Friday, May 9, 2014

Feature Author: Lila Veen

Feature Author Lila Veen
Lila Veen is a crazy cat lady living in the Chicagoland area. In addition to four cats, she also has two dogs named after people, two kids named after pets, and a husband who is named after a serial killer. She likes to read, cook, do outdoor things she has no business doing, community theater, hang with her family and watch awful reality shows on television. 

Author Interview
1.       Where are you from?
Chicago, IL – born, raised, and residing!  I’ll probably die here, too.

2.       What do you do when you’re not writing?
I have a day job in IT (yawn).  When I’m not trying to make a living by writing or crunching numbers, I participate in Community Theater, trapeze, and of course spending time with my beautiful two children and awesome husband. 

3.       Where do the ideas for your books come from?
I’m totally influenced by VC Andrews and it shows!  But I read everything, so you’ll find a little sci-fi, a little fantasy, a lot of suspense, and a whole epic ton of family drama.
4.       What book are you reading now?
I’m reading “White Fire” by Preston/Child, which is an installment in the Pendergast series.  I love series.

5.       What was the hardest part in writing?
Finishing!  The ideas are all there but throwing it together is always the hardest part.  I know where I want to go next but I have a harder time focusing on “right now.”

6.       What was your favorite part of writing?
Putting the ideas together and then veering from the intended path when I come up with something even better.

7.       What are your current projects?
I have a completed contemporary romance that needs a cover and an erotic thriller that needs an ending.  The contemporary romance is called “This Time” and it takes place during a college musical theater show (life influence much?).  The erotic thriller is still coming together, and is a little bit on the sci-fi side.  It’s tentatively titled “Empathy.”

8.      Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Currently I have an erotic suspense novel called “Killing Kate” that’s short but well received.  It was my first book and admittedly I didn’t really know what I was doing in terms of categorization.  I tried to pass it off as a romance but people were truly upset by the lack of a HEA (oops.)
My Blackwater series has three books – “Burning for You,” “Drowning in a Dream,” and “The Air That I Breathe.”  It’s about a supernatural group of people and centered around one crazy family and their drama.  There are several storylines woven together and a ton of characters.  If you enjoy epic family drama, it’s definitely an awesome and thrilling read!

9.       Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Everything I write is mostly for my amusement, and I publish to share my amusement for your entertainment.  That being said, I’m sure my writing isn’t for everyone, but I love feedback and knowing what makes my readers tick and react.  I’ve gotten bad reviews before that have made me smile, only because I know I made someone react and feel strongly about something.  To me, that’s a victory.  That’s what I love the most about writing.

~~**OK…. Now that all the serious questions are out of the way, let’s have some fun**~~

10.   What is your most embarrassing moment?
This is dumb, but third grade science class, we had a presentation in slide show format.  We had to make an accompanying cassette tape to go along with the slides.  It was my first cassette recorder and I would wander around the house recording myself all the time.  On presentation day, I switched the presentation audio tape with one of my singing Harry Belafonte’s “Daio.”

11.    What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket list”?
I want to take a Burlesque class and perform a burlesque dance live in front of an audience. 

12.    If you could be any flavor of ice cream what flavor would you be and why?
Can’t I just tell you my favorite flavor?  That’s so much easier!  Hmmmm, okay. 

13.    What is one thing that annoys you the most?
When people rub my eyebrows the wrong way.  Try it and get hurt!

14.    What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
I’m a super adventurous eater, so a lot of things I’ve had that I love would be considered strange to others.  I had brains in Morocco once, and I’m not entirely sure what animal they came from, so let’s go with that.

15.    Are you a morning or night person?
Definitely a night person.  I love staying up all night and sleeping in all morning. 

16.    What’s your favorite movie?
“Love and Death” which is an old, slapstick, Woody Allen movie.  It’s hilarious, and still makes me giggle until I’m snorting.

17.    Where is the worst place you could get stuck?
At my day job!

18.   Where would you go if you were invisible?
I’d sneak into the Academy Awards decision committee and win every Oscar pool.

19.    What is the one thing you own you wish you didn’t?
A really ugly above ground pool.  Seriously, it’s hideous, and takes up half the lawn.

20.   If you were stranded on a tropical island what 2 things would you want with you?
Can I choose husband and kids?  No?  Okay, fine.  My phone and liquid eyeliner, so I could call my rescue plane and look fabulous when they rescue me.

21.    If you could choose your nickname, what would it be?
“Skinny” duh!  Every woman wants to be called “Skinny”!  Hence why my real nickname is “Ms. Vanity.”

Books by Lila

Burning For You (Book 1)
I never intended to come back to Blackwater. Everything is the same. My mother is lost in her own world. My sister is wrapped up in her own perfect life, while mine is falling apart. My dad is long gone with no sign of coming back. But I have to get away from my husband, and it’s the only place I have left to go.

And then Ash Lavanne crashes into my world. Actually, I happen to crash into him, with my car. But something happens inside of me when I meet him. It changes everything I ever thought I knew about who I am. I’m a crafter, which is really just a fancy term for witch. I make things happen. Other crafters can do different things, but fire is my elemental, and so I can change things. It’s too complicated to get into, and I can’t even pretend to understand it, but I’m trying to learn.

On top of trying to wrap my head around my newfound powers, I’m trying to understand how this whole catalyst thing works. Ash is my catalyst, the person who ignites my craft. Just when I think things are making sense, I find out there’s someone else who ignites me. Think things can’t get any more complicated? Well, they can. It’s Ash’s brother Theo.

5 Amazing Stars
I have found a new favorite series!  I am a paranormal series junkie, so this book was right up my alley.  I loved how you are slowly introduced to the Crafting world with Leah as she returns to Blackwater.  Her return was completely unexpected(on her end) as she runs from her ex-husband.  She gets a less than warm welcome from her mom and you definitely start off the book hating her mother for the way she treats her.  I loved the progression of the book and the growth in Leah as she is discovering the world she was born into.  I am diving right into book 2, Drowning in a Dream, so keep reading for my next review!


Drowning in a Dream (Book 2)

Leah struggles with her emotions as her heart is torn in half by the two men who ignite her. As she battles her feelings for Theo and Ash, she searches for her father who may hold the answers to the history of the Coven.

Eleanor and Drew search for their kidnapped son in the heart of the Louisiana wilderness, while uncovering some family connections between Eleanor and Gabriel Locke.

Erika tries to cover her tracks after Ash reaches out to her for assistance. She is still heartbroken but her journey reveals that perhaps she doesn’t have to be for very long.

Olivia discovers there is a world waiting for her outside of Blackwater, and breaks out of her protective barrier to uncover it.

Follow the four women who were introduced in Book One of the Blackwater Saga, as they craft their way through the dangers that go hand in hand with being a part of the Coven.
4.5 Amazing Stars
Completely enjoyed being immersed in the Crafting world again.  After I finished the first book, I immediately dove right in to this one because I couldn't wait to find out what was happening with Leah, Theo, and Ash.  This book is a little different from the first because it switches POV.  I felt that even though the different POVs were related, we didn't get as much focus on Leah's journey as we did in Burning for You.  But the good news is that all of those POVs added to the story.  We continue to follow our favorite crafter's through twists and turns in their adventures and fall even more in love with them.  Continue reading for my review on book 3, The Air That I Breathe!


The Air That I Breathe (Book 3)

Torn between her love for Ash and Theo, Leah has to find balance. Held captive by Oscar Locke and locked away with Olivia, Leah struggles to understand who ignites her the most and who drives her powers as an elemental. She wants the fairy tale ending, but that’s impossible with two catalysts and one obstacle after another in the way of her happiness.

She’s carrying someone’s child, but whose? Ash or Theo’s? As Leah gets closer to Olivia, she learns the truth about her pregnancy and her future. But will it save her from Oscar Locke who is intent to destroy Leah and those who love her for his revenge? If they can escape captivity, can the tangled bond between Leah, Olivia, Ash, and Theo be unraveled?

As Leah’s story comes to a close, find out the fate of these four Crafters as they try and find peace in Blackwater.

4.5 Amazing Stars
Of the three books in the Blackwater Series, the first one was probably my favorite, but The Air That I Breathe definitely did not disappoint.  I continued to love the twists and turns in the plot and could not get enough of the story.  I am completely in love with the Crafter world that Lila Veen has created and love the characters even more.  She has done a wonderful job of making you feel like the characters are truly real. Lila will have you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire story anxiously waiting to find out what will happen next.

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