Q&A with Deborah Court and a giveaway!
Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog, Patti! "Bound to the Prince" is a steamy Paranormal Romance, with elements from fantasy, Celtic mythology and the Arthurian saga. It's set in today's London and in Fearann, the elven kingdom - a medieval fantasy world of noble knights, monsters and magicians.
Fallen from grace, elven warrior prince Elathan is living in exile, separated from his own people. He despises humans; yet he has chosen to live among them, hidden in underground caves. When he beholds a strangely compelling woman on a London bridge one night, he abducts her and takes her to his lair, commanding her to be his slave of pleasure.
Igraine Chandler, a nurse from New Jersey, might not be everyone's idea of a perfect romantic heroine. Recently dumped by her faithless fiancé, she’s heartbroken and bereft of all her hopes and dreams. But she soon finds herself in a world beyond her wildest dreams, fighting at her prince's side to help him reclaim his throne. However, can she survive a night of untamed passion in the arms of a Fae, and will she be prepared to die for his immortal love?
2. Can you tell us a little about your favorite scene in the story?
I really can't decide which is my favorite scene, but one which I call the "bathing scene" was definitely the most fun to write. It takes place in Elathan's cave chambers and an adjoining underground lake with a waterfall that he uses as a shower. As his newly appointed slave of pleasure, the prince commands Igraine to bathe him. But when she complies, he finds that it is suddenly the human who's in control now. You can read an excerpt from this scene below.
3. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Very early. I've always been passionate about books. My parents had to read me a bedtime story every night - then another, and another … ;-) When I was able to read and write myself, I started making up my own little stories or wrote alternative endings to my favorite books. As a teenager, I started to write fantasy and science fiction stories. I also drew/wrote my own comic book - it had elves in it, too. ;-) Later on I worked as a translator of historical romances and finally decided to write my own full-length novel.
4. Tell us a little about your daily writing routine. Are you a plotter or pantser?
I have two small children and a daytime job, so the only time left to write is at night. Usually, I write every evening until I fall off my chair. *lol* There are times when I don't get enough sleep but if I'm full of ideas I just have to keep writing. I'm a pantser, definitely. I start a new book with a basic idea of the plot and the characters inside my head, but then I just let the story unfold on its own. When the first chapters are finished, I'll try to get all my ideas into some order and write a rough outline for every chapter. But I am often taken aback myself when the story develops into a whole new direction. I love to be surprised.
5. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I have just normal "quirks", I fear. I have some special songs to which I listen while writing so I just play the right song which fits in with the scene I intend to write. And I love it when my Siamnese cat, Tinkerbell, sits by my side as I’m writing, taking her evening nap.
6. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
In his book "On Writing", Stephen King says that he believes stories are found things, like fossils in the grounds. This may sound crazy, but it's the truth. If you stop plotting too much and just let the story and the characters take over, the story can take a course you never expected. Sometimes it feels like it's the book that writes itself, and the author is just some kind of worker who digs it out and gives it a shape. Writing is almost an inspirational experience. You have to switch off the planning/plotting part of your mind and just let it happen. At least that's how it works for me.
7. What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?
This is hard to answer, there are so many great authors who influenced me - perhaps every book I ever read. Tolkien. Jane Austen. Arthur Conan Doyle. Stephen King - he's probably the most successful, but also most underestimated writer of our time. His characterization of a young girl in "The girl who loved Tom Gordon" is amazing.
8. What does your family think about your career as a published author?
They support me in every possible way. Sometimes, when I'm in "writing mode", my husband takes the children to play outside so I get some time for myself. I feel very blessed that the people I love encourage me in what I’ve always wanted to do.
9. Besides writing, what other interests do you have?
I am an obsessive reader, of course; I like paranormals, romances of all genres, the Victorian classics, mystery and horror novels. Besides being with my family, I love music, travelling and watching TV. I must admit that I'm a geek when it comes to TV series, "True Blood" being my favorite at present.
10. Can you tell us about what’s coming up next for you writing wise?
I 'm currently working on two projects. First is the next book in my "Elven Warrior Trilogy". It's the story of the elven magician, Calatin, who first appears in "Bound to the Prince". And I'm planning to publish an erotic novella, "House of Pleasure", quite soon.
11. How can readers connect with you online?
You can contact me at my website, http://www.deborahcourt.com/ , which features a book trailer, excerpts and more fun stuff. I also have a blog (http://deborahcourt.blogspot.com/ ), and you can find me on Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/Deborah_Court_/ ) or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002593778901 ). "Bound to the Prince" is available at Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Bound-to-the-Prince-ebook/dp/B005GA9C6M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315465467&sr=8-1 ), Smashwords (http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/82526 ), Barnes & Noble (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1105160239?ean=2940011477959&itm=1&usri=deborah%2bcourt ) and iTunes (http://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/bound-to-the-prince/id460280664?mt=11 ).
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Excerpt from "Bound to the Prince"
© 2011 Deborah Court
Elathan stood at the edge of the lake, waiting for Igraine to serve him. "What do you want me to do, my Lord?" she asked, still avoiding looking at his private parts.
"Don’t you filthy humans even know how to wash?" he hissed impatiently. He gestured to the ornate table. "These vials contain soaps and oils. Use them to bathe my body, slave." The prince stepped under the waterfall, rinsing off part of the mud, but it stuck to his skin and hair. Igraine sniffed at some of the bottles, inhaling their wonderful, unknown scents. Some of them were fresh, others musky, but clearly intended for use on the gorgeous body of the male who was showering right in front of her, naked. Water droplets glistened on his skin, running down from his chest to his flat, rippling stomach and still further down, gathering at … "Why do I feel like I'm in midst of a Cool Water commercial now?" she nervously murmured, wincing when the elf threw her a glance that clearly declared her a lunatic.
Sighing, Igraine took a small green bottle containing a soapy liquid and followed the prince. Elathan stepped out of his natural shower without even looking at her. Closing his eyes, he turned his broad back to Igraine, with the unspoken order to wash him. She poured some of the aromatic soap into the palm of her hand. The mud was diluted by the water, but it still ran in dark streams over the elf’s body, down over his hips and his muscular backside, dripping over his thighs. It collected in a puddle at his feet.
Igraine’s hands trembled when she reached out to touch him. "May I …?" she said softly. "What are you waiting for?" Elathan replied. Despite the harsh words, his voice was low and hoarse. She couldn’t see the expression of his face from behind, but she noticed his rigid posture. His contempt for her was obvious.
Taking a deep breath, she fought back her tears and started with his dirty hair, lathering it with the luxurious soap. Black, muddy water ran through her fingers and down her arms. When she had worked the soap into the whole silken length, she reached up to massage his scalp. Elathan stiffened before tilting his head back so she could reach him more easily. After she had washed all the mud out of his hair, she reached out to touch his shoulders, covering his pale skin with the soap.
Elathan stiffened even more, looking like a statue of stone now. Her hands wandered to the sides of his neck to wash the dirt away, then moved down over his shoulders, rubbing him in circles. His skin was smooth and soft as velvet over his rock-hard muscles. She longed to touch him, ferociously. No man had ever affected her so much. Just being close to him made her a weak creature, driven by the most primitive desire to mate.
Now that he couldn’t see her shamelessly staring at him, she was safe to admire his muscular back. It was built like an artist’s masterpiece. The scars marring his alabaster skin only enhanced his beauty. Without them, the sight would be too perfect for human eyes to endure. They were old, faint scars, diagonally crisscrossing all over his back. Igraine suddenly realized that the prince had been whipped, even if it had obviously happened long ago. Tears stinging in her eyes, she lightly traced the scars with her fingers while she washed his back. Although she didn't dare, she longed to touch those reminders of his torment with her lips, kissing the ancient pain away.
Continuing with his waist, she found some very nasty grime there, sticking to the prince’s skin. As she rubbed his sides to get them clean, Elathan seemed to wince. She paused, but when he said nothing, she rubbed some more. He winced again, apparently trying to escape her touch. At first she stared at his back, baffled for a moment. Maybe he didn't like her to touch him anymore. But then she understood.
The merciless, battle-hardened elven prince was ticklish.
Amazed by her discovery, she pondered about tickling him some more, but decided against it. She should not tempt her fate too much. Instead she reached around his waist and began to wash his wide chest, feeling his strong heartbeat and the heat of his skin. He was so tall that she had to press her body against his back to reach him with her arms. Moving down, she soaped his flat stomach, feeling the tense muscles under her fingertips. Elathan seemed to breathe more heavily now. For a moment, she asked herself what would happen if she dared to go even deeper, washing him … there. When she had finished and withdrew her arms, she glanced down at his butt. Heavens, this was too good to be true – so smooth, perfectly rounded and tight. She wondered if he would allow her to wash him there, too.
Suddenly a mischievous grin spread across her face. Well, even if he would kill her afterwards, this princely backside would be worth it. Now your ass is mine, Your Royal Highness, she thought. She just couldn’t help it. Then her hands touched his muscular buttocks, lathering the soap in small circles over the skin. Maybe being an elven prince's slave wasn't going to be so bad, after all. When Elathan moaned ever so softly, she couldn’t hold herself back anymore. A small giggle escaped her lips.
Strong hands grabbed her upper arms. Igraine was whirled around until she stared directly into Elathan’s furious face, his golden eyes burning with anger. Before she could move or utter a sound, he picked her up like a weightless doll and threw her into the lake.
All of this happened so quickly that she didn't even have time to hold her breath. She sank into the dark water and struggled for a moment in panic. Then she managed to reach the surface and came up, coughing and gasping for air. Bewildered, she was still wondering what had happened when Elathan was suddenly in there with her, wading through the lake and quickly rinsing off the soap from his hair and body. His pitiless grin let her know that he found her distress entertaining.
"You!" she shouted angrily, shoving against his chest with both hands. The fact that his eyes widened with surprise gave her a certain amount of satisfaction, but not enough. "Prince or not, who the hell do you think you are? First you abduct and enslave me, threatening to kill me if I don't obey your every wish and whim. You hate humans, and still you don't bother to kill me. Instead, you seem to enjoy your little game of humiliating me. Why don't you finally get it over with, elf? You incredibly arrogant, insufferable…"
He grabbed her wrists and bent her arms behind her back with a swift movement. Simultaneously, he silenced her with a hard, passionate kiss.
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Deborah is giving away a prize:
I'd love to "giveaway" a copy of "Bound to the Prince" - the winner can choose between the Kindle version
or other formats (PDF, Epub and more). Also, the winner will receive a free mp3 of my book soundtrack song
"Bound to You" by Jezebel.