Thursday, August 4, 2011

GUEST LAUNCH PARTY and GIVEAWAY – LEANNA ELLIS!

Please give a big CASABABE Welcome to Sourcebooks Landmark author, Leanna Ellis, whose Amish Vampire Romance (yes, you read that right) Plain Fear: Forsaken is in stores this month! Let’s celebrate!!

Thanks so much, y’all, for having me here on the Casablanca Authors blog for the launch of my first Sourcebooks title: PLAIN FEAR: FORSAKEN! I am delighted to be among the company of so many fabulous authors, so many of y’all I’ve met over the years! I am beyond excited to finally have Forsaken on the bookstore shelves.

So you might be asking yourself what’s this Texas gal (hence all the y’alls) writing about Amish for? Don’t forget the vampires! Well, I have to say, we don’t have too many Amish in Texas and I have yet to find a vampire, but I’ll keep looking. I do, however, write ‘deep in the heart’ and that’s what brought me to this story.

When I first thought of merging these very different genres (Amish and vampire), it wasn’t until I hit on the heart issues that I knew I had to write it. It actually became an obsession. I was busy with other book deadlines but I couldn’t stop thinking about Akiva and Hannah and Levi. This is a love triangle that is reminiscent of Phantom of the Opera (the musical version by Andrew Lloyd Webber), which I love.

It deals with good and evil and that fine, wavering line between the two.

Here are a few fun facts about Forsaken:

  1. Yes, I traveled to Amish country to get the facts about these curious folks correct. And they are fascinating. I wrote a paper about them when I was taking a sociology class in college way back when.

  1. What I loved best about visiting Amish country was sampling the delicious food! I bought a basket of fresh picked strawberries from a roadside stand, whoopee pies at an Amish bakery, and I ate in an Amish restaurant where I had beef noodles that were delicious along with yummy ice cream. And yes, I probably gained five pounds. But anything for research, right?

  1. No, there is not an actual place of Promise, Pennsylvania where Hannah and Levi live. I made it up. But there are a few authentic places mentioned or based on places I visited while in Pennsylvania.

  1. Where did I go to find out more about the vampires in my story? To my own dark, warped mind.

  1. Roc Girouard was supposed to have a small part in this first book of the series, but his character grew and I fell in love with him too. There are plenty of heroes for readers to fall in love with. For the more traditional reader, you might find strong, dependable Levi Fisher the kind of hero you might drool over. For those who are drawn to those characters needing a bit of reforming, you will love Roc. And for those with a bent toward the dark side, you’ll love Akiva.

  1. Yes, this is a series! I’m busy writing the second book and love discovering more of Jacob/Akiva’s past and having Roc as the full-fledged romantic hero in the second story!

All I can say now to those who ask, “How do you combine Amish and vampires?” is: “Don’t shun it until you’ve read it.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Leanna Ellis is the winner of the National Readers’ Choice Award and Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award. She has written numerous books for Harlequin/Silhouette and has published four books with B&H Publishing. With her husband, two children, and wide assortment of pets, she lives in Texas. Plain Fear: Forbidden, the next book in the Plain Fear Series, will be in stores in Spring 2012. For more information and to see the book trailer for Plain Fear: Forsaken, please visit www.leannaellis.com.

Thanks for joining us today, Leanna! To enter to win one of two copies of Plain Fear: Forsaken, please leave a comment with what combination of genres you’d love to see in bookstores next… US and Canada only, and please leave an email address. We’ll choose the winner on Monday morning!

25 comments:

  1. Now that's two words I never thought I'd see together...Amish and Vampires!! A whole 'nother world of opportunities that you've come up with, ma'am. Been to those places you talked about in Pennsylvania...were you eating on the top floor of an old red barn when you ate those noodles? And yes, ma'am, it's okay to gain five pounds when it's for research. Love the cover, the premise and the new world you have created.

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  2. Hi, Carolyn! It wasn't an old red barn, but that sounds fabulous! Would love to hear where that was! And thanks so much! When I tell folks about my new book, their eyes get big, then they usually laugh then lean in really close and say, "Really? Cool!"

    Blessings,

    Leanna

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  3. The Old Orders have to eat like that because you would not believe the work they expect of themselves in a day on the farm.... at least that's what my plain coat Mennonite in-laws told me.
    This sounds like one creative book and the start to a terrific series. Best of luck, and we'll all be looking for your recipe for Shoo Fly Pie with Book Two, ja?

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  4. Exactly, Grace! And I did try shoofly pie while I was in PA and it was delicious! You're right on the hearty eating. Those folks work HARD. I definitely admire them for their convictions and their dedication to family and community and hard work.

    Blessings,

    Leanna

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  5. Not that long ago, my local RWA group had an on-going discussion about Amish and Vampires. I'm looking forward to reading this one!

    as for what I'd like to see next in a mash-up...why, one of my own wips of course. ;) Western historical dragon shifter.

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  6. Hey, the story sounds great! It's probably the first time I see a novel on vampire and amish! The cover is amazing!

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  7. How interesting, Leanna!

    My mom was Penn Dutch. Had dark hair and the palest skin. Hmmm...maybe vampires in the bloodline? LOL

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  8. Lizzie, you just might be onto something with that! Proserpine, didn't Sourcebooks do an amazing job with the cover? I felt so blessed! Ashlyn, oh my! Uh, maybe I should interview you! ;)

    Blessings,

    Leanna

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  9. Hi Leanna.Congrats on your new books. Sounds good. Vampires and Amish together is an interesting combination.

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  10. What an interesting combination! I lived in Pennsylvania farm country among the Amish and Mennonite people for a while, and came to admire them very much. I guess vampirism can happen anywhere! Great cover, too.

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  11. Hi, Crystal and Joanne! Evil can penetrate any place. One reason I chose Amish country is because it has the reputation of peace and innocence. But it doesn't take much to open the door to evil. Blessings, Leanna

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  12. What a great premise - I love variety and this definitely is something different. I live in PA and am probably 2 or 3 hours away from a large Amish community which I have visited. In fact, my husband's family has Mennonite relations. One has a large collection of Percheron horses and has had the largest one in the world - quite impressive. I look forward to your book!

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  13. What a unique premise for a series of books! It's certainly not one I ever thought about...As to what two genres I'd like to see together next ....Perhaps a mix of science fiction and urban fiction??...lol...it seems like just about everything is being mixed these days

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  14. What a unique combination. I'm adding this to my wish list.

    What combination would I like to see... if this hasn't been done, already, I would like to see Time Travel and Paranormal.

    Thanks,
    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

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  15. Hi, Catslady, Maria, and Tracey! So glad you like the concept of my book! Catslady, I really enjoyed spending time up in PA last summer. Gorgeous country. Nice folks. Maria, Sounds like a good combo. I'm a bit worried at all these ideas…b/c little seeds get planted in my brain and you never know what they might grow…like this Amish/vampire series. But I'm mighty glad it did! Tracey, thanks for adding me to your wish list! Hope you enjoy! Blessings, Leanna

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  16. I've heard a lot about this book. Sounds really fascinating, and I also love The Phantom of the Opera.

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  17. Welcome Leanna, I have to say that your book is mega intriguing! I've judged Inspirational in the RITAs and have read a oouple of the Amish books. I enjoyed them very much so I'm sure your book will be a BIG hit! Congratulations!
    Amelia

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  18. Wow, what a combination! I'd LOVE to read it... truly fascinating...

    As to other combos, I'd love to see a paranormal bodice-ripper--no, that's probably been done--maybe an ancient Native American bodice-ripper? Even better, Native American paranormal. Those go together naturally, though. So many tribes' tales have natural magic in them already.

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  19. Hi, Shana, Amelia, and Shakespeare! Thanks for your enthusiasm about my book! I love folks' reaction to the idea. I realize it is a bit different but to me it was such a perfect coupling. Shana, So do you love the Phantom or Raoul? :) Amelia, that's awesome that you give your time to judge the Ritas. And I hope you are right! Shakespeare, I like the way your mind works. ;)

    Blessings,

    Leanna

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  20. What a unique pairing: vampires and Amish. It totally appeals to me and I can see it now. When I think of Amish, I think of old-world traditional ways, ways that would attract a vampire. I like that it is set in Pennsylvania because I have always linked vampires to that place. Even with that being the case I don't often read about vampires there so I'm glad it's going back to tradition.

    Congratulations on the release!!

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  21. Thanks so much, Na! How interesting that you've paired vampires with PA. Very, very interesting. Blessings, Leanna

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  22. I love to switch around my books, so I read a little of everything. This book sounds different then anything I have ever read and I love different.

    lead[at]hotsheet[dot]com

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  23. Thanks, Virginia! I hope you'll enjoy it!

    And thanks again, y'all, for having me here!

    Blessings,

    Leanna

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  24. What a unique combination, Leanna! Congrats, and best wishes!

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  25. Congrats BookLover and CrystalGB--I'll be emailing you soon about sending you a copy of Plain Fear: Forsaken by Leanna Ellis. Thank you for commenting!

    Danielle

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