Making Love 101 has allowed me to come in contact with some incredible authors and make some great new friends. Madeline Pryce has been the very definition of kindness and patience and has been sending me bushels of email (((HUGS))), which I am forever thankful for because I think everyone can agree that when you have the flu 6 weeks out of 2 months, virtual TLC is right up there with Fresno’s potato soup and 4th of July. Well, you can’t agree with that, but I can say that and you can nod like you know what I’m talking about. Thanks oodles and noodles, Madeline!
Madeline Pryce’s Making Love 101:
This book is phenomenally amazekittens! I have a big thing for the entire frenemy angle. When you were developing Ella and Micah’s love story, what was it about the relationship between them, prior to Guinevere’s cutting away what bound their inhibitions, that gave them that combustible heat and infuriated push and pull?
A lot of the tension between them stemmed from preconceived notions, both on Ella’s and Micah’s part. Micah had his reasons for his resentment (revealed within the book) and Ella hadn’t really accepted who she was, or her place in the world yet.
Micah is introduced as a very flipped on, flipped off personality at the start of the book and then after Guinevere strike’s him and Ella in the graveyard he is beyond ‘on’ where Ella is concerned because she is his other half. Was the confession he made about being drawn to her when he first saw her file years earlier a mere admission of interest or a subconscious claim of his mate on sight? Would he have been able to have let his father take her as a wife without killing him for trying to take his mate?
It was definitely a subconscious way of claiming her. I truly believe that when you find the other half of your soul, you feel it. And, this second part of the question is tough! With Micah’s ‘otherness’ still bound, I’m not sure he would have killed Richard, but I don’t know if he could have just sat back and watched either.
When Ella and Micah come together at first they awake in a strange place with little memory of what happened other than some flashes of the acts they did: covered in blood, Ella turned a full vampire and Micah fearful he forced her or fearful that she will think he had. When you were creating this love story what was it about the mating claim between them that lead you to show the aftermath rather than the animalistic taking? So many authors would have done the show but you chose to leave it up to the imagination of the reader.
In the original version of the book (before my talented and lovely editor got a hold of it) there was no flashback, or glimpse, as to what really happened that night. In a lot of ways, since the book is written in 1st person and Ella wasn’t clear on the details, neither was the reader. I’m really happy with the way the revised scene came out. Taking readers into that scene was tough, but it was worth it and necessary. As far as writing the entire show…well that’s a lot of sex, even for an erotic book, LOL. Dark Cravings is based on the plot, the action and the driving need between them. To achieve this, I had to get them out of that hotel room. *grin*
Love stories between fated mates are often confusing because it is a primal, sexual, mystical pull between two beings and it often causes incredibly territorial and proprietorial emotions. How do you make a love story out of something that is so primitively carnal?
Despite the carnal attachment, feelings are still involved. I think Dark Cravings shows this well. In the beginning Ella and Micah were hostile, the sex was combative. But, as the book progressed and they learned to deal with their bond (and their feelings) the sex changed into something more, something deeper.
Ella is a very complex character who is pulled in many directions. She has a responsibility to care and protect her family from all the things that go bump in the night as well keeping them away from her sire, Julian, who she herself is very susceptible to. She is constantly pulled by him and he can crawl into her mind. After she mates with Micah she needed to be near him so she can touch him all the time. Ella is an incredibly strong character but her connections make her vulnerable. How did you balance these things?
Balance is the key! As you know, Dark Cravings is the first book in the series. In this story she gets knocked off balance, big time. While she is incredibly strong, there is only so much someone can take before they break. Dark Secrets (coming out this summer) is where Ella is forced to stop and look at her life, the people around her and find this balance. If she doesn’t, she won’t survive.
With Julian in Ella’s head and her hunting partner being the irascible Micah did you ever find when you were writing her story and first developing her character that she was being crafted in too combative of a situation? Was there ever a time when you worried she would be too hard?
Ella was raised to be an assassin, a lethal killing machine. She has to be hard. There were times I feared she’d have a nervous breakdown, but not too hard. Micah proves himself enough for Ella to let her guard down, thus giving her a soft interior.
Your novel is very character driven and you use the interrelationship between the main and secondary characters to keep tensions high while keeping the focus of the story on Ella and Micah. How do you feel the love story benefitted from the story breaks that introduced more and more of the Dark Cravings world and characters in it?
One of the best ways to show someone’s true character is to show how they react around other people. Bringing in the two people Ella and Micah care about the most was beneficial because readers got to see a different side of them, which in turn made them more dimensional. Not only that, having well developed secondary characters creates an attachment not just to Ella and Micah but to the entire universe.
Is it ever hard for you to write a hot and steamy sex scene? Do you ever write it and then think to yourself, “God, I hope my mom doesn’t read that!”?
I’m so far removed when I write a sex scene. Sex is such a crucial part of relationships, I can’t right a romance and not have one without the other. And as far as my mom, she knows, lol. Once I’ve written a book it’s out of my hands and it’s like I didn’t even write it.
If you were to review your own books what would you have to say about them? Tell me what you feel are the strong part and the weak parts about your novellas and in hindsight is there anything that you might have changed.
I’d say they are page turners. I work hard at positioning each chapter break at the opportune time to keep readers from putting the book down (evil right?? LOL). The strong parts are the action interwoven with the sex, both are equally as important. As for a weakness I think every novel could be more, and I’m always striving to do that. More emotion. More conflict. More, more, more.
What is the ultimate love story ever told as far as you are concerned?
I don’t have an ultimate. Different characters require a different story, and if done right, each couple’s journey is epic. If you are looking for an example from one of my favorite love stories, I’m going to have to pick Eve Dallas and Roarke from J.D. Robb’s In Death Series. Two broken characters who find love, find redemption and rely on each other to heal. It’s honest. It’s real. It’s romantic and so damn sweet (yet at the same time raw).
Thanks for being part of Making Love 101!
Madeline Pryce’s Bio:
Madeline Pryce wrote her first novel when she was ten, penned with neon-pink ink in a loose-leaf binder. Captivated by romantic literature, yet intrigued by the paranormal, she continues to develop her own voice, writing the kinds of stories that inspired her as a teen.
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Dark Craving Synopsis:
Ella Grey’s life sucks. A half-breed vampire, she does her best to pass the time killing demons and secretly admiring her Shadow Hunter partner, Micah. He’s hot, dangerous and knows it. He’d be just Ella’s type if he weren’t likely to kill her the moment she put a toe out of line.
A chance encounter with a succubus changes everything. From the second the succubus’ spell washes over them, Ella and Micah are helpless to keep their hands off one another. The sex, when it’s not leaving them on the verge of death, is earth shattering and for the first time in ages Ella is connected with someone on a level she’d feared lost forever. But a dangerous prophecy has been set into motion, and if Ella’s not careful it’ll pull her straight from Micah’s arms and into the deepest bowels of the underworld.
A Romantica® Paranormal erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave
Publisher’s Note: This book was previously published under the title Blood Lust Rising. It has been revised and expanded for EC.
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Dark Cravings Excerpt:
Once I started kissing Micah, I couldn’t stop. Maybe it was because I was moderately drunk, or maybe it was because each time Micah pressed his mouth to mine, I lost a little bit more of myself.
I didn’t dare speak. Micah pulled out his wallet, threw some cash on the counter and pulled me out of the bar without looking back. We were barely out into the main section of the tunnel when Micah pushed me up against the cold stone wall. I pulled him close. He pressed his mouth to mine and I gave in to complete surrender. I had no idea how long we mingled there, lost in each other.
I was breathless and panting, still silent, when he pulled me from the wall and drew me through the maze of rooms to the exit. The electric buzz of the guitar bouncing off the walls faded. The constant push-pull of conversation disappeared. The rapid click-click of my heels against the ground became nonexistent.
Outside the rain fell like a heavy, pounding beat against the broken gravel road. If it was possible, the District looked even worse through the haze of rain. Darkened and bowed wood blocked the windows of nearby buildings. Rats scampered under awnings, clambering over each other to find shelter. At least half an inch of dirty mud and gravel-laden water spilled over the gutters and flooded the sidewalks.
The wind blew and the slant of pelting rain shifted sideways. None of it mattered. The second we stepped into the storm, we were drenched. We sprinted to the car, and each heavy thud of Micah’s boots against the ground sent up a spray of water to splatter my legs.
In the dark, the black silhouette of Micah’s car was little more than a shadow. The second we reached his car, his arms were around me. He lifted me off the ground, spun me in one fluid movement until my back was against the passenger door. Rain splattered off the roof, a heavy drum that matched our heartbeats.
His hands were wet and slippery against my cheeks. Pulling roughly, he tugged until our lips met, promising things I ached for. I clutched at his wet shirt, desperate to have him closer. I never wanted him to let me go. He slid his hands from my cheeks to my neck and then threaded his fingers through the tangle of my wet hair.
He used one hot, rough hand to palm my thigh. Heat from his touch spread and stopped the shivers of cold I hadn’t even noticed. Micah pulled, urged my leg around his hip. He slid his hand up, up, and oh, God yes, up. He cupped my sex, rubbed me with sure, deliberate strokes. I was on fire. Pleasure warred with the tightening of my inner muscles. I was on the verge of climax when, instead of sending me over, Micah gripped the crotch of my panties and ripped.
My world spun. That was the only way to describe what was happening, what Micah was doing to me. He pulled the tab on his zipper. The rasp of metal sent a wave of goose bumps across my arms.
Micah pulled his mouth from mine. I opened my eyes and pulled in breath after breath. Our gazes met, held.
“Tell me you want me,” he ordered.
“I want you.”
His cock slid along my opening.
“Do you want me to fuck you? Right now, right here?” he asked, never breaking eye contact.
Hannah Grey will do anything to escape the tortured memories haunting her. Every breath brings back the pain, the fear and the unbearable knowledge that she’ll never be the once-perfect girl everyone thought her to be. When the self-destructive fog of drugs, alcohol and meaningless sex starts to clear, Dante, a lion shifter sexier than sin itself, emerges through the darkness ready to rescue her for the second time in so many weeks.
In the safety of Dante’s embrace, Hannah allows herself to become the woman she’s always wanted to be–smart, sexy, capable and empowered. His every touch electrifies. His hot, hungry kisses set her senses ablaze. As Dante masters her body, Hannah finally finds the strength to master her fears.
Perfection shatters as threats from a mysterious vampire escalate from anonymous phone calls to violent encounters. When Hannah’s enemies unite, placing both her and Dante in mortal peril, she’s going to need her newfound strength to face the coming darkness and save the man she loves.
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