Reader’s Edyn

I always felt like I could do something more than just read. Finally, I have found both a creative outlet and a chance to do something meaningful with my reading. This blog was created in appreciation of and tribute to all of the authors who have brought me joy through their books. These reviews are my way of giving back to authors and providing recognition for the hard work that each one completes every day!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Interview: Inara Scott


Welcome back! We have another exciting day for you here on the blog. A few months ago I had the pleasure to read and review a "new-to-me" author. Her name was Inara Scott and I was completely blown away by the fabulous cover of her debut adult novel Radiant Desire. I am a bit of a cover whore, and this one sunk its claws into and would not let go. By luck and the kindness of Ms. Scott, I was offered a copy of the book to review. I am so happy that I was given this opportunity. I absolutely loved the book. And turns out, it is the first in a series. A series, by the way, that am very much looking forward to reading more of. You can view my review by clicking below the cover.


Buy Radiant Desire here in Kindle or Paperback

**EXCERPT**

“Handmaid Kaia, step forth!”

Kaia paused, startled to hear the queen call her by name. This was not part of the usual ceremony. But then again, Zafira honored tradition when she pleased and disregarded it when it did not suit her. Kaia threw back her shoulders, forced her wings to arc gracefully across her back, and ensured her gentle smile was perfectly intact before stepping up to the dais. Her heart thumped. Had she done something wrong? Somehow displeased Zafira?

She lowered her head gracefully. “My queen.”

“Kaia, you know the vow of my Handmaids.”

Kaia nodded, her lips automatically forming her response after decades of practice. “My queen, as your Handmaid I vow never to lose control, and never to yield to the wishes of men.”

Zafira swirled her staff in a circle, leaving behind a translucent, sparkling image of a man’s face. He was as handsome as the satyrs at Zafira’s side, with a tumble of blond hair falling over his forehead, cerulean blue eyes, and dark, tanned skin. His white teeth flashed in a smile that was equal parts humor and unspoken menace.

“This man, Garrett Jameson, is the man you will capture next,” Zafira said. “You will bring him to his knees as only a Handmaid can. Introduce him to pleasure and the greatest desire he has ever known, and then leave him alone and wanting.”

Kaia hid her surprise behind a deep curtsy and swirl of her wings. Zafira had never sent her after a particular human before.

“Yes, my queen.” She paused, knowing she should keep her mouth shut but unable to prevent the question from leaving her lips. “May I ask why?”

Zafira frowned, and Kaia froze, terrified she had angered the mercurial queen. A moment later, Zafira’s icy features softened and she began to chuckle. The sound danced through the hall like music, as beautiful as everything else about the queen—and just as dangerous.

“Because it will amuse me,” Zafira said, her laugh tinkling through the hall. “I have some interest in this particular man. I will enjoy seeing him brought low.”

Kaia nodded, feeling a lump in her throat. “It will be done.”

Zafira motioned for Kaia to return to her place beside the other Handmaids. “See that it is, Kaia,” she said in a quiet voice. “See that it is.”

Chapter Two

Kaia shot a glance at the thin gold band around her wrist. Quarter to ten; he should be here soon. Somewhere behind her a band started to play. The music was soft and rhythmic, a saxophone and bass guitar, the smooth crawl of a rute across a snare drum. In the week that she’d been haunting this club, Kaia had come to appreciate the live jazz music featured each night. Of course, no mortal could approach the perfection of the music that filled the halls of Faeria. Still, of all the sounds humans created, she’d found jazz most appropriate to seduction.

Seduction.

Kaia shook her head. She’d been sent to the human world to complete a very simple task. Thus far, she had experienced nothing but defeat. Though the boggles had given her the location of Garrett Jameson’s favorite nightclub, the coffee shop he frequented, and his office, she hadn’t even managed to talk to him. Every time she saw him he was surrounded by other men in dark suits, or he was talking on his cell phone, or reading thick sheafs of papers with very small print. She had tried bumping into him on the street, but he’d done little more than apologize and stride away, not affording her more than a moment’s glance. She had seen him here, at the Blue Hour. He had sat in a booth in the back of the room while watchful bouncers steered her away if she tried to get too close.

Kaia found her failure utterly infuriating, particularly when faced with Garrett Jameson’s uncanny perfection. As far as she could tell, her target lacked any visible flaw, with only the unruly lock of hair that fell across his forehead betraying the perfection of his square jaw and arresting eyes. His suits were exquisitely tailored, his voice smooth and deep. Sometimes, Kaia could scarcely believe he was human. Yet he had no interest in catching the eye of a beautiful stranger, even one practically glowing with faerie magic.

Every day that she failed to achieve her task brought with it a fresh wave of panic. At first, it seemed laughable—a man resisting her attempt at seduction? Impossible! As the days passed with no sign of progress, Kaia’s worry began to mount. Zafira had given her a direct command. She had to succeed. Zafira would show no mercy to a Handmaid who could not meet her expectations.

She had vowed that tonight would be different. She’d finally caught a break while following Garrett in line for his morning coffee, when she’d overheard him agreeing to meet someone named Ted here at ten. Arriving early, she’d positioned herself at a table near the entrance to the club. At around 9:30, the bartender called a man with curly red hair and soft hazel eyes Ted.

She’d shamelessly eavesdropped on Ted’s cell phone call a few minutes later. It started with him asking someone named Rachel where she was, and quickly devolved to begging and pleading for her to come to the club. She’d heard “my love,” “the wedding,” and “whatever you want,” followed by a deluge of words from the other end. After a few minutes, he slapped the phone closed. His face was mournful, his eyes drooping at the corners like a sad Irish setter.

He was needy, and if there was one thing Kaia understood, it was needy men.

She had introduced herself a few minutes later. She tried not to turn on so much charm that she’d scare him away, but there wasn’t much she could do about her appearance. She’d found a tissue-thin silk dress at the hotel boutique that morning, and it draped across every one of her curves like a gleaming, silky spider web. The hazy light from dim strobes and tiny votives danced across her skin, leaving behind a perfect golden glow. Men from every side of the crowded bar were watching her, earning dirty looks from their female companions. Kaia deliberately shielded the red-haired man across the table from some of her heat. She wanted to seduce his friend, not him.
Yet her efforts were seemingly unnecessary. Ted didn’t even glance at her perfectly positioned cleavage. All he wanted to do was talk about his fiancée, Rachel.

“I asked her out the first time we met,” he said dreamily, staring into space. “I knew from the start we had something special. It took only one date before I fell in love.”

“So what happened?” Kaia stole a sideways look toward the door, hoping Garrett would arrive soon. Anticipation licked down her spine. Tonight, they would meet. He couldn’t avoid it if she was talking to his friend.

And when his eyes finally met hers, she would unleash all the power of faerie on him.

He didn’t stand a chance.

“I don’t know,” Ted said miserably. “She’s nervous about the wedding, I suppose. It’s a big step. Anyone would be scared. But we love each other, we really do. She’s perfect. The perfect woman.” He launched into a litany of Rachel’s angelic qualities.

Kaia masked her irritation with a patient smile.

He shook his head. “I’m sorry. Look, I should let you go. I have a friend coming in a few minutes. I didn’t mean to drag you down this way. I’m sure you could find someone much more interesting to talk to.”

Kaia’s heart skipped at his not-so-subtle attempt to get rid of her. She needed to stay with Ted. He represented her only chance to get close to Garrett. “Please, I could really use the company. I’m just in town for a night.” She shook her hair and let a hint of faerie magic trickle to him. “The last thing I need is some oaf trying to hit on me. I’d much rather hear more about Rachel.”

Ted’s mouth dropped open and for a moment he stared at her, transfixed. As soon as Kaia let off on the flow of magic, he sank back into his memory of Rachel. “Well, she’s the most beautiful woman in the world. I mean, not beautiful like you, but beautiful in her way. Some people think she’s bossy, but truly, she’s the kindest person you’ll ever meet. You can see it in her eyes. She just opened up a flower shop. Rachel’s Roses.” He sighed. “Everyone told her how hard it would be to open her own store, but she made it happen. She’s amazing.”

“So what’s the problem?” Kaia asked, her gaze sliding briefly to the door. “Why is she having second thoughts?”

“She does a lot of weddings, and they don’t always go well. She doesn’t want to turn into Bridezilla or get too worked up about the whole thing. She said she wanted to elope, but I couldn’t do it. A couple of weeks ago she started saying maybe we should wait, maybe we went too fast. Her parents had a messy divorce, and I think she’s scared to get married. I don’t know how to convince her to trust me.”

Kaia wanted to believe Ted loved his fiancée. Unfortunately, she had a long history of watching men like him pledge their devotion to unsuspecting wives and girlfriends minutes before they succumbed to Kaia’s charms. They used every excuse in the book to justify their unfaithfulness, but it came down to one thing: men were treacherous, dangerous creatures.

Kaia and the others used faerie magic to entice the men, but the magic wasn’t irresistible. It simply took willpower. Willpower most men weren’t interested in exercising.

She started to say something soothing and understanding, but the words caught in her throat when a tall figure appeared at the doorway.

Garrett Jameson had finally arrived.
 

Awesomesauce set up, no? I was drawn it fast! After I read the book. I decided that I had to Have Ms. Scott on the blog so that I could tell you all about her and, of course, allow her some time to tell you all about herself. I hope you enjoy reading about Ms. Scott with as much enthusiasm as I had creating the interview questions. So without any further delay, may I please introduce:

**INARA SCOTT**


**BIO**

Inara was born in the winter wonderland of Buffalo, NY. She promptly commenced complaining about being cold, and didn’t stop until she moved to Durham, NC, to attend college at Duke University. After graduating with a degree in History and Women’s Studies, Inara wandered around the country teaching outdoor education and writing bad poetry. She eventually obtained a Master’s degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies from the State University of New York at Cortland, where she wrote her thesis on the effects of wilderness programs on the body image of female participants. 

Given Inara’s love of argument, it was really only a matter of time before she ended up in law school. The mossy forests and volcanic beauty of Oregon led her to Lewis and Clark Law School and Portland, where she finally decided to settle down. Inara rediscovered her love of writing fiction while trapped in a hotel for a hearing in Anchorage, Alaska. It took another five years for Inara to screw up the courage to quit her lawyer job and devote herself to writing and teaching. Today, Inara writes anything and everything, including children’s books, young adult fiction, and adult romance. She also does frequent school visits, and loves teaching writing to students of all ages. Her debut novel, DELCROIX ACADEMY: THE CANDIDATES, published in 2010 by Disney-Hyperion Books for Children, was a 2010 Oregon Spirit Book Award Honor Book. THE CANDIDATES will be released in March of 2011 in paperback under the title THE TALENTS. A follow-up, THE MARKED, will be released in April of 2011. Inara’s first adult romance, RADIANT DESIRE, released in October 2011 from Entangled Publishing.

**INTERVIEW**

Tell us a little about your new release Radiant Desire.

Kaia Verde is one of the four Faerie Handmaids of Zafira, Queen of the Fey. To redress an ancient wrong done to Zafira by a human king, the Handmaids make sport of mortal men, seducing and humiliating them. When Kaia sets out to seduce Garrett Jameson, but ends up being the one surrendering to pleasure, Zafira is furious. Kaia's punishment is simple: make Garrett fall in love with her by the summer solstice, then break his heart, or face eternity without her wings—or her soul. To make the task harder, Zafira tells Kaia she cannot use her faerie magic or charm to lure Garrett into her bed.

Was there something in particular that gave you the idea for this book (series)?

Actually, it was my daughter’s Barbie faeries! I was playing with her in the bath with her Barbies, and thought, boy, this faerie would make a great character in a romance novel! (And now you know how strange and sick my mind is!)

LOL – Well, your mind created an exciting world so I guess you aren’t doing too bad. What about Garrett and Kaia made you want to pair them together?

Good question! I try to match up my characters’ weaknesses to make sure they are properly tormented in my novels. ;-) Garrett has been badly hurt in the past, so trust is really his Achilles heel. He’s terrified to trust and be hurt again -- so naturally, I had to pair him with someone who he can never really find out the truth about. He’s got to trust her, if he’s going to love her.

*snort* Properly tormented? I like it! One of the supporting characters in Radiant Desire is Portia, the matriarch of Garrett’s family with a drive to succeed in anything and everything. The reader is allowed a bit of a glimpse into the force that has molded Portia into the woman she has become. Any chance we will find out more about her story?

Right now, I’m not planning to make Portia a returning character, but maybe someday I’ll write a little novella about her. She is a fascinating character!

Fascinating indeed … Do you have any future plans for the other Handmaids?

Yes, absolutely! I want them all to find love, though I’m not entirely sure which species they will find it with...

Species? Sounds intriguing. So how do you keep in contact with your readers?

Oh, everything. But I love Twitter best. Send me an @ message and I’m sure to reply. I don’t check Facebook nearly as often.


Radiant Desire is you first book for adults. You have also written books for teens. Can you tell us about those books?

I write a series for Disney called The Talents, which is being released in March and April of 2012. (The first book in the series was previously released as The Candidates). It’s a mysterious boarding school, kids with superpowers, kind of book. ;-)

Do you have any special quirks, superstitions, or habits when writing?

It’s not pretty, but when I’m spending a lot of time on the computer, I tend to bite my fingers a lot! So you always know when I’m writing, because my nails are a MESS. ;-)

How do you celebrate when you finish a novel?

I kiss my husband, and then reintroduce myself to my children. I tend to get absorbed at the very end of the book. It gets like a rollercoaster, and it’s hard to jump off. Sometimes it takes a few days to reintegrate myself into the family.

What are you reading now?

I love Regency romance, and I’m on a bit of a Mary Balogh kick right now. I can read her books over and over. They are so delicious.

What is your favorite thing about Radiant Desire?

I’m a really optimistic person in my heart, and I think people are capable of amazing acts of love that are truly beautiful. That’s kind of the message of Radiant Desire, and I really enjoy sharing that with people.

That is awesome. Any advice you’d like to share for aspiring writers?

Don’t say you don’t have time. If you want to write, write. Make it a priority. It doesn’t have to be a lot: I started writing The Candidates on a “100 words a day” plan.

Great advice! How about a few quick random questions …
Salty or Sweet?

Sweet and salty. I have many vices.

*grins* Alcoholic or Non-alcoholic?

Non. I get headaches when I drink.

How unfair! Caffeine or Decaf?

Caffine!

I agree. What is your favorite drink?

Coffee, of course!

I approve of coffee. *nods* What is your favorite holiday?

Thanksgiving. I love to eat.

Ha! Me too! It is the perfect excuse to gorge, yes? LOL So Inara mentioned a bit about her upcoming YA series the Delacroix Academy. Book 1 releases in March of this year and book 2 follows the next month. I have obtained a copy of book 2 for review and will post it as soon as I can. Until then, here is a bit of information to whet your appetite …


**BOOK 1**
**THE TALENTS**

Pre-order here

Dancia Lewis doesn’t seem all that special. And that’s not just because of her average grades or less-than-glamorous wardrobe. In fact, Dancia’s mediocrity is a calculated cover for her secret: whenever she sees a person threatening someone she cares about, things just . . . happen. Cars skid. Structures collapse. Usually someone gets hurt.

When recruiters from the prestigious Delcroix Academy show up in her living room to offer her a full scholarship, Dancia suspects the recruiters know more about her “talent” than they're letting on. Once she arrives at the mysterious school, Dancia worries that her days of living under the radar are over. Even the hottest guy on campus treats her like she’s one-of-a-kind.

And then there’s her elusive new friend, Jack, who thinks Delcroix is hiding a dangerous secret. Dancia doesn’t know who to trust. A battle is brewing behind the gates of the Academy, and Dancia may have no choice but to pick sides … even if it means finally stepping out of the shadows.

 **BOOK 2**
**THE MARKED**

Pre-order here

All of her life, Dancia Lewis has wanted to use her powers for good. And now that she’s learned the truth about Delcroix Academy—and herself—she may just get the chance. But being part of Delcroix’s top secret Program isn’t anything like Dancia expected.  She has to ask herself: what happens to the Talented kids who refuse to pledge their loyalty to the Program? And why did her friend Jack run away rather than join? Dancia’s adorable boyfriend Cam insists they need the help of every Talented student to defend Delcroix from dangerous enemies outside their gates. But Dancia has to wonder: what if Delcroix’s most frightening enemies come from within?  

I hope you have enjoyed getting to know a little about this multi-talented author. Please take a moment to ask her a question, or respond to her question. We welcome your thoughts and interactions.

**Inara’s Question**
I’m always looking for new books -- can you recommend something to me that you read recently and loved?

*waves* Thanks for stopping by everyone!

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