I am happy to welcome Vanessa North on my blog today. She is a talented author who is currently trying to spread the word about her latest book Amazon. She has kindly given us a glimpse into Amazon, read on and get to know Vanessa a little bit more..
SinfulReads: Welcome. Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Vanessa: Thank you so much for having me here today! Let’s see, about me. I’m a high-strung free spirit. I love to read, write, take photographs, and run marathons. I can’t swim but I love to wakeboard (wearing a helmet and a life-vest of course). I knit like your grandma. I’m “mama” to almost-five year old twins and a pack of dogs. I’m utterly addicted to both caffeine and fresca. I laugh at inappropriate moments and cry at the drop of a hat. I take having fun very seriously and prefer life to be a little bit ridiculous.
SinfulReads: Please tell us about the book you’d like to discuss. What’s it about?
Vanessa: Amazon is first and foremost a love story. The romance is a huge part of the book and the primary plot. It’s about lovers being transformed into their best selves by the act of loving another person. It’s about fate and free will, and it’s also about family, sacrifice, and honor. There’s a big old heaping dose of girl-power, and most of the characters are werewolves.
SinfulReads: Where did you get the inspiration or idea for this book?
Vanessa: I knew I wanted to write about strong female characters in an Alpha-Male world. I also knew I wanted an albino heroine and lots of tattoos. I adore shifter stories, so I started working with the idea that this would be a werewolf society that operated pretty much independently of humans. Once I had an idea in my head of who this albino heroine would be, I gave her a destiny that was larger than herself, and a motivation to fulfill it.
SinfulReads: How did the title of your book come about?
Vanessa: Amazon refers to Bianca, but it’s also the name of the pack to which she belongs. She’s the quintessential woman warrior—she protects her home and her pack.
SinfulReads: Which of your characters are the easiest and/or the most difficult to write about and why?
Vanessa: Bianca was probably the easiest character to write. I knew exactly who she was and what she wanted. Her motivations and her conflicts were all clear to me. Jack, the hero, was a bit more of a challenge, but really it was Sara, Bianca’s best friend and Guide, who was the most difficult. There is a huge cast of secondary characters, and of them Sara plays perhaps the most important role.
SinfulReads: How long did it take to write?
Vanessa: About six months for the first draft, and I continued to refine and revise for several more months.
SinfulReads: Do you work another job when you are not writing?
Vanessa: I own a photography business, but to be honest, I focus primarily on writing. Photography has become more of a hobby than a full-time career.
SinfulReads: If you could live anyplace on earth, where would it be? Why?
Vanessa: Asheville, North Carolina. It’s the home of my heart. I lived there for about four years in the 1990s and would move back in a heartbeat.
SinfulReads: Do you have any upcoming projects in the works or other books that have been published?
Vanessa: My debut was a short novella called “Two in Winter” which retells the Norse myth of spring in a contemporary setting. I have three more books coming out this year, after “Amazon:” A novella called “Shifter’s Dance” for Musa Publishing’s Wiccan Haus series in November, a science fiction/courtroom drama/romance called “Fight or Flight” in December, and “United,” the second book in the Ushers series will come out just before Christmas. The third and final book in the series, “Cracked,” will release in early March of next year. I also wrote a short story for a charity anthology called “Wild at Heart Volume One” which benefits the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. That anthology is available now through Amazon.com
SinfulReads: Where can readers connect with you?
Vanessa: My website is http://www.vanessanorth.com and it has links to my blog, facebook, twitter, etc. I blog pretty frequently and often feature other romance writers (and other genres too!) so that’s a great place to connect. I’m a bit of a twitter fiend, I leave it up all day while I’m working. I LOVE connecting with readers on twitter, so please feel free to @ me anytime! My twitter handle is @vanessanwrites
SinfulReads: Where can we buy your books?
Vanessa: You can buy my books for your ereader of choice on the publishers websites: http://musapublishing.com and http://lsbooks.com or on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, the iTunes bookstore, or wherever else you typically buy your ebooks.
The Ushers Book One: Amazon
by Vanessa North
He sniffed the air. Humans, lots of them, dancing and drinking. The scent of human bodies pressed into close contact reminded him of his years in the Navy, sharing a cramped berth, so unlike the open air his wolf would crave. He pressed that scent back, refusing to hold it in his nose. He caught a woodsy wolf scent that hinted that there might be some of his own kind here among the humans, mixing with beer and spirits and wood-paneled walls that had absorbed too much tobacco smoke in years past. Another sniff told him that Sara was already here. So much for his plan to watch the area before she got here—it seemed she’d gotten the jump on him. He followed her winter-cold scent toward the back of the large bar.
When he finally spotted her through a break in the crowd, his eyes narrowed as he stopped to observe.
Sara was not alone.
Two women flanked her at a table, looking ready for a girl’s night out in their skinny jeans and fashionable t-shirts. He scowled. What kind of wolf would send his women out to negotiate? The girl sitting to Sara’s right had caramel brown hair and dark eyes–she was pretty, with a sort of sun-kissed glow about her that implied she was accustomed to spending time outdoors. He could tell from her movements that she was wolf. She looked strong and self-assured, if a little young. Looks could be deceiving, but he’d put her at no more than 30 years old. Practically a pup. He huffed in disgust.
The other woman had long white hair, but he couldn’t see her face from where he stood. An elder of the pack perhaps? Her figure appeared to be that of a young woman, but again, looks could be deceiving with wolves. He huffed again. What the hell kind of pack was this? To send two females–an old woman and a pup–out with a shifter to negotiate with a leader from another pack? He was utterly disgusted.
”Careful big boy. You puff like that one more time and you might blow the whole house down.” A rough feminine voice whispered from the vicinity of his elbow. Startled, he looked down at a tiny red-headed wolf at his side. Small and freckled and cute as a button, she was clearly not much more than a pup. By human standards, she was an adult, but he doubted she’d been old enough to buy her own beer for long. But what really got his goat was how he hadn’t noticed a fellow wolf approaching until she was at his side–that was unforgivable.
”Oh, don’t be petulant. I’m sneaky.” She grinned up at him, her freckled nose wrinkling in mirth. “I’m Kathy, Jack. Come on, I’ll introduce you to my sisters.” She hooked an arm through his and towed him with startling exuberance towards the table where Sara sat between the two other wolves.
As one, the two wolves looked at him. The brunette appeared wary, but calm. He saw as he approached that she was older than he originally thought. When the white haired woman’s eyes met his, her chin lifted defiantly and his breath stopped. Albina. The word was an impossibility–one that stirred up myth, prophecy, religious zealotry. Albino wolves were rare, and almost always were killed in infancy by superstitious packs. The brutality would shock most humans if they knew, but wolves were long lived, and it wasn’t something he’d even heard of in decades. He had never heard of an albino in North America before, but there she sat, staring him down. Her hair hung down around her shoulders in floating waves like white cotton candy. Her white eyebrows and lashes had been darkened with cosmetics, and the pinkish tinge to her eyes made them appear a pale lavender-grey. Her skin was as pale as her white hair, her face shining with a haughty fury. She was hauntingly lovely and terrifying all at once.
The excerpt is totally hot, tell me you don’t feel like getting your hands on this book right now? I am adding it to my reading pile. Thank you Vanessa for stopping by today and for being so gracious about my interview. Good luck and tons of sucesss.