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Friday, February 18, 2011

Interview & Giveaway with author Laurie London

Today we are taking a break from the Countdown to This Side of the Grave to have the lovely Laurie London over for an interview. Laurie is the author of a fabulous paranormal romance, Bonded by Blood, and if you haven't read it yet then you definitely should! You can check out my review on it HERE

Author Bio:
A graduate of Western Washington University with a BA in Business Administration and a former tester/programmer for a Fortune 500 company, Laurie London  writes from her home near Seattle where she lives with her husband and two children.  

She is a member of Romance Writers of America®, Greater Seattle Area RWA, RWAOnline, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, FF&P (RWA chapter devoted to all things paranormal), and two book clubs.  

When not writing, she can be found running, reading, or riding and showing her horse. Someday she hopes to qualify for the Quarter Horse World Show – that is, if her horse doesn’t get hurt again.


Hi Laurie! Thank you so much for joining us today at Reading Between the Wines!
Thanks, Crystal, for having me on today! I love books and I love wine, so I feel right at home.

First, can you tell us a little bit about ‘Bonded by Blood’ and the Sweetblood series?
It’s the first book in the series and my debut novel as well. Since it just came out, I’ve been a little giddy.
Here’s the back cover copy:

Deep within the forests of the Pacific Northwest, two vampire coalitions battle for supremacy—Guardian enforcers who safeguard humanity and Darkbloods, rogues who kill like their ancient ancestors.

Movie location scout Mackenzie Foster-Shaw has always known that she’s cursed to die young. No one can protect her from the evil that has stalked her family for generations—vampires who crave her rare blood type. Until one afternoon in a wooded cemetery, she encounters an impossibly sexy stranger, a man she must trust with her life.

For Dominic, a man haunted by loss, Mackenzie satisfies a primal hunger that torments him—and the bond they share goes beyond heat, beyond love. She alone can supply the strength he needs to claim his revenge. But in doing so, he could destroy her…

How did you come up with the term sweetblood, the rare blood type that some humans have and vampires crave?
Since vampires have been living secretly among humans for centuries, they are able to blend in well. They absorb our energies and don’t need a lot of blood to survive, so killing a human host isn’t necessary.

However, I knew Mackenzie was different from most humans. She tempted Dom in a way that he’d never experienced before. What was it about her? I wondered. It had to be her blood—her sweet blood—that called him like a siren, causing him to question his beliefs and his sense of right and wrong.

As a Guardian agent, he’s sworn to protect humans from Darkbloods, bloodthirsty members of their kind, but her blood gives him the power to exact revenge on the enemy he’s been after for centuries. He’s suddenly faced with terrible choice.

And when I realized it wasn’t just him, that all vampires were attracted to the addictive Sweet, I saw all sorts of potential conflict to write about.

Was there anything specific that inspired the series?
The inspiration for the Sweetblood series came to me as I drove past a tiny old cemetery near where I live. Although I’d driven by many times, there was something about this one particular time that stuck with me. Tucked beneath a stand of fir trees at the side of a busy highway, it seemed glaringly out of place.

Because I’ve always been intrigued by cemeteries, I doubled back and got out of my car. Not seeing any fresh flowers, just crooked and broken gravestones littering the forest floor, my mind started imagining all sorts of things.

So I created characters that had a reason to be there, and the Sweetblood series was born.

If you want to see pictures of this cemetery, click the For Readers tab on my website at

How many novels are planned for the Sweetblood series?
Right now, I’m contracted for two, but I originally planned five books, with the possibility of more. And after having finished book 2, there are a few more characters whose stories I’d love to tell.

And how big of a role does the romance play in your novels?
The romance is the most important element. My books are romances set in a paranormal world, as opposed to a paranormal world with a romance.

What kind of readers do you think these novels will appeal to? 
My books will appeal to readers who enjoy hot romance and men with a little bite.

What kinds of writing process or rituals do you have when writing your novels?
Because I don’t have an office to block out the distractions (my husband works from home and bogarts the actual office), I use noise-cancelling headphones which I turn on without any music. 

Was there a character that was harder to write than others? Any you have a love/hate relationship with?
The characters that are hard to write are the ones I know are going to be killed off. It’s like knowing someone has a terminal illness and there’s nothing you can do about it.

I have a love/hate relationship with the villains. For some reason, the scenes I write in their point of view flow very easily. I hesitate to think what that says about me.

What is your favorite type of hero to write about? Bad boy, alpha, brooding, nice guy or something else? And what is your favorite to read about?
Bad boy/alpha heroes! Anyone with a dark, tortured past. And I love it when they have deep dark secrets that they can barely admit to themselves. They bring lots of baggage to the relationship and I love pairing them with the one woman who can help them heal.

These are the same kinds of heroes I love reading about too.

Could you tell us a bit about the sequel to this novel, ‘Embraced by Blood’? 
It’s Alfonso and Lily’s story. Alfonso is Dom’s brother and the black sheep of the family. Lily, also a vampire, is a single mother and one of the best Scent Trackers within the Agency. Here’s the back cover copy:

Alfonso Serrano is a hunted man. For months he’s managed to elude the Darkbloods, vengeful foes who won’t rest until he’s dead. But he still craves one dangerous temptation: Lily DeGraff, the sexy Guardian agent he’ll risk anything to protect.

Lily is a wanted woman. Her talent for tracking Sweet-a rare blood type that’s addictive to vampires-makes her a prime target for enemy capture. Her only hope is the stealthy vampire operative who stole into her bed...then left her in despair. Danger aside-Lily won’t let Alfonso near her heart again-until an irresistible hunger draws them back together...and into an assassin’s snare.

Do you have anything your working on now that you can share?
At this exact time, I have no news that I can share. 
But stay tuned. ;-)

On your website you state that when you’re not writing you can be found running, reading, or riding and showing your horse. Can you tell us some more about your horse?

She’s a gorgeous Quarterhorse mare that I showed on the breed circuit until she got hurt just two days before the biggest show of the season. After almost four months of complete stall rest, she made a full recovery. I can’t wait to get her back into training and start showing 

You are stranded on an island with only five of your favorite books, what are they?
1. The Giver
2. The Shadow of the Wind
3. The Count of Monte Cristo
4. Lover Awakened
5. Rebecca

What is your favorite color?

Do you have a favorite dish?
Homemade macaroni and cheese.

And last but not least, what is you favorite wine?
Alexandria Nicole Cellars Crawford Viognier

Thanks again for stopping by Laurie, I hope you’ve enjoyed your time here.  Any last comments or words you want to say to readers?
Thanks so much, Crystal, for having me on today!!!

Readers can check out my website at or find me on Facebook and Twitter

I’d love to give away a signed copy of Bonded By Blood to one lucky commenter who can tell me what books you’d bring if you were stranded on a deserted island.

To enter to win a signed copy of Bonded by Blood that Laurie is graciously giving away just leave a comment answering her question above. The giveaway is opened to residents of the US & Canada, please make sure to leave an email address with your comment. Giveaway will end at 11:59 pm on March 4th at which time a winner will be selected at random and contacted via the email address provided. Good luck everyone! 


Lisa said...

I would bring the Outlander Series.

quimbayai said...

vampire academy series and lords of the underword series :]

StacieDM said...

Great question Laurie! I'm looking forward to reading Bonded by Blood & the sequel.

Desert Island Books:

Undercover by Lauren Dane
Bound/Branded/Brazen by Jaci Burton
Dirty by Megan Hart
The Immortal Ops series by Mandy M Roth

user1123 AT comcast DOT net

Victoria said...

I keep reading excellent things about Bonded By Blood. Am really looking forward to reading your series.
I would take all of Larissa Ione's, Kresley Cole's and Gena Showalter's book to the deserted island.


Danielle Gorman said...

Not sure if you are letting me bring one book or several. If I had to choose only one book it would definitely have to be Lover Awakened. I love this book and I can't even count how many times that I have read it. I love Zsadist! Now if I am allowed to bring more than 1 I would bring the whole BDB series, IAD series by Kresley Cole, the LOTU series by Gena Showalter and all of Lisa Kleypas' books.

I can't wait to read your book. It looks so good and I am dying to read it. Thanks for the giveaway.

Kristen My Bookish Fairy Tale said...

I have read some wonderful reviews on this book! I would love to read it. Thanks for making open to Canada woot!!

donnas said...

The In Death series, some Shakespeare, some Greek Myths, a few other series. How many trunks can we bring again?

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Kelly said...

I love a wide variety of genres.

I would probably bring:
The Dirty Girls Social Club (Alissa Valdes-Rodriguez)
Darkness Dawns (Diane Duvall) - Just finished this one and could read it over and over again!
A few of the Rizzoli & Isles books (Tess Gerritsen) :)

Laurie London said...

Oooh, I'm liking all of your picks! I say, if you want to bring a trunkful of books, you can. Maybe that's why the boat sank and you're stranded on an island in the first place. ;-)

Vivien said...

Harry Potter
Sookie Stackhouse
In Death
Alex Cross
Hunger Games I would need to know how to survive!

Just to name a few

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

elaing8 said...

Great interview.
I think I'd bring the Sweet series by Maya banks,some of the BDB books by JR Ward and Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.

annalisa said...

Bonded by Blood and the sequel look really good! :)

If I was stranded on a deserted island, I'd bring Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan series, Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series, Patricia Brigg's Mercy Thompson series, all of Kelley Armstrong's books, Nora Robert's In Death series, and Michelle M. Pillow's Lords of the Var and Dragon Lords series.


Kaity said...

Ohh tough question. I would definitely bring the Harry Potter books and several of JD Robb's In Death books. But I would also want Patricia Briggs's Mercy Thompson series and Ilona Andrews's Kate Daniels series. I might also want to bring a survival guide ;)

bittenbooks at gmail dot com

Ammy Belle said...

Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, The Turn of the Screw and something funny. Yeah, I know, right? Random :)


debbie said...

I would take the stand by stephen king, the stephenie plum series, and the foxfire books (they aren't novels, but they tell you how to do everything.)

Rhianna said...

Oh how crazy that two of my picks are on your list too Laurie! :D

1. Rebecca
2. Lover Awakened
3. White Oleander
4. The Iron King
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Why can't deserted islands at least have libraries? :P

Great interview and thanks for the giveaway!

DarkBloodyVamp said...

Hi Crystal and Laurie!

Just dropping by to say hi and tell you both I loved the interview. the part about the cemetery and how you describe it with the broken headstones and no fresh flowers in the mist of a forest just felt so sad. I saw the pictures and I could see why it drew you. Isn't it strange how some thing draw for some reason as if they want there story to be told.

I'm not entering the contest since I have read the book and LOVE IT AND DOM! I can't wait to buy book 2 the day it comes out!

I hope Laurie that they will pick up the rest of the series so you can write more then the two books you have contracted!

Have a great day you two!

Linda Young said...

Wow. This is a hard choice.

1. Born of Night
2. The Flame and the Flower
3. Fantasy Lover
4. The Viking's Captive
5. The Countess

I need a trunk for the books I'd want to have. LOL

Wonderful interview and thank you for the giveaway!

qladyhawke at gmail dot com
Lewiston, Idaho, USA

Mikki-Manó said...

Please don't enter me in, but I have to tell, that I've just ordered Bonded by Blood from Amazon, and I can't wait to get it! Since the cover got my attention and I read the review and the excerpt on Laurie's site, I can't stop thinking about how the story will continue :)

Alison said...

Your books sound really interesting. I will put it on my to read list.

1. Pride and Prejudice

2. First Drop Of Crimson

3. At Grave's End - Would prefer to take them all.

4. Dead to the World - Would also prefer to take them all.

5. Eternal Kiss of Darkness.

DL Thomas said...

Your books sound very interesting..sooo...

I would take your books with me (since I haven't read them, hopefully I won't be stranded until the next one comes out it July).
I would take Lora Leighs Breed series (several books to read there).
I would also take Rebecca Yorks Moon series and Terry Spears Wolf series.

If your going to be stranded might as well have plenty to read!

Mammy Wuvs To Read!

winnie said...

Thanks for hte interview and giveaway! I've heard so much about Bonded by Blood it would be so awesome to win a signed copy!

If I was stranded on a deserted island, the books I would bring would definitely include the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost, the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs and the Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh.


Katie said...

hmmm this is hard...
1. To Kill a Mockingbird
2. Hunger Games Trilogy
3. Twilight Saga
4. Guild Hunter Series
5. Mercedes Thompson series

JenM said...

I'd bring:
1) The Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett (best historical fiction series ever!),
2) the Outlander series because I've always wanted to read it, but those books are such doorstoppers, LOL
3) both the Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega series by Patricia Briggs, because I reread them once every couple of months.

On the other hand, could I just bring my fully loaded Kindle and a solar charger?

jen at delux dot com

Laurie London said...

Kaity and Debbie, I should've thought to bring a survival guide!

Rhianna, Great minds, I guess!

DarkBloodyVamp, (stay tuned--I have news...)

Katie, Winnie, Alison, and Linda: Most excellent choices!

Mikki-Mano, Thank you! I hope you enjoy reading Bonded.

Deb, Aw, thanks!!!

JenM, Good point. That would totally solve our problem of only bringing 5 books!

KMbookiegirl006 said...

I would have to bring The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. And at least one book from the Harry Potter series.

linda2060 said...

Ahh! This is so hard! I love anything by Richelle Mead and James Patterson. I'm a die-hard romance addict so anything that can warm my heart like Nora Roberts. Oh and Lord of the Flies.
I'd probably memorize every word since I'll have to depend on the books to cure my boredom.
Lindadao2060 @ yahoo dot com

Kristen My Bookish Fairy Tale said...

I would bring the black Dagger Brotherhood series and A midnight Breed Series and the Lords of the Underworld series with me :) oh and The nighthuntress series when I buy the rest of them lol

mbreakfield said...

I would bring Pride and Prejudice, the Dark-hunters series and Immortals after Dark series.

Sharon S. said...

All the brothers from the Black Dagger Brotherhood ;)

Maria (pronounced Mariah) I blame my mother... said...

I would cheat and bring my kindle which has 98% of my books on it! Include all my favorite series I could read again and again and never get board! Just to name a few:

Night Huntress

These are just naming a few!!

Book Flame said...

hmm I would bring
Twilight saga
Once a princess
fallen series
The Scarletti Curse

Meredith said...

I'd bring some big ones, like the Outlander series, something I really like the Southern Vampire series, and then tons and tons of books that I haven't read yet!

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Miranda Grissom said...

What a good question! I don't suppose I can bring all of my bookcases. Of course Bonded by Blood I loved it I can't wait for Embraced by Blood and I'm thinking J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood, Rachel Vincent's Faythe Sanders Series, Robyn Carr's Virgin River series, Jaci Burton's Wild Riders series, and Maya Banks Colter's series.

Amy said...

I would bring all of Nalini Singh's and Richelle Mead's books.


Dinda said...

It's a tough decision, but if I have to choose, I think I will choose Harry Potter series, Twilight Saga and The Hunger Games.


TheGirlOnFire said...

I would say
Harry Potter
The Hunger Games
The Forrest of Hands and Teeth
Wicked Lovely

thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

Soli said...

If I were stranded on an island I'd take the Garth Nix's Sabriel Trilogy (Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen) and The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice with me.