Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sunday's Author Spotlight: Lauren Smith


Today I’m super excited to have Lauren Smith on the Sunday’s Author Spotlight. Lauren Smith is the author of Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance, Gothic Romance and Contemporary Romance novels and she is one of my favorite authors.

With already five published books, several short stories and multiple awards in several romance subgenres including being an Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award, Lauren is definitely an author you need to keep an eye on. On Goodreads almost all of Lauren’s books get an average rating above 4.0 and there are many more books in development. 

About 'Blood Moon On The Rice':


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17903008-blood-moon-on-the-rise
Tamara wants nothing more than to protect the world from deadly paranormal creatures. Well, maybe she wants a little more than that. But the man she craves—Nicholas Rubin—is strictly off limits.

For years, Nicholas has been her loyal partner, helping to defeat murderous werewolves and take down unruly vampires. Nicholas has always given Tamara his protection, friendship, and support. The only thing he hasn’t given her is his love. A relationship between Tamara and Nicholas is forbidden by ancient law, and the consequences could be deadly.

But when a powerful Sorceress threatens both their lives, Tamara has a choice to make: Give into her feelings for Nicholas, and risk her life. Or take a chance on Nicholas, and receive his love—at a price.

This book is available at iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Smashwords and Sony Reader Store

About 'The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall':

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23165581-the-shadows-of-stormclyffe-hallA thrilling gothic romance from Entangled’s Otherworld imprint…

To defeat a dark evil, they must face his family’s past…

Bastian Carlisle, the Earl of Weymouth, doesn’t believe in ghosts. Even though tragedy and mysterious hauntings have driven his family away from his ancestral home, Stormclyffe Hall, he is determined to restore the castle to its former glory. His plans are disrupted when a stubborn American shows up on his doorstep hoping to pry into his family’s tragic history.

Jane Seyton, an American graduate student, is convinced there’s more to the tragedy of Stormclyffe Hall than history claims. Ever the scholar, she is determined to discover the truth, even if it means putting up with the arrogant, yet sexy, Bastian.

Although Bastian wants nothing to do with the pushy American, it soon becomes clear that something evil is in the house—and that something is targeting both Jane and Bastian. The two must join forces to purge the ghosts of Stormclyffe Hall once and for all—even as they try to fight a physical attraction between them that grows more and more impossible to deny.

This book is available at iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Kobo

To read my review of ‘The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall' please go here.

About 'Wicked Designs' (The League of Rogues #1):


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18658977-wicked-designs
The League of Rogues takes what they want—but have they taken on too much?

For too long Miss Emily Parr has been subject to the whims of her indebted uncle and the lecherous advances of his repulsive business partner. Her plan to be done with dominating men forever is simple—find herself a kind husband who will leave her to her books.

It seems an easy enough plan, until she is unexpectedly abducted by an incorrigible duke who hides a wounded spirit behind flashing green eyes.

Godric St. Laurent, Duke of Essex, spends countless nights at the club with his four best friends, and relishes the rakish reputation society has branded him with. He has no plans to marry anytime soon—if ever. But when he kidnaps an embezzler’s niece, the difficult debutante’s blend of sweetness and sharp tongue make him desperate for the one thing he swears he never wanted: love.

Yet as they surrender to passion, danger lurks in Godric’s shadowed past, waiting for him to drop his guard—and rob him of the woman he can’t live without.

This book is available at iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Audible.

To read my review of ‘Wicked Designs’ please go here.

About 'His Wicked Seduction' (The League of Rogues #2): 


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23253662-his-wicked-seductionCan the League's most wicked rakehell be tamed? Or has this Rogue fallen too far?

Horatia Sheridan has been hopelessly in love with Lucien, her brother’s best friend, ever since he rescued her from the broken remains of her parents’ wrecked carriage. His reputation as London’s most notorious rakehell doesn’t frighten her, for under his veneer of cool authority she has glimpsed a man whose wicked desires inspire her own.

Lucien, Marquess of Rochester, has deliberately nurtured a reputation for debauchery that makes every matchmaking mother of the ton quake with fear. His one secret: he is torn between soul-ripping lust for Horatia, and the loyalty he owes her brother.

That loyalty is put to the test when an old enemy of the League threatens Horatia’s life. With Christmas drawing near, he sweeps her away to his country estate, where he can’t resist granting her one wish—to share his bed and his heart.

But sinister forces are lurking, awaiting the perfect moment to exact their revenge by destroying not only whatever happiness Lucien might find in Horatia’s arms, but the lives of those they love.

This book is available at iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Audible and Kobo.

To read my review of ‘His Wicked Seduction’ please go here.

About 'The Gilded Cuff' (Surrender #1):


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23612842-the-gilded-cuffEvery passion has its price . . .

From the moment Sophie enters his shadowy, sensual domain, Emery Lockwood knows this tantalizing new little sub was meant to belong to him. However, Sophie wants more from Emery than just pleasure . . . she wants his past. And that is something he isn’t willing to give—no matter who is asking. But every moment he spends with Sophie, Emery feels his control slipping and he knows it’s only a matter of time before he surrenders to her heart, body, and soul.

Journalist Sophie Ryder has been following Emery Lockwood’s story since she was a little girl. There has always been something in his haunted eyes that she couldn’t resist and now, when she’s certain he holds the key to solving a string of kidnappings, she’ll do anything to speak to him. Even if it means venturing deep into the seductive world of the Gilded Cuff, a luxurious BDSM club on Long Island’s Gold Coast and Emery’s personal playground.

This book is available from February 10th at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Kobo.

To read my review of ‘The Gilded Cuff’ visit my blog on February 10th


Excerpt 'The Gilded Cuff':


Emery held still, didn’t make a sound or move until she opened her eyes. When she did finally look up at him, he dropped his head a few inches, his nose touching hers, nuzzling her cheek.

“I’m not like other men, Sophie. Scars are a sign of strength, survival. Someday you’ll be brave enough to show me, and I’ll prove you have nothing to be ashamed of. Now, I am willing to accept the deal you proposed. Are you willing in return?”

She bit her lip. It had been her idea; she had to see it through. She wanted to see it through, even if it scared the living daylights out of her.

“Yes. I’ll do it. Your story, my submission.”

He kissed her with raw possession, his mouth showing her how wicked it would be between them. Wild, dark, and completely free. She wanted that more than anything, the freedom to let go, to give in to the erotic dreams she’d spent years ignoring but never had felt safe enough to give in to before. His kiss broke down every barrier, obliterated every part of herself she tried to hide. Sophie lifted her chin, offering him her mouth, pleading for him. Emery drew a quick breath, eyes widening before his lashes fell to half-mast, his gaze drawn to her lips.

When he took her lips, he dominated her with the depth of his claiming. She breathed him in, like drawing the first heavy breath upon waking from a thousand-year sleep. Sophie came alive in that single moment. The woman she’d been all these years since losing Rachel, the scared little girl fighting against the evils in the world, was gone. In her place was the woman she’d always wanted to be, a woman not afraid to live her life. She couldn’t shut this man out like she had her other friends or her family. No. He demanded she give in to him. Electric tingles pulsed outward from the places they touched, setting her senses on fire, fogging her mind. His kiss consumed her—enveloping her until she was lost, set adrift in a haze of desire, longing, and aching.

She felt his mouth tremble against hers; he seemed to strain to keep his possession under control, to bank the fires of his passion. His tongue slipped between her lips, thrusting in time with the rocking of his hips against hers in tiny circles. He gave up his control and took her over. His body weighed hers down, his hips rocking into hers. He could have done anything to her in that moment, and she’d have agreed to it. Sophie’s inner muscles clenched, empty and wet, yearning for him, but it was his kiss that was her downfall—almost brutal with craving, as though he was a thirsty man savoring his first sip of water from her mouth. All his focus, all his energy seemed to be on her, on her lips.

He tore his mouth from hers, panting roughly. He cursed savagely and withdrew his hands from her body. She blinked in surprise when she realized his hot hands had slid up her outer thighs beneath the mini-skirt. Her chest heaved, her breasts dangerously close to escaping the confines of her corset. Emery’s eyes slowly tracked down from her mouth to her breasts. With a rakish grin he pressed his mouth lightly on the tops of the creamy swells, his tongue darting out as he licked and nibbled a path back up to her lips. He paused, then feathered his lips at the corner of her mouth and brushed his nose against hers playfully.

Sophie whimpered at the loss when he finally drew his head back. It felt like good-bye, but that was foolish; she’d only just met him and agreed to surrender to him. They couldn’t be done.

Emery sighed, his breath uneven against her temple. His body stiffened above hers.
“Go home, Sophie. Forget me, this place. Let it be a peculiar dream, nothing more. I’m not the man for you.” His voice was harsh.

“No,” she whispered fiercely, but she wasn’t as sure of herself as she had been. She’d expected a spanking, some rough kissing. She hadn’t expected to feel so vulnerable and exposed by a man taking control of her body and owning her completely in a mere few minutes.

“You think you can really survive this lifestyle for even one minute? You’re vanilla, sweetheart. You wouldn’t ever let me tie you up and take you the thousand ways I’d like to. You’d cry when my hand came down on your ass in punishment. You’re not ready for this.”

She shook her head, furiously fighting off the swell of tears as her throat constricted. He and he alone had offered her what her secret dreams and longings had called for night after night. The phantom lovers that had tormented her to the brink of violent need in her dreams could never compare to the very real and very heavy weight of his body on hers at that moment. The devastation of that perfect kiss couldn’t be undone. The story could wait…but the need…the desperation to feel alive again…she couldn’t let go of that, not yet.

“No. Take me home with you.” She paused, calculating each word. “Please, Sir.” She was begging. There was no doubt about it for either of them, and as shocked as she was by her own impulse to beg, she prayed he’d let her go with him.

Emery’s lips twisted into a crooked smile. For a moment, she saw the boy in him, the one he’d been before his world had been utterly destroyed. The child wasn’t gone, wasn’t dead. Buried yes, but not dead. He threaded a hand through his hair and remained silent for moment. Shadows of doubt and indecision danced across his face before he finally replied.

“How can I resist?” Emery lifted himself and hauled her to her feet.

Sophie winced. Her back was bruised after lying on the stone floor beneath him. She hadn’t minded at the time—her body had been distracted by a thousand other things. But now her shoulder blades and hips screamed in protest. Emery took her into his arms, rubbing her back, massaging it with knowing hands.

“Come, I’ll summon my driver.”

“Okay.” She tried to remain calm. She was going home with Emery Lockwood. One of the richest men in America. Yet it wasn’t his wealth that made her fight off the rippling tremors at the base of her spine and in her womb. No, it was the fact that she was going home with a man who kissed her like she was the last woman on earth and time was ending. If he kissed like that, sex with him would be the Apocalypse. She’d never survive it.

Interview with Lauren Smith:


Tell me about who Lauren Smith is?

I’m an attorney and a writer who was born and bred in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I’m a total nerd for books, movies, music, history and science.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

In the third grade, when I started actively writing my own stories and I started attending writer conferences through school.

What do you love most about being an writer?

Telling stories. I have a wild and fun imagination that never stops and the best part about writing is that I have an excuse to share my stories with everyone else. I love seeing how everyone reacts to them.

Who inspired you to become a writer?

Honestly, no one inspired me. It was just an innate need to write that kept me going. Further along in my building career, I was inspired to write romance and tried to model myself after great authors like Christina Dodd, Johanna Lindsey and Julia Quinn.

What are your favorite books?

This is always so tough to answer! I’d have to say Scent of Darkness by Christina Dodd, The Host by Stephanie Meyer, When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn and Gentle Rogue by Johanna Lindsey.

What book are you reading right now?

Beauty and the Barbarian by Amy Jarecki!

What did you like the most about writing your own book?

The satisfaction of telling a story that’s been in my heart. My characters are always very important to me and very real in many ways and giving them a happily ever after is the best thing there is.

You write historical romance and paranormal romance novels, how did you come to the idea of writing those stories? And where do you get the inspiration from?

My historical novellas are a collection of historical things I’ve encountered over the years in historical research for school. I studied at Cambridge in England for two summers and my League of Rogues series was born out of time spent on the campus which was rich with history. My paranormal gothic romances come from my love of old ghost stories and old gothic novels and wanting to put a new spin on older concepts. I read through many accounts of hauntings in England in various castles and manor houses and some of the spooky tales got my creative wheels turning!

Which one of your characters has stayed with you the most? And why?

That’s a really tough question. Every single story I write matters to me. Every character I create is incredibly special and they all stay with me. Some of them are less in the forefront of my mind than others depending on what I’m writing. For example, I’m finishing up a rough draft for the third book in my League of Rogues series, so all the League heroes are in my head right now, while my contemporary and paranormal heroes and heroines, not so much.

What are your future plans in writing?

To write, write and write! I have at least three more League of Rogues novels to write, hopefully an Edwardian novella trilogy, several historical novellas, hopefully more contemporary and paranormal books as well. And I even have my eye on some very cool sci-fi romances in the distant future.

Praise for Lauren Smith's Books:


‘Wicked Designs’ is a delightful romance and a great introduction to what promises to be an excellent series.

If you’re in the mood for a good mystery and ghost story, look no further than ‘The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall’, pull up the covers and settle in. Paired perfectly with an undeniably sexy romance and you’ll be ready to find your own haunted castle to visit!

I loved it and I couldn’t get enough. It’s another favorite for me and I would recommend it to all the romance novel readers out there. ‘The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall’ is really worth the sleepless hours!!

The last chapters are action packed with danger, betrayal, villains, forgiveness and most of all, LOVE! I can’t wait to for the next Rogue to fall!
- The Reading Café, about ‘His Wicked Seduction’

A great start to a new series for Lauren Smith and lucky for the readers that we get to go on this great journey with the new characters and world she has created.
- Kilts and Swords, about ‘The Gilded Cuff’

‘Wicked Designs’ is definitely going on my favorite list. I loved this book, the characters and the era. I couldn’t get enough and I’m determined to read more historical romance in the future. Lauren Smith has definitely got a new fan.

About the Author:

 

Amazon best-selling author Lauren Smith is an attorney by day, author by night, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She’s a native Oklahoman who lives with her three pets—a feisty chinchilla, sophisticated cat and dapper little schnauzer. She's won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including being an Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award.

For more information about Lauren Smith and her books please visit her website, her blog, Goodreads and Amazon. Or look for Lauren on Twitter and Facebook.
 

Giveaway:

  a Rafflecopter giveaway Thank you for visiting Maureen's Books!

 
   

8 comments:

  1. Great interview Maureen.
    Love the excerpts and I am waiting for Cedric and Ashton's stories!
    Reading Gilded Cuff now and really loving it.
    Lauren is a great storyteller!

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    1. Thank you! ;)
      Lauren really is a great storyteller. Her books never disappoint me! And 'The Gilded Cuff' is definitely one of my new favorites :D

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  2. Wonderful write up and interview Maureen. Lauren is one of my always buys and I wait for each one of her releases.

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    1. Thank you Debbie! Lauren's books are truly great and I also can't wait for her new books :D

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  3. I have most of Lauren's books. So I would choose the next book after Gilded Cuff, The Shadows of Stormclyff, or the anthology Wild At Heart.

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    1. Great choices. I read 'The Gilded Cuff' and 'The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall' and I would definitely recommend them ;)

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  4. Lauren great you started in the 3rd grade . Will there be any more goth stories

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  5. Lauren I heard you love Anne rice also . Which ate you favorite stories. And does that mean your going to do a story with an Egyptian scene in it

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