Title: Awakening 2
Author: Jeanie Grey
Series: Lilly Frank (Novella)
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: July 1 2013
The second book in The Lilly Frank series joins Torren and Lilly in northern Italy, where Torren tries to help Lilly adjust to her sensitive new vampire body and win her love before she discovers the real reason behind his interest in her.
A newly made vampire requires a certain amount of time to get used to her new body and heightened senses. But Torren's worried that if Lilly doesn't hurry up, she'll be dead before she ever gets the chance to adjust to life as a vampire.
Word among vampires is that someone's hunting their kind, and it's not a quick death if you're caught. This killer likes to torture the victims first, and all signs indicate that he or she is circling ever-closer to Torren and Lilly.
Torren needs Lilly to stop fighting him and start trusting him. Maybe he shouldn't have deceived her...
In the odd moments when he slept, he was plagued by nightmares of finding her gone. Or worse, dead. One nightmare was particularly vivid and stayed in his brain for days. In it, he was cradling her in his arms.
She’s open and bleeding. There’s blood everywhere. It’s all over him. So much blood. He doesn’t know how to stop it. He’s trying, but everywhere he touches opens a fresh wound and more blood comes pouring out of her body. She’s unconscious. She’s dying. He has to stop it. He’s practically bathed in her blood now. It’s all over his hands, his clothes, his face. He can taste it on his lips.
This is when he realizes that the scent of her blood isn’t triggering his hunger.
This is when he realizes that he is human again.
And he knows, with the unfounded certainty one finds in dreams, that it is her blood that has changed him.
When he awoke, the first thing he’d do was check to make sure he could still hear her. If he had things his way, he’d never be more than a few steps away from her at all times. But since she couldn’t bear it, he made sure to be no more than two rooms away. At that distance he could still hear her heartbeat, and if he could still hear her, then she was still there. Still there and alive.
He didn’t know what he’d do if she were gone. The thought alone was enough to send him into a panic. After all these years of waiting, of watching. After all he’d done for her. After all he’d done to gain her trust, the time he’d invested, the sacrifices he’d made to bring her to this point. She couldn’t leave him. She just couldn’t.
But that trust is misplaced, isn’t it? Maybe you shouldn’t have deceived her, whispered a voice inside him.
First thing’s first. Thank you so much for participating in the Awakening 2 tour and having me on your blog! :D
Most of my favorite authors are indie or self-pubbed, what made you decide to go that route?
Probably the top reason was that I’m impatient. :) It takes a lot of time an energy to query and wait for answers. But another big reason is that I’ve never been a big fan the idea that a few people in the world get to decide what the rest of us read. And the third reason was that self-publishing was a challenge to myself – a challenge to get over my perfectionism and just to put something out there and see what happens. I want readers to decide whether my work is worth reading, not me or a publishing company.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Hmm. Originally I had planned for Torren to have lied to Lilly and have turned Jimmy into a vampire in exchange for information about Charlotte’s killer. This, I thought, would be the perfect source of huge conflict between Lilly and Torren toward the end of Book 2. Well, I was about three quarters of the way done with Awakening 2, working toward the climax and trying to figure out how to bring Jimmy back, when Jimmy told me he was dead. That was certainly a surprise, and it changed my whole view of Torren as well as opened up some other possibilities for the source of conflict between them in Book 3.
Which of your characters are you most like? Least like?
Lilly and Torren both sprang from my ribs. I can relate to Lilly’s disconnection from herself in Book 1 and to the terrifying and confusing process of coming back to life, so to speak, that she goes through in this series. And I drew from my own insecurities in relationship – and from my dependence on a particular strategy for meeting my needs – for Torren. His desperation when it comes to holding on to Lilly is something I have felt before. And his narrow view of what he needs to make him happy is something I’ve experienced, too.
I think Jamie and I have the least in common. As a result of writing Awakening 2 I understand him a lot better, though.
Do you have a particular writing habit?
Oh my god – I wish! If I could figure out one habit that worked for me all the time, I’d be able to write six books a year, no problem. What worked for Awakening was setting aside an entire week to do nothing but write. I tried that again for Awakening 2, and it didn’t work. What did end up working was sitting down to write for 30 minutes at a time. Over and over and over.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Uf. This is a hard one. I would say that any writer who tells the hard truths – those things we’re conditioned to be afraid to say – is a writer I want to learn from and emulate. Even if I don’t agree with what they’re saying.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Well, she’s not “new” per se, but I love the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones. Fifth Grave Past the Light just came out on the 9th, and I bought it (as an ebook) and read it right away.
I also have to say that my friend Zoey Derrick, who just self-published her first romance novel, Finding Love’s Wings, writes some really damn hot sex. If my sex scenes are half as hot as hers, then I’m happy
What is the hardest part of your writing?
Actually writing. Or maybe even before that: getting myself to sit down to do it.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write what’s important to you, not what you think will sell. Two reasons for this. First: when you write what’s important to you, you’re more likely to connect with your readers. Second: even if your book doesn’t sell, you’ll have gotten something important for yourself out of having written it.
Describe yourself in three words.
Oh damn I hate these things. I mean, it’s a great question, but when I try to describe myself I either come off sounding like an egomaniac or an insecure and perhaps slightly crazy person.
How about: Feminist, honest, compassionate. Equally true: Over-thinker, procrastinator, worry-wart.
You see what I mean?
I know characters are like children but if you could chose, who’s your favorite from your books? Of all time?
Oh geez. Um... Can I get back to you on this in a couple of years?
Any song or songs that could basically sum up the overall mood of Awakening 2 ?
Hahah! The first thing that popped into my head was “Without You” (you know – “I can’t live if living is without you...”), but that doesn’t really say Italy. Or vampires. Or psycho serial killer. But if that song had a baby with Bush’s “Synapse” of the Deconstructed album, and that baby played the accordian, you might have a song that captures the mood of Awakening 2.
Do you plot out your books or just freely write them and let the characters tell you what to do next?
Yes. Hahah! :D But seriously, it is a mix of both. And, as is evident from the story about Jimmy telling me he was dead, even if I plot things out, my characters might object to what I’d planned and send me in a different direction. I think the key is to not fight the way the story wants to go, even if it’s not making much sense to me at first. Stories have a way of working themselves out if you listen to them instead of trying to force them.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider the biggest influence in your writing?
For the Lilly Frank series, definitely Janet Evanovich. Which is weird, because these books are nothing like hers.
What are your current projects? Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I have been working on two novels – a historical pirate romance and a contemporary romance – and a collection of erotica short stories. I would be delighted to give you a short excerpt from the contemporary romance. It doesn’t have a title yet.
“When’s the last time you had a massage?” he asked.
“It’s been a while,” she managed to say. Why was he talking? He was always talking at the wrong time.
“Your husband doesn’t give you massages?” He almost sounded like he was smiling.
A twinge of guilt for the non-existent husband. “It’s not his forte,” she said. She should stop this. She was giving Nick the wrong impression entirely. She would stop it. In just a minute. Just as soon as it stopped feeling quite so good.
Nick’s hands were strong and warm. His fingers zeroed in on the knots in her muscles, pressing firmly into them, pushing deep without hurting her. He was really very good at this. She imagined what it would feel like to have those hands finally touching her bare skin, caressing her body. Those long, strong, capable fingers on her breasts and hips. On her inner thighs. And...in other places.
One of his hands rested on her hip while the other moved up to massage the muscles in her neck. Starting at the base and working up toward her hairline. His fingers brushed the bottom of her wig. Her wig!
Serran jerked and twisted on the stool. Her hip brushed against the front of his jeans and she felt his erection. This was not good.
“This isn’t right. I should go,” she said. She launched off the stool and pushed past him, panic removing all concern for proper manners.
Thanks again so much for having me on your blog! :) I hope you enjoy Awakening 2.
Jeanie Grey is a feminist reader and writer of romance and erotica who lives in Portland, Oregon. Her short stories have been published on deadlyeverafter.com and thedarkerhalf.com. To date, over 1200 copies of her first novella, Awakening (2012), have been downloaded. Awakening 2, the second book in the Lilly Frank series, joins Lilly and Torren in northern Italy, where Torren attempts to win Lilly's love before she finds out the truth about his interest in her. The final installment in the Lilly Frank series, Awakening 3, is slated to be released in 2014.