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08 May 2012

Tuesday Tea with Erin Quinn ~ "romance for the thinking reader" ( @ErinQuinnAuthor )

Hi all! Grab a cup of tea – or whatever it is you like to drink – and join in the discussion. Today we have Erin Quinn visiting and giving us a look into her writing. She's also a featured author at Arizona Dreamin' - Arizona's first romance-reader event!
About our guest, Erin ~
Erin Quinn is an award winning author who writes romance for the thinking reader. Her books have been called “riveting,” “brilliantly plotted” and “beautifully written” and have won, placed or showed in the Booksellers Best, WILLA Award for Historical fiction, the Orange Rose, Readers Crown, Golden Quill, Best Books, and Award of Excellence.
    She lives in Arizona with her husband, two daughters and three dogs (all of whom have made debuts in her stories—the dogs, that is, not the husband and kids.)
    She's here today to tell us about her Mists of Ireland series. Welcome Erin!

Hi Chris and thank you for having me here on the blog!
    I began writing twenty-five years ago and I’ve had an interesting (if convoluted) journey in publishing. I started out thinking I wanted to write mystery—but I didn’t want to write just a mystery. I wanted a twisty plot, but I also wanted romance and a spine-chilling thrills. I did my best in my first novel, Web of Smoke (recently back in print) which was a two-time Golden Heart finalist before it sold. Avon purchases and published that book shortly after I finished it. After that I switched gears a bit which is either the smartest thing I’ve ever done or the dumbest. I didn’t understand the industry enough to know that I should have followed my dark mystery with another dark mystery. Instead, I jumped to paranormal and totally short-circuited my career. At the time, no one was publishing paranormal and the mere hint of it in a novel was enough to get the door slammed in my face. My second novel, Echoes, took a long time to get published because of that. However, I love the paranormal genre, so it was probably a good decision in the long run to make that move. My next six novels have all had a paranormal element and I’ve loved writing them.
    In my most recent books, the Mists of Ireland series, I delve into different aspects of paranormal. The Mists of Ireland are part of a time-travel series that takes readers to Ireland to meet the families MacGrath and Ballagh. For centuries these two families have been entwined in love, jealousy and the mysticism of an ancient tome called the Book of Fennore. Surrounded by lore and superstition, this ancient Book wreaks havoc on humanity—but when it falls into the hands of the MacGraths and Ballaghs, it ignites powers within them that make them its most formidable enemy. Each of the four books within the series focuses on one of the MacGraths or Ballaghs and follows their journey through time as they try to defeat the powers of the Book and deal with the new reality it sets out before them. Reviewers and readers alike have called the Mists of Ireland series “filled with fascinating characters, wonderful detail, and the beautiful scenery of Ireland” and “An enthralling read. Quinn’s mélange of paranormal, time travel and romance is outstanding!”
    I thought I’d share a bit about the award winning second book in the series, Haunting Warrior, and give you a scene I loved and would never cut.

Rory McGrath’s life changed the night he uncovered the secrets of the ancient Book of Fennore. Then the dreams begin of a woman whose touch is more real that any he’s known. Rory is plunged back in time and into the body of another man betrothed to the very woman of Rory’s dreams. Her hold on Rory is inescapable. She is his doom. His salvation. And his destiny.
Scene I loved and would never cut?
    Saraid’s people have been hunted down and all but annihilated. In desperation, her brother has arranged for her to marry the enemy and make him their ally. Terrified, but determined to meet her fate with dignity, Saraid agrees to become the wife of Ruairi the Bloodletter, named for his cruelty and violent nature. But on her wedding day she discovers her new husband is not the Bloodletter at all, but someone who wears the same face and looks at her with a stranger’s eyes.
   Below is the scene when she first realizes there is more to her new husband than the cruel warrior she sees. Her perceptions are filled with contradictions and I loved writing the complex emotions she experiences.
        There were too many to fit into the tiny church, so they gathered on the pathway before it. For a moment, no one moved or spoke. Then Cathán pulled a blue ribbon from his tunic and stepped forward, giving Saraid and the Bloodletter the signal to face one another. On wobbly legs, Saraid turned to the man she would wed. The monk in his long coarse robes emerged from the small gathering and stood patiently waiting for Saraid to put her right hand in the Bloodletter’s left. Her left in his right, wrists crossed. With a satisfied grunt, Cathán began to twine the ribbon around their hands, over and under until the knot of eternity was complete. She was numb through the monk’s speaking of the vows. If she did not know better, she would say the Bloodletter was feeling the same. There was a gleam of something that might have been panic in those blue, blue eyes. Did he dread this as much as she? But that would mean Ruairi the Bloodletter had feelings, and that could not be true.
        She took a deep breath when he lowered his head to kiss her, feeling dizzy and sickened and something else she could not define. As if sensing the turmoil inside her, he caught her gaze and held it for a moment, his searching, probing. She felt as if he were trying to say something with those enigmatic eyes, and for a flashing instant she felt again that sense of another lurking behind the sky blue of them. What a frightening mystery this man was.
        And then his mouth settled over hers and thought fled. His kiss was warm and soft when she’d expected cold and hard. The touch of his lips gentle and coaxing when she’d prepared for rough and invasive. The kiss was brief, and yet it felt that time stopped for the length of it, giving her the chance to feel every nuance, every unexpected instant. It seemed he tried to pull back and then hesitated, allowing just another moment of the contact that shocked her like a hot ember popping from a blazing fire to burn her. With their hands bound and trapped between their bodies, Saraid could do little more than allow it. She’d be allowing so much more later, when they were alone.
        He pulled away, just enough so that he could look into her eyes again, and she saw something there that she did not understand. Confusion that matched her own. A need—but not the kind she’d expected. Not lust, but longing.
        Then he was stepping back and a mask came over his features once more. His father stared at him for a moment, the look hard and warning, the message unmistakable. It was only then that it occurred to her that the Bloodletter might be as much a pawn as she.

What’s next?
HAUNTING EMBRACE, which released in November 2011, finished the Mists of Ireland series and now I am working on a new series which I’ve just turned in to my publisher. I don’t have a release date or more details at this point, but I’m very excited about. Readers have asked if I intend to write any other books that deal with the world I created in the Mists of Ireland and the answer is yes. I just haven’t got them on the schedule yet. They will be outside the story arch begun in Haunting Beauty, but they will feature a few of the characters who never got their own stories.

Please feel free to add/follow Erin at the links below:

What’s next? A contest!
Tell me what you love about your favorite books (twisty plot, to-die-for hero, paranormal world, breathtaking descriptions, spunky heroine….?) and one lucky commenter will win an eBook of Haunting Desire, the third book in the Mists of Ireland series.

Thank you for joining us here today, Erin! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your work.

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