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Giveaway (US/Can): Burrowing into a vampire author’s grey matter with Tes Hilaire & Elisabeth Staab

Giveaway (US/Can): Burrowing into a vampire author’s grey matter with Tes Hilaire & Elisabeth Staab

by davincikittieJune 7, 2012

Please help me welcome authors Tes Hilaire and Elisabeth Staab!

So often we spend our time getting to know the character in a book, but what about the warped (Hey, who are you calling warped?!?) mind that created such a dark world. Today, in honor of our hosts here at GraveTells, Elisabeth and I decided to dive into the shady minds that brought you two very different and dark worlds. (Note from DVK: Wait, did you just call us all here at GraveTells warped? Mmmhmmm! I’m on to you both!) But before we proceed, a disclaimer…

The authors cannot be held responsible for any disturbed ideas you pick up from our psychic brainwaves. Any strange nightmares or burst bubbles of perception you have as a result from reading this are your own. Proceed with caution.

Tes: I’ll start off easy for you, Elisabeth, with a question on your preferences for Heroes: Tall Dark and Deadly or Golden God of Seduction?

Elisabeth: Uhm…Yes, please? LOL. I love them all. Thad, in King of Darkness is an alpha pretty boy with muscles, blond hair, and blue eyes, but he’s in crisis. He’s got a tortured spirit and a sensitive soul. I like to play with the unexpected inside of traditional packaging, and pushing my heroes to the edge. And you, Tes? I get a dark, gritty feel from your writing, and a brooding, barely contained quality from your heroes, am I close?

Tes: Brooding… Oh yeah. I think it goes with the whole dark and mysterious thing, which, I admit, I’m a sucker for. Even Logan, who is the hero for Deliver Me from Temptation, has a certain brooding quality to him. Future leader of the Paladin, his honor and duty drive his actions, but under it all is a man who wants for more. So when he meets his bond mate and realizes he might have to choose between love and duty… yeah, definitely some brooding, barely contained anger and frustration there. And since we’re talking about the hidden sides of things… Elisabeth: In your childhood, did you subscribe to beliefs in things like the Boogie man? And if so, tell us some of your scariest fears.

Elisabeth: Oh yeah, I am ALL about the stuff that goes bump in the night and lives under the bed. I was the one who told the ghost stories at slumber parties and pulled out the Ouija board or the Magic 8-ball for everyone to play with. I eventually stopped watching horror movies because they kept me from sleeping. I’d lay awake thinking of all the what-ifs. Were bees going to come out of my mirror and sting me to death? And forget about the circus, cuz I definitely don’t do clowns. Okay, Tes: Your world of the Paladin contains a cornucopia of supernatural creatures that appear to live undetected under the noses of humankind: vampires, sirens…did you set out to create a world that way, or did you start with one species and the rest just kind of showed up?

Tes: Truthfully? Deliver Me from Darkness was all about Roland, my tortured vampire. It wasn’t until I had the first few chapters written and Logan (Roland’s best friend) appeared in them that the world started to explode. I knew Logan was a warrior and that Roland had been one too until he was turned, but until I started researching I wasn’t sure what type of warriors they were or who the enemies were that they fought. Turns out it was more than just baddy vampires. Demons, Succubus/Incubus, the more-annoying-than-anything-else imps, and merkers (half demon’s fathered by a truly fallen Paladin) to name a few. Basically, if it has any sort of ties to hell it is or will be a baddy in my novels. And since we’re speaking of creatures and all things evil… Elisabeth: If you were trapped in a room with a creature of evil and one weapon, which creature would you choose to face and what would that weapon be?

Elisabeth: Gosh, that’s tough. What I’d really like, is a supernatural ability of some sort like my vampires have. The ability to stop time perhaps, or shoot fireballs like Thad. Stopping time would be my first choice, because then I can freeze the evil bad guy, and still whack off a few other things on my to-do list. I swear, there are NEVER enough hours in the day. Especially when you’re sidelined by evil creatures in a small room. Which leads me to…Tes: We’re both at-home parents. I, for one, sometimes find it tough to juggle (I drink a looot of coffee!). Vampires and evil wizards and deadlines vs school meetings and packing lunches…do you find it tough to balance?

Tes: Elisabeth, I’m going to let you slide on the superpower thing… As for me? I make my doppelganger do the dirty work. The laundry, the cooking, cleaning the bathrooms. She draws the line at parent teacher meetings though, can you believe it? I guess that’s not completely bad since I have a feeling the brain-fried state she exists in wouldn’t make a very good impression with school staff. Talk about bringing misfortune down on your kids. And on topics of misfortune…Elisabeth: I’m sure you’ve heard of the Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times. I know we write about such things, but would you want to live in such a time? And if so, would you want to live in the world of your stories?

Elisabeth: The world in King of Darkness is probably a little too interesting for my tastes, as enticing as trappings like hot-blooded, fanged-up, bad boys would be.The world outside of the relative security of the vampire estate is full of mercenary evil and things that are out to kill and I admit I prefer the relative safety of suburbia. That said, part of my research involved studying monarchies in places like Nepal where that sort of thing isn’t too far away from reality. In the capital city life is more or less safe, but outside of that there used to be a civil war going on and it wasn’t safe in rural areas. So I acknowledge that I’m lucky, and I do pull shards of what I write from other realities. Tes: If your hero and heroine had “their” song, what would it be?

Tes: Okay… believe it or not this is the hardest question you’ve asked. I think, for me, my couples have more of an album, or a sound. I listened to a lot of different music while writing Deliver Me from Darkness. The heavy doses included musicians such as Coldplay, The Fray and even some Nine Inch Nails. Different songs spoke to me at different points in their emotional journey. I guess, if I had to choose just one of them, I think it would have to be Yellow by Coldplay. Something about the mood of the song had me playing it over and over again when I was getting ready to write the highly emotional scenes between them. Maybe it was the obvious love and devotion “Look how they [stars] shine for you…”, maybe it was the sacrifice “For you I bleed myself dry… “ but it just seemed to fit for them. Phew… don’t ask me why, but that was painful… so since misery loves company … Elisabeth: You’re alone on a dark street in the city. The streetlamps have burned or been busted out. What did it? And what happens next?

Elisabeth: I’m a vampire, and my body is cold with the nearness of evil wizard vibes. Probably one who has the power to control electricity, or something along those lines. Or maybe he’s just kickin’ it old school and he busted out the lights with a weapon of some kind. So I wait, I listen, and I quietly screw the silencer on my MK23. Gun in one hand, knife in the other, I stretch my preternatural vision until I can make out the guy. He thinks he’s hidden in a doorway, but I’ve got better vision in the dark. I go invisible and creep around the side of a car. Soon as I’m on him, BAM! Butt of the gun to his face breaks his nose. He’s disoriented and bleeding, then out comes the knife, and I take him down. Hardly broke a sweat and the poor newbie bastard didn’t see it comin’ (Bonus points if anybody knows which character’s point of view this was written from!). Tes: Let’s talk about a different kind of action–establishing sexual chemistry between your characters. You’ve got a strong pairing for your next book, was it tough to make them *nudge, wink, ahem* come together?

Tes: Wow… I’m blushing… I won’t even tell you where my mind just went. Anywho…Yes, both Logan and Jessica are very strong personalities. Logan, being the last full-blooded Paladin has been raised to be a leader and Jessica, being a homicide detective is used to pushing people to the limit to get answers as she fights for justice for those who no longer can. The chemistry was never a problem between these two. Hot plus hot equals hotter, right? The problem, as you say, was making them come together. Jessica is not very trusting by nature, and Logan, well he knows, logically, that it is most likely best for both of them if he walks away. But neither of them can do that, the bond pulling at them is too strong. Needless to say it makes for some great sexualy charged moments with all kinds of conflicted thoughts and emotions. For the steamier stuff though…well you’ll have to read the book. Elisabeth: Okay, I’ll be nice and end on an easy one. Well, kind of. If you had to pick just one female protagonist from your Darkness or Power books (including secondary characters) who would you be and why?

Elisabeth: I like them all for different reasons. They’re each powerful in their own ways. I think, truthfully, Alexia, Queen Isabel’s best friend is my favorite. She’s a music lover, which makes her a woman after my own heart. She’s also scrappy, and tenacious. At the beginning of King of Darkness she goes from being the human friend of a vampire living in the human world, to being the only human on an estate full of vampires. In book 2, Prince of Power, we see that isolation begin to chip away at her, but she fights against it. Tes: What part of either of your books was the hardest to write? The easiest?

Tes: Oh, this is easy. The easiest thing to write is the ending. The hardest part is getting there. See, I always have a general idea of where the story is going, in fact I often have pages upon pages of outlines and mini scenes written before I truly delve into the novel. You’d think this would mean the entire novel would be easy to write, but the thing is my characters have other ideas. I can’t tell you the number of times I’m writing happily along and then one of my characters puts the brakes on, folding their arms, shaking their heads, with a big “nuh-uh, no-way” on their lips. When that happens there is no talking to them. It’s their way or the highway, which means I often have a lot of scrambling to do to catch up to their wavelength and figure out not only what the heck they want, but how to make it happen and still drive them to the climax *cough, clear throat* (jeez, see what you did to me Elisabeth? *Elisabeth cackles with glee*) that I need them to reach. The reward, obviously, is when I get to the end of the book and everything falls into place. Writing that last third is such a wonderful experience… for me obviously, not them, as it’s also their black moment. Oh, payback is so sweet at times. 😀

About the authors

Elisabeth Staab still lives with her nose in a book and at least one foot in a fantasy world. Her bestselling paranormal romance novel, King of Darkness, is available now. Her second book, Prince of Power, releases in January. Find out more at 

Read GraveTells’ review of King of Darkness here!

Tes Hilaire’s idea of a perfect vacation would include her porch on a sultry summer night, a good glass of rich, red wine, and a book about darkness, passion, torture and love. Her first novel in the Paladin warriors series, Deliver Me from Darkness, is available now. The next, Deliver Me from Temptation, releases in December. For more, visit

Read GraveTells’ review of Deliver Me From Darkness here!

More about the books

A stranger in the night…
He had once been a warrior of the Light, one of the revered Paladin. A protector. But now he lives in sin darkness, and the shadows are his sanctuary. Every day is a struggle to overcome the bloodlust. Especially the day Karissa shows up on his doorstep. 

Comes knocking on the door…
She is light and bright and everything beautiful—despite her scratches and torn clothes. Every creature of the night is after her. So is every male Paladin. Because Karissa is the last female of their kind. But she is his. He may not have a soul, but he can’t deny his heart.


Buy on…
Amazon (Kindle, paperback)

Scorned by the vampire community for her lack of power, Isabel Anthony lives a carefree existence masquerading as human—although drifting through the debauched human nightlife, she prefers the patrons’ blood to other indulgences. But when she meets the sexy, arrogant king of the vampires, this party-girl’s life turns dark and dangerous. 

Dead-set on finding the prophesied mate who will unlock his fiery powers, Thad Morgan must find his queen before their race is destroyed. Their enemies are gaining ground, and Thad needs his powers to unite his subjects. But when his search leads him to the defiant Isabel, he wonders if fate had gotten it seriously wrong…

Buy on…

Amazon (Kindle, paperback)

Giveaway (US/Can)

Thank you for joining us today! One lucky commenter will win a signed copy of Tes Hilaire’s Deliver Me from Darkness, and another will win Elisabeth Staab’s King of Darkness.
To enter to win, leave a comment or question on this post for Elisabeth or Tes, then fill out the Rafflecopter.
Remember, you need to leave your comment in the Comments area of this post, not in the Rafflecopter itself. If you cannot see the Comments area and are viewing this from our main Feed page, click the title of the post then scroll down to the bottom. Good luck!

Note: This giveaway is only open to readers with physical mailing addresses in the US and Canada. Sorry internationals, we’ll get you guys back in the game next time!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About The Author
Sue "DaVinciKittie" Brown-Moore is a veteran romance blogger and reviewer and the primary voice for Sue has been shamelessly pimping book boyfriends since 2010 and has won several blogging awards with GraveTells. Sue is also a freelance Developmental Editor passionate about helping authors bring out the best in their stories. She loves reading romance, fantasy, and sci-fi and edits any genre she reads for pleasure. You can follow Sue's editing blog, with tips and tricks for authors, at
  • June 7, 2012 at 7:01 am

    1. So whom do I blame for my disturbed ideas….lol??

    2. Would be wonderful to review both books at The Reading Cafe…looking forward.

    Thank you for this opportunity

    • Elisabeth Staab
      June 7, 2012 at 1:18 pm

      Hi, Sandy! Thanks so much for checking out the interview! Tes and I are both published through Sourcebooks, the PR department should be able to hook you up with reviewer copies, I think! Also, if you’re on net galley, the sequels for both books will e up shortly!

  • LorettaLynn
    June 7, 2012 at 7:37 am

    That was really fun to read:) I am looking forward to reading these 2 books and for reals i loved the post:)

    • Elisabeth Staab
      June 7, 2012 at 12:10 pm

      Im so glad you enjoyed the interview, thank you for taking the time to read it! I hope you enjoy our books even more!

  • June 7, 2012 at 7:55 am

    I love finding new books to check out and these look awesome. I especially love when there are other supernaturals involved in the world and the story.

    So I pose this to you both: where does your inspiration come from?

  • Lori Francis
    June 7, 2012 at 8:46 am

    That was awesome and fun to read!!!!

  • Susan W.
    June 7, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Elisabeth, I totally agree about clowns. They just creep me out!

    Tes, I love finding out when an author has a play list they listened to when writing a book. Although it usually costs me money because I have to buy the songs!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • June 7, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Hello all! Thanks so much for stopping in today 🙂 Sandy, you get to blame your own imagination, how about that? 😉 Buffy, remember those warped minds I mentioned? 😉 jk, sorta, truthfully for me the inspiration for my stories all start with my hero and heroine. Figuring out what their internal conflicts are and what their character ARC’s will be is the foundation for their stories. It’s after I have this nailed down that the real fun begins. Brainstorming, research…experimentation….it’s all part of developing the world their story will take place in and developing an external conflict that will spiral them towards the black moment I need for the climatic ending. Fun, right?

    • June 7, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      I can understand that…my characters also seem to come to me first before anything else does. Then their story evolves around them as I start building the world they live in.

      I know that may seem like a boring question, but I really love learning how authors come up with the stories they create, as they can be so unique or intricate, and it’s fun to find out how people think and write 🙂

      • Elisabeth Staab
        June 8, 2012 at 7:21 am

        Not boring at all! There are so many answers. Mine sort of pop into my head, and then leave me trying to figure out who they are, if that makes any sense. They don’t make it easy, lol!

  • LadyVampire
    June 7, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Great post. I loved hearing your answers to each other’s questions. Here’s another question for you though… What inspired you to become an author? Or is there another author/writer in the family?

    • June 7, 2012 at 9:37 am

      Do text books count? If so, both my father and my hubby have written those… That said, writing fiction is a whole different world, and takes a whole different side of the brain too! (and we already know which one that is, so I won’t repeat) For me, I’ve always loved to read and have always had a vast imagination. Poems, short stories, diaries and journals, I did it all as a kid.I never really thought to make my career out of it though (figuring it was a hobby and not viable for a career) and went to college and got my BS degree in Biology. It wasn’t until I was a stay at home mom that I had time to return to my “hobby” that I found once more the joy of delving deep into my imagination. I’ve been a storyteller ever since 😉

  • Delphina
    June 7, 2012 at 9:24 am

    I love discovering new reads! Thank you!

  • Tanyaw1224
    June 7, 2012 at 9:35 am

    These 2 ladies have some great sounding books. I’d love a chance at winning one. I’m so glad for paranormal authors out there…I don’t know what Id do without them…lol Thanks for the giveaway and the post.

    • June 7, 2012 at 1:04 pm

      Thank you, Tanya! And I hope you get a chance to grab them up! Keep a watch on our Darkness Tour for more chances to win too 😉 Happy reading!

  • Phyllis Marshall
    June 7, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Wow! Tes, you and Elisabeth have def outdone yourselves and have to say that this is probably the best interaction I have ever read on a blog between authors. It was very interesting to see just how ‘warped’ your minds truly are and that, my dears is why I love you both, because it translates to your stories and characters. Elisabeth, your answer to Tes question in what would you do on the dark street and what caused it….Wicked good!! And I am embarrassed to say I dont know definitively, but would that POV be Sid?
    Tes, your choice of music for DMFD is right up my alley. Love Coldplay, The Fray and I am a NIN girl, especially from the “Year Zero” albumn.
    Elisabeth, you already know I am a HUGE Alexia fan too and I am waiting patiently for her book (HINT!!!) She kind of reminds me of Kenzi on “Lost Girl”….

    Thanks you guys.

    Oh, and I did I mention that both these books are amazingly wonderful and you all are going to love them!!

    • Elisabeth Staab
      June 7, 2012 at 12:02 pm

      Phyllis, that was an awesome guess! Yes, the only two vampires it could have been are Siddoh and Tyra-both can turn invisible, but Tyra carries a smaller gun. You get the gold star “Darkness” vampire fan award for that one (it’s an award I just made up, so there/ not a prize per se but lots and lots of hand clapping)!

    • June 7, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      Ah! Shucks, Phyllis. You make me blush 😉 Thanks so much for all your support!

  • Allison Motherway
    June 7, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Do you ever change the direction of a story to be completely different than your original plan after getting helfway through writing it?

    • June 7, 2012 at 12:57 pm

      Allison… would you believe I’ve written an entire book before I finally admitted a major part wasn’t working? Yup… Been there, done that. Beyond that, there are zillions of times when I find I have to change direction in a story and often end up scratching entire scenes because of it. It’s the problem with working with hard-headed characters. They want what they want when they want it. Sigh…

  • Wendy Higgins
    June 7, 2012 at 11:18 am

    hi there…I already have Tes’s book…almost done with it btw..and I am looking forward to the next one..great job Tes. I have not read anything from Elisabeth so I would love to win her book. Thank you for this contest and great interview!

    • June 7, 2012 at 12:58 pm

      Hope you’re loving it, Wendy! Crossing fingers that you’ll get your hands on KOD from one of these stops. It’s an awesome read 😉 Thanks for stopping in!

  • Viki S.
    June 7, 2012 at 11:32 am

    I really enjoyed the q & a. You guys are funny. I so agree with Tess: I make my doppelganger do the dirty work. The laundry, the cooking, cleaning the bathrooms. – After having just finished cleaning bathrooms I’d kill for a doppelganger ;).

    Thank you.


    • Elisabeth Staab
      June 7, 2012 at 11:57 am

      Lol! My kids are too young for that I’m afraid. If Tes weren’t so cool I would have to be insanely jealous of her. 😉 thank you for coming by today!

      • June 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm

        Hmmm… Elisabeth…. I’d say you’re brilliant to consider using kids as dooplegangers… but I can tell you from experience that it’s often more work than if I’d done it myself. Teaching kids to clean has taught me to truly appreciate what their teachers must go through!

  • Elisabeth Staab
    June 7, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Wow, thanks for all the great responses, everyone! I’m stuck answering from my iPad today because I spilled coffee on my laptop but I will try to answer some of the other comments as well. And many thanks to GraveTells for hosting us today!

  • Faith
    June 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Which of your characters do you see yourself in the most?

    • Elisabeth Staab
      June 7, 2012 at 1:23 pm

      I think, oddly enough, there/ a little share of me in each character I write. So I think it’s hard to choose a single one. Usually say I identify most with my only human character, alexia, but I think that answer changes depending on my mood, too.

    • June 7, 2012 at 1:24 pm

      Oh… That’s a hard one, Faith. I think, for me at least, that there is a little bit of me in every character. Or rather, a little be of the me I’d like to be. If I had to pick out of all the characters I’ve ever written… well, that would be Tahlea… a dragon rider in an Epic Fantasy I wrote ages ago which is currently chewing space on my hard drive! LOL! Sorry, no peeks at that one! It was a great story, but I had a lot to learn 😉

  • Chelsey
    June 7, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    I really enjoyed your interview! I always wonder about these types of things while reading books, ie. how hard was it to write in the first place. Something that takes us minutes to read may have taken days to write! I find that extraordinary…

    Thanks Again!

    • Elisabeth Staab
      June 7, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      Glad you enjoyed the interview! You’re right, we authors definitely can’t write as fast as we read. King of Darkness actually took over a year. 🙂

  • Christy M
    June 7, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Hey Ladies! That was a “disturbed” interview…but totally funny to me, so i guess i am the disturbed one! I cant wait for the next books in both these series…I love both of them (so dont enter me for the contest)!


  • bn100
    June 7, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Very fun interview. How did you celebrate when the book was released?

    • June 7, 2012 at 8:11 pm

      I believe there was champagne involved… wait, I’m thinking of “the call” On book release day I went around to all my local bookstores and signed stock! Heady and nerve wracking to approach the sales peeps and say ‘uh, hi, I’m the author and I’d like to sign my books you have in stock’…. Frankly, I’d rather be in that street w/ the knocked out lights!

  • June 7, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    You guys are a riot!! This is one of the most fun and creative guest spots we’ve ever had. Great job!!

    And I am REALLY looking forward to both sequels, Prince of Power and Deliver Me From Temptation. I was lucky enough to get to help Tes beta read DMFT and you guys (readers) are in for a treat! <3 Logan And of course, as soon as King of Darkness ended, I waned MORE! Can’t wait to see what Thad and the crew are up to… and where the missing peeps have gone off to!!

    Tes and Elisabeth, thank you so much for coming up with such a great post and for inviting GT to be on your Darkness tour. It’s been a, ahem, pleasure!

    • June 7, 2012 at 8:15 pm

      Thank YOU! We loved stopping in and truly appreciate you sharing your wonderful grave tells peeps with us!

    • Elisabeth Staab
      June 8, 2012 at 6:59 am

      Thank you so much! We are honored that you were willing and able to host part of the Darkness tour, and we had so much fun doing the interview! Would you believe Tes and I hadn’t met until RT2012? And thank you so, so much for the lovely, thoughtful review of King of Darkness. I truly appreciated it, and I hope you enjoy Prince of Power even more. I feel like it’s an even better book, so I’m very excited for the release! Thank you again for having us, and we would be happy to come back any time!

  • Laurie
    June 7, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Thank you ladies for a great interview! I’m not entering as I’ve read and love both books, and I’m looking forward to the next books!

    • June 7, 2012 at 8:16 pm

      Laurie, thanks for stopping in! Now that edits are over, I’m looking forward to the next installment too! LOL! Thanks for all the support 😀

  • anna
    June 8, 2012 at 1:03 am

    That was excellent ladies. Fanged-up badboy. Freaking love that!

  • Fedora
    June 8, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Wow, terrific interview, Elisabeth and Tes! Thanks for taking the time to give us a peek! It’s fun to see that you both are clearly having a good time 🙂

  • Elisabeth Staab
    June 8, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Thanks, Fedora, it was tons of fun!

  • Tracey D
    June 8, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    I enjoyed the interview; it was a great read.

    Both books sound great and have been added to my must have list.

  • Debi Anne
    June 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    My questions is for both authors. How steamy are your books?

    • elisabeth
      June 11, 2012 at 8:23 am

      High, high heat level, Debi Anne! We only write love scenes that fit with the plot, but when we do they’re explicit, yanno? 😉 Thank you for stopping by!

  • June 10, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Thanks again to Tes and Elizabeth for such a great tour stop and to all of you who participated! What a great turnout!! <3

    Here are the winners of the books:
    Signed paperback Deliver Me From Darkness: Debi A.
    Signed paperback King of Darkness: Susan W.

    Congratulations to the winners!

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