Today, I am delighted to welcome a pair of lovely ladies to My Odd Little World, April Fifer and Danielle Hylton-Outland, authors of Flesh and Feathers. Their book is an urban fantasy paranormal romance-what a mouthful. But from the blurb and excerpt it sounds like an intriguing book, and I look forward to reading this one.
The authors will be giving away an autographed bookmark and $5 Amazon GC to one commenter at every stop, and one $15 and one $25 Amazon.com gift certificate to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour.
Before I start the interview, lets find out a bit about the authors.
Danielle Hylton-Outland was raised in Virginia. She grew up having a huge appetite for daydreaming; always wanting to live in the spectacular worlds she created in her mind. She now lives with her husband and dog where she is pursuing a degree in literature. Danielle is a strong animal activist. She is currently co-writing the second book in The Flesh Series, "Flesh and Flames".
April Fifer grew up in a small town in Virginia, where it was common practice believing that dreams could only be found in stories. At the age of seven she was diagnosed with dyslexia. She was told that she would struggle through life and would never pick up a book to read for pleasure. Although school was hard, she was able to find her way with the help of two teachers who taught her self-discovery. Ignoring what she was taught growing up, she turned it around and found that your dreams could become stories.
Now, for all those "inquiring minds" out there, I give you April and Danielle
Where were you born and where do you call home?
Danielle: I was born in Bedford, VA, but I grew up in Lynchburg, VA so that is where I call home.
April: I was born in Lynchburg, VA. But I was raised “across the river” (as they like to call it around here), in a small town called Madison Heights. Because there wasn’t much to do, all of us from Mad Heights always gravitated toward Lynchburg.
What/who inspired you to write, and when?
Danielle: Edgar Allan Poe, Benjamin Franklin and Jane Austen. I was a teenager when I discovered the love for writing.
April: My twelfth grade teacher did. I wanted to be a veterinarian, which as you can see did not pan out at all. I love animals but was not a huge fan of going to school the amount of time it was going to take. So when my teacher, whose name I can’t remember because we liked to call him Gargamel (from the Smurfs), came to me holding my “Jack the Ripper” paper in his hand, raving about what a good job I did, I was a little shocked. I mean I loved to write but had no clue I had any real talent for it.
What is the best thing about being a writer? The worst?
Danielle: The best thing about being a writer is fitting in among other writers who understand you and a community that is non-Judgmental. The worst thing about being a writer is not fitting in with the rest of the world.
April: The creativity part is my favorite. I love being in control of what’s going to happen next. And, hey, if I get bored with my character, I can just kill him or her off. But as I say this, I know it not all true. I say that I’m in control of the character, but sometimes that character will take on a life of their own, and I end up finding myself wondering, “What the hell are they going to do next?”
How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books?
Danielle: My family did not know how to take me being an author. However, they are overly proud. It is hard to understand if you’re not in the business. Yes, some have read the rough draft.
April: Funny that you ask! Everyone loves to say, “My (fill in the blank with family relationship) is a writer! Her first book is coming out soon.” Out of “everyone,” three have read it. But that’s okay, because the more you read the more you get inside someone’s head. And to be honest, my family is crazy enough, don’t need them poking around in my brain.
Tell us about your favorite character from your books.
Danielle: I have to say I love each character, even the bad ones. This is because each character has a story, and you get to know each one with every chapter.
April: I’m biased! I love Gage. Gage for breakfast, dinner and lunch… and the occasional mid-night snack.
Can you tell us a bit about what book(s) you have coming out next and what you’re working on now?
Flesh and Feathers will be released March 31st through Silver Publishing. It is the first book of The Flesh Series. It has action, drama and some really hot angels. *wink-wink.* We have also just finished a short story called Love, Lies and a Bloke which we hope turns out to be something special. And, of course, we are working on Flesh and Flames, the second book in The Flesh Series.
When you get a chance to read, what books do you love to read?
Danielle: I love all Twilight books.
April: Mostly YA and Erotica. I bounce between the two to even things out. LOL. But you will find me reading Stephen King. Actually, I just finished Corey Taylor’s Seven Deadly Sins, which I have to say will be ranked in my top 10 books of all time.
What bores you as a reader?
Danielle: Books with shallow plots. The more twisted, the better.
April: Long and drawn out… *yawn*
If you could go anywhere on a vacation where would you go?
Danielle: I would go to Namibia, Africa. I really love animals and would love to volunteer to help out. It does not sound like a vacation to most but it would be for me.
April: I don’t think I get a choice. I promised to go to Namibia with Danielle. (But if I could go anywhere, it would probably be Australia. Have you seen the beaches there?!)
What do you think is romantic? What does the word Romance mean to you?
Danielle: Romance is loving someone so much that your heart actually aches to think about them. It is uncontrollable feelings that drive you crazy until that next or first kiss.
April: Wow, this is kind of a serious question for me. (And I’m actually not kidding.) Romance is easy to make up in books. You just keep writing until you get it right. Real life romance is hard to come by. But I’ve learned it’s not always found in the places or things you think it is. Sometimes it's simply words that move and inspire you. Being a writer, I’m big on words! As far was what I think is romantic… I am low maintenance in that department. First – I’d like to state I’m over thirty. (My friends will understand this joke… which is no laughing matter.) So without getting too personal, my idea would be to spend the entire day in bed with take-out and the occasional sweet-nothings whispered. Yeah… I’m kinda lame!
You’re having a dinner party, what five people would you invite?
Danielle: Robert Pattinson, Amy Poehler, Marcus Oliver Johnston, Bill Mahar, and Tina Fey
April: Adam Sandler (for entertainment), Corey Taylor (for a little bit of crazy), Betty White (because… let’s face it. She rocks like hell), Channing Tatum (for something to look at when I get tired of talking to Betty), and the one and only Dale Earnhart, Jr. (because I plan to get him drunk and talk him in to letting me drive his car.) Wait… I only get five people? I have so many more that I want to attend.
Aliens have landed on the planet. What are the three things you would tell them that are great about this planet?
Danielle: We have great food, hot men/women and freedom of speech.
April: First! “The Government is hiding your cousin Lou in Roswell (which is hundreds of miles from here.) Second! “E.T. really did make the call home. He is there now! You have to believe me!” Third! “This planet is really not worth destroying, but if you do have that in mind, can I just catch a ride with you?”
If you could create your own drink what would go in it and what would you call it?
Danielle: It would have coconut juice, a teardrop from a genie, a hint of pineapple. Then I would name it “Wishot."
April: I always start with Ice-e Pops for every drink. Just think… they are already at the mixable stage if you leave them on the counter for thirty minutes. Then I would probably add some nutmeg. (Not real sure why, but it sounded interesting.) Then I would open a big can of pineapples and let them soak with the Ice-e Pops that I have now crushed with my meat clever. (NOTE: I have done this recipe before, only we mixed it in the bath tub and just brought our cups and dipped when we need a drink.) Then I would add Vodka, Pusser’s Rum (because I think the name is funny) and some coconut Malibu. Yeah, I think that’s it. Anything else would probably make me really sick. I like to call it the “Intoxicator.”
You’ve been given the honor of naming a planet, what would you name it?
Danielle: Smelly-Belly-Button, just because I like saying it.
April: “THE Planet.” Just to confuse the hell out of everyone when they try to talk about it.
If you were in a rock band what would the name of your band be? What would your rocker name be?
Danielle: Band name: Cable, rocker name: Run DMHO
April: Band name: Months of the Year / Rocker name: June (because April is boring)
So, you’ve just heard a most unpleasant report on the radio. There’s a cyclone coming and you have ten minutes to get out of your house, get in your car and drive as fast as you can. You just have time to take five items with you. What are they, and why have you chosen them?
Danielle: my dog, my Nook, my laptop, my flat iron and clean underwear.
April: I’m with Danielle… My flat iron, cause hello… it’s Paul Mitchell! They keys to my car, cause if not we aren’t going very far; my cigarettes, (sorry I’m a smoker), because my nerves will be shot; my gas card so I can continue to drive fast; and of course, my home-owner's insurance policy, because I would want to review the section on cyclone coverage as soon as I got a safe distance.
Quickies (Don’t think, just answer)
Ice cream, vanilla or chocolate?
Heels or sandals?
Harry Potter or Twilight?
Dogs or cats?
April: Neither – I have kids and don’t want to feed anything else.
Beer or girly drink with umbrella?
Danielle: Neither, Hennessey
April: Neither – whiskey
Boxers, briefs or commando?
Where can we find out more about you and your work?
And finally, have you got a sneak peek excerpt from your current work in progress you can share with my readers and me?
We arrived at the lounge, which was tucked away and hidden from the city. It was easily the most romantic and seductive place I had ever been. A live band played a soft, slow ballad as we were seated.
We ate dinner, and the conversations were short; neither of us divulged too much information. Yet, it was an intriguing encounter I didn't want to end.
"Would you like to dance?" he asked. I assumed the hardwood square in the center of the room was set up as a dance floor, but no one was on it.
"No one's really dancing," I said, hoping this would discourage him from asking again.
He pulled me to my feet, and in that instant an alluring sound began to play, and the words crooned were so tempting I gave in. Kale led me to the floor and pressed his body to mine. My head barely met the middle of his chest, and I gazed up at him, transfixed by his eyes. The words of the song overwhelmed me with each provocative verse, as though they were meant for only me. Kale emanated an essence that threatened to consume my body. I closed my eyes. His left hand, pressed against the small of my back moving me slowly and gently in sync with him. He used his right hand to trail a finger from the corner of my eye and down my cheek to my chin and then my collarbone, expanding his whole palm over my shoulder. I felt tiny and fragile but safe and secure. "You're beautiful," he said, astonishing me.
I opened my eyes, and saw all of the shades of blue that made his eyes so brilliant. They twisted and interlocked, creating the most vibrant color. He leaned towards me, and my legs grew weak. He held my gaze, and I wanted so badly to look away; this was not something I was ready for.
Finally, his lips were within an inch of mine. I forced my eyes closed as he whispered, "Azaleigh." He pressed his lips zealously to mine. With each supple kiss a surge of heat rushed through me. His hands reached up, cupping my jaw on each side, holding me in place. His last kiss gently pulled at my top lip and softly let go. He lingered inches from my face. I stood there with my eyes closed, too petrified to open them. His thumb brush across my cheek reassuringly. I couldn't speak. I was afraid my words would dissolve the moment and I would never get the magic back. But like all great things, the end was inevitable.
"It's getting late. I should take you home." His words broke the silence I had dared not to break myself.
Azaleigh’s life was simple. Then she meets Kale and Gage, two very different and charming men – one she loves and the other she cannot live without. As she struggles with her feelings towards them both, she begins to realize they are hiding a secret – and to her surprise they are not the only ones. Soon after, Azaleigh finds herself running for her life from a bounty hunter that is far from human, and with every narrow escape, she begins to unlock the secret that will change her life forever. In a world of good and evil, angel and fallen, Azaleigh must choose between fate or the one she loves. What do you do when hell won’t let you win and evil just won’t die?
Excerpt for Flesh and Feathers
“Go to hell!” I shouted as I began walking hard steps down the alley that would lead to the city sidewalk.
“Azaleigh!” he shouted, grabbing my arm and spinning me around to face him.
My only reaction was to slap him hard across his face. The loud sound of my hand making contact with his cheek shocked me, but I was too angry to care. “No! You don’t understand! You don’t ever get to touch me again!”
I shrugged harshly out of his grip. Just then, a heavy gust blew, ruffling my hair and blinding me as I turned to walk away, followed by a loud thud. Taking a step forward, I brushed my hair from my face, but then stopped suddenly. A man wearing a white hooded cloak stood in front of me. At first I stopped because I was astonished by what he was wearing, but as I studied him, I noticed the slender sword-like object that he gradually pulled from his side. My body began to tremble with fear.
“Azaleigh, get behind me!” Kale demanded in a firm voice.
Before I had a chance to respond, the man started running towards us. I felt Kale’s arm wrap around my waist. He held me tight to his body, and I could feel something begin to rumble inside him.
Thank you Danielle and April, for visiting My Odd Little World. Remember, everyone, The authors will be giving away an autographed bookmark and $5 Amazon GC to one commenter at every stop, and one $15 and one $25 Amazon.com gift certificate to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour. Be sure to leave a comment and your email address.