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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Guest Post with Author Dianne Duvall and Giveaway

Dianne Duvall is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Immortal Guardians series and The Gifted Ones series. Reviewers have called Dianne's books "fast-paced and humorous" (Publishers Weekly), "utterly addictive" (RT Book Reviews), "extraordinary" (Long and Short Reviews), and"wonderfully imaginative" (The Romance Reviews). Her books have twice been nominated for RT Reviewers' Choice Awards and are routinely deemed Top Picks by RT Book Reviews, The Romance Reviews,and/or Night Owl Reviews.

Dianne loves all things creative. When she isn't writing, Dianne is active in the independent film industry and has even appeared on-screen, crawling out of a moonlit grave and wielding a machete like some of the vampires she creates in her books.

For the latest news on upcoming releases, contests, and more, please visit

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Top 5 Must-Have Ingredients for a Great Romance

Hello! Thank you for joining me. And thank you, Danielle, for letting me visit again. I’m here today to celebrate the upcoming release of BLADE OF DARKNESS, the seventh book in my Immortal Guardians paranormal romance series. If you’re new to my Immortal Guardians, don’t worry. Each book can be read as a stand-alone novel.

I’ve loved romance novels ever since I picked up my first YA book when I was twelve years old or thereabouts. There are so many sub-genres to choose from in romance. But all romance novels must contain the same five must-have ingredients in order to become one of my favorites.

1. A Strong, Likable Hero

Physical strength is always great in a romance hero, as is the muscled physique that accompanies it. But the best heroes are strong in other ways, too. Like my Immortal Guardians, strong heroes are fiercely protective of those they love and wouldn’t hesitate to sacrifice their owns lives to protect them. Strong heroes aren’t afraid to show emotion. Even the most antisocial hero *cough* Roland *cough* can laugh and tease the woman he loves, be affectionate, passionate, and make readers fall a little bit in love with him, too. And I’ve always thought the best heroes admire and value strong women. You’ll see that a lot in my series and in BLADE OF DARKNESS.

Ethan grinned at Heather. “I keep trying to tell you, honey, immortal males aren’t stupid. We love strong women.”

Aidan smiled at Dana. “We really do.” And the affection that accompanied his words as he stared down at her made warmth unfurl inside her.

2. A Strong, Likable Heroine

Quite a few of my Immortal Guardians books feature mortal heroines who have been unexpectedly swept into a new, sometimes violent preternatural world. I’ve always enjoyed seeing what ordinary people do when thrust into extraordinary situations. So my favorite heroines are those who—no matter how afraid they may be—rise to the challenge. And since teasing has been a big part of my life, heroines with a fun sense of humor also tend to be favorites.

Offering Dana a smile, Aidan extended his hand in front of her, palm up, silently asking her to relinquish her weapon.

Narrowing her eyes in displeasure, she handed him the tranquilizer gun.

Damn, he loved her. There really didn’t seem to be anything she wouldn’t do or anyone she wouldn’t take on to protect him. That was actually a little terrifying.

3. Romance and Attention-Grabbing Chemistry

I know it seems weird to mention romance as a must-have ingredient in a romance novel, but sometimes romance can fall by the wayside in books while lust and action steal the show. I’m all for passion, hence the ”attention-grabbing chemistry,” which you’ll find plenty of in my books. Action, too. But romance is what drew me to the genre in the first place. So I like seeing the emotional bond grow between a hero and heroine. I like watching them come to crave not just each other’s touch, but each other’s company. I like the laughing and teasing they engage in as they get to know each other better, even when tempers flare. The friendship that turns into love. 

“Great,” she groused a she stomped into the bathroom with a pile of clothes tucked under one arm. “Don’t worry about the nutcase who’s trying to kill you. Worry about pissing off the great and powerful Oz.” She slammed the door behind her.

Laughing, Aidan grabbed a couple of katanas.

The bathroom door eased open enough for Dana to poke her head out. She sent him a rueful smile. “Sorry. The whole I’m not a morning person thing might have been a bit of an understatement.”

Closing the distance between them, he pressed a quick kiss to her lips. “You’ve gotten very little sleep in the past forty-eight hours. And I think you’re cute when you’re cranky.”

She laughed. “Then maybe you’re the nutcase.”

4. Kick-Ass Action Scenes

My favorite romance sub-genre is paranormal romance, because it gives me the romance I love so much plus nail-biting action scenes so intense they can easily compete with those I find horror movies. (Yep. I’m a horror movie addict, too. LOL.) Not only do action scenes keep me flipping pages well past my bedtime, they also let me see that strength I mentioned earlier make an appearance—often in a very big way—when the hero and heroine both meet every challenge head-on. 

I was going to give you an example from BLADE OF DARKNESS, but couldn’t find one that wouldn’t be a spoiler for fans of the series.

5. An Arresting Plot with Some Surprising Twists

A book can have all of the first four ingredients, but still won’t find its way onto my keeper shelves if it lacks a good plot. The first thing my playwriting professor in college told us was that all fictional tales can be broken down into one of five basic plots. For me, it doesn’t matter which of those plots a book contains as long as it catches and holds my interest. If the goal is to stop a villain’s devious plot, then it should be a difficult task to accomplish. I’ve always believed that the best villains are those who aren’t easily defeated. Add there should be a surprising twist or two along the way, something that will make my jaw drop while I whisper, “I did not see that coming!” 

I can’t wait to see what readers think of the twists in BLADE OF DARKNESS. ;-)

What about you? Are there any must-have ingredients you look for that I didn’t mention?

Return to the “utterly addictive” (RT Book Reviews) world of New York Times bestselling author Dianne Duvall’s Immortal Guardians.

Dana Pembroke has been able to glimpse the future of those she touches for as long as she can remember.  But she never saw Aidan coming.  When the tall, dark Celt with the charming grin yet world-weary eyes walks through her door, the future she sees for him is one full of violence, danger, deception… and passion.  Because amidst the terrifying battles that unfold in her visions, she also sees herself in Aidan’s arms and in his bed.  Dana knows she should keep her distance, but the tender moments and laughter they share entice her even as she finds herself thrust into a world of vampires, immortals, and other preternatural beings.

Immortal Guardian Aidan O’Byrne has been hunting and slaying psychotic vampires for nearly three thousand years, so visions of bloody battles don’t trouble him.  The battles Dana foresees, however, show Aidan’s brethren turning against him, so he can’t help but feel alarmed.  While he spends as much time as he can with Dana, struggling to decipher her dire predictions, Aidan finds himself utterly smitten. Hope rises that he has finally found a woman who can banish the darkness and loneliness that plague him. But when vampires begin targeting Dana and a powerful enemy spawns chaos, will fate grant them time to find happiness together?

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo |

Check out the Immortal Guardians series:

Up For Grabs:
  • 1 $50 Amazon Gift Card
  • 1 $25 Amazon Gift Card
  • 1 Immortal Guardians Prize Pack

To Enter:
  • What about you? Are there any must-have ingredients you look for that I didn’t mention?
  • Please fill out the Rafflecopter form.

Good Luck!

Special thanks to Dianne Duvall & Authors Taproom for sponsoring this tour-wide giveaway.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I just discovered this author and this series and am already addicted!

  2. The ingredients you list are a good start

  3. The ingredients listed are key. I also love either 1) snark, or 2) a lyrical feel to the writing
    -Make Kay

    1. I love a great writing style. I won't name names, but there was a historical romance author whose books I didn't care for, because they weren't true to the time period. But she had such a wonderful way with words, that I kept reading book after book after book. :-)

  4. Another new-to-me author. Thanks for the introduction. Love the cover of this book. It makes me want to run right out and buy it now! And that's a good thing...right?

    1. Thanks, Karen! So glad you like the cover! I hope you'll enjoy the book if you give it a look. :-)

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks, Kim! I hope you'll enjoy it if you pick up a copy. :-)

  6. I like bits of humor in a story - sometimes in the tensest moments.

    1. One of my favorite things to hear from readers is that the book made them laugh. I can never resist adding humor to the stories. :-)

  7. I agree with your top 5 must haves! :)

  8. Witty banter and great sex scenes are also a must!

  9. PNR is my favorite sub genre of romance too. I am also happy that you note how romance can be left behind. Glad you watch out for this.

    1. I just don't consider a book a romance novel without it. :-)

  10. This book sounds like a wonderful addition to a fantastic series. Can't wait to read it.

  11. think you just about covered it, can't wait to read this one :)

  12. Great interactions between the characters, which this book obviously has!

    1. Thank you! I had a lot of fun with these characters. :-)

  13. You mentioned all the right ingredients for me. I love when secondary characters are in my face so to speak. Also love the bantering back and forth with characters. This sounds wonderful. Look forward to reading it.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  14. Thank you for hosting Dianne today on her BLADE OF DARKNESS blog tour! This is a great list of must-have ingredients for a great romance. I especially love #3, "I like seeing the emotional bond grow between a hero and heroine".

  15. Great post! Love the excerpts. All the ingredients were spot on!! Thanks for sharing!!

  16. This was great. Agree with the ingredients. Can not wait for this book and it's so close.

  17. This is a new to me author! Thank you!!

  18. Replies
    1. Absolutely. I agree. I want the hero and heroine to be happy together. :-)

  19. I am looking forward to reading this book !

  20. I like smart heroes and heroines. I like a little laughter in the story. I like surprises like big burly men that like little tiny dogs.

    1. You sound like me. I like smart characters. I love playful banter and joking and teasing. And there are some very powerful immortals in my series who have series soft spots for cats. :-)

  21. I'm looking forward to the surprise or two in this story :)

  22. Thank you for helping me celebrate the release of Blade of Darkness! ❤️