I met Vivi Andrews at last year’s RT. She may say she’s ordinary in her blog, but she’s really a fun, smart, adventuresome lady. She’s giving away a download of winner’s choice of her backlist to one commenter at the Explosive contest! So…here’s Vivi.
I’ve been traveling recently and whenever my fellow tourists found out what I did for a living, they were instantly impressed and fascinated (which, frankly, is kind of weird since I’m not terribly impressive or fascinating). And they all, every single one, wanted to know if I was visiting these exotic foreign locales (Fiji, the Australian Outback, etc.) as research for my next book. I’m certain I disappointed them when I said no, I just wanted to go to Fiji and Australia ““same as they had. I might have shattered a few fantasy visions of the exotic species authorus romanticus by being nothing more exciting than a normal woman on a (semi) normal vacation.
I’m always intrigued by what people think a romance author should look and act like. The pink boas and bon-bons image may not be as prevalent as it once was, but the reality that most of us are stunningly normal seems to still be a bit hard to swallow. I run across a surprising number of people who expect me to be writing romance novels as thinly veiled auto-biographies. (Which, considering I write paranormal, would be a little freaky.) The truth is, I’m not a mirror image of the heroines in my books and I certainly don’t live their lives. (Thank God. I don’t have a very high tolerance for drama in my real life.)
There’s a little piece of me in each of my characters ““ with one it’s the sarcasm, another the freakish optimism, or the obsession with movies or the tendency to overanalyze everything. There’s always some access point, some commonality that lets me “get” the character, but they aren’t me. (And sadly, no studly bare-chested romance hero with washboard abs has tried to sweep me off my feet. Though hope springs eternal.)
The heroine in my upcoming release, No Angel, is the daughter of a celebrity family and marches into Hell (literally) to rescue her boyfriend, armed to the teeth. I can’t say that’s the kind of book I drew from personal experience. Write what you know will have to be applied loosely here. I’m just a boring, often fairly quiet girl with an overactive imagination and a tendency to make snarky remarks under my breath.
My books are funny; I’m really not. My heroines are extraordinary; I’m more-or-less standard issue. So I’m sorry to disappoint, but I’m just a romance writer. If you want fun and fabulous and interesting, I’m afraid you’ll have to read the books.
No Angel Blurb
When Sasha’s boyfriend, Jay, is sucked through a fiery vortex to Hell, an angel reveals that Sasha’s been chosen as the Champion of Virtue in the battle for his immortal soul. As a perennial offender on Santa’s naughty list, Sasha can’t believe she’s anyone’s idea of a girl fighting on the side of the angels. But if she doesn’t save Jay, he’ll be stuck in Hell forever!
Jay—aka Jevroth—isn’t surprised to find himself back in Hell. His visa to visit the mortal plane expired three months ago, but to steal more time with Sasha he’s been ignoring his mother’s demands that he come home to spend time with his new stepfather: Lucifer.
Sasha has until dawn on the twenty-fifth of December to fight the Legions of Hell and rescue Jay, or be trapped there for eternity herself. But now she must decide if the lying son-of-a-demon is even worth saving…
Chapter One – Cloudy with a Chance of Angels
On the day Sasha Christian’s boyfriend got sucked into the fiery maw of Hell, she baked cookies.
This is not to say baking cookies will trigger abduction into the Underworld, but it is important to understand that this was not the sort of day on which one might expect one’s significant other to be kidnapped by demonic forces.
It was a Tuesday. And Christmas Eve.
Thirty minutes prior to the abduction, Sasha stood in the ten-items-or-less line at Ralph’s, holding a single bottle of molasses and fighting the temptation to count the items in the basket of the woman in front of her.
If she counted even eleven items, Sasha didn’t think she’d be able to stop herself from tackling the woman and bludgeoning her with her own canned yams until she retreated in blood-spattered shame to the three-mile-long non-express line. Since this would likely result in Sasha’s ejection from Ralph’s and force her to locate another grocery open at four-twenty on Christmas Eve where she could buy unsulfated molasses to finish her gingerbread cookies, she decided it was best to avert her eyes.
Instead, Sasha concentrated on the flat-screen above the checkstand where a twenty-four-hour news channel recapped the holiday frenzy in a highlight reel. Tinsel, holly, rosy-cheeked celebrity faces, blah blah blah.
She’d already seen the segment twice. Her oh-so-brilliant idea to pop out to the store had turned into a marathon shopping expedition. Just finding a parking space had taken more time than she’d planned for the entire trip.
Damn holiday crowds.
Sasha gritted her teeth and reminded herself that she loved the holidays. Jay was the Grinch in their relationship. During the rest of the year she might be the misanthropic one, but at Christmastime she was Tiny Tim, bouncing around God-bless-us-ing everyone…when she wasn’t entertaining violent fantasies about women who got in the ten-items-or-less line with at least eleven items, making her even later than she already was.
Four-twenty. Jay was due at her place in ten minutes and instead of the Christmas utopia she’d planned as a surprise for her bah-humbug boyfriend, he would find an empty apartment with a bowl of gingerbread goo in the kitchen.
If the apartment was still there at all. Sasha was reasonably certain she’d left the oven on.
The fact the news channel hadn’t broken in with a live aerial shot of her apartment building in flames was somewhat comforting. The holiday montage continued with footage of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels from earlier that afternoon.
A slow, panning shot of the courtyard showed a throng worthy of Times Square on New Year’s Eve, jostling and chorusing a barely identifiable rendition of “Hark the Herald” as they stared skyward. The first angel mass always did draw a crowd.
Dark clouds—imported from Seattle for the occasion, no doubt—layered the Los Angeles sky above the blocky, geometric cathedral. On cue, as the bells began to peal, a hole opened in the clouds like a camera iris widening. Spears of sunlight streaked down to gild the tan stone of the cathedral, lighting the alabaster cross that thrust out over the plaza, but no one in the crowded courtyard was looking at the building.
All eyes were on the gap expanding in the clouds as a figure appeared, riding the rays of light.
Gold-kissed wings spread wide in an eight-foot span to slow his approach until the white-robed figure seemed to float on his graceful descent from the heavens
Sasha rolled her eyes. How cliché can you get? Trust an angel to play it up for the crowd. The holier-than-thou bastards were worse than starlets when it came to mugging for the cameras.