INTERVIEW and GIVEAWAY
by L. K. Below
This release day blitz and giveaway for Hellish Haven is brought to you by Bewitching Book Tours. You can also follow the Twitter party and the book tour.
Two lives. Two realities. But only one truth.
The Senator reigns all-powerful in a manifested picture-perfect world. No worries. No wars. Only the unspoken threat of oblivion if you step a toe out of line. On the other side of the divide, the rebels face a debilitating war against an invulnerable robotic army. Every day is a struggle to earn back their freedoms. Freedom to feel. Freedom of speech. Freedom of thought.
Sergeant Grant Baker is pivotal to the war effort. But ever since his wife’s abduction, he’s been walking around in as much of a daze as the Senator’s brainwashed citizens. Then Eva reappears - without memories of him or their son. And he’s willing to do anything to keep her. Even if it means jeopardizing the war.
Eva doesn’t know which side to believe. Her predictable life as a single nurse, or the man claiming to be her husband. All she knows is she needs to discover how to end the war, quickly. If she doesn’t choose sides soon, she may lose the man - and the life - she never knew she wanted.
Acting as vanguard for the injured squad, Grant turned a corner and froze. A hulky man carried a limp woman over his shoulder.
Grant automatically reached for his gun. Even if they weren’t yet across the divide, he couldn’t stand idle as a man accosted a woman. Or worse. He aimed the rifle at the criminal. “Set her down nice and easy.”
The man froze. He glanced over one meaty shoulder, his unshaven mouth set in a scowl.
“Set her down, or I’ll shoot.”
A gold tooth flashed as the criminal grinned. He hurled the small woman at Grant and dashed for the slim space between two buildings.
Grant moved without thinking. His gun clattered to the ground as he lunged forward to catch the woman before she split her head open on the sidewalk. He grunted as he caught her with her weight against his bruised forearms. He shot a flickering glance her way. A riot of brown curls obscured her face. He set her gently on the ground.
He dashed for the opening the shady figure had disappeared into, but saw no sight of the man. The delinquent was long gone.
Ashland panted as he jogged to Grant’s side. “What happened?”
If Grant never heard that question again, it would be too soon. He shook his head wearily. “Mugging, I guess.”
“They still have those here? I thought the Senator brought an end to violence.” Ashland drew sarcastic quotes in the air as he spoke.
Grant didn’t bother to answer. He turned to the woman and where his squad was now gathered. A horrified private glanced from the woman to Grant and back again. “What do you want us to do with her…sir?”
If they left her, the Senator’s people might find her and stick her back in the pen with the rest of their brainwashed sheep. Then again, that same goon might double back to continue what he started.
He crossed to the woman and crouched to lift her into his arms. Her tangled hair fell away from her face. He nearly dropped her. “Eva?”
Frantically, he pressed his ear to her chest. Her breathing was shallow, but her heartbeat steady and strong. He clutched her tighter. He couldn’t believe it.
He’d found his wife.
Praise for the Book
"The plot moved quickly and I was kept interested the entire way through. I enjoyed the story and the ending was lovely. Hellish Haven was a quick, enjoyable romance that I really enjoyed. Romance lovers, this is a novella worth checking out." ~ Farrah
"This story kept me riveted. It took only a short time to read." ~ Ann Ellis
"I enjoyed this futuristic romance. The author brings to life a futuristic city. She does a great job describing all the details without being confusing. Sometimes authors build a world and it's so crazy it gets confusing. This author did it right!" ~ Jessica Heaton
"Hellish Haven is fascinating at times ... A civil war set in a dystopian NYC, a brainwashed wife who doesn't remember her family. Those kept me interested." ~ Maurisa
Interview With the Author
Why did you decide to become a published author?
In high school, the only thing I could think about doing was writing. I had books in me and they had to come out. I’m also a practical person, and upon graduating high school, when I didn’t have the money up front to go back to school, I opted not to put myself in debt. While I worked, saving money, I also wrote. I read books, and got positive responses to my own work. I decided I wanted more people to read it. I want to keep writing, and my dream job was to be able to do only that, writing. So I took the plunge, and here I am.
How do you celebrate the completion of a book or a sale to a publisher?
Chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. Maybe a little wine, too.
What is the biggest obstacle you had to overcome in your career?
My biggest obstacle was a lack of support at home. My late husband didn’t approve - and went out of his way to actively discourage my writing. For the two years prior to his death, I wrote in secret for fear he would find out, and didn’t end up writing much at all.
What inspired you to write romance?
My best friend from high school was a bookworm like me. Only, instead of the fantasy I read (which she still liked occasionally), she was a romance junkie. She slipped me a Sherrilyn Kenyon book to show me how my love of fantasy could translate to her love of romance. I loved the book, and from that moment forward, started to get my own ideas. I wrote romance, she and my mom read it, and I haven’t looked back since.
What was the first romance book you ever wrote? Was it published?
The first romance I ever wrote was a paranormal romance about a demon who falls in love with a ballet dancer. It was not published, or ever sent out on submission … to be honest, I find the concept a little bit corny. But I am still proud to have written it. That’s how you learn.
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
I was fifteen or sixteen when my best friend slipped me that Sherrilyn Kenyon book. From that moment, I had to read all the rest of the Dark Hunter series. Can you blame me?
What is your writing process?
I am in no way a plotter. I’ve tried it, but I prefer to write the first draft of a book as though I’m reading it for the first time. Once the book is all the way down on the page, I use it to form an outline and discover if there are any holes I need to fill in, or unnecessary scenes that need to be taken out. Then come revisions, revisions, revisions, some feedback from my cherished critique partner, and more revisions before I send it to my editor.
How long does it take you to finish a book?
I like to finish the first draft of a book in a month. Sometimes I write faster, sometimes books need time to sit and ferment. Editing takes me another month, if not more, before the book is ready to be seen by someone aside from myself.
How do you find the time to write?
I don’t find time. I make the time. Days can get incredibly busy, especially if working a day job. I take a few moments for myself in the morning before my day begins, in order to write. The days I have "off", I usually devote to writing as well.
What is the hardest part of writing?
The hardest part of writing, I consider to be maintaining the discipline to finish a book. I have so many new ideas bouncing through my head at any given time that I’m always tempted to stop what I’m doing and start something new. It’s partly why I try to write so fast, so I won’t set aside a project until I reach "The End".
Where do you get your inspiration?
Inspiration is a funny thing. I commonly get ideas while sleeping or doing yoga, something that quiets the mind and lets me think. I also get ideas from things I see in real life, or even by reading over old stories. The book I’m currently working on started out as a half-finished book from 2010 … until I decided it would work much better this way. Now it has new characters, a new setting, and a new plot line … so it really isn’t anything like the old version at all.
Do you write from experience?
I write wherever the characters take me. Sometimes that is from a place I’ve experienced. Sometimes I need to research to know exactly what would happen. That’s the beauty of books: anything can happen.
Do you have a favorite book or character who you have written?
Every book has a special place in my heart. Hellish Haven is the book I consider to be my best book written yet. But as for character, I’m still in love with Lori and Terrence. They are the only book that has survived from my high school writing days (the others, needing a lot of work, are in various stages of revision or ignored altogether). As such, they are very dear to me, a connection to the past, concrete evidence of why I love to write. The trilogy (Stalking Shade, Out of the Shadows, This Blackened Night) is concluded, but I still find myself thinking about them, wondering "What if…"
What inspired you to write Hellish Haven?
One of my favorite classic books is Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. Something about the dystopia, the worst case scenario, called to me. I wanted to write a book about a family, a husband and wife already on the page and a child as well. When I started, I realized that the best way to express Eva’s story would be in a world slightly different from our own. I borrowed many of Orwell’s themes, twisting them to suit the story and the world. The result is what I consider to be my best book yet, though I am biased, of course. :)
Did you model the characters in Hellish Haven after people in real life?
Usually, I say no to this question. In this case, I can’t say I modelled any after their personalities, but I did add in a friend from high school. Tony, one of the nurses from the resistance movement, looks exactly like that friend. And Lance Reddick, who played Phillip Broyles in Fringe, popped into my head while I was writing Major Hughes.
Do you have any advice for a budding author?
Writing for publication takes persistence. You have to keep going when things don’t seem to be going your way, whether the rejection letters are piling up or you have poor sales numbers or you read a bad review. You have to keep going because otherwise, you fail. This game is all about persistence and sticking with it.
What’s next for you?
One thing you’ll notice if you read my books is that I like to write in a wide range of subgenres. I follow where the characters lead. I recently finished a historical romance with a spunky protagonist and I’m working on a romantic suspense at the moment. The best way to know what I have next on the radar is to check my website or follow me on Twitter.
About the Author
L. K. Below wrote Hellish Haven to bring her love of Orwell’s classic 1984 into the modern day … or near future, as it turns out.
She reads as obsessively as she writes and likes to Tweet about both.
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