Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Q&A with Lisa Renee Jones & Giveaway: THE LEGEND OF MICHAEL


Join me today in welcoming author Lisa Renee Jones to the Preternatura blog! Award winning author Lisa Renee Jones has published more than fifteen novels in several different languages, spanning multiple genres of romance: contemporary, romantic suspense, dark paranormal and erotic fiction. Her awards include first place in the Romantic Times Aspiring Writers Contest. She currently lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she is working on her next Zodius novel, The Renegade Conquest (working title), to be released in November 2011. For more information, please visit www.lisareneejones.com/ and www.sourcebookscasablanca.com.

Lisa’s new book, a sci-fi romance called The Legend of Michael, was released by Sourcebooks Casablanca on May 1. It was so fun to read a science fiction-based paranormal romance! The nice folks at Sourcebooks will be giving away two copies so read through to the contest info at the end!

First, about The Legend of Michael:  He’s a Lethal Weapon…One of an army of human soldiers injected with alien DNA, Michael is a legend within this new race, split between good and evil. Untamable, he has walked on the dark side and returned to the light. Feared and misunderstood, he leaves everything behind, including the one woman destined to be his mate.  He is her Enemy… And her Destiny…Cassandra holds the key to Michael’s power, and his pain. With loyalties divided and against insurmountable odds, Cassandra’s heart propels her to Michael’s side—but can her love do anything but destroy him…No ordinary woman can control a creature such as Michael, and only one th ing is clear—the world will never be the same…

Welcome, Lisa! First, I loved The Legend of Michael―congratulations on its release! You tap into a genre we don’t see too often, which is science fiction-based romance. Can you give us the “elevator pitch” for Michael and his world?
Thank you so much on Michael. I’m so glad you enjoyed the story. I am so bad at elevator pitches, and after years in sales, you’d think I would be great! For Michael I would say – dark, dangerous genetically enhanced Super Soldier who is as lethal in battle as he is in bed :-)

Which came first--the world, or the characters?
The world for sure. I had been traveling to Vegas several times a year, which put Area 51 in my mind. There were several series with DNA-altered men, and even just men transformed into vamps and werewolves. So I was digging deep into ‘what is different?’ when it seemed so much had been done. I knew vamps and shapeshfters were out and I knew a hot military hero rocked my world. So, that’s how the idea began to take form. An interesting tidbit.  I can’t say who, but someone who has passed away who was part of a military team, and took part of one of those supposed (Area 51) shipwrecks recovered, gave me some hints of information. Those men were all sworn to secrecy (and I mean SWORN TO SECRECY) but right before he passed away, he shared tiny tidbits. We could never drag the entire story from him (we being family) but boy we tried! He carried those secrets with him for decades and to his deathbed. Knowing this really made me begin thinking of what might be beneath Area 51, and inside the facility.

How did writing Michael differ from writing your previous romance titles?
My voice for my contemporary stories is light and fun. I enjoy the break from the dark side but often my Blaze editor gets me right after I wrote a dark story, and she says – just remember – light and fun, Lisa! My voice for paranormal tends to be dark – often very dark. I’d gotten to explore that dark side with my Nocturne Knights of White, and often found the 75k word count limiting and frustrating. With every single book, I reworked the story to stay at word count. It was nice with Michael, and the next two books in the series (already written) to remove that word-count limitation. Even an extra 10k leaves so much more room to fully tell a story.  Also, with Nocturne, the hero must be alpha and the heroine can never be too alpha herself. I always had to remain cautious of that because I like to write a strong heroine. I love having the ability to play with the characters more.     

How much research was required for this world--all the science / genetic testing sounded plausible. It felt like a cross between futuristic Area 51 research and some of the horrific government-sponsored testing done in the 1940s and ‘50s.
I read a number of non-fiction books about Las Vegas. I talked with the family member I mentioned. I spent hours on the net reading conspiracy theories about Area 51. And finally, I have a fiancé going to med school, who has talked to professors for me about some of the medical possibilities.

What’s on your nightstand--your current read?
I read all over the board. I just picked up Karen Moning’s Highlander Spell to re-read it. I just love her writing. I also loved her Fever urban fantasy series. LOVED. Such a rocking wonderful series. I’ve recently written an urban fantasy first-person proposal that is in my agent's hand now, so that tells you I have an urban fantasy bug in me. I just love urban fantasy. However, sometimes I love a historical – like Gaelen Foley – who is a goddess of prose – just for the amazing escape. I can’t write historical, so I can just escape.

The chemistry between Michael and Cassandra was hot right from their first scene together! Do you “cast” your characters as you write? Who’d play Michael and Cassandra?
I tend to cast the male character and even print a picture. I tend to try and become the heroine, no matter how different she is from me. But with the hero cast, and a picture printed, then I experience him as her. For Michael, it was always Rob Aston, the former Mr. Romance, and there was one particular picture that just screamed MICHAEL to me.  Sadly, Rob passed away a few years back at a very young age. His Romantic Times profile is at: http://old.romantictimes.com/resources_covermodels.php?article=185

What’s next in the Zodius world?
The Storm That is Sterling is out in November 2011. My hero picture for that story is Justin Harding who plays Green Arrow in Smallville. He is SO Sterling to me. Sterling personifies the song by Tim McGraw – I might be a real bad boy, but baby I’m a real good man, to me. He is wild and daring, and funny. I loved writing him.
            Then in May 2012, The Danger That is Damion will be in stores. My hero picture for him is Channing Tatum. I so don’t think Channing can act, but dang he makes a perfect Damion!  Damion is Mr. America. All about the rules and doing things by the books. It was fun to write a woman who could make him forget the rules!
            Thank you so much for having me! This was a fun interview!

Thanks, Lisa--great to have you here!

Want to win a copy of The Legend of Michael? Leave a comment, and you know the rest of the drill. One entry for comment, another for blog follow, a third for a Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and a fourth for a Tweet or Retweet. Be sure to include your email. Now...Go forth and comment!


40 comments:

  1. Please enter me.

    +1 comment
    +1 blog follower

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  2. My grandad worked at Area 51 and as soon as he retired from the military he holed himself up in a tiny trailer in Lompoc and never left. He never gave anything up, but oh, did we work him for it!

    +1 comment
    +1 follower

    jennhutson3128 at yahoo dot com

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  3. Sounds good, count me in! +1 follower +1 comment tWarner419@aol.com

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  4. Jenn-- its crazy how tight lipped they are. It makes you certain there is WAY more than even your mind can conjure going on when they are that afraid to talk.

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  5. Would love to be entered. Thank you for the post and contest.

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

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  6. So loved this story... Since I did win an ARC from Lisa... I guess I should not enter to win this... But I will RT and help spread the word...

    *two thumbs up*

    Kelly M
    crazybookfairy@gmail.com

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  7. I really want to read this book.

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  8. Such an interesting mix of genres! ;) Would love to read it.

    cris_mv at hotmail dot com

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  9. I tweeted: https://twitter.com/mcrism1/status/68389283203006464

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  10. I absolutely love the cover of this one. And I love the premise of the story.

    I am now a foller of the blog
    I am now folling on twitter

    Larena
    lrwirum@q.com

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  11. I am so looking for to reading Michael's story.

    New blog follower.
    Twitter-MABledsoe

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  12. OMG forgot email address.

    koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

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  13. I haven't read a good alien/sci fi/romance in like, ever so this does look good. And the cover is totally smoken.
    +1 twitter follow
    Gaulkegirls@hotmail.com

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  14. Lisa, I lived in Vegas most of my life and my mom always laughed about the charter bus that would pick up the workers who parked next to the 7-11 she worked at...Big huge lighted sign that said AREA 51.
    Never got to hear too many stories about the place though, they never talked, but I wouldn't doubt unusual things.

    Qwillia
    qwilliarain@gmail.com

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  15. Great interview!

    +1 comment
    +1 blog follower (Mariee)
    +1 twitter follower (marieimy)
    +1 tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/marieimy/status/68438772269850624

    marieimy (at) gmail (dot) com

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  16. Kelly thank you! Made me smile big!

    Blogger Kelly said...

    So loved this story... Since I did win an ARC from Lisa... I guess I should not enter to win this... But I will RT and help spread the word...

    *two thumbs up*

    Kelly M
    crazybookfairy@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I watched a special about the way the people get picked up on buses and the private aircraft. Sooooo interesting. What really happens there? I so want to know!

    Qwillia Rain said...

    Lisa, I lived in Vegas most of my life and my mom always laughed about the charter bus that would pick up the workers who parked next to the 7-11 she worked at...Big huge lighted sign that said AREA 51.
    Never got to hear too many stories about the place though, they never talked, but I wouldn't doubt unusual things.

    Qwillia
    qwilliarain@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Lisa,

    I love that you pick a male actor (or famous personality) to create your character around. Really gives the visual that ties to the image you've created!

    I've just started reading alien/sci-fi books, and I can't wait to read The Legend of Michael!

    +1 twitter
    +1 blog
    +1 comment

    ReneeRearden@yahoo.com

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  19. Hey Renee -- like that name:) And thank you. Michael is sort of sci-fi in that he was injected with alien DNA but it really ends there. No aliens, no spaceships. I kind of call it a cross between Feehan's Ghostwalker's and Lora Leigh's Breeds in terms of books. In movies, maybe Universal soldier, meets Resident Evil.

    Lisa,

    I love that you pick a male actor (or famous personality) to create your character around. Really gives the visual that ties to the image you've created!

    I've just started reading alien/sci-fi books, and I can't wait to read The Legend of Michael!

    +1 twitter
    +1 blog
    +1 comment

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  20. Congrats on this all new release! I would so love to read this book as it sounds amazing.
    +1 Old GFC: LadyVampire2u
    +1 FB Follower: Aprille Shadowspeak
    +1 Twitter: LadyVampire2u
    +1 Tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/LadyVampire2u/status/68478125654290433
    = 4 Entries
    Thanks!
    LadyVampire2u AT gmail DOT com

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  21. I haven't heard of Area 51 before. You've made me curious so I'm off to google. Good luck with your new release, Lisa. It sounds great.

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  22. Indeed! What a fun interview! ;)
    sci-fi romance? Count me right in!
    Sounds VERY different, that's for sure.

    kah_cherub at hotmail dot com

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  23. Aaaand I tweeted: http://twitter.com/vollkopf/status/68669486764531712 ;)

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  24. I'm a twitter follower @vollkopf

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  25. I'm a fan of sci-fi and romance so this book / series will be a must for me.Great interview it's fascinating to see the ideas and research.
    1 comment
    +1 GFC follow
    +1 twitter follow
    irgl7(at)bonzo15(dot)plus(dot)com

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  26. I absolutely love the cover. I love the premise of the series. :-)

    I am a follower of the blog
    I am a follower on twitter

    Larena
    lrwirum@q.com

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  27. I would so love to read this, sounds like a great read. Thanks for the chance

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC follower
    +1 twitter follower-@joleneallcock
    +1 tweeted-http://twitter.com/#!/joleneallcock/status/69152345136693248

    june111(at)att(odt)net

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  28. Ohhh I like it and with a cover like that I really believe I can judge the book by its cover!

    +1 comment
    +1 blog follower
    +1 twitter follower

    Aliasgirl at libero dot it

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  29. This book sounds great. I would love to win it!

    +1 Comment
    +1 Blog follower
    +1 Twitter follower: (@Sparima)
    +1 Tweet: http://twitter.com/Sparima/status/69195894930669568

    spav05(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  30. i would love to try this !

    +1 Comment
    +1 Blog follower
    +1 Twitter follower: (@becunique)

    uniquas at ymail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I think Blogger messed up with my previous comments... well, I'm here again. ;) The sci-fi romance sounds great!

    kah_cherub at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  32. http://twitter.com/#!/vollkopf/status/68669486764531712

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  33. I don't know if I am too late to enter but I will try. I have been seeing Lisa's book all over the blogs and can't wait to read it.
    Thanks Suzanne for posting the interview and the contest.
    *Hugs*
    +1 comment
    +1 blog follower
    +1 twitter follower-MABledsoe

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  34. Crap forgot email...

    koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  35. Oh no! I was on vacation last week and missed this one. I know you're not pulling names until today though, so on the off-chance that this comment is still valid, I'll say +3 (comment, GFC, Twitter). Thanks!

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