I’m delighted to have author Christy Gissendaner here today. If you remember, she hosted me on Love, Lust and Laptops a while back. Also writing under the pen name Robin Danner, Christy is a multi-published author with quite a number of paranormal and contemporary romances under her belt.
Let’s find out more about Christy and her new book from Etopia Press, In Too Deep.
1. Hi Christy and welcome to my blog. Since you write in so many subgenres, I have to ask. What’s your favorite? Historical, contemporary, paranormal?
Everyone always asks me that. I think my answer probably changes each time. My first love is historical romance, so my “voice” comes much easier in that genre, but I love the humor and heat I bring with my contemporaries and paranormals.
2. I can’t wait to find out more about your new book. Are we talking classic werewolves this time, or just wolf shifters?
My paranormals are always very light, so classic probably wouldn’t be the correct description. My shifter tales are quite a bit different than most of the ones you find. I try to take the general idea of shifters and then make them normal beings living in a world of humans, just trying to fit in. For this one, the shifters’ history begins during the age of Pilgrims to the New World. I didn’t delve into the mythology very much for this one, focusing instead on the relationship between the hero and heroine. My last work, Unmasking the Wolf, actually detailed the creation of werewolves and I was a lot more scientific in it. For In Too Deep, I just want to give life to an easy, beach read with a hint of the paranormal. That’s not to say, my hero doesn’t become wolfish now and again! ; )
3. And who doesn't love a wolfish hero? So Drake Randolf is literally “Alpha” in this case. What does being the leader of the Secret Society of Savannah Lycanthropes entail? Does he also happen to be rich and easy on the eye?
As the alpha, he has to uphold the rules of the Society. It puts him in quite a predicament when his sister decides to marry a human. When he falls for a human as well, the shiznick hits the fan! He has to balance the Society’s longstanding traditions with his heart’s desire, which happens to be Emma.
Drake is certainly rich and very easy on the eye. I fashioned him after one of my favorite actors, Jonathan Rhys Meyers. He’s just a bit larger and more muscular. But the dark hair and gorgeous baby blues are pure JRM without the accent.
4. Oh gosh, I'm a huge The Tudors fan myself. I didn't think I could come to like a show about Henry VIII, but JRM pulled it off. Back to your book--I’m guessing he and Emma have quite a bit of chemistry. Would you mind sharing their first kiss?
I’d be happy to! Sorry, it’s a bit long of an excerpt, but I wanted you to have the full effect of the kiss. I enjoyed the heck outta writing this particular scene! Probably cause of my fondness for the ocean and sexy, wet men.
She felt him before she saw him. A shift in the air, a prickle of sensation along her spine, and she just knew. His presence always caused a physical reaction inside her. She didn’t need to hear or see him to know.
She dropped her arms to her sides. Should she turn toward him or wait for him to speak? A light wind blew; even though the air was balmy her nipples puckered and pressed against the Lycra covering her breasts.
What had possessed her to come for a swim, dressed in one of Alyssa’s bikinis? Perhaps she’d known he would find her. Didn’t he always? Drake drew her like the water. Both of them were inescapable, a current tugging at her heart no matter where she was. The quiet ocean soothed her like a lullaby.
A whisper of movement near her nape, and the soft rush of breath across her bare shoulder teased her a moment before he spoke. “Going for a swim?”
She continued to face forward. It was exciting to not be able to see his countenance, to only guess at the emotions he displayed. “I’m thinking about it.”
Something had changed between them since the ride back from Macon. She’d sensed a crack in his exterior, a subtle shift in the way he treated her.
Goosebumps prickled her skin, more skin than she’d ever displayed in public. The red bikini bottom held together by strings at the hips. The top tied behind her back and neck. Alyssa was more top heavy than her, but the tiny triangles of fabric just barely covered Emma’s own modest breasts.
She stepped forward until water swirled about her calves. The warmth of the ocean calmed her, made her bold, much bolder than she’d ever been before. She turned to face him, seduction clear in the purposefully slow pivot. All seductive tactics deserted her when she caught sight of him.
Drake stood where she’d been just moments before. The cuffs of his jeans were damp. A white t-shirt covered his broad shoulders and chest. Despite the tempting body before her, his face that drew her attention. Hooded eyes, turned down lips, and a tightly constricted jaw let her know he battled demons. Could one of those demons be desire?
She held her hands out to her side, her fingers splayed open and her palms facing him. Water tickled her wrists, even though the waves barely crested over her knees. “Why are you here?”
Emotion flared to life in his gaze. “Why are you?”
She had no real answer. None that she would give him. Lust overruled her thoughts. No way could she let him leave without knowing the taste of his kiss. Just once. A brief moment in time to feel wanted by him before they returned the sanity of a world where they could never be together. “I came to swim.”
He stepped forward, heedless of the water soaking the denim of his jeans. “So did I.”
She cast a glance downward. “You’re not dressed for swimming.”
“I can be,” he rejoined.
He moved his hands to the hem of his shirt and pulled it oh-so-slowly over his head. Her mouth watered at the sight of his ridged abdomen, tapering to a wonderful V shape between his hips. He pulled the shirt free of his arms and tossed it onto the sand. Muscles bunched in his shoulders as he lifted a hand and ran it over his short, ruffled hair.
God, he was too beautiful to be real.
His gaze locked on her face, carefully gauging her reaction before proceeding. She stood still, not batting an eyelid or betraying herself by trembling. She wanted this. She wanted him. Oh, how she wanted him. Her desire went beyond mere need and crossed over into the supernatural zone. Nothing short of dying could stop her from her chosen path.
He moved to unbutton his jeans and drag down the zipper. She didn’t lower her eyes when he pulled off the pants, didn’t trust her reaction to that part of him yet.
A dark eyebrow cocked upward. “Still want that swim?”
It was a miracle the water didn’t boil from the heat pouring off her body. Last chance to run. If she stayed, who knew what would happen? She supposed she did know what would happen, but was she ready for it?
Natural inclination toward timidity briefly made an appearance, but a particularly large wave crashed over her without warning. The sensation of the water plucking at her nipples and between her thighs made her gasp. Almost as if Drake had touched her.
A blur of movement and then his hands were on both sides of her waist. “Are you okay? That wave came out of nowhere.”
The touch of his palms on her bare skin heated her from the inside out. She placed her hands on his unbelievably firm biceps, and slowly caressed him. If all she could ever have of him was this, she planned to enjoy it fully.
Her words came out in a silky murmur, “I’m fine. More than fine actually.”
Light blue eyes darkened with swirls of desire. It had to be desire. His grip on her waist tightened. “Emma…”
She put a finger to his lips. “Shhh.”
He nipped at the pad of her finger. Teeth scraped against her skin before the rasp of his tongue soothed it. He encircled her wrist and pulled her hand away from his face. He moved his fingers up her arm and across her shoulder to cradle the back of her neck. “There’s something different about you.”
In truth, she felt different. She never used to be this bold, this sure of herself. But she’d wanted him forever. He finally seemed to be returning the interest. She’d be a fool to let a chance like this pass her by. “Good different?”
He groaned and his fingertips pressed into her wrist. “Fucking awesome. But we…”
“No.” The vehemence in her denial surprised her. “No buts. I want this, Drake. I want you. You can’t possibly even imagine how long I’ve waited for you to wake up and realize I’m not the child you once knew.” She shook her arm free of his grasp and stood on tiptoes to plant her hand against his shoulders. “I’m a woman, a woman desperate for you. Not just a girl. Not anymore.”
He dropped his head forward and braced it against hers. “I’ve never seen you as a child. I’ve seen more than you think, more than you can imagine. But it’s not enough to just see you. That’s the problem.”
She sucked in a breath. What? Joy, caution, and desire swirled around and around in a fierce struggle, muddying her thoughts until one emerged the victor. Desire, pure and simple.
She brushed her palm across his shoulder and touched the dip of his collarbone. “Planning on solving that problem anytime soon?”
“Oh, God.” Drake visibly struggled for control. He lifted his head and met her gaze. Stark need reflected in their shadows. “There are things about me you don’t know, so many reasons I should leave you the hell alone.”
She knew she had him. A self-satisfied smile curled the corners of her lips. “Everyone has their deep, dark secrets. Remember?” She threw his words from that afternoon back at him.
His head lowered. “But not you.”
“Not me,” she affirmed. “It’s no secret that you’re all I can think about. Kiss me, Drake.”
He put his fingers against her lips. “Shhh.” He tossed her word back at her and gave her a cocky smile. “Two can play that game.”
Then his fingers were gone, replaced by the warmth of his lips. Shock radiated outward. Drake was actually kissing her. After so many years of girlhood fantasies, the nights spent dreaming about him, it was finally becoming reality.
The reality was Drake was a damned fine kisser. He kissed with his entire body, his lips and tongue sure of their welcome against her own. His teeth nipped her bottom lip and tugged it open for his tongue to thrust boldly inside. Single best kiss of her life. None could even come close to comparing to his. He’d ruined for all other men, if she hadn’t been already.
He moved forward, towing her with him until they stood waist deep in the water.
So many years she’d pined after him. All those hours of fantasizing about what it would be like to kiss him. He was here, his skin beneath her fingertips, his hands on her back pulling her closer. Another large wave collided against her, forcing her forward. Drake held onto her, his hands settling onto her hips and shaping her body against his.
Waves crashed all around them, pulling them forward and bringing them back together. The unusual roughness of the ocean was disregarded. All she could concentrate on was the rightness of being in Drake’s embrace. She smoothed her palms down his chest, spreading the droplets of water across the heavy muscle and brushing his nipples.
Another wave crashed against them, this one succeeding in knocking them off their feet. They swept under the surge, still clinging to each other, as the water roiled around them. Once it disappeared, they broke the surface.
Drake swept a hand over his hair, flinging water off the ends. Moonlight glinted on the dark strands. A slow, seductive smile made her insides melt. “You’re dangerous to be around. A few seconds more and we would’ve drowned.”
5. I have to say, I wouldn't mind almost drowning with him around. Okay, before I let you run off, I’ll end this with my standard “How did you get your start as an author?” question. What was your road to publication like?
I began writing my first let’s-try-get-this-published-book while in college. I’d always written for fun, but I got serious and wrote a 90,000 word Regency and sent it in. A full was actually requested by Dorchester. A entire year later, I got a “no” from them, but I sent it into an e-book publisher soon after. Amazingly it got accepted! The company folded before my release, but it was quickly snatched up by another pub. I was very lucky in that publishers continued to show interest in me. After that, I started submitting like crazy and have stacked up 28 published works in the past ten years. Six of those years, I wasn’t actively writing, so I consider that quite an accomplishment.
That is a huge accomplishment, and since I know how fast and well you write, I'm sure they'll be many more to come.
Since new release month is crazy busy, I won’t keep Christy any longer. Read on for more about the book and author. As always, comments are very much appreciated.
In Too Deep
He’ll risk everything for the love of one human.
Agreeing to be her good friend’s bridesmaid, Emma Anderson jets off to Tybee Island for the wedding. Her dress is perfect and her shoes are adorable, but her friend’s elegant beachside home hides an ancient secret…one that threatens to expose a secret society of werewolves.
Drake Randolph has watched his sister’s friend grow into a ravishing woman, but he’s always kept his distance. As the heir to the Randolph fortune and the alpha of the Secret Society of Savannah Lycanthropes, Drake cannot afford to draw the innocent little brunette into the dangerous lycan world.
Passion between them soon blazes hotter than the Georgia summer. But when the wrong woman is kidnapped to prevent the wedding of a lycan to a mortal, Drake must risk everything to save Emma from the ones who will see the downfall of all he holds dear.
Buy Links: Amazon
About Christy Gissendaner
Christy Gissendaner is a romantic comedy author and believes that laughter and love should go hand in hand.
Christy lives in Alabama with her husband and three sons. She’s always hard at work on her next novel, but in her spare time she loves blackjack, karaoke, and anything resembling a vacation!
To find out more, check out her website!