Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Interview and Giveaway with Amber Belldene

Welcome to the The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom, Amber! 

Thank you! And thanks for having me on your blog today to talk about my new release, the final installation in the Blood Vine series: Blood Reunited!

Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.

Blood Reunited is the third book in the Blood Vine series.  It focuses on the Maras family of vampires, who are in exile from their homeland in Croatia, a state which causes them to fall ill to a wasting disease.  Hunters know this, and have been driving vampires from their homes for centuries, but at the start of this book, the Hunters’ campaign grows more violent, and only Bel and Uta can stop theme. 

The problem is the pair are enemies, fated mates, and rather stubborn about the whole situation.  I think the trailer does a good job conveying the history between the two, and their shared mission in the book.

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

Well, probably the most unexpected thing about me is that in addition to writing romance, I’m an Episcopal priest.  Some people think the two vocations are contradictory, but I disagree. The romances I enjoy are about love, and facing demons, and the transcendent, healing power of sex—all of that is holy stuff to me, and so I think being a priest who writes romance is perfectly natural.

Are you a mom ?

I am a mom of toddler twins. And after I’d gone on a monstrous romance binge while I was pregnant, I got the bug to try my hand at writing shortly after they were born. Rather inconvenient. I also work full time as a priest, so I’m a working mom who writes in the wee hours and during episodes of Caillou.

Do you find it hard to juggle writing and parenting?

Yes, working full time, being present with my family as much as possible, and finding time to write is a balancing act.  I happen to be passionate and disciplined about writing, and I’ve abandoned a lot of my other hobbies (I used to cook, garden, knit, exercise, now I just write at my standing desk or my stationary bike desk). I’ve narrowed my life down to the essentials—family and friends, work and writing. Some days, I feel torn between those many loves. While balance is a must, I do value having my kids see me doing something I love and working hard at it.  I’m proud of setting that example.

Is there a theme or message in your work that you would like readers to connect to?

Generally, I would say that yes, there is a unifying theme to my work.  Preachers often joke around that we only have one sermon, and we just modify it a little based on the scriptures assigned for the day.  For me, my one sermon is the same as the message in my romance novels.  I wrote about it in a sermon I preached not at church, but at my local Romance Writers of America meeting back in December.

Beyond that, I never start writing with a message or even a theme in my mind.  I start with two characters in a particular kind of conflict.  But for me, the conflict inevitably determines the theme.  This book is a fated mates/enemies to lovers story.  It’s also about the attempted reconciliation of ancient enemies—vampires and the Hunters trying to eliminate them.  The romance arc parallels the series arc, so this book is about the very hard work of making peace with the past in order to have a future.

Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why?

This is a hard one! For a long time, hands-down, it would have been Andre Maras, the hero of Blood Vine and patriarch over the whole series of books.  Ever since I began writing, he has taken up residence in my mind and become a constant companion to me. He’s a great father, protector, lover, and he’s very easy to tease :-) 

But since writing Blood Reunited, I am also very fond of Uta.  She has both a brashness and a vulnerability that I admire.  We don’t have much in common, but I’d like to think if I were two thousand three hundred years old, I would be a lot like her.

What book are you reading now?

I’m reading Alexis Hall’s awesome lesbian paranormal noir Iron and Velvet. The main character’s words drip with his snarky voice and it’s hilarious and hot!

Blood Reunited   
Blood Vine Series
Book Three
Amber Belldene

Genre: paranormal romance

Publisher: Omnific Publishing

Date of Publication: January 28, 2014


Book Description:

Book Three in the Blood Vine Series.

Brooding vampire halfling and biologist Bel Maras is determined to create a cure for the wasting disease that plagues his vampire family. His work becomes essential as the Hunters intensify their global and bloody campaign. When Bel's cure fails, only his ancient and estranged godmother Uta Ilirije can help. But seeing the ice-cold Uta reveals something shocking--she is his bonded mate.

She may be a dangerous warrior, but Uta feels her failures acutely. She has been unable to protect her kind from Hunters, and vampires are dying out. Worse, she tied Bel to her long ago in an accident of blood, then abandoned him for his own good--a choice he has never forgiven. Many days, she is convinced Bel and the vampires would be better off if she just walked into the sun.

Biology has fated them to be mates. Now these old enemies must overcome their past to save the vampires and come to peace with the bond they never chose.

Blood Entangled
Blood Vine Series
Book Two
Amber Belldene

Genre: paranormal romance

Publisher: Omnific Publishing

ISBN: 9781623420437

Number of pages: 318

Book Description:

KOS MARAS’s orderly life is in shambles—he must distribute Blood Vine to a population of ailing vampires, but Hunters block him at every turn. To make matters worse, each night he watches over a temptingly beautiful woman sleeping in his bed. He is convinced love cannot last a vampire-long lifetime and an entanglement will only cause them grief, but he doesn’t have the heart to send her away.

From a long line of blood servants, LENA ISAAKSON is destined to serve a vampire, but a string of humiliating rejections thwarts her pleasure. When Kos shows her kindness, she hopes he will claim her. Instead he proves himself a coward in the face of love and sends her to serve another.

Will the dark seduction of a rakish new vampire finally bring Lena the pleasure she desires or deliver her into the hands of Hunters who want to destroy everything the Maras family has worked for?

Blood Vine
Blood Vine Series
Book One
Amber Belldene

Genre: paranormal romance

Publisher: Omnific Publishing

Date of Publication: January 6, 2013


Number of pages: 206

Book Description:

In Blood Vine, bites are an inconvenient bliss, exiled vampires are wasting away, and the fate of their kind depends on the perfect PR campaign.

When public relations pro Zoey Porter arrives at an enchanting California winery, she discovers her sexy new client is the almost one-night stand she can't forget. After her husband's suicide, Zoey has vowed never to risk her heart again. But can she walk away from the intriguing winemaker a second time?

Driven from Croatia by his ancient foes, vampire Andre Maras has finally made a blood-like wine to cure his fellow refugees. Now he needs Zoey's PR expertise to reach them. After his wife's death, Andre has a vow of his own—never to risk another painful blood bond. And one taste of the tempting Zoey would bind him to her eternally.

His secrets stall her PR plans. Her jealousy is stoked by the blissed-out beauties leaving his bedroom. At every turn, he utterly fails to resist her. When she discovers he is a vampire, will she be lost to the golden-eyed Hunters, or lose herself to the emptiness in her heart, before she can help him save his kind?

Book Trailer:

 About the Author:

Amber Belldene grew up on the Florida panhandle, swimming with alligators, climbing oak trees and diving for scallops…when she could pull herself away from a book.  As a child, she hid her Nancy Drew novels inside the church bulletin and read mysteries during sermons—an irony that is not lost on her when she preaches these days.

Amber is an Episcopal Priest and student of religion.  She believes stories are the best way to explore human truths.  Some people think it is strange for a minister to write romance, but it is perfectly natural to her, because the human desire for love is at the heart of every romance novel and God made people with that desire. She lives with her husband and two children in San Francisco.

twitter: @amberbelldene

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1 comment:

Amber Belldene said...

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today!