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Friday, November 26, 2010

Guest Author: Maree Anderson

Who is Maree Anderson?
I’m a Kiwi. *Waves at y’all from Auckland, New Zealand* I write romance of speculative fiction persuasion (i.e. paranormal, fantasy, SciFi) and I’m currently published in erotic romance with Red Sage Publishing. I loooove chocolate — really really dark chocolate. I do karate with my family, go to dance class most Thursday nights, and I have a rather warped imagination.

Who influenced you in, or what appeals to you about, the genre you write?
The idea for my very first manuscript was inspired by something author Stephen Donaldson wrote in the afterword of his SciFi series, The Gap. That idea spawned a trilogy of fantasy manuscripts, and hooked me on wanting to be an author — so I guess poor Mr. Donaldson is to blame for me unleashing my stories upon the unsuspecting public!

Anyway, I can’t honestly imagine writing a story that isn’t a romance. But as much as I’ve tried my hardest to come up with ideas for stories set in a ‘normal’ world I always end up playing the  “OMG, what if…?” game. Meaning the story idea inevitably morphs into a paranormal. I love the scope of speculative fiction — it’s really only limited by your imagination. And did I mention I have a very warped imagination?

With regards to writing erotic romance, I’ve been heavily influenced by Angela Knight. The first book of hers that I read, Jane’s Warlord, was a revelation. And this quote from her amazing book Passionate Ink: A Guide To Writing Erotic Romance basically wraps up all my feeling about the genre into a nice neat little bow:

“EroRom readers like vivid sexual storytelling, yes, but they also want believable, well-developed characters and strong plots. They’re not just reading these stories as stroke material. They want the whole story, not just the sex. They also see the love scenes as a natural part of the romance that deserves just as much attention as any other part of the story.”

As for being published in erotic romance? Well, I didn’t start out intending to be an erotic romance author. If I had, I wouldn’t be writing under my real name — I’d have chosen some fabulously awesome pen-name. I’m open to suggestions, BTW. I mean it. Seriously!

Tell us about your new release/latest book.
FROM THE ASHES is my first novel-length release — yee-freaking-ha! You’d never guess that I’m thrilled to bits and beyond, right? LOL. It’s a SFR, speculative fiction romance, with an alien hero and a take-no-prisoners heroine. Hey, did I mention the spaceships? *VBG* It’s a bit of a departure from my previous two paranormal romances, which were more ‘normal’ and only featured demons, lycans and angels ;-) 

Here’s the blurb:

Calista’s a freelance space courier recovering from a disastrous marriage during which her ex sold her as a slave. Sure, she’s emotionally damaged, but you should see the state of her ex! She’s also an expert pilot who can illegally reprogram and augment all manner of tech. She’s been ripping off the system and flying under the radar her entire life. Until now.

Asher’s her “cargo”, the mouthwateringly gorgeous Phoenixae alien who accidentally hatched from the egg she was transporting, and bonded with her. He’s been bred as a sex slave and he can read her mind. Which wouldn’t be so bad if 1) she didn’t abhor slavery and everything it represents, 2) she wasn’t horny as hell, and 3) he wasn’t doubly tempting because of his extra er, male parts! Oh, and then there’s the small issue that if Asher is killed and his body burnt, he can be resurrected. He’s one hot commodity that illegals will kill to possess.

Take one sex-deprived space courier who’ll risk everything to save a Phoenixae alien from a life of slavery. Add one mouthwateringly hot alien sex-slave who knows her deepest desires, feels her pain, and lives to please her in every way. Mix with a ruthless ex-husband intent on vengeance. And stir in a sadistic Libertine noble who will do anything at all to get his hands on a Phoenixae.

From the ashes, an unexpected hero will emerge…and he’s full of surprises!

Where can we buy it?
FROM THE ASHES will be exclusively available through Red Sage for the first few weeks after its release, then it’ll gradually become available at other outlets. I’m continually adding links on the My Books page of my website as they become available.

Here’s the link where you’ll be able to buy FROM THE ASHES direct from the publisher from 1st December (US time): http://www.eredsage.com/store/MAREE_ANDERSON.html

And here’s the link to the My Books page of my website: http://www.mareeanderson.com/books

Tell us a bit about the hero and heroine.
Asher…. Where do I start? He’s a Phoenixae, a race of aliens bred as sex-slaves. Once a Phoenixae hatches, he imprints and psychically bonds with his master. Asher’s genetic imperative is to do anything within his power to ensure his master’s happiness. If his master is discontented or angry, it rebounds on Asher, who then feels physical and mental pain. For anyone with a sadistic bent, Asher is the ultimate slave because he can be killed and resurrected over and over again. (Talk about enough to give you nightmares. *shudders*)

Calista is a woman of many talents — most of which she hides so she’ll not draw unwanted attention from the Imperial authorities. And her ex-husband once sold her as a slave, so you can imagine how she feels about slavery. She feels responsible for Asher. She’s determined to rescue him from his fate and teach him that he doesn’t have to submit to a life of slavery. But of course things soon get reeeeally complicated for them both.

Where can fans find you next?
Best place to check out where I’m at is the My Books page of my website. Any interviews, guest blog spots, or places I’m giving away copies of my books are listed there. As for signings — it’s pretty hard to sign an eBook. Maybe once my first print book comes out in June next year? :-)

What's next for you?
In the coming months I’ve got another two releases scheduled with Red Sage:

SCENT OF A MAN (Feb 2011) is a darker fantasy. It’s about a young nobleman living in a harshly religious society where the Council and their clerics enforce chastity, and women are treated like chattels. Overnight, he transforms into a creature that exudes powerful sexual pheromones that make him irresistible to women.

KAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (June 2011) is a light paranormal romantic comedy that has been contracted for Red Sage’s Secrets Volume 30 anthology. I’m hugely excited about this novella as it’ll be my first story coming out in print.

As for works in progress, I’m currently outlining a contemporary romance that has No. Paranormal. Element. Whatsoever. Or at least, that’s the theory behind the outlining process. How it turns out when I begin writing it remains to be seen! 

Marie, it's been great having you here! Thanks for sharing some insight about FROM THE ASHES and your writing plans.
Thanks heaps for letting me ramble on, Kylie — it’s been wonderful to have the opportunity to (hopefully!) wax poetic about my new release.

Now for the bonus, readers!
Maree would love to give one (1) electronic ARC copy of FROM THE ASHES away to a lucky commenter.
All you have to do is tell her one thing that's special about Asher. Leave your answers in the comments section and we'll draw a random winner and announce it here on Tuesday, 30th November 2010!

To find out more out Maree check out her website for her other books and latest news, or her Writers Gone Wild Blog, Facebook page or Twitter link.

Maree Anderson's other books (also available from Red Sage publishing):


  1. Hi, ladies thanks for giving me a laugh to start my day. I love reading your posts, Maree!

    Callista sounds like the sort of multi-skilled kick-arse heroine I will love and Asher looks divine on the cover... sigh... What's special about him?

    What woman wouldn't want a man who lived to please her in every way :-)

  2. Hey, Helene, what an early start for you this morning!?!? Great to have you here, and yeah, Maree does make a girl laugh, eh? Always entertaining having her drop by.

  3. Hi Kylie and Maree

    'Asher is the ultimate slave because he can be killed and resurrected over and over again'...I'm guessing his master is a really sadistic guy and uses that ability as a form of punishment.
    I love that it sounds like its a 'girl rescues boy' scenario opposed to the usual knight in shining armor theme though :)

  4. Girl rescuing boy is a great reversal, Cath, lots of fun in writing something like that.

  5. Hi ladies! OMG, you are up early *shudders* but I'm glad I could help you start your days with a smile. BTW, I'm sure I'm not really very funny in person. I just write that way ;-)

    Helene, Asher was a really complicated character to write. It was a fine line between him being a doormat who'd irritate the heck out of Calista, and giving enough room to grow and really develop into a hero -- not to mention convincing Calista of that fact. He was a challenge and I must say I loved every minute of him!

    Cath -- Asher's "intended" master is indeed a sadist. Which is why he's so keen on getting hold of a Phoenixae. But whether or not he gets his hands on Asher? Well, that would be telling. Suffice it to say, nothing turns out exactly as planned for any of the characters. The only sure thing? A Happy Ever After!

    Kylie -- I play with the role reversal thing again in Scent Of A Man. It's definitely fun!

  6. Morning!
    You know, I'm not so into erotica, but I LOOOOOVE sci-fi and this story sounds great. I'm going to enter with: "he imprints and psychically bonds with his master" Sounds delicious!
    Good luck with the release next week ;)

  7. Not an early bird, Maree? And you with kids! :-)

    Hey, Jess, you'd be surprised when cross-overs in genres occur just what you'll be prepared to read for the pleasure of a good story!

    If it's written well, if it engages you (and it may make you blush a few times) what does it matter which genre it is?

  8. Jess -- I'm not into erotica, either, to tell you the truth. Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty Trilogy was pretty out there and quite enough for me to have to cope with

    But erotic romance, with a definite emphasis on the romance and the Happy Ever After, those I can usually read and enjoy. And hopefully write, too. Even if some of the graphic language does make me blush *g*

    BTW, if you - or anyone else - would like to read an excerpt to see whether From The Ashes looks like your cup of tea, pls feel free to check out my website:


    Kylie -- My kids get their own breakfast and make their own lunches for school. So if I've pulled a late night, I just wander downstairs to check they've remembered everything, and wave them off. It's taken many many years to get them to that stage, but it was sooo worth the effort. And if nothing else, when they leave home I'll know they can do breakfasts and lunches, LOL.

  9. Hi Kylie and Maree!
    Not to gloat, but I've already won a copy of this book and just wanted to drop in and say hi!
    Great post and I wish you all the best with your future releases. Can't wait to read them all.
    Tam :)

  10. Tamara,lucky you for already having won FROM THE ASHES! Thanks for coming by. :-)

  11. Awww, Tam, thank you, sweetie! Really appreciate you dropping by. *bites her nails at the thought of Tam reading about her aliens and....stuff*

  12. Hi Kylie and Maree,

    Asher is special because he can read Calista's mind, and has some extra er, male parts! Oh my, lol. Love all the excerpts, Maree, and can't wait to read the rest of their story.

    Have a great weekend.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

  13. It's enough to make a girl blush, eh Cathy? :-)

    Thanks for calling in and entering the give-away! Good luck!!!

  14. Cathy -- you kinda cut right to the chase, didn't you. *grins* I'm blushing just thinking about that aspect of Asher. Did I reeeally write him like that, and give him the ability to do, ah, that? Um, well, looking at the manuscript files on my computer, apparently so. What was I thinking??? (Don't answer that. It's purely rhetorical!)

  15. Rhetorical - pffst!

    Idda been thinking, what a lot of fun the book was to write! Especially with scenes like that in it. *grin*

  16. I cant wait til this is available - yeah only a few more days...
    I like that Asher imprints and psychically bonds with his master, in this case Calista, and that he will do anything within his power to make her happy. I'm also intrigued with his extra "male parts". :)

  17. Only a couple of more days in the countdown to FROM THE ASHES release, Devon! They'll fly, don't worry. Thanks for participating in Maree's give-away.

  18. Hi Devon,
    I liked playing with the whole concept of imprinting and bonding, too. Some people might consider it just a bit of a convenient plot device, but Asher wished with all his heart he had a choice to bond with someone other than Calista. Why? Well, I don't want to spoil it, but suffice it to say that right there and then, so far as I was concerned he was definitely on his way to becoming hero material!