February 7, 2014

The Circle: Blood Gift by Amy Lee Burgess #AuthorInterview #Giveaway

When Claire became a vampire, she hoped she could forget her abusive past. But her mentor, the sexy, perfect Parker destroys her dreams of a new start. Soon, Claire devotes her new found psychic powers to helping abused women.

Drawn to the mysterious and handsome Andre, another master in the London Circle and Parker’s archrival, Claire enters into a passionate clandestine affair which causes her powers to ramp out of control. Wild, sensual sex morphs into something deeper and, for Claire, terrifying. Andre soon discovers her abilities and realizes he is her trigger–the one vampire in the world who can help her control her spiraling powers.

Bonding with him requires Claire to trust and accept his love, two things she cannot bring herself to do. The gift of love is something her past won’t allow her to accept. Even so, Andre will have to reach her in time to save her life or stake her when her powers drive her insane.

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Vampire Romance
Release Date: December 10, 2013
Published by: Loose Id

“Claire.” Andre’s voice was heavy with desire. The way he said my name with his slight Irish accent was different from the way everyone else said it. I felt special. Different. As if I mattered.

I turned my head to look at him. He had me pinned to the grass, one hand on either side of my shoulders. I’d locked my ankles so my heels pressed into the small of his back. His eyes were smoldering dark, and my lips parted.

That was all the invitation he needed. The burning shock of his mouth against mine was electric, and I brought my hands up so I could bury my fingers in his soft hair. I had just enough presence of mind to weave a shield of privacy so that mortals didn’t register we were there and avoided walking near.

Andre and I connected like interlocking pieces of a vast puzzle. Our kiss went supernova hot in an instant. I curled my tongue around his, and the whole world froze. Mortals were nearby, but their thoughts abruptly cut out of my head. For all I was aware, Andre and I were the only two beings on earth .

The explosive taste of his blood made me moan. He’d deliberately nicked his tongue on his fang. My own fangs burst from my gums, and I scraped my tongue against one of them. Blood spurted, and it was Andre’s turn to groan. The cold grass beneath my body seemed to disappear as if I floated weightless with only Andre’s kiss to anchor me. Time sputtered and died, and nothing mattered but his hot mouth moving against mine.

“Claire,” Andre said again through the blood in his mouth.

Four golden weeks I’d waited for him to kiss me, and now he was, and it was glorious.

“I’m going to make love to you in the grass if we don’t stop.” He increased the pressure of his lips against the hollow of my throat. “Come home with me, angel.”

“Dre,” I whispered, shaking with fear and desire—I wasn’t sure which was stronger. On fire for him, I didn’t want him to stop touching me. While his body was pressed to mine, we had all the time in the world, but when he moved away, would everything crash? “I’m scared.”

“Of me?” He lifted his head so he could look into my eyes. The night around us was alive with the sound of crickets. Stars wheeled in the sky, and the earth pressed against my back. I was suspended in the universe. Nothing mattered but him.


I touched his cheek with the tip of my finger, traced a line to his sensual mouth. I wanted to kiss him and taste my blood mingled with his. “Of everything. Of this not being real. That this is all a lie like Parker says. That I don’t matter. That nothing matters. That this is a race to see who can hurt the other first.”

He winced as if in pain, and I buried my face in his shoulder. He pulled me tightly into his embrace and rested his forehead against my head. “I won’t hurt you. I swear I won’t.”

Thanks so much for stopping by the Authors' Cafe today, Amy. I'm very excited to host you and your book, Blood Gift!

Okay, I see you've got your English breakfast tea and King cake, so let's get right to the interview.

At what point in your life did you realized that being an author was no longer going to be just a dream but a career you were going to turn into reality?

I’m still struggling to make it my career. The day job severely cuts into my writing time, but I do get up at 5 a.m. every weekday to write for two hours. I didn’t get serious about publishing my novels until about four years ago. I’ve written ten novels since then, and all but two are published. My goal is keep writing and publishing until I really can quit the day job.

Which of your characters is most like you?

There are bits and pieces of me scattered throughout all the characters, but if I had to pick the one I’m most like, I’d probably go with Claire. She’s a dreamer like I am for sure.

If you were stranded on a desert island, which character from Blood Gift would you want with you?

Andre. If he couldn’t get us back to civilization, he’d know how to set up a great life on the island. Plus he’s sexy as hell, compassionate, and he knows magic tricks.

Where do you write?

I have my desk in my living room at the moment. It’s quite cozy. I usually have a dog or two sleeping on my feet as I type away.

Do you have any “rituals” you go through before you write?

It’s hard to have rituals at 5 a.m. I drag myself out bed, settle the dogs on the sofa, brew myself a cup of tea, and start writing.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) of Blood Gift to write and why?

The chapters where Claire and Andre fell in love were my favorites to write. They had a sort of clandestine affair behind Claire’s master’s back and they’d meet at the same little pub, have a drink, and then go explore nighttime London. Andre taught Claire had to run fast, climb buildings, jump from rooftop to rooftop and come into her own with her physical powers. Plus that scene where they first kissed was really romantic. I also had a lot of fun researching parkour. (Parkour is an urban sport developed in France which basically means treating a city like an obstacle course and running, jumping, climbing, vaulting, and rolling up and over buildings, benches, steps, and other things in an urban landscape.) I watched a ton of videos of people vaulting over park benches, swarming up the sides of buildings, leaping from one railing to another in stairwells and was really impressed. Claire and Andre take it to a vampiric extreme.

How did you come up with the title?

The working title was The Circle, but when I got the go ahead to make this a series I thought The Circle made a better series name. So I decided to call this first novel Blood Gift because gifts are a running theme. The Circle members all have a mark on their backs to show they belong to the London Circle. The mark is the Nordic rune Gebo which means “the gift”. Claire’s psychic abilities are a gift (not that she sees them that way at first). People in the novel (and in the entire series) have to learn how to both give gifts and receive them. I look at being in a Circle as an exchange. They drink each other’s blood, they protect each other, they all bring something unique to the table. They give and they take. So the title is very fitting.

What would YOU like your readers to know about this book or you in general?

This is not a typical vampire novel with hot alpha males and a kick ass heroine who have to save the world. This is a story about people who happen to have fangs and won’t ever get old. The danger comes from within, not necessarily from without.

What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?

Find other authors to network with. Offer to beta read their novels in exchange for them reading yours. Take constructive criticism. You will become better writers. I swear!

Do you have a favorite author?

I have quite a few. Here are some of them: Illona Andrews, Agatha Christie, Don Webb, Sonya Clark, Carrie Clevenger, Nerine Dorman, Gemma Brocato.

What is your favorite quote?

In nature there are no rules, only consequences.

Love that quote! What genre of books do you read for pleasure?

The same kind I write – paranormal romance/erotica, urban fantasy. Oh, and mystery. I love mysteries.

What’s the most amusing thing that’s ever happened to you?

When I lived in New Orleans, I used to like walking Bourbon Street on Friday nights. One time I went into one of the adult-themed stores and I’d had a few drinks so everything seemed quite funny to me. Especially the titles of the, er, adult-themed videos. Apparently I laughed so loudly I scared some customers into leaving without buying anything. So the owner of the shop kicked me out. I became highly indignant at the idea of anyone being asked to leave a shop like that and so I stood in the doorway and told every passing person they’d better not have a sense of humor and dare to laugh if they went inside the store or they’d get kicked out. The owner kept screaming he’d call the cops and I yelled back, good, I hope he did. One cop did walk by and I told him he’d better not laugh or he’d get kicked out. He smiled indulgently and passed on. This is a cautionary tale against drinking one too many Hand Grenades on Bourbon Street.

LOL - Too funny!!! What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Read. Play Sims 3 and Walking Dead video games.

If all TV shows were real, what show (all time) would you most like to live in?

Supernatural. I’d like to be a hunter like Sam and Dean. I’d kick butt.

Well, this has been an awesome interview so far, and now it's time for some . . . 

Party dress or blue jeans? Jeans

Plotter or Panster? Plotter

Print or e-Book? E-Book

Coastal walks or extreme sports? Ha. Definitely coastal walks. I barely know how to spell sports let alone play them.

Cookies or cupcakes? Cookies.

Super hero or super villain? Super Villain

If I had a free afternoon I’d . . . go to Galveston and walk and write on the beach.

Peanut Butter: Crunchy, Creamy, or I hate peanut butter and am addicted to Nutella. Creamy. But Nutella sounds awfully good.

You suddenly realize you live in a haunted house. Do you:

  1. Run screaming for the door.
  2. Bravely go to a church, load up on holy water and try to get rid of the ghost.
  3. Set up ghost hunting equipment to capture phenomenon.
  4. Call in the Ghost Adventures crew so that you can ogle the lead guy Zac’s amazingly stiff hair when you’re not ogling his uh, physical attributes.
  5. Deny you have a ghost and just let it scare the bejesus out of your visitors.
Definitely #5!

Could you tell us five random facts about yourself?

  1. I foster rescued dachshunds.
  2. I once kissed a real wolf on the mouth. (Well, okay, she kissed me!) (Research for my wolf shifter novels has led me to some fascinating places.)
  3. I once saw the ghost of a little boy at the Myrtles Plantation in Louisiana.
  4. I have waded in Loch Ness in Scotland. (No, I didn’t see Nessie.)
  5. I once participated in a real voodoo rite on Bayou St. John in New Orleans. 
Thanks again for stopping by to chat with me Amy - You ROCK!

I've loved Amy's books right from Beneath the Skin, and even though Blood Gift is different from the shifter books Amy has written in the past, it's still a "can't put this book down" story!

Claire's character is written with realism and depth, so that the reader understands the pain Claire has suffered in the past and her struggles to overcome the damage done by her alcoholic mother and abusive relationships. The fact that all the characters in Blood Gift have human flaws, in spite of being supernatural, is an interesting twist to a story of the paranormal. Yes, there are about a bazillion vampire/paranormal books out there, but as Amy said, this one is different. This is a story about people who just happen to have fangs. And I think it's pretty cool that Claire uses her psychic abilities to help other abused women.

In addition, the erotic content is extremely sensuous, which I did not find offensive, but some might.

All-in-all, this is another awesome book from author Amy Lee Burgess, and I'm going to give it a 5 Cup Review!

Amy Lee Burgess - Author PictureAmy Lee Burgess lives and writes in Houston, Texas but her heart belongs to New England – especially in the autumn.

Ruled by two dachshunds and addicted to Irish breakfast tea and the Walking Dead, she loves to write about vampires, wolf shifters, gargoyles and other assorted paranormal creatures. Amy loves to travel to places like London England, Edinburgh, Scotland, Paris France and Providence, Rhode Island where she stalks the coziest Irish pubs she can find.

She writes to trance and house music by candlelight and welcomes email from her readers – especially if they want to talk about the supernatural.

Listen to Amy's BTB Radio Interview!

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