Jena Gregoire has been contacting me for a while with various blog tours to take part in and while I’ve been unable to take part in the majority, how could I say no to her own? Burning is the first in a brand new series which promises to be excellent. You can find Jena on Twitter and over at her author site.

To say I read a lot would be the understatement of the century. I read an obnoxious amount and I tend to gravitate towards the urban fantasy/paranormal romance realm. I have always written short stories here and there but never planned to do anything with it.

In 2003, Nancy Holder teamed up with Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon and wrote a book called Chosen. Well, she sort of wrote it. See, Chosen was the entire final season of the hit TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer novelized, each chapter being an episode of that season. Aside from writing out what Joss had physically shown his audience, the book was 688 pages of something we had already seen. It was word-for-word, scene-for-scene the same as the show. Boooooooring….

In an experiment of sorts and to see how difficult that would be, I decided to take an episode of Angel (the Buffy spin-off series) and novelize that. I was all of two chapters in when a mouthy little chick appeared in my head. She was a new character and she had no place in the world of Angel. She was sarcastic and tough as nails but also painfully beautiful. I immediately scrapped the Angel experiment, opened a new document and went to work.

As quickly as she appeared, a story started building around her. Hers was a world where people don’t blindly ignore the presence of the supernatural community. Vampires, werewolves, witches, demons – all things supernatural – they’re all real. This supernaturally soaked world appeared around her, all very urban and edgy. Her home city took shape and turned out to be New York City.

The more I thought about this character and her world, the more scenes started playing out in my head and I started typing furiously. Her name was Jade then but as time and writing went on, although I really like the name Jade, I realized it just didn’t fit my character. Soon, her real name became clear to me. Deziree.

Deziree’s leading man also became a force I could no longer ignore. His name was Michael and he had a distinct personality – a vampire who is a tough guy assassin, moves flawlessly like an animal of prey and is loyal to no end – but for months his face remained blurry in my head. Then I saw a picture of Disturbed front man David Draiman and was floored!

That picture was him! That’s my guy!! Once I had a face, his story line took off like a rocket. Shortly thereafter, Lucas came into the picture.

Lucas, also a vampire, is Michael’s snarky (and very man-whoreish) brother and his entire story line is based around something that happened prior to the start of my book. I knew right away that I needed to tell the story of that event but it really didn’t fit in the novel. I put my novel on the back burner and began writing ‘Burning’.

‘Burning’ tells the story of Lucas and Natalia. Natalia was originally designed to be nothing more than plot line fodder for my novel but ended up becoming one of the main characters of the short story prequel. Although it takes place in the same fictional world, Burning has a more romantic feel as it takes place in Venice Italy instead of in the heart of New York City. At 13 pages long, ‘Burning’ gives you a little teaser taste of what is to come in my novel ‘The Devil You Know’.

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