Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Posted by Kaylea Cross
A trained librarian, Victoria uses her research skills to explore other eras in time. Her interest in research is a perfect fit with her work as a writer of historical romance. And she lives in Virginia, so she's right in the heart of Civil War country. (I'm so jealous!)
VG: Thanks for inviting me to discuss my new release. Destiny is a Civil War-era historical that blends romance with adventure. Emma Davenport, the sheltered daughter of a powerful Northern senator, runs away to marry Christopher Staton, a charismatic businessman – a traitor with his own ruthless reasons for wanting Emma as his bride. Traveling to her rendezvous with Staton, she’s abducted by a daring train robber who harbors a bitter grudge against the man she plans to marry. Unknown to Emma, Jack Travis isn’t what he seems – he’s a cavalry officer tasked with keeping Emma out of Staton’s clutches. Driven by duty and a deep-seated hatred of Staton, Jack risks his life to protect Emma, even as he falls in love with his spirited, challenging captive. She’s forbidden to him, but sometimes, even a man on a mission has to follow his heart.
Emma Davenport was going to be a bride, and no one was going to stop her, not even an outlaw with a grudge. Bound for a forbidden marriage, her scheme shatters when she is abducted and spirited away to a remote hideout. Any proper young woman would be frightened out of her wits, but she challenges her daring, seductive captor at every turn.
Jack Travis was used to the battlefield, not stealing spoiled, sheltered women from trains, but his beautiful, spirited captive must be kept out of enemy hands at all costs. He risks his neck to protect her from the treacherous rake she’d planned to marry. But can he protect her from himself?
VG: Jack Travis is an alpha-male with a heart. A respected, by-the-book soldier, he’s put his life on the line on the battlefield and courageously accomplished the most challenging missions. When he’s tasked with keeping Emma out of Staton’s clutches, he resents being pulled from battle to serve as a bodyguard – but he’s driven to take on the mission by his hatred of Christopher Staton and his first-hand knowledge of the man’s treachery. Isolated with Emma at his remote hideaway, he’s drawn to her spirit as well as her beauty. She’s the woman he’s always wanted – but she’s forbidden to him – until he decides to risk everything to capture her heart.
Emma Davenport is no damsel-in-distress. She’s led a sheltered existence and craves a life away from her father’s stifling influence, but she’s nothing like the mousy wallflower Jack expects. Emma surprises Jack at every turn with her intelligence, spirit, and courage. Drawn to her captor, she’s conflicted by the attraction to a man she shouldn’t love – but her heart can’t resist.
What’s next for me? Destiny’s sequel, Angel in My Arms, will be released by The Wild Rose Press later this year. The story of a Union spy ring running out of Richmond in 1864, the book’s hero, Steve Dunham, was introduced as Jack’s partner in Destiny. In addition, I’ve begun a third book in the series, centering on the tumultuous events surrounding the fall of Richmond in 1865.
KC: Have to interrupt here, because this is the part of the war I know best (aside from the Michigan cavalry and the medicine of the era), and dragged my poor hubby (then fiance) to all the battlefields surrounding Richmond. I love that you've been able to put it all into a book! Here's an excerpt of Desitny to whet your historical appetites ;)
Emma curled up on the porch steps beside an oil lamp and immersed herself in Cathy and Heathcliff’s story. She nearly dropped the book when Jack’s husky voice murmured in her ear.
He crouched behind her, his breath warm against the nape of her neck. The aroma of whiskey mingled with his natural essence in a masculine blend that tantalized her sense of smell. “So, tell me about these lovers, Miss Davenport.”
His voice seemed deeper, more raw than she’d become accustomed to, his words spoken more slowly in a sensuous drawl. His face brushed hers, prickling her skin with the stubble on his unshaven jaw and chin. “Do they live happily ever after?”
Emma felt a stirring in her core as she breathed in his scent. A lump formed in her throat, and she stared at the page she’d been reading. She shook her head vigorously as his shadow beard grazed her cheek. “It’s quite sad, actually.”
“Tell me more,” he whispered, sending a shivery caress down the length of her spine.
“They are hopelessly star crossed. Even though Heathcliff loves Cathy, they can never be together.”
“Heathcliff?” Jack repeated.
“Heathcliff,” Emma pronounced the name with solemn precision. “He’s English.”
Jack brushed his mouth against her ear. “Of course. He couldn’t be an uncouth American, an uncivilized barbarian.”
Emma wriggled around to face him. “Heathcliff is a dark and troubled hero. He’s utterly romantic. He continues to love Cathy even after she’s died giving birth to another man’s child.”
He traced the curve of her cheek with his finger. “Miss Davenport, do all the men in the novels you read wind up scarred or crippled or alone?”
She pressed her lips together, struggling to ignore the sensation of his touch. “That would seem to be the case.”
His fingertip made tiny circles over her earlobe. “Why do you enjoy reading about tortured men?”
Emma never knew her ears would be so sensitive to a man’s caress. She licked her lips and twisted away from him. “The characters are brooding and romantic. They suffer for love.”
His arm snaked around her waist, dragging Emma against his unyielding male body. “Shouldn’t love bring pleasure, Miss Davenport?”
“You shouldn’t…we shouldn’t do this,” she gasped, struggling to keep her wits about her as his heat and touch threatened to overwhelm her senses.
“Answer my question, and I’ll leave you alone with your tortured hero. Shouldn’t love bring pleasure?”
The note of desire in his husky rasp shredded her meager defenses. “I don’t know,” she whispered, feeling her voice catch in her throat.
“I think you do,” Jack persisted, moving his lips to caress her lobe as his finger had moments earlier. “Shouldn’t love bring pleasure, Emma?”
He spoke her name as a seductive caress against her nape. His mouth burned a trail along the thin line of flesh exposed above her high collar. “Answer me, darlin’. Or should I try to convince you that I’m right?”
She shook her head. “You don’t need to convince me,” she murmured. “Love should bring pleasure.”
He smiled, his mouth curving wickedly as honey-brown eyes raked over her. “You don’t sound completely certain, Emma. I do need to convince you.”
His hands cupped her bottom, drawing her so close she could feel his heart hammer against her breast. Emma’s softness cradled the rigid length of his shaft, her body instinctively yielding to the gentle pressure at the crux of her thighs.
His tongue traced a scalding line from the hollow at the base of her throat to her lips. Jack framed her face with his hands, teasing her lips with tiny kisses, until she whispered her surrender against his mouth and he upped the stakes.
“Shouldn’t love bring pleasure, darlin’?” he moaned against her mouth. “Tell me what I need to hear.”
“Yes,” she whispered against his lips. “Such pleasure.”
“You don’t have any idea how beautiful you are, do you?” His gravel-edged voice betrayed his need and something more, something far more powerful than the hunger of the flesh. Jack’s hands wove through her long mane as his lips laid claim to hers.
Emma was swept away, helpless to resist the intoxicating desire for his touch. She felt her lips part to accept him, felt the rough texture of his tongue against hers as he plundered her senses.
“So beautiful. So, so beautiful,” he murmured against her lips. “How will I ever find the strength to let you go?”
She gulped in a breath, intoxicated by the heat of his body and the gentle demands of his caresses. If only she could think of something other than the pleasure of being held by him, kissed by him. Possessed by him.
KC: Mmmm, yum! Thanks so much for coming by today, Victoria. As a treat she's giving away a digital copy of the book to one commenter, so please tell us: If Destiny was made into a movie, which actors do you envision as Jack and Emma?
Click here to buy in print, and here to buy in digital format. Also please feel free to drop by Victoria's website and book trailer.