Laila Raimes Author Interview and Giveaway
Paranormal erotic/romance author Laila Raimes is here today with a fantastic interview. She is here to discuss her newest release from her Shifter Fates Series entitled Elle’s Justice. Please help me make her feel welcome.
Laila will be giving away a full set of the first three books of the series. Book 1 Elle’s Claim, Book 2 Adolf’s Request, Book 3 Declan’s Descent and $5.00 Amazon GC. Be sure to Comment on blog post and tell your friends in order to enter into the random drawing. A winner will be drawn and announced on Dec.23rd @ 5pm est.
Before we get into your book, let us talk about you.
I grew up in the Bronx and moved to upstate NY for my last year of high school. I’m a single mom now living in upstate NY with my soon to be 12 year-old son. I’m mostly an indie author–except for the Alt World Series– I write about strong heroines who have lived through or experienced something horrible from abuse whether physical, sexual, or emotional, to depression, but fight, struggle and conquer it all, in a paranormal erotica/romance setting.
- Do you have a day job as well? Yes, I work as a customer service rep during the day.
- What is your favorite color? Green.
- Do you have any unique talents or hobbies? (besides writing) Knitting
- How do you spend your spare time? With my soon to be 12 year old son and writing/reading.
- Who is/are your biggest supporter(s)? My youngest sister and my brother who is older than me.
- If you weren’t an author what would you be? A single mom with more time on her hands J
- If you could live in any time period which would you choose and why?
- When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book? Started writing about 15 years ago. First book finished 14 years ago.
- How did you choose the genre you write in? I read a lot of different genres, but always loved the paranormal because anything is possible. I can allow my imagination to run wild without limits.
- Is there a genre/subgenre that you haven’t written that you would like to try? New adult.
- Where do you get your ideas? The first book I wrote which is not published is a sci-fi book and it came to me in a dream. But the others have come from thoughts I’ve had in the past, or things I would like to read.
- What comes first, your characters story or the plot line for the book? The main characters background.
- Do you ever experience writer’s block? Yes.
- Do you work with an outline, or just write? I’m what I call a free-flow writer or a winger. I do not use an outline. I see where I want the story to go, I see the setting, and scenes. And I let the characters take me there.
- Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult? I love the Pip and Flinx series by Alan Dean Foster when I was younger. That was if not the first book, surely the most memorable book that I visualized and experienced as I read it.
- Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published? Writing a salivating query. Those are so difficult for me.
- If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change? Honestly, if I realized self-publishing before having one of my series traditionally published, I would’ve gone that route for so many reasons.
- How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre? Marketing/promoting is definitely one of the toughest tasks in the business. I have a PA who is amazing, Nathalie Raven of Raven PA. But I also post promos to over a hundred FB groups in search of a wider audience. It is not only time consuming it is mind numbingly boring. But has to be done. I also join events and parties of other authors or blogs or just about anything that will have me. That I love doing because I can interact with readers and meet new people.
- Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published? With self-publishing being a new route there really isn’t a reason you can’t be published if you want to be. However, my sci-fi book that was the first that I wrote hasn’t been picked up when I tried to have it traditionally published years ago.
- Can you tell us about your upcoming book? I am finishing the fourth and final book for my self-published Shifter Fates series. This book will delve into the war and bring the readers into realms never before visited. It has twists that so far even I haven’t seen coming.
- Who has been your favorite character thus far? Sundry from Tiny Tragedies – The Sundry Files (An Alt World Book) she’s gone through so much in her short lifetime and she’ll experience so many highs and lows before she finally finds out who she really is. But in the end she’ll be so much stronger for it.
- Who has been the hardest character to write about? Declan from my Shifter Fates series. What character has given you the most trouble? Declan, because I’ve had to try and bring the readers into his world without him actually voicing his point of view, while at the same time allowing his actions and behavioral traits draw you in so that you come to care for him as well as the other main characters.
- What character, that you haven’t written/released yet, are you most looking forward to sharing with your readers? Cami, she’s going to be an interesting one to finish writing. Her difficulties will stem from someone close to home and she’ll lose the ones that love her at a very young age. Nothing in her life will be happy, or come easy, not until she’s freed and meets her Governed Mate. BTW, that is the name of my next series. Governed Mates. Each book will be a standalone, but most likely interconnected.
- If you could be any one of your characters who would you choose? Micah Everheart from Mate-Staken Identity Why? She’s an abomination according to most. Being a dual natured shifter is her first ‘mistake,’ but Micah also has many other ‘freaky’ powers, some that I would love to have, like telekinesis, telepathy, and more.
- What project are you working on now? The final book in the Shifter Fates main story entitled Elle’s Justice. Though this main story will be done, there are supporting characters that are yelling at me to give them their own books that will most likely be novellas.
- What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? One of the first reviews left on Goodreads.com was a reader who absolutely despised Shifter Fates – Elle’s Claim to the point that she boycotted all of my books and suggested that everyone else should too!
- What has been the best compliment? I had a friend/blogger tell me that my Mate-Staken Identity book renewed her love of paranormal books. She stated she’d stopped reading them after being disappointed with the ending of the Charlene Harris, Suki books.
- What is the last book you read? Last book I read was ‘Never love an outlaw by Nicole Snow.’ Are reading now? No, I’ve been threatened with a whip if I don’t finish up Elle’s Justice. Looking forward to reading? Yes, very much so. I have a long list of TBRs in my Kindle so it will be nice reading for a change.
- How do you decompress after typing The End on a book? Decompress? What’s that?
- What is the best way to celebrate are a book release? With friends and family, a good FB event and lots of games, interaction, and giveaways!
Tell me about your book/release, (title). Shifter Fates – Elle’s Justice
- Give us a 30-word or less tagline: In the final chapter of Elle and her three mates, not only is the war for the Earthly realm ongoing, but the full extent of Tiel’s treachery is revealed.
- Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book? Lovers of Paranormal Erotica/Romance, those who love myths and fairy tales.
- How did you come up with the title of your book or series? I knew the series had something to do with someone messing with the ‘fate’ of shifters so it seemed pretty easy. The subtitles were also meant to reveal a small bit about what that book would entail.
- Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork? Jackie Sheets designed the cover and while it is not yet out for this interview it will be spectacular.
- Tell me about your Hero and Heroine? Ealera, aka Elle is a hybrid supernatural, won’t tell you exactly what, because you only find that out in the end of the first book Elle’s Claim. But she is or thought she was the 2nd most powerful being in the Earthly realm. Turned out she was wrong. She has three mates all wolf shifters, one named Cole, the oldest, Jaxon the second sibling, and Declan the third and youngest by 3 minutes… Yes triplets that look nothing alike. More than that, is that Declan is not solely shifter. He’s actually part Daemon, or Daemon-god to be exact.
Tiel her uncle has started tearing the earthly realm apart and has opened up some of the others. But the question is, was the Earthly realm the goal he set out to enslave, or did he have his sights set on a loftier location?
- Who is your favorite character from your book and why? Elle of course. Why is because, she thought she was the strongest out there, yet there were outside forces that in a way caused her to humble herself. She never knew her parents, both died the day she was born. She was raised by her uncle Tiel, who was her mother Leara’s brother. In the beginning of the first book, she is the 2nd strongest being in the realm. And still she finds herself kidnapped, beaten and raped. She loses her memory and it take her three mates to help her remember who she is. She’s tough enough to decide not to let that experience stop her from being happy and living her life. In book two, she has another heartbreak in the form of losing a loved one. Again, she does her best to pick up the pieces. She goes through her daily life outwardly mourning while still taking care of her children and her massive pack. Book three she finds out just how far her uncle Tiel’s deception has gone in the revelation that not only does her mate Declan have daemon blood in him, but he’s The Daemon, the one and only Mercurial. You’ll have to read the 4th to see what this means and what happens.
- Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series: This is the ‘first generation’ series. Elle is pregnant with 5 pups that have an interesting set of DNA, so all I can say is there will be good, bad, and some downright ugly situations these kids get themselves into in the future.
- How can we contact you or find out more about your books? Aside from the links I’ve listed, I love meeting new friends and hearing from readers. So I’m always available to drop a quick email or to chat at Laila.Raimes@gmail.com
Facebook Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/LailaRaimesAuthor
Website – http://lailaraimes.weebly.com/
Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8645398.Laila_Raimes
Twitter – @raimes_laila
9. What can we expect from you in the future? The sequel to Tiny Tragedies has about 6% left before I send it to my editor. Then I have a sequel to Mate-Staken Identity (A Micah Everheart Novel) which will be a fun ride as it goes past the mating ritual and into their lives as agents of the SIA-supernatural intelligence agency-in the fight against the Shanks. I have a new series entitled Governed Mates in which each book will be a standalone novel, the first book will be subtitled Purrfect Hell.
10.What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful? Leaving a review on amazon.com and goodreads.com goes a long way and it means so much to me and all authors. Also telling friends/family who have the same tastes in books is helpful.
11. Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published? Persevere if you want to be traditionally published. Work harder if you’re going for self-publishing. The indie community is so supportive it’s amazing. But remember the readers who take a chance are comparing self-published to traditionally published and they expect the same quality. It was a learning experience for me, and I would do a lot of things differently if I could start over. In fact, I’m currently working on what I feel needs to be updated. Write a good story, get it edited, take the time to find a cover artist, join groups on FB, ask other authors/readers for advice. Don’t be afraid to get a bad review. I got a particularly nasty one for Elle’s Claim in which the reviewer not only boycotted any future books, but was rallying for others to do the same. I laugh at it now, but I it stung in the beginning. Know that not everyone is going to like your book, and that’s ok. It’s also ok if you never become a bestseller. I’m not but I still enjoy what I do. I love meeting new people and those that like my books. It’s those relationships that seem to make me feel like an author. And above all, keep striving to become better. Read between writing, must keep feeding your brain. I think that’s enough, lol.
- Think about your book. You realize that we all read books at different paces, with varying amounts of distractions. Is there a particular part of your book that you want to highlight– not because it is your favorite – but because you want to encourage your readers to read it carefully and get all the details?
- Is there anything else you’d like to say? I want to thank all my readers, my street team Laila’s Fierce Females, my PA Nathalie Raven, my PA supporters who while I don’t pay them, they support me and help promote me when they can. All my author friends who have encouraged me, friended me, supported me and even taken a chance on me. And all the blogs that have taken the time to read/review my books and interview me. Thank you all with all my heart. XO.
- And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:
The last book Declan’s Descent ended with Elle here:
My thoughts seemed to be swimming in a pool of fog and oil. I couldn’t put a clear thought together except that I was shivering; freezing.
And then I wasn’t.
Warmth spread over me and into me until my temperature returned to normal. Little by little my head cleared. The first realization I had was that I was wrapped in someones arms. I felt so comfortable I leaned into them and released a soft sigh as I closed my eyes. Quickly however, I was trying to free myself of the arms as my second realization came to me and all the memories flooded back to me and I began struggling in earnest.
The arms released me and I stumbled to my feet and began running until I realized I had no idea where I was. I turned around and there He was. Calmly standing there, gaging my reaction with a slight gleam in his eye.
My hand moved to rest over my throat and as my legs gave out, I slid to the ground. Closing my eyes I recalled the story of the onetime Heaven and Hell joined forces. Were forced to join forces if they were to survive. Survive from Hellfire’s reign of terror in each and every realm, including Hell and Heaven. Survive from The Daemon-god born from Hellfire. The one that could tip the scale of power and unbalance the universe. The one that could have ended it all.
“Mercurial,” I whispered.
Then, he smiled.
As quickly as that twinge of fear came, it left, and was replaced by nothing short of utter rage. I didn’t bother getting to my feet. I Sifted. Remaining invisible I shoved the fiery body that was Mercurial/Declan, or who-the-fuck-ever and yelled, “Who the fuck do you think you are?” But it wasn’t my voice that came out of my mouth. At least, not a voice I’d ever heard before. Everything shook and rumbled. Even the air seemed to jitter. But Mercurial didn’t budge. His nine foot four flaming body remained stagnant. The strength I put behind the shove meant nothing to him. He just stood there. Looking at me.
Looking. At. Me.
He could still see me even though I was supposed to be invisible. A surge of rage thrummed through my body, my muscles tightened, my hands fisted, and I released a roar so primal that it startled even me. There was no distinct single animal in it. It wasn’t just wolf. It was as if every single beast that had previously lived expressed their anger through me.
There was no point in remaining visibly invisible so I showed myself. I was breathing heavy, every muscle taut, my claws digging into my palms in an effort to keep from losing my mind and unleashing the fury I felt within my blood on… I looked around. Where the fuck am I?
I heard the crackling of flames die down. When I faced my newest nemesis I was no longer looking at a flaming body, but a male. An oh-so-very-sexy, hot, desirable male.
A flutter tickled in my lower belly. Heat spread from my core outward. My breath caught. I took a few steps back. I did not want to have these feelings for this daemon-god. How long my mind would remain sensible was yet to be seen. I was pretty sure it wouldn’t be long. For each step I took back, he took one forward until he must’ve decided he had enough of this cat and mouse game and I hit a wall.
An invisible wall.
Then he caged me in. His massive hands on the wall on either side of my face, his enormous body acting like a door. It was clear. I wouldn’t be exiting this situation anytime soon.
I kept my eyes on his lower chest refusing to look into his extremely perfect face or eyes. If I did, I knew I would’ve crawled up his massive body, freed his equally massive cock and had my wicked, deliriously, pleasurable way with him.
But he wasn’t having any of that. A thick, long, very sexy hand cupped my chin and gently lifted my face until I met his eyes.
I whimpered. “No, no, no,” I whispered.
His face was chiseled perfection. Sharp cheekbones, a granite jawline, a cleft in his chin, plush, soft looking lips. And his eyes. Oh gods, his eyes. They were close to a clear amber with molten gold flecks that seemed to shimmer and throb brighter every so often. His hair was past shoulder length, wavy, thick and a dark maroon with gold streaks sporadically placed within. I wanted to touch it. I wanted to run my hands through it. Help me. I wanted to yank his head back as I was fiercely riding him and bite that perfect jaw.
His eyes pulsed. The amber darkened. The molten gold brightened. And I knew I was lost to him. Because this here was not just Mercurial but also Declan. I felt him in his touch. The soft way he cupped my chin. The soft look in his yearning eyes. My Declan was in there. I just had to find out how to bring him back to me.
“Please. Don’t,” I whimpered out as I tried to pry my face away from his hand. He shook his head—slowly—from side to side, giving me the only warning I would get. But of course me being me, I had to find out the hard way.
I yanked my head to the side while pushing him with my powers. That did the trick. He flew backwards but maneuvered himself so that his feet stopped his momentum and he slid to a halt. He threw his head back and released a disappointed breath. When he lifted his head, it was to look at me with a scorching hot smoldering gaze.
I knew that gaze. Fuck. I may have been wearing the same one. I leaned farther into the invisible wall and spread my arms to my sides, reaching for an opening for me to slip through. But there was none.
It was my turn to shake my head. But all he did was give me a disarming smile and say, “Mine.”
Then he was on me. Silencing any protests with such a searing kiss I almost came on the spot. When he pulled away—leaving me a hot, needy, panting mess—he said, “Mine,” in a tone that was an affirmation.
But I was in love and one seriously hot daemon-god wasn’t enough to make me forget my mates. “And Jaxon’s, and Cole’s too,” I said.
I ignored the smooth baritone voice of his and said, “I’m Declan’s, Cole’s, and Jaxon’s. You are a hitchhiker.” I crossed my arms.
He looked at my motion with confusion on his face and asked, “Why?”
“Because they’re mine.”
“I’m yours.” He nuzzled into the crook of my neck. I shivered.
“Declan is mine,” my voice was very breathy.
“I am Declan,” the huskiness of his voice was nearly my undoing.
“Are you?” I asked, ignoring the fact that my hands went to his hips. And trying to ignore the fact that his moan made my insides quiver.
“We are one.” His dipped his tongue out and tasted my skin.
“No you are both occupying the same space, but you are not yet one. Not quite,” it all came out as a whisper. He ran his nose and lips up my neck and I squeezed my thighs together trying to dull the ache. This is wrong. So wrong.
“Stop,” I whispered. “Please,” that one was a little louder, a little sturdier.
Mercurial pulled back slightly, his nose grazing mine and stared into my eyes.
It was weird. I saw Declan in there. I didn’t have to use my mind’s eye to look for him, he was there. And I needed him desperately.
“Declan, please,” I knew I didn’t have to say anything else. I wanted him, Mercurial, but it felt wrong. They weren’t fully one. The proof was that I could see Declan within Mercurial’s eyes. No matter how my soul and body told me he was meant to be mine, it felt…like I was cheating. So, no. I couldn’t go through with this. Not with him. Not with Mercurial.
Mercurial dipped his head and took my lips in an intense kiss that I was powerless to stop. Then he pulled back with an expression that was both pained and understanding. His eyes morphed into a dark amber with flecks of gold and I knew that he had slipped into the background allowing Declan to surface.
The instant I knew he was there I jumped up his taller body and hugged him fiercely. He reciprocated, his arms now comparable to the size of original Declan’s legs. Huge. But proportionate.
I whimpered my need to him and thankfully he didn’t judge me. I felt horrible as it was knowing he was in there, watching me look like a sex-starved hussy.
“Don’t,” he said. I knew he had read my mind and while I was thankful that he didn’t blame me, I still blamed me. I nuzzled into his neck inhaling his scent, now stronger than ever before. I needed him so much. I couldn’t lose him. I had to find a way to either merge the two—imagine that…merging—or get rid of Mercurial so my Declan can return, fully. But I knew in my entire being that the latter was impossible. I wouldn’t be able to, I couldn’t disconnect the two. I had to face the facts. I just wasn’t strong enough.
A sharp nip to my neck tore me from my thoughts. Declan’s eyes were still with me though his body was new. And I desired him like nothing before. More so than when I was in heat, more so than when we mated.
Then I had a thought. And with that I attacked.