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Gabbing with Lisa Marie Rice, a Peek at Dangerous Passions, and a Giveaway of A Fine Speciman
Monday, April 13th, 2009

We’re lucky to have the fabulous author Lisa Marie Rice here with us this evening and tomorrow. She’s giving us a tasty look at her HarperCollins Avon Red upcoming release called Dangerous Passions. Drop her a line or ask her a question, and you’ll be entered to win a download of A Fine Specimen on the evening of 4/14/9.


Today’s Giveaway: A FINE SPECIMEN
Now Available at Ellora’s Cave
Read an Excerpt
Check out Lisa Marie’s Newsletter

A Fine Specimen
Lieutenant Alex Cruz eats, sleeps and breathes law enforcement. He’s tough and brusque, and cops and criminals alike tremble before him. And that’s the way he likes it. Until he meets Caitlin Summers—and decides he wants her trembling beneath him.

The beautiful scholar is doing dissertation research in his cop shop, and seriously messing with his head. His self-imposed sexual abstinence comes to a screeching halt in Caitlin’s ratty hotel room and dies a permanent death in his bed…and his kitchen…and his living room. Caitlin is also intelligent and funny, kind and generous, her smile a burst of warmth in his cold, austere life. And that scares the crap out of him.

With his head and heart fighting a battle of wills, Alex can barely concentrate on work. And that’s too bad—because his dangerous job and his newfound love are about to clash in the worst way possible.

Note: A FINE SPECIMEN was previously released by another publisher under the title TAMING NICK.

And now, a Sneak Peek at Lisa Marie’s
Coming August 4, 2009
from HarperCollins Avon Red

Feelings kill faster than bullets.

That is Drake’s creed. A legend, a renegade, a ruthless, powerful enigma understood by no one and feared by all, Victor “Drake” Drakovich heads up a billion-dollar empire—and shows no mercy to the many enemies who would stop at nothing to destroy him. He is a man with no love and no weakness, until…

Grace Larsen takes Drake’s breath away the first time he sees her—and quickly becomes his obsession. Never before has he burned for someone the way he desires this hauntingly beautiful artist who is plagued by troubling dreams. He aches to possess her, to protect her, to carry her to new heights of sensuous arousal and rapturous release. And Grace cannot resist her all-consuming need for this dangerous man, surrendering to the inner voice that begs her to freely shed every inhibition.

But entering Drake’s world means becoming a target—for relentless, bloodthirsty foes have been eagerly waiting for him to expose his weak spot. And the price of their passion may be their lives.


Grace was in a fog of pain and shock, with barely the energy to hope that the car wouldn’t run into a light pole or overturn at the corners. She rocked against the man holding her as his blood soaked through her coat. When she felt the wetness she pulled away, horrified to see the front of her coat wet with his blood. She looked up at him, at that calm, strong face. He looked as if absolutely nothing was wrong. As if he hadn’t been assaulted, shot at, wounded.
But the wound was real, she could see the mangled flesh. “You need to close that wound with something or you’ll bleed out.”
What to use to staunch the wound? The scarf in her purse was long gone. A shrug and her coat was off. The lining was a silk and polyester blend. Maybe that would do as a pressure bandage, though she didn’t know the absorption properties of polyester. Still, it was the only thing she had, so she started ripping the lining. Her hand was covered by his broad, olive-toned one.
“Not necessary.”
“You’re bleeding!” Grace could hear the hysteria in her voice. Of all the horrible things that had happened since she’d walked into Harold’s gallery, this was one she could do something about. Not much, but something. “We have to stop the bleeding.” She batted his hand away, crumpled up the back panel of her jacket, pressed it against his wound and held it tightly.
Surely she was hurting him, but he gave no sign of that, not even a grunt. He just closed his eyes when she pressed against his shoulder.
“Sorry,” she whispered. He looked a little pale now, though it was hard to tell in the darkened cabin of the car. “I know I’m hurting you. But we’ll be at the hospital soon and they’ll stitch you up. It will be okay, you’ll see.”
She threw his words of comfort right back at him. The usual cheery words, words that were often overused and were often untrue. Life sometimes opened wounds that never healed. She hoped this one would. He’d saved her life.
The man leaned his head back against the head rest and closed his eyes. One big hand came up to cover hers. It was still shockingly warm, considering they’d been in the freezing rain and that he’d lost a lot of blood. “Not going to the hospital,” he said softly. “Not safe.”
Grace waited a few beats while what he said penetrated her weary brain, then jerked when she realized what he’d said. “That’s insane. Of course we have to take you to the hospital. You’ve been shot.”
His eyes opened suddenly, looking at her intently. Their faces were only inches apart. His eyes were chocolate brown, intelligent, weary. He reached up a hand to touch the scrapes and cuts on her face. His fingertips came away red and he held them up, studying them. “And you’ve been shot at.” Something flashed in his eyes, something hot and dangerous. “I’d kill them again for this. I’m sorry it was quick.”
Grace shivered. It was as if someone had opened a window and let in the chill winter air. “Never mind that, they’re all dead. Now we have to deal with your wound.”
“Yes, and yours. Just not in a hospital.”
Grace blinked. “If not in a hospital, then where?”
He glanced out the window, jaw muscles jumping. “Here.”
The car took a sudden turn into a garage entrance, plunging full speed down a ramp, braking inches from a concrete wall. Grace would have fallen to the floor if the man hadn’t braced her. The car was still rocking when the passenger doors were wrenched open and Grace was lifted out by two men.
Armed men surrounded the car and she found herself in the middle of a little phalanx, together with the dark-haired man. The armed men moved fast, as a unit. In an instant they were in an elevator. It was large enough to accommodate the team, and rose quickly. Grace looked up above the door to see what floor they were going to, but there was nothing. No indication of what floors they passed. She glanced to the side, to the big shiny brass plaque with the “˜close doors’ button. It was the only button on the plaque. They were in an elevator that only stopped at one floor. At the top of a building, apparently, because they rose for minutes, at an ear-popping pace.
The men stood at attention, surrounding them with their bodies, weapons drawn.
One of the men, tall and very fit, with a white streak in his black hair, turned to the man with her. “Glad you’re safe, Drake.” He glanced down at the shoulder wound, unflinching, as if he’d seen many of them. “Dr. Kane’s on his way, just like you asked.”
Drake. The man’s name was Drake. She had no idea if that was his first name or his last name.
She had no clue who he was, or where she was. All she knew was that she had been caught in the middle of what looked like an assassination attempt in which her best friend had violently lost his life. She was now in an elevator in the middle of a group of hard-looking armed men and had no idea what plans they had for her.
All of a sudden, it occurred to Grace that she was a witness. A witness to four murders. Five, counting Harold. Actually, six, assuming this Drake had killed the sniper. And they were definitely not headed towards the nearest police station so she could testify to what she’d seen.
She looked around, her heart starting to pound. Every man there was taller than her, way bigger than her, immensely tougher. They looked strong and dangerous, none more than their boss, the man they called Drake.
He hadn’t threatened her in any way, it was true. Indeed, the threat of harm to her had stopped him.
But she was in an enclosed space with him and this small army of men who looked perfectly capable of violence and she knew for a fact that Drake was capable of terrifying, swift and terrible violence.
If he meant her harm in any way, she was as good as dead. Nothing she could do could in any way stop him or even slow him down. She didn’t even know where she was, and no one else knew where she was.
For an instant, Grace regretted her quiet life. She had a few friends, but they didn’t meet up that often. Everyone was busy, no one more than her. She essentially worked around the clock, eating and sleeping at odd hours. She could be missing for several weeks, even a month, before anyone really took notice.
The person she saw the most was dead, his head shattered by a sniper’s bullet.
She’d had lunch with one of her best friends, Alice Restrepo, the day before yesterday. They only saw each other about once a month. How long would it take Alice to report her missing to the police? When Grace didn’t answer the phone, Alice would just assume she was consumed by a painting. The bell of worry would ring eventually, but by that time, Grace could be long dead. Could be at the bottom of the Hudson River or in a concrete piling in New Jersey. Could be raped, tortured to death, her mangled body buried where no one would ever find her.
She shivered, looking down at her feet, wishing she were invisible. Though no one was paying particular attention to her, she had no illusions that she could make a run for it. A private elevator spoke of lots of money buying lots of privacy.
With a ping, they arrived at wherever it was they were going. The elevator doors opened with the quietest of whooshes. In front of them, across a very large hall, was a door worthy of the gate of a fortress. Twelve feet high at least, made of shiny steel.
The men around her filed out, fanning out into a security perimeter, but Grace stood still, eyes fixed on the ground, trying to control her trembling. Drake stood beside her, unmoving.
“Boss…” one of the men said. The men were obviously quivering with eagerness to get him behind those huge steel doors.
“Go now, I’m fine,” Drake said quietly. They didn’t look happy, but they did it. They were used to obeying this man.
Drake pushed a button and the doors of the elevator closed again.
Grace stepped back and looked him full in the face. He winced a little at what he saw on hers.
“You’re frightened.” The deep voice was soft. He lifted a large, blood-stained hand to her cheek. His touch was soft, though she could feel the callouses on his fingertips. “I’m sorry about that. I’m sorry about everything. More than I have words for. You’ve become involved in…a business dispute through no fault of your own. You’ve lost a friend and you’re hurt. I cannot tell you how much I regret this. But it’s done. And now you need to be kept safe from my enemies and you need medical care. All of this exists and is waiting for you behind that door you saw.”
She stared at him numbly. Though his touch had been fleeting, she still felt the warmth along her cheek.
For all she knew, this was a serial killer just waiting to entice her into his fortress. Certainly he had dealings with criminals. It was entirely possible he was a criminal himself. But the regret in his voice sounded sincere. And he wasn’t pushing her out of the elevator and into whatever was behind that door. Something in his stance told her that he would be willing to stay here forever, dripping blood on the floor, until she left the elevator of her own free will.
He swayed slightly, then brought himself back upright. The muscles in his jaw worked. There was a soft plop and when Grace looked down, another drop of bright red blood joined the small puddle on the floor.
Oh my God. He was badly wounded, he’d lost a lot of blood. He was barely standing, his forehead was beaded with sweat. And yet here he was, standing with her until she took a decision, patiently waiting for her.
Grace wasn’t too good with people, but like many introverts, she was an observer. What she saw before her was patience and regret with an overlay of pain and fatigue. No cruelty or craziness.
“Okay,” she said softly. “Let’s go in.”

Lisa Marie’s Interview
BK: Welcome Lisa Marie!
What is sure to distract you from sitting down and working/writing?

LMR: Ah, the internet, undoubtedly. I’m a news junkie, alas. Hooked. Addicted. In the morning, I have this little ritual of checking favourite sites—the Guardian, New York Times, Washington Post, La Repubblica, Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Beast, Newser, Huffington Post, Drudgereport. It takes a while for me to scroll through the sites to see what’s been going on in the world. It’s often depressing, but I can’t seem to shake the habit. Most of the time, you despair about the world. And then you read about earthquake victims helping each other, the rescue of a brave ship’s captain by equally brave SEALs and you think…yeah. It’s an interesting world and it isn’t all bad.

Every morning I tell myself that I’ll get in my 2000 words FIRST and THEN I can check to see if the world has imploded/exploded yet, but it rarely works. And there’s always something happening. Just as I got over the Presidential elections, along comes the economic panic…

However, once I’ve got my daily dose of news, and I’m at the keyboard for a story, I don’t stop until I’ve at least finished the scene.

BK: It is indeed an interesting world. And you aren’t the first guest author this month to answer that question in a similar fashion. Seems the Internet is a writer’s friend and greatest challenge. 🙂
What are you working on presently? What about upcoming releases?

LMR: Right now I’m working on what will be a trilogy for Avon Red and I’m excited about the story. It’s tentatively entitled Crossfire and the tagline is The Protectors. Three men who are closer than brothers, who grew up in a brutal foster home and have each other’s back. It’s really fun and interesting writing about a close bond among men. And the women they fall in love with bond as well.

I think there are very few of us who wouldn’t want a tight relationship with people they’d trust with their lives, and have done so. The three men have in common the fact that they will fight brutality and cruelty wherever they find it, whatever the cost. And you do not, repeat do not, touch their women!

Crossfire will be coming out in spring 2010.

My next book, DANGEROUS PASSION, comes out on August 4, 2009, and is a departure. The first introduction to the hero, Drake, is in Dangerous Lover. He is a dangerous man, a complete loner, who has risen to the top of a criminal empire. He has no one in his life because his enemies would go after anyone he loved. And yet love, unexpectedly, comes to him.It is far and away the most romantic thing I’ve ever written and I hope readers enjoy it!

BK: Both books/series sound extremely hot and romantic, which I have so got to have in my stories. And the protectors–I’m such a sucker for an alpha male who will protect his woman at all costs. Best of luck with both!
What’s the best compliment you ever got on your writing or a book?

LMR: I get a lot of really lovely fan mail from readers and have a number of favourites. But the one that struck a chord in my heart was a reader who wrote that she read one of my books at the death bed of her father because it made her feel better, helped her through the crisis. I can relate because I read a number of books that uplifted me at the bedside of my dying mother. Any writer feels uplifted knowing she’s giving comfort and hope to a reader. It’s essentially what reading and writing are all about. Making you feel better, less lonely, more connected to your fellow humans.

BK: An incredibly poignant compliment, Lisa Marie.
If you could time travel to any time or place—the past or future—where and when would you go to, and why?

LMR: Well, that’s a real tough one. I’ve read a lot of history, enough not to have any illusions that life was somehow better in the past, particularly for a woman. Though there are plenty of fascinating periods in the past, periods of glory where great deeds were done, they were also rife with intolerance and a lack of status for women. Even the wonderful Regency period, so elegant and fascinating, was a period where slavery was big business, women had literally no rights and (the kicker) modern dentistry hadn’t yet been invented, so you just kept your toothache. Not to mention the fact that I’m extremely sensitive to smells and a period where people washed once a month…nope, sorry.

And the future? Here, too, I’m not entirely convinced we’re heading toward a bright and glorious future (see my news addiction above). I’m old enough to have seen a lot of things deteriorate in my lifetime, so I have to really work to keep hopeful. Right now is a really interesting time. I wonder whether we’ll have a new, gentler society once the recession is over. I believe very strongly in community ties, in service to others, in putting people ahead of things, and it seems to me that, after a long dry spell, green shoots are starting to sprout.

So I guess I’ll stay in the here and the now.

BK: A practical…and wise response, Lisa Marie. Thank you for joining us here today!

Be sure to leave Lisa Marie a comment/question to qualify for a free download of A Fine Specimen! And yes…enter that big ol’ Daring Time Contest if you haven’t already.

26 comments to “Gabbing with Lisa Marie Rice, a Peek at Dangerous Passions, and a Giveaway of A Fine Speciman”

  1. Lea
      · April 13th, 2009 at 6:45 pm · Link

    Wonderful Interview Lisa Marie!

    I love the cover art for “A Fine Seciman”, and the story sounds wonderful.

    “Dangerous Passion”, sounds equally good and I will look forward to it’s publication in August.

    It sounds as if you have a busy year ahead!

    I’m adding both your books to my list now. 😀

    Best Regards

  2. Danielle
      · April 13th, 2009 at 7:36 pm · Link

    Hi Lisa,

    I’m so looking forward to Dangerous Passion — in fact I pre-order it a couple of months ago so I wouldn’t forget to order it.

    Can’t wait for Crossfire to come out too — your new series sounds so good.

    All the best.

  3. Roberta Harwell
      · April 13th, 2009 at 7:58 pm · Link

    Loved the interview and getting to know you a little bit better. Have a great day.

  4. Jane
      · April 13th, 2009 at 8:09 pm · Link

    Hi Lisa Marie,
    Will you be writing another book under Elizabeth Jennings?

  5. Amy S.
      · April 13th, 2009 at 8:14 pm · Link

    A Fine Specimen sounds great!

  6. Blanche
      · April 13th, 2009 at 8:17 pm · Link

    Hi Lisa!!

    Fantastic interview and I’m looking forward to both books!!! :mrgreen:

  7. Tracy
      · April 13th, 2009 at 8:47 pm · Link

    Hi Lisa Marie,

    I am such a fan, and looking forward to Dangerous Passion. Thank you for the great interview and excerpt, though how you can make this book more romantic than your previous ones is difficult to imagine. Please exclude me from the drawing as I already own A Fine Specimen, which I loved!

    I’m also glad to see you now have a newsletter, which will keep your fans updated on your latest and greatest.

    Best of luck to you with your new releases.

  8. Eve Savage
      · April 13th, 2009 at 9:49 pm · Link

    Hi Lisa Marie,
    Just want to say I’m a huge fan and have been since Midnight Man!!! I recommend your work to all my friends. 🙂 Can’t wait for the newest releases. It was cool to read the interview and get to know you better. Have a great day!

  9. Pam S
      · April 13th, 2009 at 10:18 pm · Link

    Hi Lisa,

    I hope the weather is nice there for you and you had a great Easter. Sounds like you have a super busy schedule.

    I just love your writing style and look forward to your new release :).

    Wishing much success!

  10. Caffey
      · April 13th, 2009 at 10:19 pm · Link

    Hi Lisa!!! So thrilled to see a EC book coming from you! I loved those MIDNIGHT books and too your print releases! I must of missed it when it came out as NICK. Thanks for the peek at DANGEROUS PASSION! This series rocks!

  11. Fedora
      · April 13th, 2009 at 10:46 pm · Link

    Hi, Lisa! A friend kindly lent me your Midnight series and after I finished, I went and bought my own copies. Thanks for writing such fabulous stories! Your new series sounds terrific–I’ll be looking forward to it!

  12. Karin
      · April 13th, 2009 at 11:00 pm · Link

    Great interview! I really enjoyed reading your answers and the excerpt that was posted. I look forward to reading your books.

  13. blodeuedd
      · April 14th, 2009 at 12:18 am · Link

    I enjoyed the interview, and that book is sure tempting me, or is it the guy on the cover, lol 😉

  14. Lisa Marie Rice
      · April 14th, 2009 at 4:13 am · Link

    Hi All —

    I live in a beautiful kingdom far, far away (actually 6 time zones away!) so my responses are coming late.

    Roberta, Danielle, Lea, Karin, Fedora, Caffey, Pam, Tracy, Blanche and Amy…thanks so much to all for all the kind words!

    Yeah Dangerous Passion is actually more romantic than my other books. I think it stems from the fact that Drake is such a loner and has been all his life. I think when love strikes someone who has never loved anyone, and never thought to love anyone, then I think it’s all the more powerful.

    It was a difficult balancing act because, well…Drake is a criminal. He’s an arms dealer. But I redeem him, boy do I!

    And Grace–Grace is another loner, but in a different way from Drake. She is a real artist and doesn’t fit into society very well. She is incapable of playing games and finds that she can’t force herself to care about the things most people care about passionately — money and status. It’s simply not in her.

    I know that makes her likeable as a character, but believe me, I know a lot of artist types and their lives are not easy. She, like Drake, was convinced that she would spent the rest of her life alone, but destiny intervened.

    I LOVED writing this book!

    I loved writing A Fine Specimen, too, for entirely different reasons. I had fun with Caitlin falling in love with an alpha male, while studying him. She is perfectly aware of the mechanisms that go into making Alex an alpha male but is helpless to stop herself from falling for him.

    it was a real departure, because it was romantic comedy. Most of my novels are fairly dark and so this one was a sort of palate-cleanser.

    i think i might try another romantic comedy.

    Yes, I’m going to be writing other novels as Elizabeth Jennings. I have a two book contract with Berkley and am working on the first book for them, Masquerade. I think I’m going to up the sensuality factor in this one, because it fits the plot and the characters.

    Have a wonderful day everyone and I’ll check in later!

    Lisa Marie

    It was interesting putting myself

  15. Cindy W
      · April 14th, 2009 at 4:47 am · Link

    I have a few of your books in my tbr pile, but not this one! It sounds great. I love cops as heroes!

  16. Afshan N
      · April 14th, 2009 at 9:07 am · Link

    Hey Lisa! Great Interview!!!
    A Fine Specimen and Dangerous Passions both sound like my kind of books! I look forward to reading them.
    And I have to say The Specimen on the cover is definitely FINE!!!!

  17. Lisa Marie Rice
      · April 14th, 2009 at 9:40 am · Link

    Afsan and Cindy — Thanks for writing!

    There is something about a cop, isn’t there? That protective vibe, how they’re cops day and night, on duty and off. How they go out every day fully prepared to die in the line of duty.

    This is the second cop hero I’ve written (well…Nick in Dangerous Secrets is a sort of a cop) and I like putting a little tension there between the hero and heroine. The hero KNOWS, deep down in his gut, how dangerous the world is and he would be happiest keeping his woman locked in the house, with maybe an armed sentry at the door, motion detectors on the perimeter…you get the idea.

    But of course that’s nuts, and the heroes sort of realize it with their head but not their guts.
    And their women balk at being on red alert all the time.

    Take Alex in A Fine Specimen. It drives him crazy when Caitlin stays in a hotel in the bad part of town. She knows how to take care of herself but Alex doesn’t see it that way.

    I always like it when my men are a little shaken up by the new love in their lives. They’re so tough and strong and savvy…and then they’re thrown for a loop by this woman who just comes along and steals their heart. And so now they not only have the world to save, but their lady’s life. Makes them a little shaky and off-center.

    And does them a world of good. 😉

    Cheers, Lisa Marie

  18. Beverly G
      · April 14th, 2009 at 10:47 am · Link

    my question to you is what inspires you that deep insperational pull that gets you to write so passionately

  19. Jody F.
      · April 14th, 2009 at 11:05 am · Link

    Great interview! Both books sound great and I look forward to reading them.

  20. Cheryl M
      · April 14th, 2009 at 12:34 pm · Link

    A Fine Specimen & Dangerous Passion both sound amazing! Can’t wait to read them!

  21. Tracy
      · April 14th, 2009 at 1:15 pm · Link

    I’m glad to hear that Drake is redeemed. I think it must be tough to make a criminal a romantic lead, and have readers actually like him.

    I look forward to reading Dangerous Passion when it comes out.

  22. Allison
      · April 14th, 2009 at 4:27 pm · Link

    Hi Lisa, thank you for the excerpts. They both sound like great reads and I really look forward to them. Allison 🙂

  23. Debby Creager
      · April 14th, 2009 at 5:02 pm · Link

    Your books sound so awesome.I am really going to have to look for them.
    Debby Creager

  24. Lynda
      · April 14th, 2009 at 9:09 pm · Link

    Hi Lisa

    I really enjoyed Dangerous Secrets! Thanks for the interview!

  25. Lisa Marie Rice
      · April 15th, 2009 at 1:01 am · Link

    Hi Beverly —

    I think my time here is up but I did want to get back to you on what inspires me to write so passionately.

    Two things — I was single for a long, long time. I was young (and then not so young), not bad-looking, with a fabulous but incredibly stressful job and earning plenty of money. Great! You say, and you’d be right. But the incredibly stressful job involved travel on an industrial scale and I went from hotel room to hotel room and I felt incredibly lonely. I had lots of friends but never really had the time or the chance to meet someone special.

    and I remember in my bones that amazing feeling when I met my husband, that feeling of ‘I’m not alone any more’.

    I don’t think I felt that so strongly because I’m a woman. I think men want it too. We are wired for partnership, and if you don’t have someone who loves you, no matter how swinging a bachelor you are, how big a career you have, there’s something very important that’s missing.

    I know that men, too, have that feeling of something necessary slotting into their lives, and the knowledge that yes, you will have a family to love and protect from now on.

    And the other thing is the amazing courage of women I’ve seen in my life. My mom was left high and dry with a small child and I watched all my life as she struggled to do her best. I’ve got friends who have made amazing sacrifices for their kids, nursed a friend back to health. I’ve got three sisters in law who have made some heroic sacrifices for others.

    My books are also a salute to the strength and steadfastness of women. I want you to know that all of my heroines will stick by their man, unwaveringly, no matter what happens. Illness, bankruptcy, no matter what. They are by their man’s side.

    It’s been great talking to you all, I really enjoyed it!

    And thank you so much, Beth, for this fantastic opportunity!!

    best, Lisa Marie

  26. Amy
      · May 25th, 2009 at 6:36 pm · Link

    Hi Lisa Marie,
    You are my favorite romance author by far and I eagerly await every release. I second a question by another reader – will you be writing any more books under the Elizabeth Jennings name?

    Good (and speedy) writing!

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