November 4, 2013

Across the Line by Amy Lee Burgess #AuthorInterview #BookReview #Giveaway

acrosstheline333x500-199x300When Councilor Allerton sends Stanzie to investigate a territory dispute between tiny pack Stony Fell and the British branch of much larger Mac Tire, it seems routine until someone sets a bear trap. A young Stony Fell man pays with the loss of his leg and now it’s up to Stanzie and Murphy to figure out who set the trap–and why–before more members of the packs are maimed.

Add a pair of star-crossed lovers, one love triangle, a grief-stricken bond mate with jealousy issues, and bad blood all around and the resultant twisted hell brew reveals the darker side of inter-pack politics that could prove too difficult–and dangerous–for even Stanzie to untangle.

CONTENT WARNING: Vulgar language, some sexual situations

Published by Lyrical Press
Publication Date: August 26, 2013

‡ Book Excerpt 

We didn’t get three feet through the apartment door before he had me on the floor, tearing at my clothes. I ripped at his too. He kicked the door shut with his foot while simultaneously tearing at my clothes.

I sank my teeth into his shoulder and he yanked my hair hard.

“Are we playing rough?” he asked me.

For an answer, I head butted him. “That’s for being a giant asshole.”

We rolled over and over, smashed into the coffee table and knocked the lamp in the corner over. The crash of the bulb shattering was loud as hell.

“We’re not rolling around in glass.” Murphy lifted me up and I locked my legs around his waist. He staggered us over to one of the sofas.

We crashed down and the springs gave a protesting wail.

I scratched his back with my nails and he bit my lip until we both tasted my blood. It smeared across our faces as we kissed and he shifted so I straddled him on my knees as he sat upright.

“I love you,” he said as he tongued my earlobe. He sucked on it, sending a shooting burst of pleasure through my body.

“I love you,” I told him. When he lifted his head, his eyes gleamed with tears he blinked away.

“Say it again,” he begged. “Tell me again.”

“I love you.” I cupped his face with my hands. Beneath my fingers, his cheeks were smooth and warm. When his wolf colored his eyes amber, my wolf reached for his through me.

He pulled me down so he could kiss me and our lovemaking turned slow and gentle. His touch was reverent and lingering, his kisses a drug that pulled me into him, so my heart beat in time with his.

He brushed his lips, feather light, across my bruised jaw and bleeding lip, whispered to me in Irish as we moved together in a slowly building rhythm.

A rush of energy, my soul to his, and I buried my face in his sticky warm throat. God, I loved this infuriating man.

‡ The Interview 

Thanks so much for stopping by today Amy. I'm very excited to host you and your book, Across the Line ! Now that I've got you trapped in the Realm, this is the part where you tell me all your secrets.

At what point in your life did you realized that being an author was no longer going to be just a dream but a career you were going to turn into reality?

Well, I’m still struggling to make it into an actual career where I don’t also need my day job, but I think the moment I decided I was going to get published and went after the dream was during NaNoWriMo in 2010. The first book in the Wolf Within Series, Beneath Skin, was my NaNo novel and I’ve been fortunate enough to have published and/or contracted eight novels since.

Which of your characters is most like you?

Oh, I’m a lot like Stanzie, my protagonist. She faces her fears the same way I do. Kicking and screaming the whole way, but she won’t let them best her. And I share her shoe and ketchup obsession.

If you were stranded on a desert island, which character from Across the line would you want with you?

Well, if I wanted to STAY stranded, I’d pick Liam Murphy. I love that man. If wanted to be rescued, I’d choose Councilor Jason Allerton. He’d get us off that island before nightfall.

Where do you write?

I have a writing desk in my living room where I write everything. I’m flirting with the idea of buying a laptop and taking it on the road to interesting places and vistas, though.

Do you have any “rituals” you go through before you write?

I usually go to sleep thinking about the next scene I need to write. I write every morning from 5:30 to 7 and the fifteen minutes before I get up, I also plan out the scene. On weekends I light candles and incense.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) of Across the Line to write and why?

I really enjoyed building Stanzie’s working relationship with Colin Hunter, Allerton’s new Advisor. Colin has a terrible back history with Liam Murphy, Stanzie’s bond mate, and she was prepared to hate him on general principle, but she discovered hidden depths to him. They have an interesting rapport and I hope to develop that more in novels to come.

How did you come up with the title?

Every title in the Wolf Within series encapsulates the main theme of the book. This novel deals with a territory dispute that turns really ugly. It truly went across the line. Also, the concept of big packs versus little packs is examined and the way the big packs absorb little ones could go across the line between healthy and unhealthy depending on how it is handled and how the absorbed pack is treated. Sometimes not so fairly or nicely as Stanzie discovers to her horror.

What would YOU like your readers to know about this book or you in general?

First off, it’s the sixth book in the series so I would really start from the beginning of the series. Reading this one first will likely cause moments of confusion. I’d also like readers to know that this is a very psychological book. What motivates the packs to act the way they do? What happens when emotions are repressed? Or allowed to run wild? It is not a light, romantic read, although there’s lots of romance in it.

What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?

Write every day. Don’t wait until your surroundings are perfect or your plot is completely hashed out and developed in your head or on paper. Just write. You’ll develop a routine and you’ll figure it all out.

Do you have a favorite author?

I have lots of favorite authors ranging from Edgar Allan Poe to Ilona Andrews.

What is your favorite quote?

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Awesome quote! What genre of books do you read for pleasure?

Urban fantasy, mystery and paranormal romance mostly.

What’s the most amusing thing that’s ever happened to you?

When I was a senior in high school I visited the Alamo and came back to tell my friends that the ONE place on earth I would never live was Texas. Fast forward a few decades. Where do I live? Houston, Texas.

LOL - Never say never! What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Plays Sims 3! Read. Walk my dogs. Travel.

If all TV shows were real, what show (all time) would you most like to live in?

I’d love to be a female version of Carl Kolchak in The Night Stalker from the 1970s. Or the sidekick to the Stuart Townsend version of Kolchak in the 2005 Night Stalker series.

I remember remember watching the series from the '70's!!!

Now it's time for some . . .

‡ Random-Ness 

Party dress or blue jeans? Jeans.

Plotter or Panster? I have become way more of a plotter the more novels I write. Which is terrifying to me in some ways and hysterical in others.

Print or e-Book? E-book. I LOVE my Kindle.

Coastal walks or extreme sports? Coastal walks for the win!

Cookies or cupcakes? Cookies.

Super hero or super villain? Nobody in a cape or leotard (especially male) needs to come near me. 

If I had a free afternoon I’d . . . write my current novel.

Peanut Butter: Crunchy, Creamy, or I hate peanut butter and am addicted to Nutella. I go both ways with peanut butter. I also love Nutella!

You suddenly realize you live in a haunted house. Do you:
  1. Run screaming for the door.
  2. Bravely go to a church, load up on holy water and try to get rid of the ghost.
  3. Set up ghost hunting equipment to capture phenomenon.
  4. Call in the Ghost Adventures crew so that you can ogle the lead guy Zac’s amazingly stiff hair when you’re not ogling his….physical attributes.
  5. Deny you have a ghost and just let it scare the bejesus out of your visitors.
A combination of #3 and #5

Could you tell us five random facts about yourself?
  1. Autumn is my favorite season.
  2. I can speak some French and take a lesson every week.
  3. I have the rune Gebo tattooed on my back. It looks like this: X
  4. I lived through Hurricane Katrina
  5. I’m a transplanted New Englander

‡ The Review From the Realm  

Across the Line is #6 of The Wolf Within Series, and it's the book I'll be reviewing today here in the Realm. Below is information about the previous five books in the series (in addition to the buy links). I've read all of the the books (the covers pulled me in, but the story kept me coming back), and I have to say that the series continues to amaze me. As I've read the series, I've come to know and love the characters, especially Stanzie and Murphy. Their relationship has had it's rocky moments, but the love they feel for each other continues to grow and pulls them through the dangers that surround them.

I also really like the fact that Amy has expanded some of the seemingly random events from past books in the series into major plots in Across the Line, while also bringing in the history of several different characters and their past involvements so you can see the influence those characters had on the plot of this book. 

There's no doubt that Amy Lee Burgess is a crazy-talented author with an unparalleled descriptive voice. Her world-building skills are wicked awesome. She weaves an original story line in the Wolf Within Series and her characters have the strength and depth that allow the reader to become invested in their lives. I absolutely loved this book, as well as the rest of the series, and I look forward with eager anticipation to Amy's next book. I'm sending out a 5 Star review for Across the Line from the Paranormal Realm! 
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and participation in a Virtual Book Tour hosted by 
Buy the Book Tours.

‡ The Wolf Within Series 

About Face Book Cover
About Face – Book #5
Publication Date: March 27, 2013

Being herself is more dangerous than ever.

Stanzie’s job as Advisor to the Great Council is discovering other people’s secrets. When those secrets are being kept by the ones she loves most, can she find the courage to expose them?

Under orders from a Councilor, Stanzie journeys to Dublin and the MacTire pack. Her mission: warn her estranged bond mate, Liam Murphy, to abandon his overzealous search for the man responsible for the death of his first bond mate. Not only is he endangering himself, but also disrupting the delicate balance between opposing factions in the conspiracy threatening to tear the Great Pack apart.

Liam needs Stanzie’s help to protect their Alpha, who has entangled himself in the conspiracy’s deadly web. But he also desperately needs her back. In a race against time, Stanzie and Liam discover enemies often wear the faces of friends.

CONTENT WARNING: Vulgar language, some sexual situations

Inside Out CoverInside Out – Book #4
Amazon and Barnes & Noble

For Stanzie, being herself is more dangerous than ever.

There’s no place like home…or is there? When Stanzie is asked to investigate her birth pack- Mayflower–she isn’t prepared for what she finds. No one respects the Alphas and the newest adult member of the pack is being encouraged to leave. Why?

To make matters worse, the men are dangerously intent on mating and shifting with her. How far will the pack she thought she knew go to get what they want? Without her bond-mate, Liam, Stanzie must face this alone and, barely ahead of threat of violence, must solve the mysteries, and fast.

CONTENT WARNING: Vulgar language, some sexual situations

Hidden in Plain Sight
Hidden in Plain Sight – Book #3

As Stanzie discovers her wolf, she learns being herself is more dangerous than ever.

Where is Bethany Dillon? The seventeen-year-old girl is missing from the Maplefair pack and Constance Newcastle–Stanzie–and Liam Murphy must find her. Fast. A serial killer still has not been caught. Bethany could have run away, or killed herself. But no one in her pack seems to know the truth. Or, they’re just not telling.

Constance’s knack for uncovering secrets leads her into peril, and to save Bethany, she must break every rule. She risks losing everything, including Liam…and her life.

CONTENT WARNING: Vulgar language, some sexual situations

Scratch the SurfaceScratch the Surface – Book #2
Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Something’s rotten in the Riverglow pack.

Still learning more about each other as bond mates and adjusting to their new roles as Advisors to a Councilor, Constance Newcastle and Liam Murphy must deal with the ghosts of their past.

A quiet weekend in Boston is anything but that, when Constance comes face to face with the betrayal of those she considered the closest to her. Everyone has secrets, and wherever Constance goes, she has a knack for uncovering them. The only problem is that some secrets are deadly.

WARNING: Strong language, sexual situations, and a lot of graphic shoe description.

Beneath the Skin
Beneath the Skin – Book #1
Amazon and Barnes & Noble

If you could shift into a wolf, what would you discover about yourself?

Two years after the deaths of her bond mates, Constance Newcastle is ready to start over. The problem? The rest of the Great Pack, gathered in Paris to shift into wolves together, is not so sure she deserves the chance. Although the Great Council ruled the car crash an accident, even Constance blames herself. She was driving, after all.

Treated like a pariah by those she longs to rejoin, Constance reunites with an old lover. Everything looks promising until he mysteriously dies. Accused of his murder and desperate to clear her name, Constance joins forces with handsome, confident Liam Murphy, a former Alpha pack leader with a past as tragic and troubled as her own. Guided by the mysterious Councilor Jason Allerton, Constance and Liam discover they are not alone– throughout the Great Pack, people are dying. Can all the deaths be accidents, or is something more sinister going on?

CONTENT WARNING: Vulgar language, some sexual situations

‡ About Amy Lee Burgess 

Website  Twitter  Facebook  Goodreads

Author Pic 400Amy Lee Burgess is a transplanted New Englander living in Houston, Texas with two dogs and lots of DVDs. In an attempt to bond with the city after being forced out of New Orleans post-Katrina, she turned to her writing. Determined to finally finish that novel she’d been hacking away at since high school, Amy managed to come up with a wolf shifter character named Stanzie Newcastle. She and Stanzie have been BFFs ever since.

In addition to Stanzie, Amy has also forged a relationship with several vampires, a witch or two, and other assorted supernatural creatures she hopes will entertain her readers. But she will always have room for coffee and butterscotch squares with Stanzie.

‡ The Giveaway 

Paranormal Realms: // 6:00 AM


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