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Monday, July 16, 2012

CJ Ellisson Interview/Giveaway

C.J. Ellisson, author of contemporary fantasy and erotica, lives near DC with her husband, two children aged eleven and nine, two Staffordshire Bull Terriers and a fluffy black cat who makes her sneeze.

After spending most of her working life dealing with real estate - either as a sales manager in wholesale mortgage banking, a corporate trainer, a Realtor, or as a property manager - she's now writing full-time and happy for the first time in years.

Writing has become her passion and to find people want to read her stories feels like a dream come true.

First a little about the series...

V.V. Inn

Vampire Vacation

Meet Vivian. She's a 580-year-old vampire who exudes sex, has a talent for drama, and is passionate about two things: her human husband, Rafe, and their resort for the undead. Her ability to project physical illusions has created the perfect vacation spot a dark, isolated Alaskan hideaway where visitors can have their wildest fantasies come true.

Vivian knows the best performance requires perfect timing, but the powerful vamp is put to the test when she discovers a corpse in a locked guestroom minutes before the next arrivals. Always cool-headed, Rafe hides the body, convinced he and Vivian can find the culprit without disturbing their guests.

Juggling the increasingly outrageous demands of their customers while tracking a killer isn't easy. Will their poking and prodding give tem the answers they need, or will it uncover secrets Vivian would kill to protect?

The Hunt

Vivian thinks she can control every aspect of a deadly game with her usual manipulations… but what if she can’t? Journey along, in this next installment of The V V Inn series, for a wild ride as the tale is told through the eyes of all her new seethe members.

Seven vampires and seven werewolves pay to hunt a supernatural criminal across the cold, vast grounds of an Alaskan resort. The one to catch her, and live through the encounter, will increase their power by feasting on hers.

The tiny vampire they track is more than she appears, however. To escape a fate of ten years in silver chains, she'll do anything to survive the weeklong excursion. This time, the darkness holds more than just the stinging bite of the Arctic—it holds death.

Big Game

In this much-anticipated third installment of the V V Inn series, our sexy couple journeys to Argentina, bringing half their seethe along for the ride. Vivian and Rafe venture into the Seat of Darkness, the Tribunal's base, to uncover who's plotting against them and why. From a cold, windy island off the southern Argentine coast, to the decadence of Buenos Aires, the group has plenty to keep their attention--seductive twins, deadly games, and a bunch of bloodsucking fiends who hate our much-loved, despotic innkeeper enough to see her dead. Asa and Jon remain in Alaska, to manage the famous inn as it opens doors to a new type of guest. Visiting werewolves go on their first exploration of the property, looking for big game--hormones run high and shots ring out across the tundra. Soon, the hunters become the hunted and the peaceful getaway resembles a battleground. How many will survive the next five days and will they ever be the same again? 


Hi CJ! Welcome to Book Lovin’ Mamas! We’re so excited to have you here today to get to know you and learn a little bit about your V V Inn series.

Q) Could you tell us a little bit about you and your journey to becoming a writer?

I answer this question a lot, so let me try an avenue of information I don’t normally reveal. I didn’t graduate college. I took one creative writing class twenty years ago and that was it. I’ve been an avid reader my whole life, devouring three to five books a week before I attempted to write.

I started writing to save my sanity rather than worrying about extensive medical tests, procedures, and surrealistic diagnoses hitting me month after month. My husband gave me two years to sell my book, and after that I’d have to get a real job again. I worked forty to sixty hours a week to improve my craft, slowly beginning to dream that I might actually be able make it in the industry.

In the end, it was my writing (and the readers who loved it) that helped save me from depression about my current state of health. Times are still tough with medical bills, but I’m hopeful one day my books can help pay back all we’ve had to spend that insurance won’t cover.

Q) Do you have any rituals or traditions for when you start or finish a book?

LOL! Does getting drunk and dancing like a fool with your family count?

First and foremost I approach this as a job. If I’m not writing, I’m working on covers, reading about the industry, designing marketing materials, mentoring other writers, or learning more on craft.

Besides the wild dancing in celebration, no, I don’t have any rituals or real traditions.

Q) Where do you find your inspiration when starting a new series? Can you give us a little sneak peek into your research process?

I always find it interesting when people wonder about the creative process. I think most writers are afraid to admit they make this stuff up as they go. Whether you’re a “panster”, writing by the seat of your pants, a “plotter”, plotting every twist and turn before typing chapter one, or somewhere in between the two (which is me), I think the beginning is all the same: You start with an idea and go from there.

Sometimes that idea inspires you to research a topic, other times, it has you thinking about the characters and playing different scenarios out in your mind as you get a feel for their real reactions and personality. I’ve been reading more writing advice books lately and no matter who writes it, the theme seems to be the same. Don’t start until you have a clear idea of where the story is going, and sometimes be willing to admit you started before the idea was ready—often requiring you to go back and let the concept percolate more.

Q) Can you tell us a little bit about the V V Inn series?

This series started as a story I wanted to read. What would a powerful, ancient, and gorgeous vampire really be like? Would she care about other people’s thoughts or be more self-centered and ruthless than regular people? I took traits from myself and people around me when crafting her, and then made her a touch bat-shit crazy.

The first book in the series, Vampire Vacation, revolves solely around Vivian as she and her husband try to solve a murder on their property while keeping the resort guests happy. She’s sexy and lusty, demanding and unforgiving. I’ve found some readers love her while others dislike her. Kind of like real life in a way.

The second and third books, The Hunt and Big Game, turned out better than the first one, I think. Both novels each tell a unique story, with the chapters rotating POVs to another character in the book. Readers really enjoyed getting to know the rest of the players in the series, although a small few preferred Vivian’s POV.

Q) If you could be any one of your characters, which one would you be and why?

Gee… a gorgeous redhead who never ages, never gets sick, stays perpetually thin, has everything she wants, and a husband who cherishes her? LOL! No contest. I’d be Vivian in a heartbeat. Maybe not as bitchy and ruthless, though.

Now for a few quick fun questions.

Q) Dream Vacation spot? 

I can’t think of a particular spot, per se, but I can say my heart is drawn to Asia. I’ve wanted to explore that continent for decades.

Q) Most anticipated summer movie?

Magic Mike!! Is there really anything else? I don’t care if there’s any talking in it, I just want to see the gorgeous man flesh.

Q) Most anticipated book releasing in 2012?

Would it be shallow to say one of my own? ;-) I’m working on Vanilla Dom, an erotic romance, right now and am so excited to share this story with readers I could scream. As writers, we all have high hopes for any book we’ve spent time and tears on, but this one, this one means a lot to me.

Thanks so much for visiting today! I’m loving the series and I definitely look forward to any future release from you! :)

Thanks so much for having me!! And yay! I’m thrilled to hear you’re enjoying the books, thank you!

CJ has an awesome giveaway going on right now. To enter fill out the rafflecopter below. Good Luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Kristin said...

I love reading other authors take on a classic. I've not read your V.V. Inn yet but it sounds like a great series.

Cecilia83 said...

nice pic. with your dog cj. i love vampire books.. espevially hero which have a special power, and love the sex scene too. i never read your books. i think they are great recommend to me.

SdyLion said...

Vamps are the best- they have so many cool stories and different tales, its hard not to love all the folklore that goes along with the various myths. They are my favorites. sdylion(at)gmail(dot)com

June M. said...

I love reading vampire books because they can be written very unique. Authors can put their won twist on the vampires, choosing what of the traditional beliefs to follow or not. And I love it when they add lots of humor.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

I like vampire books because they can't really happen, and tap into that part of me that yearns for a real fantasy

i try to come back and see if the page will open up and then vamp book are great read and the one you ahave t here are looking great i like the way you did the cover

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