Pallet of bottled water, check. 10 crates of noodles, check. 50 gallons of red pasta sauce, check...err. Make that 50 gallons of fake blood. You never know when you may need to make yourself look like a zombie to avoid being overtaken by the horde. If you need some tips on that, ask our guest author Karina Halle. Welcome Karina!
Karina: Hello there! Thank you for having me. This place looks like the Olive Garden.
Lexi: Here, let me pour you a chilled glass of white wine and you can tell us a bit about your baby: Sins and Needles. Sounds like this book will deliver delicious shivers as you take us down some dark alleys. Did you work to keep the dark gritty feel consistent throughout the Artists Trilogy?
Karina: Nah, it comes pretty natural to me. Sins & Needles is set in the desert, near a place I go to a lot, Palm Springs. Coming from the tree-laden and rainwashed Pacific Northwest, I love the desert and think it has this beautiful yet tough quality to it. It’s so harsh and unforgiving, so barren and yet life goes on. I could feel the grit in the air, the sand in the teeth, on each page I wrote and it was easy to adapt my morally-questionable and edgy characters to that terrain.
Lexi: On Goodreads this series has been shelved as Erotica (scorching hot!), Romantic Suspense, and New Adult. The New Adult tag threw me a little as I would never place a dark erotic book in that category. What is your take on the various genres the Artists Trilogy falls into?
Karina: People will always categorize a book so that it fits best in their world. Personally, I think its romantic suspense. Full stop. It’s a romance between Ellie and Camden and it’s suspenseful and thrilling thanks to the dark journey they embark on. Yes, there are some hot sex scenes in the book but they only come into play when it suits the characters and the story. So I wouldn’t say it’s erotica at all, it just has some erotic elements and sizzling sex. As for New Adult, I’ve seen it categorized as this but I personally wouldn’t. I think New Adult is more for college-aged kids and my characters are all over 25. However, Sins & Needles does have flashback scenes to high school, so I guess you could call those YA, and underneath the gritty, criminal surface, it does touch on issues that many twenty-somethings face – finding your place in the world, letting go of the past, particularly when it comes to your role with your parents and who you were defined as when you were a teenager.
Lexi: When I pick up a book I want it to push limits, and if it is an erotic novel it should have raw emotion. Did you find yourself immersed in Ellie, Camden and Javier's lives while writing?
Karina: Oh god, yes. In so many aspects, I am Ellie. Her issues that she went through in high school? I went through those. Some scenes are borrowed straight from my life. I’ve never been so close to a character as I have to Ellie, perhaps that’s why I take it really personally when people rag on her and her issues, because they’re mine too. And Camden, well I was friends with guys like Camden in high school. And I was mean to them as much as I was friends with them. Kill or be killed. We were all the misfits, the rejects, and we all had crosses to bear and a world we wanted to burn.
Lexi: Whenever I read a book with one of the main characters occupation being a tattoo artist I seriously consider having one done. Do you have any tattoos? Did Camden make you dream of having a full back tattoo done...by him? ;)
Karina: Yes, I have three tattoos! One is for my favorite band, Faith No More. It’s their symbol and I got it on the back of my neck back when I worked as a music journalist. I actually got it done in Helsinki, Finland, where I was visiting family and hanging out with the band after a festival. My second tattoo I got in May 2011, on Friday the 13th. People get 13 tattoos all the time and that was the day I released my first book, Darkhouse. I got the number “13” behind my ear (didn’t hurt at all). My third tattoo I just got in February. It’s an anchor on my wrist. I got it to symbolize my love for my boyfriend, Scott, and also because my character Perry Palomino gets it in an upcoming Experiment in Terror book. Lucky for me, the day I got the tattoo, my boyfriend got a matching one…and later that night, he proposed. And I said yes. So I guess all my tattoos are pretty lucky!
As for Camden, he can tattoo me anywhere, anytime.
Lexi: Good answer!
Tattoos, love triangles, and maybe a zombie horde. You sure were fun to have stop by Reading Between the Wines today Karina! Cheers to your Artists Trilogy, we wish you much success so you can keep on writing and scaring us crazy, so long as you give a nice dose of love...we will forgive you.
by Karina Halle
#2 The Artist Trilogy
Kindle Edition, 265 pages
Expected publication: August 20th 2013 by Grand Central Publishing
Courtesy of NetGalley
Sometimes the right choice can be the deadliest.
When Ellie Watt made the ultimate sacrifice for Camden McQueen, she never thought it would be easy. But walking away with her ex-lover, Javier Bernal, in order to ensure Camden’s safety has brought a whole new set of dangers. With Javier’s plans for Ellie growing more secretive by the moment, Ellie must find a way to stay ahead of the game before her past swallows her whole.
Meanwhile, Camden’s new life is short-lived. Fueled by revenge and pursued by authorities, he teams up with an unlikely partner in order to save Ellie. But as Camden toes the line between love and retribution, he realizes that in order to get back the woman he loves, he may have to lose himself in the process. He might just turn into the very man he’s hunting.
Told in dual POV from Camden and Ellie.