Dragons Heat Series Book Two
In her ten year career with the CDC, noted hematologist Jasmine Kane has been in many of the world’s hotspots. Fiercely dedicated to her job and filled with a wanderlust that can’t be denied, she’s spent most of her life with her bags packed and one foot out the door. So when an injury puts her on extended medical leave, keeping her out of the field and locked in her Atlanta apartment, she nearly goes stir-crazy—until a call comes in from an old friend, asking her to visit a lab in New Mexico and help isolate hemorrhagic properties in a strange, engineered disease. Before Phoebe can so much as say dragon, Jasmine’s out the door and on her way to Las Cruces.My REVIEW!
Quinn Maguire is an ancient dragon shapeshifter—and healer for his clan. For hundreds of years he’s worked to keep his people safe, sacrificing any kind of personal life in his quest to keep the Dragonstar clan from dying out. And for centuries it’s worked. He’s lost friends and lovers because of his obsession, but at least the Dragonstars have not perished as so many of the dragon clans have in the last three hundred years. But now he’s faced with something he can’t solve, a disease engineered by his clan’s mortal enemies and one that may do what war, difficulty in childbirth and an encroaching human population hasn’t—wipe out his people for good. Desperate to stop the disease, he’s willing to try anything—even working with a human hematologist, one whose very presence sets him on fire…
Hi everyone! Please join me in welcoming Paranormal Romance author, Tessa Adams, to Lovin' Me Some Romance!
About the Author: Teacher, writer, wife, and mother, Tessa Adams also writes as Tracy Wolff. To learn more, check out Tessa's Bio HERE!
I love that you write about dragons. Don't get me wrong, I love me some vampires and werewolves too, but there's just something fun and magical about dragons. What dragon inspirations did you experience that set your writer imagination on fire? What is it about dragons that make them so idyllic as paranormal romance heroes and heroines?
I’ve loved dragons since I was little. You’re right—there really is just something about them that immediately engages the imagination. Maybe it’s because they’re usually such solitary creatures and I love being able to play with that, bend it, as I help them find their mates. As a whole, there is so much about dragons that gets to me. They’re fierce, strong, loyal, cunning—and of course, they also breathe fire. What’s not to love about that? And they love jewels and I am all about the bling.
I think dragons make idyllic heroes and heroines because of that whole solitary strength thing. There’s something incredibly compelling, in my opinion, in creating a character who believes his/her strength comes from being alone and then turning that belief on its head as he/she falls for someone who makes them reconsider that belief.
The Dragonstar Clan, the focal point of your Dragon's Heat series, are fighting against enemies on multiple battle fronts, the most threatening being biological warfare. A deadly and horrific virus is killing off Dragonstars at an alarming rate with seemingly no cure in sight. You do a lovely job of conveying enough information of this virus to provide reader understanding while also preventing the complexities from bogging down the reading experience. How much research was involved in creating this virus for your dragons? What prompted you to create this type of battle for the Drangonstars?
Thank you for that—you’ve made my day, because really, trying to balance the science with the story was probably the most difficult part of writing the first two books in this series. I did a lot of research on viruses—I mean A LOT – and now know more than I ever wanted to about some of the worst viruses in the world. As I wrote the different lab scenes in Hidden Embers, I tried to give as much information as I would want on the subject if I was a reader. Enough to understand what is going on, but not so much that it interferes with the emotions and experiences of my characters.
I chose a virus because, unfortunately, I really believe viral warfare is a part of our future—biological and computer. And because I think it’s so much more frightening, isn’t it? Fighting someone in hand to hand combat is one thing, but having your enemy turn your own body against you? That’s terrifying.
Quinn Maguire, the hero of HIDDEN EMBERS - Dragon's Heat Book Two, is gifted with incredible healing powers that unfortunately have little to no effect on the virus. He's a man who's met failure too many times to count and he's lost more than most could ever hope to survive. What was the experience of writing his character? How challenging was it to enmesh yourself into the psyche of man who is pondering suicide? Did you ever feel guilty for taking so much away from him? His family? His inability to save his people?
I know, I know. I always say Quinn’s my favorite character, which is awful when you think of how much I put the poor man through. Can you imagine what I’d do to him if I didn’t love him so much? Writing his character was engrossing for me—I totally immersed myself in him and his feelings as I wrote the book, which was not a pleasant place to be sometimes. You mentioned below a scene that brought you to tears, but Quinn had me in tears more than once as I wrote his story. Do I feel guilty about what I took from him? Not really—maybe because I think I gave him someone pretty amazing in Jasmine and because there’s a lot more to come for Quinn in future books …
As with most shifter romances, your Dragon's Heat heroes and heroines mate for life and the mating is an intense and final thing. What makes the mating of your dragons unique amongst other paranormal romances? Why did you feel it was necessary to incorporate such significance to the mating act in your series? What, to you, is the most romantic aspect of the mating between your dragons?
To be honest, I never considered not having my dragons mate for life. I mean, as you mention below, I really give them a hard time. I torture them, kill off people that they love, really tear them apart. Giving them the gift of a forever kind of mate is my apology to them, I think. My way of making up for everything terrible that I do to them in the course of the novel. As for the significance of the mating act— I think finding someone you’re that connected to is an amazing gift and since sex is so often the only way my dragons allow themselves to connect for a while, I love using that connection to bring them to the realization that they really don’t have to be alone. As for the most romantic aspect of mating—the fact that the connection between my hero and heroine manifests itself in a physical way, so that it can’t be denied.
Jasmine Kane, Quinn's heroine, is quite the ball buster. She's stubborn, a risk taker, and positively fearless - basically the exact opposite of what Quinn had in mind for himself. What was your experience writing Jasmine? Why did you feel she'd make the perfect match for Quinn? Does Jasmine embody any aspects that are similar to your own personality makeup? Did you ever feel nervous about her character for I'll admit to being a bit standoff-ish myself with her at times?
Oh, absolutely, Jasmine made me nervous! I love to write really strong heroines, but she’s something else, isn’t she? Quinn absolutely wanted a sweet, old-time kind of heroine, one that would give him surcease from all the horrors of his own life, but that kind of heroine was exactly what he didn’t need. As you mentioned above, when we meet him he is suicidal and dangerous and more wounded than he wants to admit. A soft, sweet heroine would have tried to respect his space and his No Trespassing signs, and he would have rolled right over her. Plus, he’d never find a way out of his despair. Jasmine ripped right past the blame and recriminations he heaped on himself and in doing so, saved him. Without her, I don’t think Quinn would have survived.
The Dragon's Heat Series is soaked in the death of numerous Dragonstars as they fall helplessly against the virus that continues to wreak havoc on their clan. In HIDDEN EMBERS, there's a particularly heart breaking scene where the virus attacks a family that left me in tears. You give such life to each of your characters and then you take it away so gruesomely. How do you do it? Why do you do it?
Wow, you don’t ask the easy questions, do you? I have a tendency to do this more in my paranormals than in anything else that I write and I think it’s because the stakes are so high in the paranormal genre. I mean, the battle between good and evil, of any type, is never a pleasant one and so often the people who end up paying the highest price are the most innocent and the most good. I think if I leave that out of my novels that something will really be missing. I mean, where’s the joy, the triumph in winning, if the stakes aren’t high and there’s no chance that you can lose? And if you think Hidden Embers is bad, wait until Forbidden Embers. I kill off a character in that story that makes even me sob. And just so you don’t think I have it out for the Dragonstars, know that I also do this in my YA paranormals. I kill off a character in the middle of Tempest Rising that had my editor and my friends traumatized for days …
Let's talk about sex. You incorporate a wonderful balance of romance, plot and sex in your Dragon's Heat series. Especially in the case of HIDDEN EMBERS. There's so much tragedy but your timing couldn't be more perfect when both the reader and the characters are ready and are in need of romance and connection. Do you purposefully choreographic your novels to give those types of highs and lows? What is your writing process when creating these highly emotional love scenes? Is it challenging to maintain such a balance of plot and erotica?
First of all, thank you so much! I am thrilled that you think I create a strong balance. It is a little like walking a tightrope, trying to keep romance, action, sex, and all the paranormal elements working together. I absolutely do choreograph my novels so that even in the middle of deeply emotional and painful scenes my readers know that something is coming to relieve the tension. As for the erotica aspect of my series, I really try to use the sexual encounters to not just grow the intimacy of the relationship between my hero and heroine, but also to heal them in a way nothing else can. Especially in the case of Quinn and Jasmine who are both so wary of depending on anyone—for a while, the only way they can connect is through the pleasure they bring each other. But even then, I try to up the stakes. Which, of course, is why Jasmine runs, right? She is a ballbuster, but also a coward, I think, when it comes to facing what she feels—at least in the first half of the novel.
Your dragons can wield great magic but you always seemingly incorporate repercussions for each ability. Even the dragon's ability shift comes along with its own searing agony. And Quinn, he feels the effects of his healing powers with crippling pain and exhaustion. It seems as though each dragon's gift comes at a price. Was this purposefully done or did this give and take of magic flow naturally from your imagination? Do you believe that such magical abilities should come with a price?
I absolutely believe that magic should come with a price. I think it’s the literature professor in me and all the years I spent studying novels and short story where the themes dealt with how easily power corrupts. I love that my dragons are strong and powerful and wield incredible magic, but at the same time I don’t believe that magic should be too easy for them. Otherwise, what’s to keep them from abusing their gifts and using them to hurt those who are less powerful than they are. This is a trap the Wyvernmoons fall into, much to their eventual detriment (not to give away any spoilers or anything ;)
New Mexico, the Dragonstars' territory is a living, breathing character all its own. It's obvious that you love this desert landscape for its infused into each of your dragons. What's so special about the desert through your eyes? What made this landscape so perfect for your dragons as it seems to be the exact opposite from the mountainous, foggy, overgrown landscapes that are mostly depicted as dragon territory?
I love New Mexico—it’s such a beautiful place and, I think, really underrated and underrepresented in most romance fiction. For years, throughout college and grad school, I made the long trek across the southwest to visit my parents in California, and my favorite part of the drive was the barren and beautiful desert of New Mexico. More than once, my friends and I stopped to explore the caves that populate so much of the state and the experiences blew my mind-—if you’ve never seen them, then I highly recommend a tour of them, even if it is only virtual. So when I was looking for a place to set my dragons, I remembered the power and beauty of those caves, and knew that I wasn’t going to be happy settling the Dragonstars anywhere else.
And finally, what's next for Tessa Adams and the Dragonstars?
Oh, I’m so glad you asked! In September 2011, NAL is putting out an especial short story called Eternal Embers. Then comes Forbidden Embers in October. This is Logan’s story and to date, my editor’s favorite. He falls, hard, for the Wyvernmoon queen …
After that, is Dash’s story (he’s a Wyvernmoon sentry), followed by Shawn’s story and then, I think—because of popular demand and my very anxious editor—Gabe’s story.
Thanks so much for having me today :) I really appreciate it!
Tessa Adams is offering Winner's Choice of DARK EMBERS or HIDDEN EMBERS to one lucky entrant. Here's how to enter:
**Contest Open to USA Only (No P.O. Boxes)**
***Must be 18 or Older to Enter***
****Contest Closes Thursday, April 14th at Midnight U.S. Pacific Standard Time and the Winner will be Chosen Randomly and Announced Friday, April 15th****