be.  (Alas, the story of my love life. :o) Nicholas won in the Houston RWA’s Judge A Book By Its Cover contest in 2008.  In 2009, Lyon won and Raine finaled in the contest. 

ETS – Does size really matter? 

Trade books being larger than mass market paperbacks, I assume you mean?  LOL  Kensington publishes the Aphrodisia erotic line in trade book format, which means they’re a little larger than mass market size.  Maybe this is to showcase the hunks on the covers? 

ETS – Uh, yeah…that’s what I meant.  🙂 Speaking of size, we might as well move on to quantity.  There’s an interesting snippet of Raine’s book on your website.  Let’s take a little peek… 

Though he wanted to turn away, he forced himself to look. To see himself for the half-beast, half-Human he was. To see the huge vein-roped man-penis jutting from his dark thatch, its blood-purpled head straining in search of quim. And to see its twin, a second ruddy penis angling high from his pelvis a few finger spans above it. 

I admit I had to read it twice before I realized the three words that tripped my mind into numbness.  SECOND RUDDY PENIS.  I’ve been dying for this interview so I could ask you…say what?  Where did you come up with the idea? 

This aspect has gotten more attention than I ever expected, but it helped spread buzz about the series initially and then things grew from there once readers enjoyed the books and told others.

Since satyrs are the carnal followers of the Roman wine god Bacchus, I couldn’t just make them good lovers. They had to be GREAT lovers guided by unusually strong sex drives. During a wine-related ritual that takes place in their Tuscan vineyard, they change physically (under those drapes). They’re all very inventive when it comes to lovemaking, but all the sex scenes evolve organically from their characters and the plots. 

In this scene from Raine, he’s determined not to have sex with a woman he desires (Jordan) because he refuses to fall in love. Raised in a Human family, who turned him out when they discovered he was satyr, and rejected by a Human ex-wife, he has been wounded by those he has loved in the past.

 ETS – Most writers are avid readers.  Who are your auto-buys and what authors did you grow up reading? 

I grew up reading Victoria Holt, Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and Rosemary Rogers.  Although, I don’t have auto-buy authors, some of the many I enjoy are LaVyrle Spencer, Jane Ann Krentz, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Liza Valdez, and Lora Leigh. Emotion, sexual tension, and good pacing are what pull me in.

 ETS – Romantic dinner in front of a fireplace, or a moonlit walk on the beach? 

I’ll take the beach, especially if it’s a paranormal beach and three moons are gleaming.  A satyr or two around would be nice, but I don’t want to be greedy. 

ETS – Can you describe each hero’s personality? 

            Nicholas – handsome, virile, eldest brother who bears the weight of family responsibility; a creative, dominant lover who meets a woman with a secret

            Raine – wounded by a Human ex-wife who fled when she discovered his satyr ancestry, he’s reluctant to love again until he meets a most unusual woman

            Lyon – sexy, muscular, with a wry sense of humor; attracts women easily and is reluctant to give up his bachelorhood until he finds Juliette

            Dominic – chosen as a demonhand at birth, he catches demon’s souls in his palm; yet he is scorned and feared by the very people he protects 

ETS – Can you tell us what you’re working on now? 

I’m writing two more in The Lords of Satyr series—Dane and Bastian.  These take place a few decades later, in Rome during the excavations of the Forum. 

ETS – What advice would you give to aspiring authors? 

When you’re writing, try to forget the readers and just make it a book you’d put on your own keeper shelf. Be honest and critical with yourself about your writing. Consider finding a crit partner to get suggestions on your work before you submit it to a publisher. 

ETS – Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us!   

You’re welcome, ETS!! 

ETS – You can visit Elizabeth’s Website to join her newsletter and find out more about her books: 

*Erotic chapters/excerpts: http://www.elizabethamber.com

*Winners of my current contest will have their names on the dedication page in my next novel, Dane, The Lords of Satyr.  See my enewsletter for details and giveaways at:  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ElizabethAmber/ 

Now, how would you like to win an autographed copy of Dominic?  All you have to do is drop a comment to enter the contest.  The lucky winner will be announced on June 19th, next Friday.  Good luck!  🙂   

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Comments
31 Responses to “Fangtastic Friday – Interview with Elizabeth Amber”
  1. Suzanne Rock says:

    Thanks so much, Elizabeth for stopping by! what a great interview!

    I love the series and was wondering how you came up with the idea? Was it a flash of inspiration? Or did it kind of evolve over time?

  2. Suzanne Rock says:

    Hey – Dawn forgot to mention that we are doing TWO give aways!!!

    Elizabeth will be giving away a copy of her newest release, Dominic. Be sure to leave a comment here by next Friday for a chance to win.

    And there’s more!!! I loved this series so much, I’ve decided to share the joy. I will be giving away a copy of Elizabeth’s first book in the series, Nicholas. This will go to one member of the ETS yahoo group. It will be chosen at random from all members on Monday morning and announced on the blog. For a chance to win, sign up for our yahoo group at the following link..

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/embrace_the_shadows/

    Good luck everyone!!!

  3. Yay, much yummy book giveaway goodness:D

    Fantastic interview, Dawn. The Lords of Satyr has to be one of the most inventive hot series of all time…not to mention beautiful. Those covers really are in a class to themselves.

    Congratulations, Elizabeth, on your well-deserved success!

  4. elove says:

    A great interview, Elizabeth and Dawn!

    Satyrs? Oooh, yes please! These books sound gorgeous – and then there’re the covers… I wonder if it would be too sad to have them framed? <giggle?

    The premise sounds excellent – and I loved the info for prospective writers. Yay!

  5. Sarina says:

    PLEASE I BEG THE GODS FOR ONE OF THOSE SATYRS!!! *coughs blushing* Ok Now that I’ve got that off of my chest…. Elizabeth I absolutely LOVE Nicholas!! When it was first published I hate to say I bought it right off the shelf. Pregnant or not at that time, the scenes were… DELICIOUS! Especially having to summon those ‘ghost girls’ for release. Ouch! May I beg, plead, connive to have you autograph a copy??

  6. Liz says:

    Wow, I got to read these. First thing I thought when I saw the books was…”OMG I can’t think”.

    Then, I bent over, picked my brain off the floor and popped my eyeballs back into my skull.

    I’ve always judged books by their covers and I’ve never been wrong.

    😀

  7. Dawn McClure says:

    Elizabeth – thanks again for taking the time to chat with us! 🙂

    Liz – I did the same thing when I saw the cover. You just can’t miss those sexy men! When I was scanning the shelves at the bookstore and saw Nicholas, omg. I stopped dead in my tracks and my greedy little fingers snatched the book up. lol They sure do stand out.

  8. Hi Dawn!
    Thank you again for the great interview questions. The interview itself looks fabulous! I love the fanned cover images.

    Suzanne!
    Thank you for your kind words about the series. To answer your question, the idea of the physical change the satyrs undergo, having them own a Tuscan vineyard, and their relationship to Bacchus all came in a flash. The ideas kept coming, so finally I began writing them down. I wasn’t trying to write a romance novel at the time–it just kept evolving in my head and then on paper.

    Hi Barbara,
    I love that you used the word inventive. Thank you for enjoying the series. I love this blog BTW–it’s attractive and has interesting content!

    Hi elove,
    Well, I haven’t framed them, but I have wrapped the covers around wine bottles to give as gifts and for parties. They are definitely conversations pieces. Thanks for stopping by this morning to comment! :o)

    Hi Sarina,
    I’m so glad you enjoyed Nicholas!! I loved writing that book. It used to catch my eye on the store shelves too. I’d love to meet the model and have him autograph a copy for me someday. :o)

    LOL, Liz,
    The first thing I study in a book is the cover, then the back cover blurb, then the first few pages, then a few random pages inside. Sometimes I even read the ending before I buy! But you’re so right–the cover does matter!

    This is so fabulous of you to also give away Nicholas!!!

  9. Suzanne–thanks so much for offering to give away a copy of Nicholas as well. A very cool surprise!

  10. Dawn McClure says:

    So here are a few other questions…:) How long have you been writing? Do you have a writing process? How long does it normally take you to finish a book, from idea to the day you submit?

  11. Florina says:

    Elizabeth,

    I love your books. They are all awesome and the covers, wow. I agree with you the mystery behind the drapes is a good thing. Can’t wait to read more, very hot, perfect mix of history and paranormal. Love it!

  12. TracyB. says:

    Elizabeth you are an AMAZING writer!! I absolutely LOVE your books!!! I can’t wait to read more of your stuff!!

  13. Natasha A. says:

    Wowza! Those covers are fantastic! Now I am assuming that it is best to read the other three before consuming the 4th?? 😀

  14. Lillie A. says:

    I’ve heard so many great things about this series!

  15. Raonaid Luckwell says:

    Satyrs? Mm, well you don’t see too many books about them. Well maybe I haven’t been looking int he right place. You’ve intrigued me!

  16. Robyn Bski says:

    I’ve heard really good things about this series. It’s already on my “pick this up next time you’re in the bookstore” list. 🙂 And the covers! Oh my, is it warm in here?

  17. Dawn,
    I usually storyboard ideas, putting the main scenes in place. I always know the beginning, middle, and end before I begin the book. I’ve been writing since my 20s, and the length of time it takes me to finish a book is 4 to 7 months.

    Hi Florina,
    Welcome! Thanks so much for enjoying the satyr books. History, romance, sex, and paranormal—I love them all too!

    Tracy,
    Wow! You are so sweet. Could you come over and tell me that every morning? Thanks so much and thanks for dropping by today.

    Hello Natasha…
    Each book is a stand-alone title and can be read in any order. I always like to read a series in order, so if you’re like me, start with Nicholas. Then Raine, Lyon, Dominic.

  18. Pam S says:

    Hi Elizabeth,

    That was a great interview. I love the blurbs and covers for the series. I have been keep a check out in the stores here for them. I have heard so much positive feedback. Congrats on them :)!

  19. Lillie, hi!
    That’s good to hear. It’s erotic historical paranormal romance. Not everyone’s thing, but I love it and hope you do as well if you get a chance to read them.

    Raonald,
    Although the guys are actually half-satyr/half-human, they appear to be human and pass as such in upscale 1820s Italian society. They’re wealthy, virile, handsome, and sought-after owners of a vineyard in Tuscany. I hope that’s intriguing as well. :oo)

    Robyn,
    The covers are so cool, aren’t they? I really lucked out. I hope you enjoy the books if you get a chance to try them. Thanks so much for dropping a comment today!

    Pam,
    Thank you for the congratulations. It took six months to get “the call” from my Kensington editor with an offer for the first one, Nicholas. They’ve been great to work with, so I feel extra-lucky to have them as my publisher.

  20. Annette says:

    As usual great intervew Elizabeth, you are the bomb. Is there a tentative release date yet for Dane? No rush but having Satyr withdrawls, may have to re-read for the 3rd time.

  21. Caffey says:

    Hi Elizabeth! Its so great to read your interview. I think this is the first time I read one of yours! I have alot of fun with my reader friends with us saying ‘drop that towel’ on your books. LOL. Those covers sizzle! And steamy romance reads! I love them! I haven’t gotten DOMINIC yet so would be a joy to be in the contest for him..er.. the book 🙂 I’m so glad there will be even 2 more books. I too grew up reading Victoria Holt. Gothics are great! Given this genre and others, are there other themes/genres you’d like to write yet? Anything planned after this series? Thanks!

  22. Annette!
    Dane and Bastian will pub in 2010, not sure of the months. I have books I’ve reread ten times, so I know what you mean. Thanks for stopping by!

    Hi Caffey!
    Good to see you. Yep, I do have a plan for another series beyond the satyr books, but I’m concentrating on satyrs for the moment. Thanks for asking. I’ve been a romance addict since my teens, much to the dismay of my mom. She supports everything I do, but she reads literary works that don’t appeal to me, and she doesn’t read nonfiction, which I love. Have a good weekend!

  23. Eva S says:

    Hi Elizabeth,
    thanks for the great interview! I love your books, the three brothers are on my keeper shelf and I’d love to read Dominic! And I’m glad to hear there will be more books!

  24. Armenia says:

    Great interview. Pretty enlightening and now I am so curious. I do admit that I am attracted to the covers when I do not know the author, and then read the back cover for the storyline, then proceed, of course, to the first chapter to see if it grabs me. But now after reading your interview I am really excited to get going on this series. Did I say I loved the covers…just awesome!!!

  25. Hi Eva,
    I’m so glad you’ve read the three brothers, and hope you like Dominic! I’m enjoying the process of writing the new ones, too! Thanks so much for dropping by ETS today.

    Hi Armenia!
    The covers are awesome, I agree. Kensington is good with covers! Glad you enjoyed the interview. Dawn asked some interesting questions, and it has been fun!

  26. Cathy M says:

    Hi Elizabeth, I’ve been a romance reader since my teens too. The genres might have changed through out the years, but at heart I am a true romantic and love a HEA or even a HFN story to disappear into.

  27. Hi Cathy!
    Sorry it took a couple of days for me to respond. My mom’s in town visiting and we’ve been running around a lot. She has more energy than I do!
    I agree with you. I’m also a true romantic and my first choice is always an HEA. I can read HFN or even an ending w/o an HEA and still enjoy the book if the ending seems inevitable. But I write only HEA because that’s what I prefer to read–I think that’s because unhappy endings are pretty easy to come by in real life! :o)

  28. Bonnie Hoffmaster says:

    OMG! Those covers! And that excerpt!! Must get these books….

  29. Beverly G says:

    hes totally hot i seriously love the cover and honestly i love books of all sizes i like trade books because i like to see the covers in their glory seems the smaller the book the more the cover looks pixlated please enter me in ur contest

  30. Anna Hackett says:

    Great interview!

    Elizabeth, your books are such a great combo of myth, paranormal, sex, hot heroes and HEA. And those covers are spectacular.

  31. Jenn Shanks Pray says:

    Elizabeth – there is no comment that I could make about your writing that would capture half the “shock and awe” that your engrossing story-telling has provided readers. I have to say, I adored all four stories and would love to read more, more, more! One side note, however, is that I did purchase them all for my eReader as I have one extremely nosy 12 year old daughter who never fails to comment on the covers of all my books! So, I guess this is just a big, fat THANK YOU from a really huge fan!

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