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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Guest Post with Author Annie Nicholas and Giveaway

Today we would like to welcome back to the blog author, Annie Nicholas. Annie is celebrating the release of Prima, book 6 in her Vanguard series. Annie has stopped by to chat, please give her a warm welcome.

Annie Nicholas hibernates in the rural, green mountains of Vermont, where she dreams of different worlds, heroes, and heroines. When spring arrives the stories pour from her, in hopes to share them with the masses one day.

Mother, daughter, wife are some of the hats she happily wears while trudging after her cubs through the hills and dales. The four seasons an inspiration and muse.

Places to find Annie:
| Site | Blog | Facebook | Twitter |

To Kickass or Not to Kickass

The romance genre is filled with kickass heroines and alpha heroes. As a writer and a reader, I like these types of characters but sometimes those traits just don’t fit the story. Writing strong women comes naturally me. I consider myself strong in character yet I have never kicked anyone’s physical ass. Maybe a few proverbial ones.

When I met my heroine, Sugar, from the Vanguards series I had some doubts if I wanted to really use her. She was a quiet librarian who had befriended a small pack of geeky wolf shifters. Though she held no prejudices like most humans in her world, she did have trouble accepting their violent lifestyles. Could I write someone so weak?

Sugar surprised me and taught me a good lesson as I continued to write this series. I learned a heroine could be strong without kicking ass. Sugar stood up to some pretty powerful creatures, where most would have cowered. She did get her ass kicked and suffered for it. Even though her inner strength may have fluttered for a moment, she did and does step up (or hobble up) to the plate when it comes to the safety of her vampire lover.

So a strong heroine doesn’t need to pack a gun or have a black belt. She needs courage and an inner strength so when everything else is falling apart around her she can pull it back together again.

One year ago, Sugar survived a wolf shifter attack but it had left her broken. Paralyzed on the left side, she fights for independence in her day-to-day life. Her worst injuries are the scars on her soul. She can't bear who she has become and it drives her to push her vampire lover, Daedalus, away. How could he still love her when she is just a shadow of herself? But a new threat on Daedalus's life yanks away her veil of self-pity and she resolves to help him.

The vampire council sends an emissary to Daedalus. His clan brother, another Nosferatu, hands him an ultimatum. Return to his post as Prime in Pal Robi or he'll kill Sugar and her shifter friends. Daedalus has brought enough trouble into Sugar's life. He won't be responsible for more, so he agrees to leave Chicago.

To both warriors surprise, Sugar's not willing to remain behind, and with her own shifter guards she's ready to assist Daedalus regain control of Pal Robi.

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |
“Hey, you blocking my way for a reason?” Sam’s voice traveled from below. Daedalus shared the basement with him, Clementine, Katrina, and Tyler. The place was too crowded. Sam carried a full backpack. “I still have to pack my car. Not sure if all those bags will fit in my trunk. Do you have any space left in your car?”

Daedalus stepped to the side and let Sam pass, not sure how to respond. His gaze traveled to Eric, who watched from the living room entrance. “I said no help.” He couldn’t guarantee anyone’s safety. Death would be a close companion.

Eric avoided his glare. “He’s not going with you.”

The click of Sugar’s cane met his ears as she traveled from her bedroom. His stomach clenched.

Would she even care that he was leaving?

“He's escorting me.” Her golden curls were pulled into a ponytail, and a light sweater hung over her shoulders. “So are Clementine, Esther, and Robert.”

“Where—?” He spun as the front door swung open.

Pallas stomped inside. “Why is a shifter adding more luggage to your car? You usually travel light.”

His gaze traveled to Sugar. “Hell no.”

She lifted her chin and set the cane in front of her. “Hell yes. My place is beside Daedalus.”

“Babe…” It had never occurred to him she’d want to accompany them. “It’s too dangerous.”

“Which is why I’m bringing the others.”

“I can’t be seen using shifters to reclaim my place in Pal Robi Inc. Vampires would perceive that as weakness.” His dead heart raced as he ascended the stairs to face her determined stare. She cared. There was hope for them after all.

“They’re not for you, but for me. Sam is my Sigma. He and Clementine are my protectors.”

Daedalus raised an eyebrow, his chest ready to burst with joy. “Esther and Robert?”

“If this is such a hazardous mission, my guards need backup. I also recall your estate has an elaborate security system. They’re perfect to get it running properly again.” She brushed his cheek with her fingertips. “You wouldn’t make me go without them, would you?”

“Never.” The answer barely escaped his lips, his throat had constricted so tight.

“Daedalus, you can’t be serious.” Pallas’s voice of reason stabbed his conscience. How could he possibly be considering this?

Sugar’s soft touch transformed as she gripped his chin. “I’m going.”

He blinked at her firm tone. This wasn’t the gentle librarian he’d first met. She’d grown into something more after her physical trials, something stronger that he wanted to explore and own.

“Why do you care if she comes, Pallas?”

“She’s a distraction.”

With a snarl, he rounded on his brother. “You have a lot of demands for someone who can’t back them.” He lifted Pallas by the throat and pinned him to the door. Was it a mistake for him to drag Pallas along now that Sugar would escort him?

“I’m a voice of reason since you’re letting your dick make all the decisions.” Pallas managed to force the words out of his restricted throat.

“No brawling in the brownstone.” Sugar’s command pierced through the red haze of rage clouding Daedalus’s mind, and he loosened his hold. “Take it outside. I won’t be replacing another door.”

The sharp clack of her cane hitting the floor punctuated her order.

Pallas grinned. “She sounds a lot like my mother.”

Check out the Vanguard series:
Click for info.

Check out what's up for grabs.

Up For Grabs:
  • 1 lucky winner will win an eBook copy of Prima

To Enter: 
  • Please leave a meaningful comment/question for Annie.
  • Please fill out the Rafflecopter form.

Good Luck! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This is a new author to me...can't wait to read one of her books!

  2. Thank you for helping me discover another new author! This book sounds great! I cant wait to read about Sugar and the others! Thanks for the chance!

  3. Thank you so much for this post and giveaway! I love finding new books, and this one might be right up my alley.

    My fingers are crossed for luck!

    Best Wishes,
    Lindsey V.

  4. I totally agree with your comment about what constitutes being a strong heroine. It's like courage. It's not the person that has no fear but rather the one who manages to overcome their fear.

  5. oh sexy drool worthy covers <3 thank you for sharing the wonderful excerpt, I love the unique and original names.

  6. Congrats to Annie on the new release! Sounds awesome! Thanks for sharing :)

  7. thank you so much for this post and giveaway! I love finding new books,

  8. Thank for this giveaway, this series sounds great. its now on my tbr list.

  9. Oh how I love Sugar! ;)
    She really has Daedalus wrapped around her finger.
    Annie, how many more books do you have planned for the series? Thank you for sharing and congrats on your new release!

  10. Congratulations on your release Annie .I m looking forward to diving into Prima . I really like the idea of a disabled heroine .Prima is my most wanted book thank you for this awesome giveaway.I hope you have a fantastic weekend .

  11. Thanks for hosting me today!

    I have six more novellas planned in this world but a new series tied Vanguards Elite.

  12. Strength certainly does not need to always be physical. I appreciate that.

  13. I think it's great that you have a handicapped heroine.

  14. Great post! Will definitely have to check out this series.

  15. This sounds like a great story. I love characters with some sort of diability (not everyone is perfect so it is nice to characters that are not either). Can't wait to read this story :)

  16. Congratulations on your release, Annie!!
    This series was catch my eyes with all cover hot and sexy man. Can i have one, not the book, but the sexy and hot MAN. LOL!!
    You're new author for me, and i think i wanna try read your book. From the excerpt, this one look great read. Can't wait to read this series :)

  17. Very interesting description of the story.

  18. I think that I really need to check this series out! Its so great to discover new authors!

  19. Congrats on the new release. I love this series but didn't realize there were six books out. I've fallen behind and have to catch up. Can't wait to read Prima. Thanks for the guest post, excerpt, and giveaway.

  20. I always wonder how much say the author has over their book cover. This one, for example, is quick risque. The author had to have some say over that, right?
    mestith at gmail dot com

  21. Sounds like a great series!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  22. This series sounds like a great read, going onto my wishlist.

    susanmplatt AT Hotmail DOT com