Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Darkness Before Dawn Blog Tour - Interview & Giveaway with Amanda Bonilla

Every fantasy addict who loves their heroines strong and determined with unique characteristics should become familiar with Shaede assassin Darian. In the sequel to Shaedes of Gray, Bonilla delivers an action-packed mystery with a surprising twist and a heartbreaking ending. 

I'm very excited not only to have received an advanced copy of Blood Before Sunrise (4 1/2 star review coming soon), but to also be the first stop on the Darkness Before Dawn blog tour. 

Mrs. Bonilla was kind enough to answer some questions that I'm going to share with you and has offered to give away a paperback copy of Blood Before Sunrise (US/Canada). 

Good luck & enjoy!

Q: In a genre that seems to be dominated by vampires, werewolves, and witches, what made you decide to create a series based on these unique Shaede characters? 
A: I love vampires, and werewolves! In fact, there isn’t a supernatural creature I don’t want to write about. But with all of the great vamp and were books out there already, I didn’t know if I could craft a story that would stand out world building-wise. When I came up with the idea for Shaedes of Gray, I saw Darian just drifting into shadow and disappearing. And after I decided to write a creation myth for the Shaedes, the Lyhtans became part of that myth. After that, I sort of went crazy. I figured if I had these unusual characters, I might as well feature a few more supes who aren’t always in the spotlight. So I threw in a Jinn, an Oracle, and a couple of Sylphs and ran with it. 
Q: There's no denying that Darian is a badass. A skilled assassin with rapid healing abilities who can disappear right before your eyes is not someone that you want to mess around with. If there were any UF heroine who could hold her own in a fight against Darian, who would it be?
A: There are so many badass heroines out there that I adore and I know that all of them could hold their own with Darian. Since I just finished reading Lethal Rider, I’m going to say that I’d love to see Limos go head to head with Darian. It’s not like Darian could kill her since she’s a horseman (well, horsewoman) of the Apocalypse and all, but Limos is feisty and she’d totally give Darian a run for her money!
Q: Growing up, who were the heroines that you daydreamed about trading places with?
A: I remember wishing I could be Princess Leia. The first time I saw Star Wars I was completely awed. Here was this woman, a princess, with these great buns on the side of her head (hehe) and she was a total badass! She didn’t have any trouble bossing the boys around, she could shoot a gun, and wasn’t afraid to give Darth Vader attitude! I really feel like her character is such an icon for women of my generation. It was one of the first times we really saw female empowerment in a main character. 
Q: Darian has two exceptional men who have fallen for her (lucky girl!). I know who Darian has chosen, but I'd like to know which type you are more likely to be drawn to. The arrogant, confident, ruggedly handsome alpha male? Or the man who is loyal, attentive, and supermodel gorgeous? 
A: Honestly, both types have their allure. ;) But I think the reality of the alpha male doesn’t always mesh with what we see in fiction. Intensity can be attractive, and alpha males are very intense. But alphas bring a lot of drama to the table. The loyal, attentive guy is always going to be stable. You can count on him. The thing I love about writing Tyler and Xander is the fact that they’re sort of polar opposites. Wow, I don’t think I can give you a straight answer to this question! LOL! Ruggedly handsome alpha or loyal, attentive supermodel. I’ll take both, please!!
Q: How many books are planned for this series and have you already decided how Darian's journey will end? 
A: Right now, I’m contracted for three books. I could see myself writing as many as seven books in Darian’s series (I’ve also got a couple of spin-offs plotted). I have a general idea of how I’d like the series to end, and I’m really going to have to flex my world-building muscles before I can figure out exactly how I’d like to pull it off!
Q: Why torture us with that heartbreaking ending? <-- This was a question meant to tease Amanda, but she's such a good sport that she answered it anyways ;-) 
A: I don’t want to make Darian’s journey easy for her. Handing her an instantly perfect life would be a cop-out. She’s a character who truly doesn’t know how to live. She has to learn how to cope with problems the right way, how to trust people, how to own up to her mistakes. And she has to learn who the right man is for her and why. She’s got a lot of catching up to do in the life department. 
Q: Can you give us any hints about what we can expect in Crave the Darkness?   
A: Crave the Darkness is definitely a different story than both Shaedes of Gray and Blood Before Sunrise. It’s definitely a more emotional story, though Darian manages to get herself into a bit of trouble. ;) She gets to spend a lot of quality time with her favorite person: Anya. Anya’s gotten herself into a bit of trouble of her own in Crave the Darkness, and it’s Darian’s job to protect her. This book will be more of a turning point for Darian. She’s learning from her mistakes and finally realizing what it’s like to live life and not just go through the motions. But she’s still got a long journey ahead of her. Sometimes I feel bad that I’ve given her such a bumpy road to travel. 
Q: Can you share with us some of the women who have been an inspiration during your writing career? 
A: I come from a very matriarchal family. I was lucky to have a strong support system of women who encouraged me to go after what I wanted. One of my grandmas was an avid reader. She made sure my sister and I had library cards and she read to us every time we saw her. I’ve had great teachers who believed in me and encouraged me. I think it’s so important to have people in your life who believe in you and support you. 
Thank you, Amanda, for this amazing sequel and for taking the time out to answer these questions! You've been incredibly kind and I look forward to reading about Darian's next adventure.  
Thanks so much for having me as a guest on your blog!!!! You’re awesome! 

* * * Contest Rules * * *

For a chance to win a copy of Blood Before Sunrise, share with us a heroine that you've daydreamed about trading places with. 

Please leave your e-mail address
Must be a GFC follower or e-mail subscriber
US/Canada only (6/26 - 7/2)

Next stop on the tour (June 27th)


Jennifer L. Bielman said...

I want to trade places with Kate Daniels from The Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. Anything to be close to The Beast Lord.

GFC Follower: Jennifer Bielman

Cassandra (The Book and Movie Dimension blogger) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cassandra (The Book and Movie Dimension blogger) said...

Clary from The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare will have to be my pick.

She starts out unsure and slowly becomes a strong heroine.

A nice transformation.
Awesome author interview, Cat.

GFC Follower-Cassandra Ruiz

Carmel @ Rabid Reads said...

Great interview ladies. I was super psyched to hear that there's going to possibly be up to 7 books in this series. A-w-e-s-o-m-e! I love Darian and of course, Amanda is terrific as well. No need to enter me into the giveaway. Thanks. :)

Anonymous said...

I love Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.
She has blue hair, what's not to want?

Rebe said...

I'd love to be Mercy Thompson - who wouldn't want to be able to shift into a coyote? Plus, she doesn't take anything from anyone, which I love!


Na said...

I would like to trade places with Cat from the Night Huntress series. She has Bones and her world sounds pretty cool even if it's often dangerous.


April Alvey said...

I Have Always Dreamed About Trading Places With Anita Blake Vampire Hunter. There Isn't Much That She Is Afraid Of. Shes Bold Brave Smart Sexy And Has Every Man And Woman Wanting Her. OH Yea I Want To Be Her. butterfli262002@yahoo.com

Natasha said...

I would like to trade places with Riley Jenson from the Riley Jenson Guardian series by Keri Arthur. Thanks for the chance to win!
natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

donnas said...

I would want to trade places with either Cat or Kate Daniels. Just to see whats its like. I wouldnt want to do it all the time. Both are strong characters with a great group around them.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Amanda Bonilla said...

If I could trade places with any UF heroine, I think I'd choose Mercy Thompson for sure. I looooove her! And maybe Xhex. Because it wouldn't be awful to hang out with John Matthew for a day! ;) Thanks again for having me on your blog today, Cat!

molly.frenzel said...

I've daydreamed about trading places with Cat from the Night Huntress series many times.

GFC: Molly Frenzel

Barbara E. said...

I'd love to trade places with Jenn Bennett's Arcadia Bell, since she doesn't get too mistreated, has some awesome magic and has a fantastic boyfriend. :D

Barbed1951 at aol dot com

Bethany C. said...

I'd like to be Faythe Sanders- Marc Ramos, please!


books4me said...

I want to be Serena Kelley because Wraith is sooo hot and moody and yummy! (Pleasure Unleased, book 3 in the Demonica series by Larissa Ione)!

GFc: books4me

books4me67 at ymail dot com

Jamie Leigh Martin said...

Stephanie Plum!
Following via GFC :: Jamie Martin jamielovesweeping@gmail.com

Julie Holmes said...

Sookie Stackhouse...sure wouldn't mind getting my hands on Eric ;) Or maybe Mercy Thompson. Love those books! Great Giveaway, Thanks!


Amber I @ Awesomesauce said...

Oh man! That is just so hard. I could trade with Cat to get my hands on Bones or maybe Daisy to get my hands on Ian. And well this would be my reason to probably trade places with lots of these heroines.

awesomesaucebooks at gmail dot com

Denise Z said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Denise Z said...

Ha! got carried away with my comment and thinking so hard forgot to leave the deets LOL
I immediately started to say Anita Blake, but then I am not so sure I could emotionally handle all she does LOL, per haps Mercy Thompson would be a better choice. Besides I would like to be able to shapeshift like she does :) Thank you for the fun and awesome giveaway opportunity!
GFC (Denise Zaky) and email follower :)

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