Thursday, March 31, 2011

Taste Me Giveaway with Tamara Hogan



If I had to choose one aspect of writing paranormal or urban fantasy romance as my favorite, I’d have to say the world-building. All authors, regardless of genre or sub-genre, engage in world-building to some degree, but those of us who write paranormal, urban fantasy, futuristic and sci-fi novels? World-building on steroids!

One of the things that appealed about building the Underbelly Chronicles’ world was answering “What if?” questions. When writing Taste Me, one of the first matters I had to consider was my characters’ origin story. If I was going to propose that mythological creatures were real—and I was—how did they come to exist in the first place? Did they evolve here, alongside humanity, or did they come from someplace else entirely? I found the scope of the latter idea to be much more fertile ground from a story-telling perspective. What if, long ago, a spaceship crashed here, marooning the survivors? What if, given the behavior they observed in the local population, they influenced our history and mythology so they could coexist with the locals, hiding in plain sight?

The survivors—incubi, succubi, sirens, Valkyrie, vamps, werewolves and faeries—all have biological strengths and weaknesses that prevent any one species from becoming too dominant. In the Underbelly world, Valkyrie are gloriously physical creatures, possessing hyperactive metabolic, adrenal and hormonal systems and living by the adage, “Food, fight, f*ck”—but their body chemistry gets seriously out of whack if they can’t expend all that excess energy. My vampires are allergic to UV rays, eat food, and yes, drink blood—only because it’s a biological imperative. They cannot ‘make’ other vampires with their bite, but biting—and being bitten—are highly erotic. They possess massive personal glamour, and the strongest among them can influence others’ thoughts—unless they’re dealing with a species with innate buffers, like the faeries. Physically tending toward frailty, faeries compensate with strong empathic powers, and they’re revered as healers, therapists and artisans. Werewolves, the only shape shifters in the Underbelly Chronicles world, give the Valkyrie a run for their money in the physicality department. They are vocal, exuberant, and can shift to lupine form at will. Incubi and succubi must absorb emotional energy for sustenance, and emit pheromones which render them sexually irresistible. Sirens manipulate and amplify emotional energy with their voices. All the species share enough of a genetic base that they can mate with and reproduce with each other—and they have, for centuries.

Given the characters of the Underbelly Chronicles share the planet with humans, they can’t remain entirely separate from us. They have human friends, they have jobs, but their number one priority is keeping their true origins secret. They are some aspects of earth culture they’ve completely assimilated into, but others that are distinctly separate: their ruling council, hospitals, their justice system, their spiritual beliefs, and cultural institutions, including definitions of romantic and family relationships which are rather more flexible than ours.

As a writer, I get to create species, cultures, institutions, and re-interpret history to suit my own purposes. I get to visit this world I’ve created, again and again, every day I write. What could be more fun?

Read an excerpt! (mature readers only)


TASTE ME BY TAMARA HOGAN – IN STORES MARCH 2011

Hot, sexy urban fantasy romance by a new author with talent to burn…

He Wants Her So Badly He Can Taste It…
Ever since their tempestuous fling years ago, incubus Lukas Sebastiani has known that siren Scarlett Fontaine was meant to be his. But when you’re a sex demon with an insatiable desire, relationships are way more than complicated…

Her Siren Songs Bring Men to Their Knees…
Rock star Scarlett Fontaine desperately needs a break after a grueling tour. But with murder and mayhem surrounding her band, and the one man she never thought to see again put to the task of protecting her, life is going to be anything but peaceful…

Every encounter between them creates more turmoil—and heat—until Scarlett pushes Lukas to the boiling point, and unleashes forces that go way beyond anything she can hope to control…




ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tamara Hogan loathes cold and snow, but nonetheless lives in the Minneapolis exurbs with her partner Mark and two naughty cats. When she’s not telecommuting as a quality and process engineer for a global networking company, she writes urban fantasy with a sci-fi twist. Taste Me was a 2009 Daphne Paranormal Winner and Golden Heart paranormal finalist under the title Underbelly. For more information, please visit http://www.tamarahogan.com/ .


Would you like to win a copy of Taste Me?

I have 2 to give away
That's 2 winners
Open to US and Canada Shipping
Leave a comment with your email addy
Winner TBA Next Wednesday



38 comments:

Debby said...

Wow! I have not read any of these. I love when I find another intriguing set of tales to read.
debby236 at gmail.com

SandyG265 said...

This sounds like an interesting book.
sgiden at verizon.net

Sharon S. said...

I am a big time UF fan (I like the dark side). World building is fascinating to me. How an author is able to come up with something like that is truly awe inspiring! I like for there to be strict rules when it comes to magic. It bothers me when the author sets down rules and then starts having to many "exceptions" to the rules. I want my hero/heroine to have limitations and weaknesses. Look forward to trying this series.

elaing8 said...

I really want to read this.Thanks for the chance to win it.
elaing8(at)netscape(dot)net

Tamara Hogan said...

hi Debby, I hope you enjoy the book!

SandyG - good luck in the book drawing!

Sharon, I'm also a huge fan of the dark side - the darker and more twisted, the better. Give me an Anne Stuart novel, and I'm happy as a clam. I feel the same way you do about a world's rules. Gotta have both strengths and weaknesses in our characters, regardless of their origin! Superbeings with no vulnerabilities are kinda boring. ;-)

elaing8 - nice to see you again! Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

Robin K said...

I would love to win a copy. Thank you for the contest!

robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

Bethie said...

I would love to win this. Thanks for the giveaway.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

tetewa said...

My kind of read, count me in! tWarner419@aol.com

YzhaBella's BookShelf said...

Taste Me sounds like exactly the type of read that gets my motor runnin'! Thanks for the chance to win!

Kate
mleger0546 AT rogers DOT com

Tamara Hogan said...

Robin, Bethie and tetewa - best of luck in the giveaway! I hope you enjoy TASTE ME.

Anne said...

I like the title Taste Me much more than Underbelly.

acm05atjuno.com

Anna (Bite Club) said...

I love the complex mythology that you've created for your world. Those details are what grab the readers attention and keeps them reading. Taste Me sounds like an awesome book and I look forward to reading it.

Anna
vampchixreadbooks@gmail.com

Danielle Gorman said...

I am dying to read this book. This world that Tamara Hogan has created intrigues me and seems very fascinating. I love that we get to see different types of characters rather than the standard vampires. I love it when an author introduces us to others that we may not typically read about. I really hope I win a copy and if I don't I am still going out and purchasing this book.

iqb99@yahoo.com

Tamara Hogan said...

Kate - I hope TASTE ME leaves your engine purring like a well-oiled machine.

Anne, great minds think alike! My editor Deb Werksman had the same impression.

Anna, one thing that still astounds me about worldbuilding is that just as soon as you think you've nailed down all the essential details, another questions come up that you then hope you can answer in the context of the rules you've already put in place!

Danielle, I'm glad the works and its chanarcters sound interesting to you! It's so refreshing to me when I read fresh spins put on a paranormal archetype - for example, Nalini Singh's archangels in her "Guild Hunter" series. Somehow she managed to create a world where archangels, vampires, and hunters coexist - but her archangels have not one whiff of of religious connotation. It's an entirely unique take on angels. That takes some skill - and gonads.

Tamara Hogan said...

That should be..."Danielle, I'm glad the world and its characters sound interesting to you..."

Typing is not going well today. ;-)

Estella said...

Would really love to read this!

kissinoak at frontier dot com

booklover0226 said...

"He Wants Her So Badly He Can Taste It"

Well, that has certainly hooked me in!

Thanks,
Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Sandy Jay said...

Great giveaway. Please count me in. Thanks

forwhlz at gmail dot com

BLHmistress said...

How can I not want to read this book it combines Rock and Paranormal my two fave things :). Even if I don't win I am getting this book.

Love the cover too its gorgeous. Do you have a say in it ?

vampiremistress2010(at)gmail(dot)com

Stephanie said...

This looks like a great story. Thanks for the giveaway.

smccar1 at hotmail dot com

Tamara Hogan said...

Hi, Estella! Best of luck to youyou.

Tracey, isn't that line fabulous? Nothing I could have come up with on my own, that's for sure. Though come to think of it, the tag line on the book cover is mine: "When your first lover is a sex demon, it's all downhill from there." Publishing a book is definitely a partnership.

Tamara Hogan said...

Sandy, good luck in the drawing!

BLHmistress, I did have some input into the cover design. My editor Deb Werksman and I agreed on the scene we felt should be on the cover, and discussed the basic layout up front. I supplied physical descriptions of the characters, and then the art wizards at Sourcebooks took it from there. The area where I had the most input was on Scarlett's tattoo. At my request, they made it bigger, added some scrollwork, and faded it just a little so it looked more authentic. I just love the vivid colors the art dept. used.

Stephanie - I hope you enjoy the book!

Barbara E. said...

Taste Me sounds like a fantastic book. I've been hearing a lot about it, and the more I hear, the more I'm dying to read it.

Barbed1951 at aol dot com

Tamara Hogan said...

Barbara, your avatar makes me smile. ;-)

Jen B. said...

Succubus! I have only read one story with a succubus and I really enjoyed it. I would love to read this one. Thanks for the contest.
jepeb@verizon.net

*yadkny* said...

Sounds like a really good read! Added to my TBR list:)

yadkny@hotmail.com

Julie S said...

Sounds intriguing. juliecookies(at)gmail.com

Tanya1224 said...

I love paranormals and its nice when the authors do shape and mold the characters differently. Like vamps eating food along with blood or not having to fall right to sleep at sunrise. I like changes and different versions. I'd love a chance to win your book. Count me in please.
Tanyaw1224(at)yahoo(dot)com

Tamara Hogan said...

Jen B., I had a great time delving into the incubi/succubi mythology when I was developing the Underbelly Chronicles' world. I was intrigued by the idea that a sexual energy exchange could be taking place that was biologically based. Hope you enjoy the book!

yadkny and Julie, tahnks for stopping by, and best of luck in the drawing!

Tanya, thanks so much for appreciating when authors mix things up a little. Some of the paranormal archetypes - like what vamps do or no not eat - are so firmly established in the genre that to deviate from those 'norms' takes a fair amount of work on the page. ;-)

Liz @ Cleverly Inked said...

This looks like a fabulous read, I have not heard of this author. YAY for me. I am not entering but I am adding this to my list.

Tore said...

Please enter me in contest. I would love to read both books. I am a follower and email subscriber. Tore923@aol.com

Mariee said...

Sounds like a great book! I'd love to win a copy.

marieimy (at) gmail (dot) com

JenM said...

Anything involving incubi and succubi is usually a pretty sexy read. I'd love to win a copy of this.

jen at delux dot com

kittykelly28 said...

I love music so I think this book is right up my alley! :) Looks great and a new author to me.

Kelly
kittykelly28 @ hotmail.com

Catsy86 said...

I love the colors of the cover and the statement on the cover is what drew me in. I think your detailed description on the supernaturals of your world does a good job of letting us readers know what to kind of expect and a better understanding of the characters so we dont get confused.

Amy said...

Would love to read this! I like stories about succubi and incubi.

angeldream3[at]gmail[dot]com

Lisa R/alterlisa said...

Wow! Though I'd seen this book cover around, this was the first time I'd actually read the blurb. I love the idea of this and the world building sounds out of this world(lol). Though I'd give my eye teeth to win it, it just went on the top of my wish list.
Also love that it is going to be a series.
(\___/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/

Lillie (AliseOnLife) said...

I saw this book in the bookstore last week, and totally put it on my wishlist.

Thanks for the giveaway!
PolarisGreen at gmail dot com

 
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