In the interest of fairness here, I have the great pleasure of being in a chapter of Romance Writers of America with Lexi George. She lives about an hour from me, and we met at the Southern Magic reader’s luncheon last November in Birmingham and spent quite a bit of time moaning about how hard love scenes are to write. She’s a fab-u-lous person, but I was already a fan of her first book, Demon Hunting in Dixie, long before I knew she lived around the corner, figuratively speaking.
Lexi is an appellate lawyer by day and a romance writer by night. She started her writing career in the third grade penning bad poetry about hydrangea bushes and Erik the Red. Ironically, she ended up marrying a Viking, a Northern boy who came to Alabama with the Air Force and stayed. You can read more about Lexi at her website.
I’m uber-pleased to have Lexi here at Preternatura today. Her new book, Demon Hunting in the Deep South, came out July 31 and I know lots of you have already had your eye on it from the Reader’s Choice contests. So here’s another chance to win a copy!
ABOUT DEMON HUNTING IN THE DEEP SOUTH: Shy, self-conscious Evie Douglass tries to stay under the radar, especially when her nemesis Meredith Peterson, aka The Death Starr, is anywhere around. Meredith and her bitch posse of skinny girlfriends have tormented Evie since the seventh grade, calling her names like The Whale and Thunder Thighs.
Evie tries to stay invisible, but that’s not an easy thing for a plus-sized gal to do in a small town like Hannah, Alabama. She finds it doubly hard to avoid Meredith’s wrath once she takes a job at the lumber mill. You see, Meredith’s husband is Evie’s new boss. Translation: more torture time for The Death Starr.
Evie thinks things couldn’t get much worse until the morning she finds Meredith’s bloody body sprawled across her desk. Typical Meredith, she gets herself dead mere days after a very public scene in which Meredith accuses Evie of having an affair with her husband. Worse, the murder weapon is found in Evie’s car.
Suddenly, Evie is the Number One suspect in a sensational murder case. But she’s got bigger problems. Hannah is infested with demons—soul sucking, body snatching creatures of evil—and, for some reason, they want Evie. The only thing standing between Evie and death or possible possession is a hunky blond demon slayer named Ansgar.
Ansgar is a Dalvahni warrior, a supernaturally gorgeous race whose sole purpose is to hunt down and capture rogue demons.
Evie could almost swear that Ansgar is interested in more than demons. He seems interested in her. Ridiculous, of course, because he’s sex on two legs and she’s…Well, she’s Whaley Douglass.
To add to Evie’s troubles, Meredith doesn’t even have the decency to stay dead. She shows back up as a ghost and she’s more of a beyotch than ever. Meredith has deathnesia—she can’t remember who killed her—leaving Evie to solve the mystery herself, or go to jail for a murder she didn’t commit.
Now, welcome Lexi!
Give us the “elevator pitch” for Demon Hunting in the Deep South.An immortal demon hunter struggles to protect a shy Southern wallflower from the evil on her trail, but can he protect her from himself?
What is your favorite scene in the book?
The scene where shy, retiring little Evie gets her memory back and all hell breaks loose! Here’s a brief sample:
“You knew.” Evie glared at Muddy and Mr. Collier, Bitsy and Shep. Lenora was there, too, still studying her like she was some kind of bug. Evie ignored her. “You all knew and didn’t tell me.”
Ansgar had betrayed her and so had her so-called friends, every last one of them. People she loved like family, people she trusted.
The scream boiled out of her, from some angry, hurt place deep inside her. It went on and on, shattering the heavy chandelier and cracking the ornamental medallion on the ceiling.
The storm broke with wind and lightning. It was raining turtles inside the Collier Grand Ballroom. People shrieked and ran for cover.
Ansgar remained; Addy and Brand, too. The tempest raged around them. Clothes and hair plastered to their bodies, they stared at Evie in shock.
Ansgar struggled against the gale force wind, trying to reach her. “Evangeline, wait.”
“Don’t bother,” Evie said. “Whatever it is, I don’t want to hear it.”
Crack! she disappeared in a blinding flash of light.
The doormat triumphant.
Hardest scene you’ve ever written:
Um, any sex scene or battle scene. They are both hard to write for different reasons. Fight scenes are fast-paced and written with shorter sentences to convey action and danger. Sex scenes are just as physically challenging, but in a different way. Not only are they generally slower and, of course, more sensual, but I struggle to describe THE ACT without being purple or crude. Not an easy recipe and, to add to the pressure, sex scenes in a romance should convey the emotional connection between the characters, and make you sigh for their love story. No pressure there, huh? (*Suzanne nods vigorously!*)
What’s on your nightstand or top of your TBR pile?
Book three of the epic fantasy series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, book seventeen of the Stephanie Plum series, and THE HUNGER GAMES.
Favorite book when you were a child:
I can’t name just one, but here are are a few: The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, Little Lord Fauntleroy, Baby Island
by Carol Ryrie Brink, Black and Blue Magic
, and the Mr. Pudgins books.
Your five favorite authors:
J. K. Rowling, George R. R. Martin, Tolkien, Georgette Heyer, and Julia Spencer Fleming.
Book you’ve faked reading:
THE GORMANGHAST TRILOGY. Love fantasy, but couldn’t plow through it. Ugh.
Book you’re an evangelist for:
Harry Potter. Ms. Rowling is magic.
Book you’ve bought for the cover:
I always look at the covers of romances. I buy based upon the cover and the blurb on the back.
Book that changed your life:
I can’t pick just one! The Hobbit
swept me away and I loved The Belgariad
by David Eddings, because he writes with warmth and humor and an ensemble of characters. I think he’s the reason I write so many characters in my books. I love Georgette Heyer’s books for their dry wit and Loretta Chase for her tender sensuality.
Favorite line from a book:
“Trust me.” Silk, from The Belgariad
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
Most horrifying moment while reading a book:
The crown scene from A GAME OF THRONES. Gave me nightmares!
Favorite book about books or writing:
I can’t read books about how to write, because they freak me out! I keep thinking I’m doing it all wrong! I do attend workshops, though, and read craft articles. Does that count?
Book three of the demon hunter series. It’s called Demon Hunting in a Dive Bar. Here’s the cover blurb:
Rebekah Damian runs a bar for demonoids. Shifters, werewolves, you name it, Beck has seen it all.
Or so she thinks.
And then he walks into her place: Conall Dalvahni with his eyes and hair as dark as sin. Six feet plus a few inches of pure, hard, mean and macho male, a guy with an attitude and an ego to match. Beck knows how to handle herself in a fight, but she can’t fight her attraction to Conall. Captain Grim really pushes her buttons, in all the right ways.
But, fight it she must. Conall’s a demon hunter and Beck is half demon. Talk about a match made in hell. Besides, Beck has her hands full running a bar for supernaturals. On top of keeping the regulars happy and the norms out, she’s got a vegetarian zombie, a temperamental bear of a cook, and an upper crust snooty toot ghost who wants to turn her dive into a piano bar.
Oh, yeah, and a death knelling feline harbinger of doom known as the Wampus Kitty scaring the bejesus out of her customers. She doesn’t have time for a condescending jerk of a demon hunter, even if he is the hottest guy she’s ever seen and she wants to climb him like kudzu.
No good demon but a dead demon. Some truths are immutable, as far as Conall is concerned. Until he meets demonoid Beck Damian, the raven haired, violet eyed offspring of his age-old enemy, and she rocks his world. The demons have discovered a weapon to defeat Conall and his brother demon hunters, a threat to the Dalvahni race and the worlds they protect. Conall suspects some of the demonoids may be in league with the demons, a number that includes Rebekah’s twin brother.
What about Rebekah? Can he trust her? Dare he trust her?
Experience and logic tell him no. But his newly awakened heart urges him to risk all, body and soul, for love.
Woo-hoo–can’t wait! So, what about you? What’s your favorite book or series set in the Deep South? (Okay, you can say the Sookie series if you have to.) You know the routine to win a copy of Demon Hunting in the Deep South–one entry for a comment, plus extra entries for a Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, for a blog follow, and for a tweet or retweet. I’m on the road today, heading to New Orleans for AAD, but will pop in and check on comments as often as I can!