Tuesday, July 17, 2012

VBT - Blind Heat by Nara Malone

Please join me in welcoming Nara Malone as she tours the blogsphere on her Virtual Book Tour for Blind Heat, the second book in her Pantherian Passions series.   Please be sure to leave a comment or question below for Nara, as she will be awarding a digital copy of The Tiger's Tale, first book in the Pantherian Passions series, and a $10 Ellora's Cave GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a GC to purchase a video game targeted for female gamers written by Nara Malone with Orchid Games, Spirit Walkers: Curse of the Cypress Witch to a second randomly drawn commenter.  You can follow her tour here.  


Me:  You write both paranormal and contemporary romance with heat.  Of the two genres you write in is there one that is easier to write than the other?

Nara:  I could say paranormal is more difficult because of the worldbuilding factor. And while that includes the things authors usually do for worldbuilding, I take it a step further and build virtual models of my worlds. When I’m writing a shifter story, I do research into the dominant animal species in the story. For The Tiger’s Tale that involved hours of watching tiger video and snow leopards for Blind Heat.

But the contemporary romances present their own challenges. My contemporary romances are set in communities many people have no experience with. To make those worlds real for the reader, I have to have a sense of the place and the characters I’m writing about. That means that even for contemporary stories, I do the virtual worldbuilding and spend time walking around there in a character’s skin.

Me:  How much and what kind of research have you done for your BDSM books?

Nara:  For The Dungeon Gourmet, a story about a kinky French chef who likes to blog about sensual cooking and BDSM, I spent time hanging out in the internet dungeons. I practiced and learned about sex blogging in the small, friendly community at MyDungeonSpace.com.

For Snatch Me, I spent time in the BDSM capture role-play communities. I can’t just read a book on a subject and understand the thinking and motivations that drive characters. Having a hunter avatar on my trail when I stumbled into a trap, taught me how real those hunts can feel. It helped me understand the curious mix of excitement and dread that goes along with knowing you’re two seconds away from being powerless and at the mercy of the man tracking you.

Me:  Your books appear to all have been published through Ellora's Cave.  Can you tell us what your experience has been publishing through them?  What attracted you to them as a publisher?

I came to Ellora’s Cave because Raelene Gorlinski, publisher at Ellora’s Cave, saw the first page of The Tiger’s Tale and gave me her email address with an invitation to submit a partial. She followed that with a request for the full.

I was madly tweaking the last part of the story when I got a phone call from Raelene, checking to see if I’d sent the story. She said, “Nara, I need to know what happens next.”

That call decided me. As busy as she was, she took time to read my story, and then she called me to be sure I had her email requesting the rest. I think the best publisher for me is the publisher genuinely interested in my stories.

I’ve been thoroughly satisfied with the decision to publish with Ellora’s Cave. Raelene handed me off to an excellent editor, Grace Bradley. Every aspect of the process has been professional--timely reading of submissions, creative freedom, lovely cover art, quick turnaround in the publishing process.

Me:  Besides publishing novels, you are also a poet.  Would you be willing to provide us with a small sample of your poetry?

Nara:  The poem below is about my face blindness (a disability I explore in Blind Heat) and how memories of someone special for me, are more about the sound of their voice than what they look like.

Gazing into the past,
memories blur and ripple.
I can't give you a face,
but your voice comes back
to me in surround sound.

You loved to play me like
that, tonguing the notes,
hammering staccato
and alluring caress,
scaling between codas.

Even with eyes open,
dim reflections disrupted,
harmonic vibes replay.
You're still hitting all
those right notes, baby--
playing  from the inside out.

I can't escape your touch,
that lazy baritone ,
sliding under my skin
like a needle hung up
on grooves cut deep in
an old vinyl record.

Me:  In your bio, you live on a farm and appear to be quite an outdoor enthusiast.  Can you tell us about your most "adventurous" kayaking experience?  

Nara:  There’s nothing like getting your kayak on a river on a hot summer day. I live in Virginia and I’m in an area that provides a variety of settings for kayaking. I try to choose adventures that I can later feed into a story. A trip with women friends into the Dismal Swamp yielded Spirit Walkers: Curse of the Cypress Witch, a video game loosely based on the setting.

But my wildest water adventure was a trip down the Rappahannock, the longest free-flowing river  on the US east coast. It runs from Chester Gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains out to the Chesapeake Bay.  There is a greenbelt maintained along both sides of the river and it spills out of the wild woodland of the mountain counties-- a sparsely populated region where it’s rumored mountain lions have made a comeback and even a tribe of Blue Ridge Sasquatches might exist-- through to the city of Fredericksburg,

I hit the water thinking I’d take lots of pictures, get a feel for the setting, and maybe use it in a  shifter story.  I was so busy staying alive there was no time for research.

I wish I had seen the slide show and video at this website before I did the trip. http://www.potomackayaking.com/gallery/2011-gallery/05-22-11/

Man, what a tough river. Eight hours later, I crawled up on shore dragging my boat behind me. I was too tired to breathe. There had been several points in the run where I knew, had the water been higher, I wouldn’t have made it out.

But despite that, one moment made the entire trip worthwhile. I was two-thirds of the way to the planned take-out point and floating in a tiny patch of calm water, gathering my energy for the next set of rapids. I looked up just as a huge bald eagle came gliding upriver. He had a wingspan that looked as if it could reach from shore to shore. Majestic.

And while I don’t think I’ll be tackling the Rappahannock again, I’m glad I did it once. 

Me:  Have you ever considered writing in a different genre?  

Nara:  I’ve thought about it. While I could write something other than erotic romance, I can’t imagine not writing a romance, or at least a story with romantic elements.

While purists would not call game writing, a writing genre, there’s a real lack of adventure games written for and especially by women. I hope to do more of that.

Me:  About how long does it take you to write a novel?  Do you write with music in the background or do you require complete silence?

Nara:  Depending on the length, and how much a story changes on me as I am writing, it can take anywhere from a month to nine months. Often I work on a story a couple of months and then let it simmer on a mental back-burner a few more months before picking it up again.

I do like to write with music in the background, usually something without words, and with nature sounds incorporated into the composition. Lately I’ve been listening to instrumentals with binaural beats in the background. I find it helps me stay focused.

Me:  Can you tell us a little bit about what you're currently working on?

Nara:  I’m in the final revisions of a story called Make Me Wet, a shifter story about a Selkie. It’s my first contribution to a new multi-author series from Ellora’s Cave called, Passion’s Portal. My element is water and I’ll be writing stories about shape shifting water beings.

I’m also wrapping up a story about Hawaiian Cowboys. I spent a month living off grid in a rural part of the big island of Hawaii when I researched that. It really opened my eyes to how hard life can be in a place we all think of as paradise.

Me:  If aliens invaded Earth tomorrow, what would you tell them is the best thing about our planet?

Nara:  Our environment is this planet’s treasure. When I hike through the Blue Ridge, kayak a river or lake, watch  lava spill from mountain to sea, I am in awe of the beauty and treasure all around us. It’s something we need to cherish and protect.

Me:  If you had to describe yourself as a pair of shoes - what would you be?

Nara:   Running shoes. I’m always running too or from something J

5 Quickie Questions:

Me:  Coffee or tea?

Nara:  Both, coffee in the mornings, and herbal tea in the afternoon and evening.

Me:  Vanilla or Chocolate

Nara:  Chocolate makes everything better.

Me:  Favorite Author?

Nara:   Love Nevada Barr’s Anna Pigeon series.

Me:  Favorite Movie?

Nara:  Groundhog Day

Me:  Favorite snack while writing

Nara:  Chocolate  J


Blind Heat
by Nara Malone


Allie is determined to build an ordinary life. To survive, she needs to be the sort of woman no one notices. She has a generic job, lives in a generic apartment, and thinks maybe one day she’ll find an ordinary Joe who wants an average Jane sort of woman.

Marcus is anything but an ordinary Joe. Even if humans don’t know he’s a shifter and millennial being, he’s the sort of man women notice. A night of passion spent with Marcus is a night any female, human or Pantherian, won’t forget.

But Allie does forget. She repeatedly fails to recognize him even after an intense sexual encounter. Marcus discovers the source of her problem—face blindness, a genetic disorder with no cure. And he decides to use erotic rituals to teach her to see with more than her eyes. What he doesn’t count on is Allie seeing past the man—and recognizing the beast within.



The greatest threats from a man were injury or death. She’d known how to read those kinds of threats in a man before she was old enough to read a book. She could see no intent to harm. No evil. He looked at her as if he’d discovered something precious. A warmth seemed to reach from his eyes into her soul, drawing her closer. She made her choice.

The red cloth shimmered with an aura of passion, dared her to press her body to it. The thought sent her blood zinging through her veins. There was something there, something irresistible. His eyes spoke promises she could feel. Her feet wouldn’t let her turn away, but took the risk. Took one step. Then the next. Her lips burned with a need to glide over his jawline, explore planes and angles with kisses and nips. Her heart hammered so loud he had to hear it even over the rain.

True to his word, he didn’t move an inch until she was right there in front of him, reaching to press her hands to the shirt, feel its heat, prove he was real. Her palms sighed with pleasure, like the fabric was a meal to be savored. His strong fingers closed around her wrist then, not painfully but with the finality of a manacle, reminding her that he’d said he wouldn’t let her go until he had what he wanted.

“Good girl,” he whispered, soothing away the little trill of fear that rose with his touch, stroking her face with the backs of his fingers. Her body sang like chimes in the wind, notes shivering down her spine.

“I won’t stop at a kiss,” he said. “But you can start with one. Make it sweet.”

She rose obediently to her toes, finding his lips, feeling them firm, parting under hers. He ordered and demanded with such a low, seductive tone. If he’d told her to go rob the jewelry store, in just the same way, it would have seemed a good idea.

He shifted, turning quickly so she was between him and the tree, cutting off any chance to change her mind and run. He held her face between his hands, and her own hands felt small and fragile against the breadth of his. He kissed his desire into her. Her mind grappled to reassert caution, but her thoughts slipped away, formless as water spilling through fingers. He didn’t stop kissing until she stopped thinking, until the rigidity in her muscles softened, until she kissed him back.

He tasted like spring rain.

His hands were warm through her soggy shirt, his fingers curved under her chilled breasts, his thumbs stroking over the tops. Thumbs and fingers came together, squeezing until she squirmed. His lips and tongue moved over her neck, tracing the line of her collarbone, a warm, sensual touch that made her whimper. He split the worn cotton with a sharp twist. The ripping sound jolted her. Her shirt split down the center, parting to offer her breasts. A wave of fear welled in her belly. of desire trickled between her thighs. She glanced down the puddled path. He pressed her tighter against the tree.

“You had your chance,” he whispered. “It’s the last I’m willing to give you for a while.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Like the heroine, Allie, in Blind Heat, Nara is face blind and lived with the condition not knowing there was a medical explanation for her inability to remember faces.  It’s a rare and only recently publicized condition.  She hopes Blind Heat will help get the word out about face blindness.

Nara lives on a small farm in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains. When she's not writing, she loves to run, hike, bike, and kayak. Every story she tells incorporates her love of animals, nature, and adventure.

www.NaraMalone.com – author blog
www.Therianverse.com--blog containing interactive content for her books from two series that include therian shapeshifters –Patherian Passions, and Passions Portal.
www.PassionsPortal.com-- interactive website for Shadowling Manor , the setting for the multi-author paranormal series.

Nara_malone on Twitter
Nara.malone on Facebook

The interactive world Nara built for Blind Heat is here--http://therianverse.com/naras-worlds/


I want to thank Nara for answering my questions and visiting with us at Queen of the Night Reviews. Don't forget to leave her a comment or question below as she will be awarding a digital copy of The Tiger's Tale, first book in the Pantherian Passions series, and a $10 Ellora's Cave GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a GC to purchase a video game targeted for female gamers written by Nara Malone with Orchid Games, Spirit Walkers: Curse of the Cypress Witch to a second randomly drawn commenter. You can follow her tour here.


  1. Good morning! Thanks fo having me today.I appreciate you taking the time to learn about me and come up with such thoughtful questions.

  2. The connection between virtual role-playing and video games and plotting paranormals is a new one to me, but it makes a lot of sense. Good luck with the release!


  3. Blind Heat sounds AMAZING! Your poem is very good! I write poetry myself, along side novels. I feel writing both is a great way to express yourself. I am also visually impaired. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Great interview! I really enjoyed the poem. Thanks!!

  5. I love this interview! You have a wide range of questions, and that's what I like to see - plus some I've never seen before! This book sounds great, and I think that face blindness aspect sounds pretty intriguing! This book is going on my TBR right now!

    liz at fictional candy dot com

  6. Nora what an amazing woman you are! I loved the poem and I am amazed at the amount of research you do for your novels. I have been a fan of Ellora's Cave for some time they put out a quality product and its good to hear that its from the top down that they are good to the authors as well.
    thanks for taking the time to interview so we could know more about you and your books. Carin mawmom(at)gmail(dot)com

  7. Wow, thanks to all of you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. @vitajex I like mixing things up to inspire new things. Hopefully it's something readers enjoy. @Nikki Drop by my blog and follow the linkbacks at the bottoms of my poems to some great poetry communities on web. Ty Liz and Taryn :). @Carin Ty. I loved EC books even before I was an author with them. Now I love being part of that talented group of authors writing for them.

  8. Lovely interview and poem.


  9. I would love to read this book. It sounds very good. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

  10. Nice interview. Fabulous poem! Like you said, it must be an amazing feeling to have a publisher contact you requesting your story! Congrats to you, Nara!
    trb0917 at gmail.com