Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing
Date of Publication: 23rd March 2015
Number of pages: 229
Word Count: 74,918
Cover Artist: Dawne Dominique
What if you could sense the emotions of everyone around you? What if you fell in love with someone you’d never even met?
Oliver Lord belongs to one of three special families, empaths who feel emotions as a physical sense. Quiet and reserved, and accustomed to keeping his abilities hidden, Oliver is drawn inexorably to a woman he’s never met. The woman who made his brother’s last year of life so happy.
When Zoe Daniels, talented sculptor, loses her fiancé before their wedding, she can’t imagine finding love again, until she meets Jasper’s unknown brother, a man so different, yet so achingly familiar to the man she adored. What is Oliver’s secret, and why is he so determined to keep her at arm’s length?
A violent kidnapping and murder forces the empaths from the shadows to seek justice for one of their own. Oliver turns to Zoe, needing her comfort and love. Can she accept him for who he is?
Oliver and two powerful empathic friends need to track down the kidnappers before they strike again, but how do you solve a murder, when your only clue is emotion?
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/BH-4RtXcE3k
She sighed and leaned forward. “I’m about to tell you something. I would appreciate it if you’d listen with an open mind, because it’s going to shock you.”
Mike mirrored her position, leaning his elbows on the table. “Very little shocks me these days, Miss Baron.”
“I prefer Meredith, or Merri.”
He inclined his head in acknowledgement. “If you have information on this case, I need to hear it.”
She fiddled with the spoon from her chocolate. The first non-confident move he’d seen her make. “I think Freddy may have been killed because of abilities he had.”
“Freddy was empathic. He could feel emotions as a physical sense.”
Mike sagged, fighting a keen sense of disappointment and a growing anger. He thought they were on to something, but no. She was one of those loopy new-age nut jobs—a very beautiful new-age nut job.
“You don’t believe me.”
Mike shoved his coffee cup aside. “No, I don’t believe you, and if you’ve finished wasting my time, I have real work to do.”
“Wait,” she said as he stood.
“I’m a busy man, Miss Baron.”
“What happened in the alley?”
Mike hesitated with his palms flat on the table. “Nothing.”
“Liar. You had a panic attack.”
“Fine. I had a panic attack. I work ninety hours a week on a good week. I don’t eat or sleep properly, and I see a lot of terrible things. Sometimes the stress gets to me, okay?”
“I did it.”
“This would be so much easier if you just believed me, but I see I’m going to have to prove it.”
“Prove what?” A rush of pure erotic heat raced through Mike’s body and headed straight between his legs. He sat down with a thud as those same limbs turned into wet noodles.
She leaned further across the table. “It’s funny, isn’t it, how we accept some emotions as a normal part of our daily life? Fear, pain, worry, anger, anxiety, guilt? We put them down as a standard occurrence caused by traffic jams, a suspicious person in our peripheral vision, a horrendous story on the evening news. You know what I mean, all sorts of things. But, sexual excitement? Desire? Lust? Arousal? Those we can’t explain away quite so easily, can we, detective?”
Her voice was a husky edged blade running over his skin. Heat. His whole body was a mass of pulsing aroused heat. Mike fought the almost uncontrollable urge to jerk his hips forward and sink into soft firm flesh. I’m having sex. Jesus, I feel like I’m having sex. All of the sensations were there. A series of highly carnal scenarios ran though his mind like a movie. Supple limbs wrapping around his, warm silky skin rubbing against him, moist lips panting with hot breath, fanning his face. His erection pressed against his zipper, and even that was unreasonably erotic. Mike was lost in a sensual storm, held captive by luminous blue eyes. The pressure built in his lower back, culminating in a blast of sensation, a tightening of his groin. Christ, I’m going to come.
Meredith broke eye contact, relaxed back in her chair, and picked up her hot chocolate.
Mikes impending orgasm, and all the associated sensations, vanished. He slumped against the table, heaving in great lungful’s of air. “Jesus Christ!”
“Nope. Just me.”
He gaped at her, his fingers curled into claws against the solid wood, and heart beating in double time. “What are you?”
The look she gave him was a mixture of exasperation and annoyance. “I’m not a what. I’m an empath. What do you say? Are you willing to listen to me now?”
“Yes,” he said, through a clenched jaw.
“Good.” She slid a gilt edged business card toward him, before standing and hitching a leather bag on her shoulder. “My place at eight tonight, address is on the card. Be prepared to listen. Oh, and Stone, drink your coffee. You look like you need it.”
Author Name: Carolyn Wren
Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
It probably sounds crazy, but I fell into writing accidently. I was lying awake one night in 2009 and a phrase popped into my head. The next morning I wrote it down, and just kept on writing. It’s the strangest thing. My husband thinks I’m possessed. Thankfully he doesn’t seem to mind. My working history is in finance, numbers and spreadsheets, which is something I always enjoyed. I loved making things balance and numbers are so logical and straightforward. Consequently, you can imagine the strange looks I got from friends and family when I announced I was writing a fiction book.
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
After scribbling madly and filling up folder and folder of stories, I bravely submitted an entry into The Emerald, an unpublished authors contest run by the Romance Writers of Australia. When I got to the second round, I was excited. When I got the final round I was stunned. When I won, and was standing up on stage in front of three hundred people holding a trophy…that was when I first considered myself a writer.
How long did it take to get your first book published?
Two years and four months from writing that first phrase. I submitted a letter for one novella for a contemporary Romantic Suspense to Secret Cravings Publishing when I received my finalist announcement for The Emerald. After I was lucky enough to win, I sent another letter offering them the entire series. I was completely thrilled when they said yes. Between October 2012 and December 2013 I had eight book releases. It was a giant learning curve.
Do you do another job except for writing and can you tell us more about it?
I always worked in finance, but in the years before I started writing I needed to look after my Dad who had Alzheimer’s so I reduced my hours and did mainly contract accounting work for multi-national corporations. It was only three months after Dad passed away that I started writing, maybe there’s a connection there. Maybe my grieving mind needed an outlet. If so, it found it in words.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
Empathy is the first book in my new Emotional Chains series. A summary would be –Three friends from three special families who can feel emotions as a physical sense must hunt down a killer.
Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?
Secret Cravings Publishing has been my publisher from the beginning of my writing career.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
It really depends on the book. I wrote the original draft of Empathy in three months. My Romantic Suspense series The Protectors consists of eight books and I wrote the entire series in less than six months. On the other hand, I have another paranormal series called The Stolen Ones, that I’ve been writing for over two years, but then that one is over 550,000 words long –so far.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I have so many story ideas in my head I can’t keep up with them. My current priority is the sequel to Empathy called Perception which is due for release in August. Then I have an outline for another brand new Romantic Suspense series I’d like to toy with…as well as finally finishing my mammoth WIP paranormal series.
What genre would you place your books into?
Paranormal. Urban Fantasy. Romantic Suspense. Mystery , and I even published a little bit of erotica in a Christmas ghost story called Ghosts of Grace Cottage. I have a lot of trouble sticking to one particular genre.
Do you have a favorite character from your books? And why are they your favorite?
Choosing a favorite is always tricky. Meredith Baron from Empathy is someone I really like because she’s so strong minded , cheeky and independent with a wicked sense of humor.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I always write in my office at my messy desk with my very old, but very comfortable computer chair. I’ve tried numerous times to play music as a writing aid. It never works. I tend to concentrate on the song, instead of the story I’m trying to create.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
When a book is first released, I get very nervous waiting for the first review. If it isn’t too bad, I’ll read the rest. But I try not to obsess about them. The simple fact is, not everyone will like my stories and I have to accept that.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I write the story first and think of a name as I go. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes I don’t have a title until the very end. When I submitted Empathy to Secret Cravings, I had to think of a series name while I was writing the submission letter.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
Character names can be difficult. I have a system where I visualize the character and imagine someone calling their name out loud. If it ‘fits’ then I keep it.
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
My characters tend to have a mind of their own. Sometimes I’ll be writing and I think I know what traits a certain person will have, then they’ll surprise me by doing something totally different. It’s one of the things I love about writing.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
In Empathy I created a family quote ‘We find who we’re meant to find’ The quote isn’t real, but I like the concept of it. It’s nice to think that somewhere in the world there’s that special person for us, so we should never stop looking.
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
I love to read, and I love the flexibility of the various formats today, but my preference is always for paperback.
What is your favorite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
I have to say Jane Eyre. I can’t even remember how many times I’ve read it. I think I like the overriding theme of a heroine who appears unassuming, but who has the strength and determination to save the flawed hero and give him back his life.
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favorite/worst book to movie transfer?
Some book/movie transfers are brilliant, others are cringe worthy. There have been a few dreadful film adaptations of my beloved Jane Eyre in the past! And some great ones too. I know I’m going back a few decades, but the 1943 version with Orson Wells and Joan Fontaine is an absolute classic.
Your favorite food is?
Easy question. Chocolate
Your favorite singer/group is?
Tough question as it changes from year to year. At the moment, my music player has a lot of Queen and Muse on it
Your favorite color is?
Pink. I love pink. My laptop is pink.
Your favorite Author is?
For classic books - Bronte and Austen. For current releases – JR Ward, Nalini Singh and Larissa Ione.
Carolyn Wren is the award winning author of a seven part romantic suspense series called, The Protectors. Having spent her working life as a book-keeper and finance officer for international companies, she discovered a passion for fiction writing in 2009. Assuming it was some sort of mid-life crisis, she kept it a secret for six months. In an impulsive move, she entered The Emerald, a prestigious writing contest for unpublished authors run by the Romance Writers of Australia. Much to her utter shock, she won it. This was followed shortly after by a finalist placing in the International Daphne Du Maurier Awards for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense.
Carolyn received a seven book contract with Secret Cravings Publishing in 2011. Her debut published work Diplomat’s Daughter won the RWA ‘Ella’ award for novella of the year.
To date, The Protectors series has received four award nominations, resulting in two trophies.
Carolyn’s other works include a very naughty ghost erotic novella Ghosts of Grace Cottage that she wrote during a stormy winter day. Her new series, the murder mystery urban fantasy Emotional Chains is her latest obsession.
She writes full time now, enjoys every minute of it, and loves hearing from readers.