Thursday, December 12, 2013

BTB-Amy Lee Burgess The Circle: Blood Gift Bookshelf Tour & Giveaway!!

Hi and welcome to my blog, For Whom The Books Toll. Today, Amy Lee Burgess is here and she has a new book, The Circle: Blood Gift. Here's our interview:

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Sure. My name is Amy Lee Burgess and I write paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Sometimes I jump into horror – but so far only for short stories. I live with my two adorable dachshunds in Houston, Texas. I’m originally from Connecticut and lived in New Orleans for nine years before Hurricane Katrina. My heroines tend to be on the introspective side and most of my characters are on journeys of self-exploration. I love the supernatural which is why I always include it in my books. Blood Gift is my first novel with Loose Id and I’m really excited to share it with everyone. I’ve wanted to write a vampire novel since I read Interview With the Vampire and while I’ve attempted several, Blood Gift is the one that made it.

On average, how long does it take you to write a book?
It generally takes me about three months to write a novel. I average around 100,000 words per novel and I write every weekday morning for at least an hour. Before I write, I have to know the characters and how the book ends, but sometimes the beginning and middle parts are surprises. The more novels I write, the more I plot versus pants.

How long does it take to write sex scenes?
Sex scenes don’t take me any longer to write than normal scenes, although sometimes I think they are harder. (Heh) But seriously, I try to make every sex scene different than the last and a natural extension of the storyline. You won’t find my characters hopping into bed simply because they’ve gone two chapters without having it off.

Where do you find writing inspiration?
Dreams mostly. I like to lie in bed and envision scenes to come and most of my best work is done in that haze between sleep and wakefulness. Sometimes weird news stories give me ideas and lots and lots of times music will spark something.

Do you prefer to write in silence or with music?
I do both. It depends on my mood and where I am in the book. Sometimes I need the music to spur me on, sometimes it becomes a complete distraction and I can’t find the right song. I mainly write to house and trance.

What scene for you was the hardest to write and how did you overcome that obstacle?
There’s a scene in Blood Gift where Claire reveals her abusive past and why she hates Christmas so much. It was very difficult to write out her anguish and pain because the things she suffered made me want to find her mother and punch her hard. From a technical standpoint, that scene was very difficult because Claire is letting all this repressed information spill out in a gush and readers lose interest in reading paragraph after paragraph of dialog, so I had to add reactions from Andre and some reactions from Claire without breaking up the scene. I envisioned Claire talking and once starting, unable to stop telling Andre the awful things her mother did and how they made her feel. Inserting a dialog tag or reaction had to be done at just the right part of the dialog so I wouldn’t ruin the flow.
That one scene took at least an hour to write and rewrite and polish. That’s a long time for me.

What’s your biggest writing achievement? Why?
Getting Blood Gift published by Loose Id is my biggest writing achievement so far. This novel started as a serial on Live Journal with a different heroine and I never plotted a word. It was all stream of consciousness upon the page. I had to then go back and take one of the most promising plot lines from the series and wrangle it into a book I felt a publisher would offer a contract for.

So I wrote the novel and submitted it and was rejected twice and received a revise and resubmit letter from Loose Id. The things they wanted done to the novel pretty much dictated I rewrite the novel yet again. I struggled hard to do this. Claire’s character was softened and her rough edges smoothed a bit and at times I cried because I didn’t want her to change from my vision and become watered down and weak. But I wanted to publish this novel so very much, so I kept going. And she very definitely didn’t end up watered down and weak!

When I got my acceptance letter it was like winning the lottery. All the work was worth it.

How do you celebrate a new book?
I go on a blog tour. I have release parties on Facebook and Twitter. I drink champagne!

Can you tell us about your current book, Blood Gift.
Claire is a vampire with an abusive past she tries to hide. She has been gifted with psychic powers other vampires don’t possess, but she’s scared of them and hides them for fear of being persecuted. Her master, Parker, knows she can read minds, but not the other things she can do and he exploits her power so he can know the thoughts and secrets of the other members of their Circle.

Claire has always had a thing for Andre, Parker’s archrival. They begin a clandestine affair which ends up changing their lives. Claire’s powers ramp up and threaten to drive her insane and Andre is the only one who can save her. But will she let him?

If you could bring one of your characters to life, which one would it be and why?
Parker. Oh, I love that man. He’s diabolical. He’s perfect physically, but inside he’s twisted and conflicted. He has most of the best lines in the book and the story behind his rivalry with Andre is heartbreaking. I’d really like to hang out with him one night.

What does your family and friends think about your writing erotic romances?
My mother won’t read Blood Gift. She’s afraid of vampires. Especially ones who have rough sex. My friends are incredibly supportive of my writing. For many of them, I don’t write what they prefer to read, but they still continue to support me. I’m sure many of them are a little nonplussed at my choice to write romance, but when they read my books they realize I’m not just about the romance – there’s always a lot more going on than boy meets girl and they have lots of sex. (Not that that doesn’t happen mind you!)

How important is reader feedback, good or bad, to you?
I rely on reader feedback to tell me whether I’m on track or not. You write for yourself, sure, but you want to sell books, and more importantly, you want to appeal to your readers. Affect them. Make them fall in love with your characters or hate them to pieces. So the feedback I get directs where I go with my next novels. I like to write characters who are not all good or all bad and when I get reader feedback about how they both loved and hated certain characters, my heart swells happily.

If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
I’d like Claire’s powers of mindreading and influencing. To use them for good – figure out how. Just like she’s doing.

Fun Questions

Coffee or Tea?
Tea! I love tea!

Pepsi or Coke?

Salty or Sweet?

Chips or pretzels?

Chocolate or vanilla?

Mountains or beach?

Shoes or barefoot?

Favorite color?

Favorite ice cream?

Casual or dress up?

Early bird or night owl?
Night owl (but I am forced to be an early bird)

Cook outs or restaurant dinners?
Restaurant dinners

Title: The Circle: Blood Gift   
Author: Amy Lee Burgess
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Vampire Romance
Release Date: December 10, 2013

When Claire became a vampire, she hoped she could forget her abusive past. But her mentor, the sexy, perfect Parker destroys her dreams of a new start. Soon, Claire devotes her new found psychic powers to helping abused women.

Drawn to the mysterious and handsome Andre, another master in the London Circle and Parker's archrival, Claire enters into a passionate clandestine affair which causes her powers to ramp out of control. Wild, sensual sex morphs into something deeper and, for Claire, terrifying. Andre soon discovers her abilities and realizes he is her trigger--the one vampire in the world who can help her control her spiraling powers.

Bonding with him requires Claire to trust and accept his love, two things she cannot bring herself to do. The gift of love is something her past won't allow her to accept. Even so, Andre will have to reach her in time to save her life or stake her when her powers drive her insane.

Buy Links:

Loose Id

“Claire.” Andre’s voice was heavy with desire. The way he said my name with his slight Irish accent was different from the way everyone else said it. I felt special. Different. As if I mattered.

I turned my head to look at him. He had me pinned to the grass, one hand on either side of my shoulders. I’d locked my ankles so my heels pressed into the small of his back. His eyes were smoldering dark, and my lips parted.

That was all the invitation he needed. The burning shock of his mouth against mine was electric, and I brought my hands up so I could bury my fingers in his soft hair. I had just enough presence of mind to weave a shield of privacy so that mortals didn’t register we were there and avoided walking near.

Andre and I connected like interlocking pieces of a vast puzzle. Our kiss went supernova hot in an instant. I curled my tongue around his, and the whole world froze. Mortals were nearby, but their thoughts abruptly cut out of my head. For all I was aware, Andre and I were the only two beings on earth .

The explosive taste of his blood made me moan. He’d deliberately nicked his tongue on his fang. My own fangs burst from my gums, and I scraped my tongue against one of them. Blood spurted, and it was Andre’s turn to groan. The cold grass beneath my body seemed to disappear as if I floated weightless with only Andre’s kiss to anchor me. Time sputtered and died, and nothing mattered but his hot mouth moving against mine.

“Claire,” Andre said again through the blood in his mouth.

Four golden weeks I’d waited for him to kiss me, and now he was, and it was glorious.

“I’m going to make love to you in the grass if we don’t stop.” He increased the pressure of his lips against the hollow of my throat. “Come home with me, angel.”

“Dre,” I whispered, shaking with fear and desire—I wasn’t sure which was stronger. On fire for him, I didn’t want him to stop touching me. While his body was pressed to mine, we had all the time in the world, but when he moved away, would everything crash? “I’m scared.”

“Of me?” He lifted his head so he could look into my eyes. The night around us was alive with the sound of crickets. Stars wheeled in the sky, and the earth pressed against my back. I was suspended in the universe. Nothing mattered but him.


I touched his cheek with the tip of my finger, traced a line to his sensual mouth. I wanted to kiss him and taste my blood mingled with his. “Of everything. Of this not being real. That this is all a lie like Parker says. That I don’t matter. That nothing matters. That this is a race to see who can hurt the other first.”

He winced as if in pain, and I buried my face in his shoulder. He pulled me tightly into his embrace and rested his forehead against my head. “I won’t hurt you. I swear I won’t.”

Amy Lee Burgess lives and writes in Houston, Texas but her heart belongs to New England – especially in the autumn.

Ruled by two dachshunds and addicted to Irish breakfast tea and the Walking Dead, she loves to write about vampires, wolf shifters, gargoyles and other assorted paranormal creatures. Amy loves to travel to places like London England, Edinburgh, Scotland, Paris France and Providence, Rhode Island where she stalks the coziest Irish pubs she can find.

She writes to trance and house music by candlelight and welcomes email from her readers – especially if they want to talk about the supernatural.

Contact Amy:

The Giveaway:
$25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card
One (1) e-Book Copy of The Circle: Blood Gift

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thursday, December 12, 2013
For Whom The Books Toll {Author Interview}                        

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013
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Friday, December 20, 2013
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Friday, December 27, 2013
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Friday, January 3 , 2014
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Monday, January 6, 2014
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Wednesday, January 8, 2014
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Wednesday, January 15, 2014
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Monday, January 20, 2014
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Monday, January 27, 2014
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Tuesday, January 28, 2014
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Friday, January 31, 2014
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Monday, February 3, 2014
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Tuesday, February 4, 2014
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  1. Thank you so much for hosting me today and allowing me the opportunity to talk about Blood Gift!

    1. It was my pleasure, Amy. I'm really intrigued by the book.

  2. Replies
    1. Julianne asked some awesome questions. I really enjoyed answering them!

  3. wonderful interview and giveaway :)