Welcome to my stop on the Author Spotlight Book Tour for Tiffany Allee. Today we’re spotlighting her latest release, Temptation by Fire with a guest post, excerpt and an awesome giveaway. Be sure to show Tiffany some love and add this to your reads for 2014! 😉
“Tough Heroines” by Tiffany Allee
Thank you so much for having me here today, Lori!
I saw a post on Facebook today where a writer talked about branding, specifically, what you want to be known for as an author. That one thing that you want to be true across all of your books. And it made me stop and think for a moment about what I’d like to be known for, since to be honest, I’ve mainly just written the stories that tugged at me hardest. Most of my books include some humor and some quirky characters put into awkward situations, but another thing that I like to think they all include is heroines who all have a backbone. I think (hope) that’s a common thread in my stories.
It’s probably no secret that I’m a fan of tough heroines. They don’t have to be physically strong (actually, most of my heroines are not), but mentally they do have deal with some difficult situations. They also need to be a little sassy. And while they aren’t perfect, I do prefer to write heroines who worry more about saving the day than being saved.
That’s not to say I don’t like a good hero to sweep in when necessary, too. 😉
The heroine of Temptation by Fire, Ava, isn’t the most confident person in the beginning of the book. She’s dealing with a power that she prefers to ignore, and she’s really shaped her life so that she doesn’t have to confront the reality of it. But with the realization that a man’s life might be in her hands, and that her best (and really, only) friend will soon be leaving her to live in another state, Ava has to decide whether she’ll continue to hide, or if she’ll fight.
Spoilers: she fights! But you probably already guessed that from the post title. I love that she makes that choice. And I’ll be honest, at one point I tried to write it so she didn’t choose that path at the beginning and was forced down it, but I just wasn’t able to write it in a believable way—probably because the very idea of it makes me twitchy. If a person’s life is in your hands, you try to help. At least after some healthy hesitation and reflection. 😉
Do you like heroines who try to save the day?
Temptation by Fire by Tiffany Allee
Visions of death haunt her . . .
Ava Keller sees the future. When she suffers a horrifying vision of a man’s violent death, she knows from experience nothing she does will stop it from becoming a reality. But when she meets a strong, broken man, he makes her want to believe in second chances.
Vengeance consumes him . . .
Tortured by his past, Karson has worked tirelessly to wreak vengeance on the demons who murdered his family. But when Ava inadvertently disrupts his intricate plan for revenge, his focus shifts to an all-consuming need to keep her alive and in his arms.
Love could save their souls . . .
Thrown together by fate, Ava and Karson explore their new feelings and discover hope for the future. But they must battle the demons threatening humanity to find a destiny worthy of their love.
Monstrous. That was the only word for it. Deep reds and yellows flashed at me, hurting my eyes. The sparkles were almost enough to put me right over the edge. What the heck were those things?
Rhinestones? Who wore rhinestones anymore?
“What do you think, Ava?” Miriam asked.
I bit my lip, searching my mind for a way to tell her that it was the fugliest thing I’d ever seen without off ending her. I cast a quick glance about us. Thanks to the after-dinner hour, the hospital cafeteria where we sat at a chipped Formica-topped table was almost empty. No one else seemed to notice us, or the horrible dress that my best friend was waving around. But combined with the smell of disinfectant that clung to the stark white walls and pastel plastic furniture, the dress was enough to make me dizzy.
Nope. There was no way to be polite.
“I think it’s horrible,” I admitted. Miriam’s fashion sense tended toward the wild side, but that dress crossed a line. Besides the garish sequins, the neckline looked like it would hit her navel.
“Really?” Miriam held the dress at arm’s length and studied it with a critical eye. “I thought it might be nice for the graduation party. I don’t graduate from medical school every day. Might be a good chance to wear something saucy.”
I suppressed a shudder at the idea of wearing something so flashy in public. But that was Miriam. Brave and fun and willing to journey into the scariest places fashion offered. Despite our differences, we’d been best friends ever since the day in middle school when Miriam decided we would be.
Miriam got what Miriam wanted.
She was also my favorite person in the world. So it worked out pretty darn well for me.
“Besides, once I start my residency, I won’t be out of scrubs for years,” she said. “There’s only so much you can do to make scrubs look good.”
The ache that had settled into my chest ever since the reality of Miriam leaving had hit me flared into pain. I was twenty-five for crying out loud, far too old to be using my best friend as a security blanket, even if she was leaving me alone in Chicago to pursue her dream of being a medical doctor in New York City. Mentally quashing the loneliness, I forced a grin.
My grin didn’t fool her and she frowned at me, then shoved the dress back into a Nordstrom bag.
“You’re tougher than you think.”
“I know,” I said automatically. My fear of getting physically near people—heck, even being in the same room as large groups—was the source of many, many, many of our arguments. Especially lately. The last thing I wanted was to get into it again. Miriam was a gem, but she spent way too much time worrying about me.
Some things weren’t fixable.
I pushed down the self-pity the thought caused. The emotion was silly, self-indulgent, and unfounded. Sure, I wasn’t exactly sociable because of the constraints placed on me by my curse, but I still had a decent life. One that was a heck of a lot better than most people’s.
As long as I was careful not to touch anyone.
“So, I need to get as much Ava-time in as I can before I go. What are you doing tonight? You should come with me to find something to wear to the party, since you have to compete against this amazing dress.”
Compete against that? So not my style. The dress was a walking banner proclaiming Miriam to be vivacious and outgoing.
And more than a bit of a daredevil. If my clothes had a sign attached, it would identify me as “cautious,” or just scream “don’t touch.” There was no competition. And shopping? A sudden need to be out of this place, alone and in my own space, hit, and I tugged on my sleeves.
Miriam’s gaze shifted, just enough that I could tell she noticed. Awesome friend that she was, she pretended she hadn’t. “Actually, I’m a little beat,” she said. “Maybe I could bring a movie over?
Something filled with angst and love and Colin Firth.”
“Are you ever getting out of the Colin Firth phase?”
She pushed up from the table, face serious. “Colin Firth isn’t a phase, Ava. He’s a way of life.”
“He’s a tad refined for my taste, but”— I stood and pushed my chair in—“I wouldn’t want to deprive you of something so important.”
Miriam turned to walk out of the cafeteria when she suddenly froze, her eyes widened, and her gaze locked on something over my shoulder. She let out a quiet whistle. “Wow, cute. Forget Colin Firth.”
As casually as I could, I snuck a glance behind me.
The man was anything but cute.
He could have been anywhere from his late twenties to midthirties. His good looks weren’t marred by the thick and ropey scar that ran down the side of his face and neck. I could see him playing Double Oh Seven, not Darcy. But the way he carried himself—arrogant but guarded—seemed out of place in the quiet hospital. His gaze weighed and categorized everything it took in and made my stomach clench and my heart speed up.
Fight or flight?
I looked at Miriam. “Quit grinning at him,” I whispered. “He looks like a thug.”
Alice Shepard needs one thing: a date for her sister’s wedding. And not just any date. A hunk who will make her fiancé rue the day he left her for her best friend. Her drop-dead gorgeous neighbor fits the bill—even if he is a bit quirky and never comes out during the day—and Alice has downed just enough appletinis to ask him. But she makes it quite clear that there will be no funny business.
Spending a week on a cruise ship full of humans while sleeping close to his sexy next-door neighbor sounds like a helluva bad idea to vampire Noah Thorpe. But his friends need time to get him out of a shotgun wedding—a vampire bonding that will tie his fate to a female vampire he’s never met. And Alice’s offer comes at just the right time.
What could possibly go wrong?