Thursday, March 28, 2013

Darkness Arisen Blog Tour ~ Interview and Giveaway With Stephanie Rowe

Order of the Blade Series, Book One
The Calydons are a race of ancient immortals cursed with a dark side. Each Calydon is destined to meet his soul mate, to be so drawn to her that he is unable to resist bonding with her through the rituals of his race…

…but their destiny is to destroy each other and all they care about the moment their bond is complete.

Quinn Masters will stop at nothing to rescue his rogue teammate. To save his blood brother and ensure his brand of justice triumphs, Quinn will break every rule of his kind and partner with the sensuous, courageous woman destined to be his ultimate destruction.

Haunted by a brutal past, Illusionist Grace Matthews will risk everything to save her kidnapped sister, including putting her life in the sinfully capable hands of an immortal warrior whose ravaging kisses and intense passion propel her ruthlessly toward a fateful destiny she can't afford to believe in.

Available Now!


Order of the Blade Series, Book Two

Immortal warrior Gideon Roarke made an oath five hundred years ago to the woman who died for him. The ancient Calydon is ruthless in his quest to honor that promise, even if it means risking everything by teaming up with the one woman who will either destroy him, or finally bring redemption to his blackened, hardened soul.

After escaping from a two-year imprisonment at the hands of a madman, the only thing Lily Davenport wants is to go home and reclaim her life. Unfortunately for Lily, standing between her and that goal is a sensual, demanding protector whose dangerous seduction threatens to claim her life…and her soul.

The Calydons Destiny: The Calydons are a race of ancient immortals cursed with a dark side. Each Calydon is destined to meet his soul mate, to be so drawn to her that he is unable to resist bonding with her through the rituals of his race…

…but their destiny is to destroy each other and all they care about the moment their bond is complete.

Available Now!


Order of the Blade Series, Book Two

Six hundred years ago, Elijah Ross was tortured into insanity and thrust into a mental hell that no living creature has ever survived…except him. 

Now, that same evil is back, and Elijah is all that stands between it and the destruction of all of humanity, but each step he takes drags him further back into the nightmare that once consumed him.

Elijah's only chance is Ana Matthews, whose sensual kisses and passionate fire thrust hope and light into hisblackened heart and fragmented mind, but her deadly past could be the final trigger for his descent into irretrievable madness and the destruction of his soul…and humanity.

Available Now!


Order of the Blade Series, Book Four

Cursed to die for a choice his ancestor made, Ian Fitzgerald has spent six hundred years fighting the curse and trying to restore honor to his family's name. But his time to die has finally come, and his doom is in the guise of the one woman he cannot walk away from: his soul mate. Or is she really who she seems?

Light and darkness, shadows and death, reality and illusions swirl around Ian as the curse hauls him relentlessly toward his own demise. Desperate to survive, Ian fights ruthlessly to uncover the truth about the sensual, desperate female who has died in his arms already…twice. Can she save him, or will she be the final key to the destruction of everything he has fought to protect?

Available Now!


Order of the Blade Series, Book Five

Talismans carved into his body. A lethal darkness amassing inside him. A woman who calls to his spirit on levels so intimate and so passionate that his deadened soul screams in agony. Calydon warrior Kane Santiago has a past he can't remember, and a deadly legacy closing in on him. His only chance is Sarah Burns, a sensual, courageous woman fighting to save herself and her family from an ancient, brutal evil.
Sarah is on the verge of losing everything, but she can't afford to trust Kane, who is either the key to her final destruction…or her only chance of survival. Bound together by a connection so deep that it has the power to bring the past and all its nightmares back to life, Kane and Sarah must tap into the hearts they closed down so long ago or lose everything, including their souls.

Available Now!


The Order of the Blade Series, Book Six

Available March 25, 2013

Darkness Hunts Him.
Calydon warrior Ian Fitzgerald refuses to die. Cursed by black magic, he has stayed alive through sheer force of will and unyielding commitment to a mission he is sworn to complete. There is only one thing that can defeat him…and she has just found him.

Desire Torments Her.
Ravaged by her own passions, tarnished angel Alice Shaw is fighting desperately for salvation before all she cares about is lost forever. Her sensual allure, and the forbidden power buried inside her, are outshone only by the burning need she awakens in Ian.

Fierce Passion Ignites.
Raging desire explodes between Ian and Alice, pushing them to the brink of destruction. They cannot afford to succumb, but the cord that binds them will never let them go…not until their most dreaded nightmares come true. Together, they are destined to fail. Together, they will fight to survive the impossible.

********* INTERVIEW ********* 
United By Books is pleased to have Stephanie Rowe on the blog today so we can learn more about her amazing books........

1 ~ Can you please share with us a little about yourself?

I am a single mom of an amazing seven year old, and I adopted a wonderful rescue dog in the summer. Between the two of them, my writing and trying to fit in some exercise, my time is pretty well filled up! I wrote more than 25 books for traditional publishers (HarperCollins, Warner/GCP, Harlequin etc) before taking all my experience over to indie publishing a year ago. Indie publishing has been unbelievable for me, allowing me to write the books the way they should be written, instead of having to fit them into the traditional NY mold. I have a fantastic dark paranormal series doing really well right now, and I’m loving my foray into contemporary romance.

2 ~  Can you please tell us a little about your new release DARKNESS ARISEN?

Darkness Arisen (Order of the Blade, Book Six) is the story of Ian Fitzgerald, a warrior we met in the first book. His story was introduced in more depth in his novella, FOREVER IN DARKNESS, and we finally get his full story in DARKNESS ARISEN.  It's sexy, passionate, dangerous and wickedly intense. Readers will meet new characters and explore an entirely new world from what they've seen in previous Order of the Blade books, but will still get plenty of their hot, tormented warriors. Here is the official blurb for the book:

Darkness Hunts Him.
Calydon warrior Ian Fitzgerald refuses to die. Cursed by black magic, he has stayed alive through sheer force of will and unyielding commitment to a mission he is sworn to complete. There is only one thing that can defeat him…and she has just found him.
Desire Torments Her.
Ravaged by her own passions, tarnished angel Alice Shaw is fighting desperately for salvation before all she cares about is lost forever. Her sensual allure, and the forbidden power buried inside her, are outshone only by the burning need she awakens in Ian.
Fierce Passion Ignites.
Raging desire explodes between Ian and Alice, pushing them to the brink of destruction. They cannot afford to succumb, but the cord that binds them will never let them go...not until their most dreaded nightmares come true. Together, they are destined to fail. Together, they will fight to survive the impossible.

3~  Would you like to share an excerpt with us today?

Alice's heart began to race as she saw Ian dive through the waves in pursuit of her, his powerful body breaking through the white caps with minimal effort. Just like before, the mere anticipation of his nearness sent waves of awareness and desire rushing through her...along with a pulsing sense of danger.

He was too determined, and the look on his teammate's face too arrogant as he followed Ian through the waves. She didn't know what they wanted from her, but she knew she couldn't afford it.

She quickly turned her back on them and moved to the edge of the rock, scanning the surface of the ocean for the bumps that were too sleek and too misty to be natural. The pearl was still cold in her hand, clenched there despite all that had happened since she'd thrown herself into the water.

The Mageaan had known she was in the ocean. They'd tried to kill her, which meant they were nearby, or they had been at least. Were they still around? Trying to ignore the sound of Ian getting closer to her, Alice inched toward the edge of the rock. She opened her hand and looked at the pearl. Glittering streaks of red, orange, crimson and silver sliced across its surface, like the clouds at sunset on the eve of a hurricane. "Please let this work," she whispered. It was such a risk to reveal that she had the pearl. To give it away was to surrender the one safeguard she had against an eternity of hell, against the future that Ian seemed to be pushing her towards
.But without the help of the creatures in the water below, she had no chance to find Catherine. The Mageaan owned the oceans. They knew everything and everyone that passed through their waters. They would know where Catherine was, but they would never reveal it. Not to an outsider. Not to someone who represented all they had lost…unless she had something to offer them that was more than they could resist.
The pearl was that item. She might be able to convince the Mageaan to trade information for the jewel. Of course, once she reached Catherine… A cold chill rippled through her. How would she manage that without Flynn? She couldn't do that on her own.

No. She couldn’t worry about that now. None of it mattered if she couldn't find Catherine in the first place, and the Mageaan were the only ones who would know how to find the lair that was hidden, obscured by magic and tricks so that no one could find it. No one but the man who had created it... and those who haunted the ocean.

She carefully held the pearl up between her thumb and index finger so that the moon's blue-green rays seemed to refract through it, bringing it to life. She glanced over her shoulder and saw Ian was almost to the rock, his muscled shoulders churning powerfully through the whitecaps as he neared.

Crap! He was almost to the rock! Alice quickly extended her hand out over the ocean. It was risky, exposing it like that, but she was over a hundred feet above the water. The Mageaan were ocean bound, and they would not be able to steal it from her up here. "I have one of the Pearls of Lycath," she shouted. "I will trade it for your help!" The wind seemed to strip the words from her mouth and thrust them out across the water, reverberating again and again. "You can have it," she yelled, even as fear rippled through her at the idea of giving it up. "I will offer it freely!"

A haunted call sounded across the ocean, making the hairs on her arms stand up. Alice searched the water, and she saw a faint drift of mist forming on the horizon. Excitement shot through her. Was that the Mageaan? "I have the pearl," she yelled again, holding it out for them to see. "It's genuine. I will trade it for your help!"

The mist swirled closer and thicker, and the water churned more violently as the wind began to howl. Her hair slashed her cheeks, her clothes snapped in the gusts. On the edges of the wind, Alice thought she heard the sound of a woman screaming. Dozens of women screaming, the kind of screams that heralded a brutal death coming for them. Their torment was horrific, the pain of souls being ripped apart for an eternity of suffering.

She froze, horrified by the sound. Oh, God. What was that? Was that the Mageaan? If it was, it was so much worse than she'd expected. She'd heard the stories. She'd been warned a thousand times. But there had been no way to comprehend the depths of such suffering. The edge to their screams was like a blade shredding the night. Was that her future? Was that what she would become without the pearl to protect her?

Real terror rippled through her. I can't do this. Her hand faltered, and she started to lower it—

A violent gust of wind slammed into her shoulders from behind, thrusting her forward off the edge of the rock. She screamed as she was thrust into the air, and then the wind tore the pearl from her grasp. "No!"

Anguish tore through her as she lunged for it, but her hand closed on empty air as the pearl plummeted down toward the water, the wind howling in triumph, as if the Mageaan themselves had compelled it to help them. Beneath her swelled the mist, but it was no longer white. It was a seething, frothing purple and black pool of poison—

"Hey!" A hand clamped around her wrist, jerking her backwards.

Alice gasped as she ricocheted back against the side of the rock, her body slamming into hard granite, suspended above the tumultuous ocean by one arm. She looked up, and her heart stuttered when she saw Ian down on one knee on the top of the rock, his fingers locked around her wrist. "No, no!" She tugged at her arm. "Let me go! I have to get the pearl! I dropped it in the water!" Frantic, she kicked at the rock, trying to tear herself out of his grasp.

"Hey!" He tightened his grip, ocean water streaming down his arm over his hand. "A pearl? You're serious? You'll never find a pearl down there. That ocean is trying to kill you."

"I don't care! Let me go!" Without the pearl, she had nothing: no future for herself and no way to find Catherine. "I have to get it!" Frantic, she twisted around to search the frothing depths, but her heart sank when she saw the ocean churning beneath her. Hate-filled green and purple swells fighting to get to her, to reclaim the victim they'd lost once, and deadly mist swirled over the surface of the water.

She couldn't survive that. There was no way she could reclaim her pearl from that. Despair coursed through her, utter despair. It was gone. Without it, Catherine was lost to her. One moment of fear and hesitation for her own stupid life, and she'd lost her chance. Frustration and guilt burned through Alice, and all the fight drained from her body. She hung limply from Ian's grasp, the cold wet rock pressing against her as she dangled over her death. This couldn't happen again. She couldn't fail again.

"Alice." Ian's voice was low. Impatient. "Look at me."

She pulled her gaze off the ocean and looked up, compelled by the urgency in his voice. The moment she met his intense gaze, awareness coursed through her. Awareness of the man, of herself, of something more personal than it should have been. Fear rippled through her, fear of the warrior who held her wrist.

"I've never met someone more likely to die than I am," he said conversationally, as if he wasn't the only thing standing between her and a nightmare. "It's damned inconvenient."

She met his gaze, her jaw jutting out. "I'm not afraid of death."

"No, I can see that." One eyebrow was raised, but his eyes were cool and calculating. Water was streaming down his arm over hers, but his grip was tight and secure. "What is it that you are afraid of, Alice Shaw?"

What was she afraid of? Unbidden, the memory flashed into her mind. Her mother, blood pouring from a wound in her chest, laboring to breathe. Her mother's blond hair matted with blood and dirt, her bright blue eyes glazed over with the onset of death, her lips parted as she fought to share those last words while Alice sat there, inches away, unable to do the one simple thing that would have saved her life—

Ian's gaze sharpened. Who is that in your mind, sheva? Who died like that? His voice was soft and gentle, reaching deep into her soul, tearing away at the protective shields that enabled her to get through her life every day.

She quickly stiffened, and shook her head. "Leave me alone."

Ian's eyes narrowed. "Maybe you should save that request for after I pull you back up."

Alice grimaced, and glanced down, the sea was still churning beneath her. Waves splashed up, reaching for her ankles. Instinctively, she pulled her feet up, bracing them against the rock. "You have a point."

"As I thought." Ian grinned then, and braced himself on the rock. "Ready?"

She met his gaze, fighting not to be swallowed up by his piercing stare. "Ready." She dug her toes into the rock.

"On three." He cocked an eyebrow. "One." He held his other hand out to her.

After a split second of hesitation, she reached up and took his hand. His grip was strong around her wrists again. Damn, the man was powerful. How was that fair? He could probably take down the world, and she, the angel of life, couldn't save even a single person, no matter how simple a task it would be to help them.

He nodded. "Two."

She wrapped her fingers around his wrist, and electricity jumped between them. Dammit. Why hadn't things lessened between them? Why was he still affecting her like this?

"Three." He gave a curt nod and pulled.

She pushed off the rock as he shifted his body, easily swinging her to the top of the rock. Her bare feet landed silently on the rock, her toes tiny and pale next to the heavy boots he was still wearing. "Swimming's easier without boots," she said, trying desperately to put distance between them.

He shrugged. "I was in a rush. You were getting away."

There was that sense of being hunted by him again. Alice instinctively pulled out of his grasp. "What do you want from me?"

Ian went still for a moment, and his gaze bore down on her. She felt pressure in her mind as he tried to break past her barriers, connecting with her too intimately. She stiffened immediately and folded her arms over her chest, raising her chin as she faced him, fighting against the swirl of emotion he aroused in her. "You're not stalking me because of the soul mate thing, are you? Because I'm not yours—"

"Yes, you are." His response was instant and unyielding, and she felt her pulse quicken in response.

She couldn't afford to belong to him. She didn't want to crave him so badly that she felt like her own soul would burst into violent flames if he walked away from her…but she did. It was like he'd ignited a raging fire within her, one that he stoked ever higher with each touch, with each word, with each kiss.

And as a smug grin spread over his face, she knew that he was well aware of exactly how he affected her.

"Damn you, Ian," she snapped.

He grinned more broadly, and she suddenly realized that she'd just laid down a challenge that he was delighted to accept.

4~ What's in store next for your readers?

Today I'm actually doing my taxes, but once I get that done, I will be working on three projects:

PRINCE CHARMING CAN WAIT, which is the next EVER AFTER book,

GUARDIAN OF THE HIDDEN, which is the launch book for my new dark paranormal series, THE RUINED LORDS, and

DARKNESS UNLEASED, which is Ryland's book, the seventh in the Order of the Blade series.

Also, in a very strange turn of events, I was just taking a nap (completely exhausted from the push of getting Darkness Arisen to market!) and I had a dream that my daughter and I found a DVD on the grass. We started to watch it (no DVD player, just watching it in our hands) and it was this most intense, incredible movie. It played out scene by scene and I was so into it, and then it ended right in the middle. We were both like, "WHAT?" and then, in my dream, I realized that the movie hadn't been written yet, and that I was supposed to write that story. It was so incredible vivid that, after I finish this interview, I am going to go write down what happened, and I think I might take a couple days and write up the part of the movie that played out in my dream. Totally bizarre, but I think I'm going to go with it…

5~ What's the weirdest thing you've ever done in the name of research?

I walked up to a police officer I didn’t know and said, without preamble, “If I wanted to shoot a guy so that he went down, but  he could eventually get up and walk away, would it be better to use a rifle or a shotgun?” The cop’s eyes widened and his hand went straight to his gun before I quickly (and belatedly) explained that I was an author and I needed the information for a book. He ended up opening his trunk and pulling out assorted guns and showing them to me, including casings and bullets and everything else. We ended up best of buddies, which was good because I think I almost got arrested initially.

6~ What are some of your favorite kinds of stories to read?

I love stories of the triumph of the human spirit. Life is hard, and sometimes it feels like there is no change that things will get better. Reading about people who are in those dark, despairing places, and yet somehow find the strength and courage and beauty in life to move forward and get to a better, redemptive place is so healing and beautiful. I am a total romantic, and I think there is nothing more beautiful than sharing that journal with the person who touches your soul.

7~ What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

My favorite dessert in the entire world is raw cookie dough, and I am happy to report I have passed that on to my daughter.

8~  Do you sing and dance around the house while picking up?

Pick up? Pick up what? If you are referring to cleaning the house, then no, I don’t, but that’s because who has time to clean up when there are thousands of words to be written??? I do, however, sing and dance around the house, parking lots, grocery stores and anywhere else the mood strikes me. You gotta embrace life, right?

9~ Describe yourself in three words?

Sadly, a chocoholicMushball. Mom.

10~ What is the most embarrassing thing you got caught doing?

Hands down, it was when I was at a writer’s conference as anunpubbed newbie. During a break, I raced into the restroom, rounded the corner and then stopped dead in my tracks when I saw a well-known male agent standing at the urinal doing his business. We stared at each other in shock for a moment while my brain slowly processed the fact that I’d raced into the MENS room not the LADIES room. I gasped an apology, then frantically backed up and bolted.  The rest of the morning, I assured myself that he wouldn’t recognize me and my faux pas would be quietly mine forever. Then at lunch, the agent walked up to my table, slammed a hand down on my shoulder and said, in a booming voice for all to hear, “I’m going to the rest room. Do you want to come?” Yeah, that is a GREAT way to start making contacts in the writing biz…

11~ How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?

Balloons, tears and a rubber tree, because I had “bounced back” so many times during the L-O-N-G journey to getting published (18 full manuscripts and over 130 rejections…)

12~ What are the scenes that are the hardest for you to write?

The hardest scene for me to write is the first scene of the book. That scene may take me weeks to get right. For Darkness Arisen, the book coming out this month, I wrote 13 first scenes during the course of a month before I finally found the right one. The rest of the book took me 5 weeks. The problem is that you have to start the book in just the right place, with enough action and enough at stake, but not be so far into the action that the reader can’t get emotionally committed to the character.

13~ Is there anything special you would like to say to your readers while we have you here today?

Thank you so much for joining me here today! I love connecting with readers, and I’m happy to answer any questions you may have. Fire away!

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Four-time RITA® Award nominee and Golden Heart® Award winner Stephanie Rowe is the nationally bestselling author of more than twenty published novels with major New York publishers, including Warner/Grand Central, HarperCollins, Harlequin, Dorchester & Sourcebooks. Stephanie has received starred reviews from Booklist and high praise from Publisher's Weekly. Stephanie writes romance (paranormal, contemporary and suspense), teen fiction, middle grade fiction and motivational nonfiction, including her bestselling dark paranormal Order of the Blade series.

Connect with Stephanie:

Blog Tour Schedule
 3/25 - The Reading Café
4/07 - GraveTells
4/12 - I Smell Sheep
4/13 - Jeep Diva

********* GIVEAWAY *********
Stephanie is giving away winners choice of eBook from either the ORDER OF THE BLADE, EVER AFTER or ALASKA HEAT series to ONE winner at EVERY Tour Stop. The more times you enter the better your chance is. Just fill out the rafflecopter below to be entered.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Denise Z said...

Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to share with us. I enjoyed the snippet and am looking forward to the read.

CaroleDee said...

Still need to read Darkness Awakened, but I have a feeling I'm going to be flying through this series!

wanda f said...

Love your books Stephanie .Thank you for the chance to win.Have a wonderful Easter .

Katrina W said...

Great post and look forward to reading these books. ;)