Message From The Author
Irish Eyes Are Smiling on This Series
ERIN QUINN'S PARANORMAL ROMANCES
SET ON THE EMERALD ISLE
By Lauren Spielberg
Love conquers all in Erin Quinn's latest romance, Haunting Beauty, due in bookstores Aug. 4. The author, formerly known to fans as Erin Grady, is stretching her legs with a brand-new series from her publisher, Berkley Sensation.
"My Erin Grady books are set in the United States, and two of them -- Echoes (2004) and Whispers (2006) -- are paranormals with historical elements," she says, adding that her debut novel, Web of Smoke (1994, Avon), was actually labeled a mystery.
"With Erin Quinn, I'm exploring other parts of the world and a different type of story. Haunting Beauty is set in Ireland, and it's a contemporary paranormal romance, but more than that, it's a very emotional love story."
The launch title of Quinn's Haunting series, Haunting Beauty covers a wealth of ground within its pages. "It's one woman's quest to discover the truth about her past and right the wrongs done with help from a sexy man," the author divulges.
Heroine Danni Smith and hero Sean Ballagh must journey to Ireland for reasons bigger than either of them realizes. "Danni was abandoned as a child and she's never known who she is or where she comes from," Quinn explains. "She's always known she was different, though. She sees things -- visions that are often frightening and inexplicable. Sean grew up on the tiny Isle of Fennore, off the southern coast of Ireland, and he's always known who he is; unfortunately, everyone else knows too.
"He's the son of a murderer," she explains. "He's been shunned by his community, and he's become a cynical, lonely man. Sean is sent to bring Danni home to the family she didn't know she had, but once he finds her, he sees that Danni is connected to him in ways he couldn't imagine. For the first time ever, he wants more than the life he's been living. In a land where the mystical and the occult are as vivid as the emerald fields, Danni must embrace the extraordinary powers that are
as much a part of her and her family as their Irish heritage, and she must right the wrongs of her past or watch everything she's ever wanted vanish into the mists of time."
For those acquainted with Quinn's past work, it'll come as no surprise that she doesn't shy away from complicated plotting and characters with tics. Aside from the tantalizing love story in her new novel, Quinn intertwines the perilous Book of Fennore, an "ancient text fashioned from the darker side of Irish culture, the part steeped in superstition and born of its pagan ancestors." Believed to harness the power of the universe, the Book of Fennore -- its origin, purpose and power -- will play a role in all the Haunting novels. "I have many books planned for this series," the author promises,
"and I'm excited about the endless possibilities for the stories."
A published author for more than a decade, Quinn fully grasps the importance of marketing her own books. She's
consistently well reviewed by RT Book Reviews (Haunting Beauty received four stars in August). And the cover of the book has a quote from bestselling author Diana Gabaldon that reads, "A complex, mysterious and very satisfying story!"
"I believe marketing comes part and parcel with being a writer," Quinn says. "Getting the word out about a book is quite a challenge. Whenever I walk into a Barnes and Noble or Borders and look at all the books on the shelves, I can't help thinking, how will anyone ever find me? Marketing isn't my background though; it's something I'm learning as I go, with a lot of help from my published friends."
Not only does she make strides to push her own career
forward, she also invites other authors onto her website, ErinQuinn.info, to help
them boost their readership.
"I absolutely love interviewing other authors and hosting them
on my site," Quinn says. "Not only does it give my readers a chance to meet an author they may not have read yet, but it gives me a chance to get to know them better. My interviews are rarely deep and informed, but
I think they're fun, and we have a good time with them. I'm always looking for new authors to host, so authors, let me know
if you're interested."
Quinn calls the writing process a "strange, frightening and magical journey." However, the support of her family, especially her parents, helps her power through. "My mom is a frontline reader, and my dad bought me my very first laptop before I sold my first book. He said, 'You can't build a house without a hammer.' So true. Living with a writer is not something I would wish on anyone, but my husband and kids take me as I am and tolerate having to repeat themselves countless times because I'm off in la-la land when I'm supposed to be listening," she says. "Now that my kids are older,
I think they appreciate how hard I work to achieve my dreams. I hope I've instilled in them a sense that they can be and do whatever they want as long as they are willing to give it all they've got."
Her family's encouragement isn't the only nugget from Quinn's life that enlivens her stories. She looked to her own dog, Buttercup, for inspiration when creating a four-legged fictional friend. "My dogs have made appearances in a few of my books," Quinn shares. "I do love my animals, and they are so devoted to me that how could I help myself? Bean is the pseudonym for Buttercup, a strange little rescue dog who acts exactly as Bean does in Haunting Beauty. People who have met Buttercup and read Haunting Beauty recognize her immediately. Needless to say, she has issues with the greater population, but me, she adores."
Although she never fictionalizes the people in her life, Quinn has borrowed traits from her husband when creating her heroes. "Especially when I need my hero to be hardheaded and stubborn ... but still lovable," she says playfully.
To make sure that her setting was as realistic as her characters, Quinn spent a lot of time studying up on the Emerald Isle. "I will confess to being very intimidated when I first began my research," she says. "My other books were set in the United States, where our history stretches only hundreds of years. Moving to a land so old -- Newgrange [a prehistoric site in Ireland] is thought to predate pyramids and Stonehenge --
was daunting. Still, I did my best to capture the essence of a
people who have so much history."
With all of Quinn's research, love and hard work, readers should be thrilled to know that she's already completed the second book in the series, Haunting Warrior, due out in May 2010. "It follows the story of Rory MacGrath, who you meet in Haunting Beauty, as he tries to unravel the mystery of what happened the night his father disappeared. The twisted road leads him to the Book of Fennore and a journey he never expected."
With plenty of stories ahead, Quinn's twisted road is one readers will be eager to travel.
Excerpt From Haunting Beauty
Sean'd come for her because ... because ... she belonged with him. That alone was the reason he'd come to bring her home.
The simplicity of it rolled over him like a great wave.
It forced him under and towed him out as it washed everything else away. He
felt bewitched, bewildered, beset. The possessive need
of her cast a shadow in his mind that he couldn't see past, though he knew he should. What waited on the other side? What was it that flitted in and out of the recesses of his memory?
He raised his eyes to Danni's and something
of his confusion must have shown through. He sensed a softening in her, a reaching out. And like a drowning man, he grasped.
"I came for you," he muttered, propelled forward by the power of the statement. He backed her to the counter in three quick steps. Surprise widened her eyes while something else -- something deep and conceding darkened them. The moment had been inevitable; he saw it there in her face and it charged his blood, infusing him with fire.
Slowly, deliberately, he braced his hands on either side of her and lowered his head to hers.
A fraction of breath kept them apart but the intimate rhythm of her racing pulse beating at her throat, of his heart pounding in his chest -- it made them one. "I came for you," he said against her mouth.
And then he kissed her. The feel of her lips, the heat of her breath as it expelled in a rush went through him like an electric charge. He'd dived in, expecting the water to be shallow, the act painful. But if this was pain, he hoped to die of it.
Quinn's Five Excuses
for Not Writing
MUST DO MARKET RESEARCH, i.e., read someone else's wonderful novel instead of writing my own.
THE SUN IS SHINING. I live in Arizona, so I can usually count on this life saver.
THE SUN ISN'T SHINING. We don't get a lot of weather out here, and the weather should be honored appropriately by a cessation of work.
A RERUN OF BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER is on TV -- which must be watched live because it's
not the same without the commercials.
TUPERWARE. It can really take over the cupboard if it's ignored, and there are critical times when it must be reorganized.
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