Saturday, February 5, 2011
Show a Zombie Some Love!
Thanks so much for letting me guest blog today!
Readers often ask me how I come up with ideas for my books, so I thought I'd give you a little behind-the-scenes peek at how I came up with my new release, a paranormal erotic romance from Ellora's Cave called DEAD SEXY.
Before I say anything else though, isn't that cover too hot for words?! When the art department sent it to me, I probably gazed at it for a good ten minutes in mouth-drooling appreciation before I could email them back telling the artist it not only rocked, but totally fit the book. The hero is "Dead Sexy," after all!
Okay, back to the story and how I came up with it. First, to set the stage, I need to share a little something with you about myself. Well, about my hubby and me, actually. We love zombie movies, from the George Romero gems to Shaun of the Dead and everything in between, including "Walking Dead," the new series on AMC. You just can't go wrong with a movie full of walking dead people, can you? Well, if you've ever seen a zombie movie (or even you haven't), then you know the creatures aren't the heroes of the film. I mean, how can they be, right? They're all dead and decayed and downright unattractive, not to mention pretty damn scary. Which was why you can imagine my surprise when my hubby suggested I write an erotic romance about a zombie hero. I was like, you're kidding, right? What woman in her right mind would fall in love with a dead guy? No way could that possibly work, or so I thought.
Turns out, my hubby wasn't kidding. In fact, he started working up ideas for the story.
"The hero didn't have to be a zombie all the time," he told me. "Think outside the box - take a little literary license!"
Okay, I thought. I suppose I could be open minded.
My hubby told me that in his out-of-the-box world, the hunky hero got cursed by an evil Voodoo priestess and only turns into a zombie sometimes.
"I'm listening," I said.
"And when he does go zombie, he doesn't have to be like the kind in the movies," my hubby added. "Well, he has to look like one, you know all dead and stuff, but he doesn't have to be a mindless creature or attack humans or eat anything gross."
So, brains are completely out, thanks goodness!
"Think Jensen Ackles or Jared Padelecki, with a really, really, really dark tan - (yes, my hubby knows I've got a thing for the Supernatural hunks!) - well, maybe more gray and black than tan, but you get the idea."
I thought about that for a minute. "So, the hero's dead, but he's still sexy, is that what you're saying?"
"Exactly," he said, giving me a grin as my eyes lit up with understanding.
By that point, my hubby had pretty much sold me on the idea. Of course, I knew if I ran with it, I was going to have to sell it to a publisher, and I knew that could be tough since the hero is a zombie. But I ran with it anyway and ended up with a full-length novel. And it came out pretty damn good, if I do say so myself! I still had to find a publisher for it, though.
About this same time, It just so happens that several of my other books were in the process of being picked up by Ellora's Cave and I thought what the heck? Why not pitch it to my editor there and see what she thinks? So I did, and she told me to send it to her. She was interested to see how I handled the whole zombie-thing. Well, long story, short, she liked it. A lot! My zombie romance with it's dead-sexy hero had a home! I was thrilled and my hubby walked around for a week with a smug, "I-told-you-so" look on his face.
I've been getting the word out there about DEAD SEXY ever since I signed the contract for it and I'm thrilled with the interest from readers who can't wait to get their hands on it! I can't wait for them to read it, too!
Now that I've revealed the story behind the story, I thought I'd share the blurb and an excerpt just to whet your appetite for more!
Romance author Simone Kent thinks she might just have found the most perfect guy in all of New York City - in bed and out. But Drake Parrish is about as far from perfect as any man can get. Eight years ago, he was cursed by an evil Voodoo priestess to live part of his life as a zombie. Since then, he has lived like a recluse on New York’s Upper East Side, afraid to go out for fear he’ll suddenly turn into one of the walking dead.
The sex is the hottest either of them has ever experienced and Simone discovers just how naughty she can be with Drake, while he finds himself feeling things for her that he hasn’t felt in a very long time. When the Voodoo priestess learns of their relationship, however, she comes after him again. She is determined to make sure he won’t have a future with Simone, even if that means killing both him and the woman he loves.
As she led him up the steps to the second floor, Drake found himself wondering if she would ask him in. And wondering what he’d say if she did. When they came to a stop outside the door to her apartment, Simone turned to give him a smile.
“I had a great time tonight.”
She caught her bottom lip between her perfect white teeth and chewed on it thoughtfully as if unsure what she wanted to say next. It was probably an unconscious gesture, something she did whenever she was thinking, but to him, it was sexy as hell and all he could think about was kissing her.
Surely, one kiss couldn’t hurt. He desperately wanted to. He hadn’t kissed a woman in so long. It would be nice to see if he still remembered how.
Before he could stop himself, Drake tilted Simone’s face up to his and pressed his mouth to hers.
She tasted just as sweet and delicious as he thought she would. Her lips were soft and pliant under his as she kissed him back, her tongue eagerly seeking his out.
Drake groaned and slid his hand into her hair, deepening the kiss. Simone sighed into his mouth, running her hands up the front of his shirt to grasp his shoulders. The feel of her touch was like a tonic to his deprived soul and he let out another groan, deeper this time.
He ran his free hand up her side and around to her breast, cupping it through the soft material of her dress. He couldn’t stop himself and apparently, Simone didn’t want him to. She moaned and arched against him. He could feel the heat of her pussy through their clothes as she pressed up against his hard cock. Damn, she felt good.
Drake drew her bottom lip into his mouth and gently suckled on it before slowly kissing his way along the delicate curve of her jaw. Simone clutched his shoulders and tilted her head back. He eagerly trailed a path of hot kisses down her neck, then back up, his mouth finding hers again. Simone looped her arms around his neck, pulling him in even closer as their tongues met.
Down the hall, a door slammed, reminding him where they were.
Drake dragged his mouth away from hers, his breathing ragged as he tried to regain control. He had to get it together because he was about five seconds away from doing something really stupid. Like taking her to bed. “I should go.”
Her lips curved into a sexy, flirtatious smile. “Or you could stay.”
God, how he wanted to. But as much as he’d love to spend the rest of the night exploring every inch of her body, he couldn’t take the chance he might go zombie on her right in the middle of sex. Talk about coitus interruptus, And it had already been almost four days since he last turned, which meant he was already pushing his luck.
“You don’t know how much I want to,” he groaned. “But I can’t.”
Simone looked up at him with those big, blue eyes. “Why not?”
“Because I…” He hesitated, trying to come up with something that would sound believable. “I have a column due in the morning and I haven’t even started on it yet.” She knew all about deadlines, so she would understand that. Besides, he did have a column to write, it just wasn’t due until next week. “Rain check?”
She looked disappointed, but she smiled anyway. “Absolutely. How does coming over for dinner tomorrow night sound?”
It would be crazy to agree when he could be so close to having an episode, but he couldn’t say no. Not when she asked in that soft, sultry voice. “Sounds great.”
“Good. Be here at seven.”
“Seven it is.”
She pulled him down for another long, slow kiss on the mouth. “Don’t be late.”
His mouth twitched. “I won’t.” He bent his head to kiss her again, then groaned. “If I don’t go now, I’ll be here all night.”
Simone laughed. “Would that be such a bad thing?”
“Not to me, but my editor at Money Issues might not be too understanding when he doesn’t find my column sitting in his inbox tomorrow.”
She sighed. “Deadlines can be a real pain in the butt sometimes. Okay, go home and write your column. I’ll cuddle up with a bowl of ice cream instead.”
He chuckled. “Sounds better than taking a cold shower, which is what I’m going to be doing when I get home.” He closed his mouth over hers once more. “See you tomorrow night, beautiful.”
Resisting the urge to pull her into his arms again, Drake turned and walked down the hallway toward the stairwell. At the top of the steps, he glanced over his shoulder to see Simone standing where he’d left her, a sexy curve to her lips.
It took every ounce of strength he possessed not to go back and pin her against the door for one more long, lingering kiss. God, what he wouldn’t give to spend the night with her. Man, it was going to take more than a cold shower to get her out of his head.
Reviewer TOP PICK from NOR!
"I picked up Dead Sexy because it sounded like a unique twist on how to incorporate zombies into a romance novel and I definitely was not disappointed. Ms. Tyler crafted a sexy romance that to my shock made the zombie aspect work really well.
The prologue set up the hero as a very unlikely hero but it just goes to show what extreme adversity will do to change a person. He went from a callous Wall Street type to a sensitive recluse. I found his new found career as an editorial consultant for romance novels very funny that worked beautifully with the plot.
The romance between Simone and Drake was far more than just sex. It had a sweet and charming element I often don't in erotic romance. But don't take that the wrong way it is still smoking hot. Their first date was priceless and add on the fact he was worried about being a zombie made it all the more fun.
When the Voodoo priestess came after them the action outside the romance picked up and the rest of the book flew by. I thought Simone's reaction to finding out Drake's secret was dead on. I even tried to imagine what I would do in that situation.
Dead sexy is everything you want in a paranormal romance. Action, plot, hot sex, great characters and a realistic romance you won't forget. I highly recommend this book and look forward to more by Ms. Tyler!"
4.5 Hearts from TRS!
"This was one interesting erotic romance. When I read the blurb I wasn't sure how a zombie could possibly be a desirable hero but if all the walking dead are like Drake this is definitely going to be a favorite sub genre for me. Our brackish hero is so commanding and compelling that it wasn't long before I was completely overlooking his past indiscretions and the fact he basically decayson occasion. Simone is a heroine who is easy to relate to, I loved how realistic she was even when surrounded by zombies. I see her as a hybrid between a more mature Buffy the Vampire Slayer crossed with one of the ladies from Sex in the City. The affinity between the main couple is so authentic and I loved how nervous they both were at the start of the relationship. Both the hero andheroine also had very strong connections with their friends and it was pleasant seeing their interactions and fun dialogue. I really enjoyed meeting the secondary characters in this story because they were as well-developed as the leading couple. Even in the thick of zombie activity everyone is just so genuine. I can't wait to read Beck's very own adventure. This is a must-read for those who enjoy vanguard paranormal romances, I know this is one I will definitely read again and again!"
4 Hoots from Nocturne Romance Reviews!
The use of a prologue was very effective, as it allowed for a believable transition from the Drake who was such an ass that he was cursed, to the Drake who is thoughtful, romantic and kind. After her agent recommends Simone contact Drake to assist her with her stalled novel, they begin an online email and chat relationship. This part of the story is quite romantic and sweet, as Drake and Simone’s relationship blossoms from online chatting to dates, to phone sex to lots of great real sex, as Drake decides to take a chance. The use of anticipation is a powerful aphrodisiac for Drake and Simone, and for the reader it creates a realistic romance. The sex, when it happens, is well-written and lengthy (16 pages – whew!). But all these elements create a strong base, both emotional and physical, for Drake and Simone’s new relationship.
When the Voodoo priestess comes to town, Simone and Drake must battle zombies and go on the run. Simone is touched by Drake’s protectiveness, but she also learns his secret. While Simone is coming to grips with Drake’s curse, the priestess and her zombies attack again, and the action heats up to heart-pounding, nail-biting levels. Throw in some interesting Voodoo lore, a truly unexpected plot twist, and near-death experiences, and you will be reading this late into the night.
This story is such a fun combination of sweet romance, hot sex, realistic relationship issues, and truly exciting zombie action all in one tightly-woven, well-plotted story. Read this!"
5 Siren Stones from Siren Book Reviews!
"When the two words “romance” and “zombies” are used to describe a book, what is one to think? For me, after reading Dead Sexy, my thoughts were a whirlwind of “wow”. Paige Tyler made this work. With a great blend of mystery, intrigue, suspense, and action, and not to forget the love scenes, Dead Sexy kept me going long into the late hours of the night. The hair on the back of my neck stood, and chills ran down my spine. This book took me by surprise at how much I enjoyed it.
This book somewhat reminded me of Beauty and the Beast. Drake, of course, resembles the Beast, as he was cursed eight years ago, and changed his life. He became a loner and hid himself from the world. Simone, a published romance writer, enlists his help by the recommendation of someone, and the two meet and begin dating. Simone is unaware of his curse at first, until the Voodoo Priestess that cursed him catches wind of Drakes new found happiness.
I love how new themes and story lines come into the romance genre all the time. There's always something new and exciting to read. I never thought I would enjoy a romance book so much that involved zombies, but I did. If you're looking for a different read, filled with adventure, excitement, and chills, then give Dead Sexy a try!"
Hope you enjoyed the excerpt and that you can't wait to read more! You can get DEAD SEXY from Ellora's Cave at http://www.jasminejade.com/ps-8917-50-dead-sexy.aspx
You can also check out the trailer here!
If you decide to pick up DEAD SEXY, let me know how you like it!