Juliette Cross (Author Interview)
Please tell us a little about yourself, the romance subgenre(s) in which you write, and your newest book.
Hi. I’m a native of Louisiana, where I still live with my husband and four kids in a small picturesque town with a bayou winding through it. Of course, that can be aggravating when one of the bridges is out, as we have tug boats that use the channel to the Gulf, but I do enjoy the unique beauty of our little town. I write paranormal and fantasy romance, because it pulls on my imagination more than any other genre. I love the idea of creating my own worlds with my own rules; something wonderfully freeing in that. My newest book, DRAGON IN THE BLOOD, is set in a frozen wasteland called Aria where my MCs are on a mission to a coven of witches who live in isolation there and who may have dire information to help them track down their enemy.
What inspired you to write romance fiction?
I am addicted to the ‘happily ever after.’ My favorite books growing up were fairy tales. My favorite novel as a teen was JANE EYRE. I’ve been a hopeless romantic as long as I can remember. I just can’t get enough of stories with danger and darkness and love that wins out above all odds.
Some people love them, some hate them. What’s your stance on alpha heroes?
LOVE, no doubt. The true alpha hero is simply a strong, protective man who is often misunderstood and who will do anything for the woman who has captured his heart.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve learned while researching a story?
I’m currently researching places for settings in Germany and Italy through a blogger friend I met who lives in Leipzig. This will be for book 2 THE DARKEST HEART in my Age of Gray series. An interesting fact I recently learned is that a traditional food in Cologne is horsemeat. And another is black pudding with onions. So different from my regular fare. Of course, we eat crawfish down here, which most people think is disgusting. (It’s totally delicious! Especially with cold beer.)
What stories do you have in the works right now?
I’m currently writing DRAGON HEARTSTRING, a novella that is actually a prequel to the Vale of Stars series. It tells the love story of the stern businessman Demetrius Cade and the demure healer Shakara Icewing. This is my first story with the couple of a human man and Morgon woman. Promises to be interesting.
Juliette lives in lush, moss-laden Louisiana where she lives with her husband, four kids, and black lab, Kona. Multi-published author of paranormal and urban fantasy romance, she loves reading and writing brooding characters, mysterious settings, persevering heroines, and dark, sexy heroes. From the moment she read JANE EYRE as a teenager, she fell in love with the Gothic romance. Even then, she not only longed to read more novels set in Gothic worlds, she wanted to create her own.
When desire bites, there’s no patience for a slow burn.
While all seems quiet in Gladium Province, the Morgon Guard—the global justice force for the dragon hybrid race—knows their enemy is rebuilding its forces in the underground.
Valla Moonring, an assassin for the Order of the Morgon Guard, is ordered on a mission into the Wastelands of Aria—a formidable, icy wilderness fraught with all manner of dangers, including outlaws, deadly weather, and big-game predators.
To her great distaste, she’s partnered with a Nightwing Security operative, Conn Rowanflame, a Morgon with the aggravating ability to get under her skin. While she takes her mission seriously, Conn’s confident charm throws her off balance, a dangerous place to be in conditions like these. Especially when cold nights require close contact.
Sensual attraction binds them ever closer, igniting a passion of unexpected force—the soulfire. But when the hunters become the hunted, their bond could prove perilous. Even fatal…
Conn slowed his descent as treetops came into view beyond the fading mist, which had thinned to nearly nothing in the past hour. Whipping open my wings, I landed softly on the hard ground among a grove of evergolds. Even in this frozen tundra, the giants famous for their flora of fire-gold leaves grew tall and thick-branched in abundance. I lifted my visor to a brilliant burst of color that contrasted against the brown earth and snow-swept embankments.
Bowen landed quietly behind me. “How about some lunch before we set out on foot?” He removed and tucked away his visor and unpacked his crossbow from its sheath on his back for the first time on this journey.
“Let’s get into the cover of trees,” said Conn, moving along the natural path. “And lunch sounds perfect.”
“Benta’s breakfast wasn’t enough for you?” I asked, meeting his long stride.
“I always have an appetite, sweetheart.”
“While you two continue flirting, I’ll find some small game nearby. Set up the hotpad over near that big evergold.”
Without a sound, Bowen disappeared into the trees.
“Flirting?” I scoffed. “I wasn’t flirting.”
“I was.” Conn grinned.
“I haven’t even gotten started yet.”
“So you’ve said before.”
“Listen—” I put up both gloved hands to stop his snarky banter for just one second. “I’m glad we’re finally alone.”
“Me, too.” His lopsided grin made my heart flutter.
Exhaling a frustrated sigh, I stopped under a thick oak with ample coverage from above and unhooked my chest pack before dropping it to the ground. “There’s something I’ve been meaning to talk to you about…about last night.”
“Mmm. Last night.”
He removed his own pack and gloves, then pulled out the small, electronic hotpad. After opening the tripod that kept it off the ground, he turned it on. Gisa ordered us to use the hotpad instead of fire when we were in the open to avoid alerting predators or criminals to our presence.
Conn stood and propped his hands low on his hips. “Would you like a second round?”
“No…no.” I cleared my throat and shook my head, my ponytail sliding on the smooth leather of my jacket. “Actually, that should never have happened. I shouldn’t have let that happen. But I—”
“Couldn’t resist,” he finished, a devilish smile brimming his beautiful face. “It’s okay. It happens a lot.”
“You’re such an ass.” I rolled my eyes. “I could’ve resisted.”
He broke his rigid stance and sauntered closer, a feral glimmer in his gaze. By instinct, I backed up a step, my wings scraping the rough bark of the evergold behind me. He moved into my personal space.
“What are you doing?” I asked, heart hammering.
He flattened one hand against the tree above my head, his finger grazing the arch of my wing. I shivered.
“Are you sure you could resist?”
I cleared my throat. “Of course,” I said, trying to sound confident, but my voice betrayed me and broke.