Anniversary Interview & Contest: Rachel Van Dyken

rachelJen: As many of you may know, Rachel Van Dyken has been a reviewer for Romancing the Book. But she’s also a best selling author and we knew we had to feature her during our look at Young Adult and New Adult books. So to help us kick of this week, let’s welcome Rachel to the blog. Rachel will you share a short bio with us?
Rachel: When I was little–I was forced to be the evil step mother, the prince, the ugly stepsister, the dragon with dragon breath (FOR REAL), if there was a villain, I played it.

So really, we can all blame my sister for forcing me to write my own stories. If she hadn’t made me the wicked witch of the West when I was little–I may not be where I am today.

I write in every genre, but my passion is New Adult and Historical Romance! I’ve decided that the New Adult bad boy is basically the same thing as a regency rake and one day I will, I WILL write a time travel series that brings both worlds together. It will probably only sell one copy, and that one copy will be bought by my Grandma, but still. A girl can dream.

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Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Rachel: Elicit is my newest release, the idea actually came from my husband. He wanted me to write a mafia series, so I did.

Cursed, numb, rejected, scorned, wicked, sinister, dark, twisted…my name is Tex Campisi and this is my legacy. I killed my father in cold blood and lost my soul right along with him.
I crave war more than peace, and I’m about to take my place in history as the youngest Capo dei Capi in the Cosa Nostra…that is until someone stops me, saves me from myself.

But the only person able to do that…is my best friends sister, Mo Abandanato, and she just ripped my heart out and asked me to hold it in my hands while she put bullets through it.

I’m cursed so I did it.
I’m numb so I held it.
I’m wicked so I liked it.

I used the pain Mo caused as a catalyst to turn into my biggest nightmare–the five families greatest enemy. It’s my turn to take a stand, knowing full well I’m going to lose my mind to the madness that is the American Mafia. I’ve always been told Blood is thicker than life. I wish I would have listened. Because regardless of who you love? You will betray. You will kill.

Blood Always Wins.

The only way out is death…yours.

Welcome to the Dark Side of the Family.


Here’s a short excerpt from Elicit:

“Eight minutes where I’d rather time didn’t exist.” I whispered watching pain roll across his face in a wave. “Kiss me again.”

With a soft exhale, he brushed his lips across mine, little feathery strokes that tempted me with promises of something more. He used his tongue to trace the outline of my lips before sliding inside, past my teeth, tasting every inch of me, giving me every inch he could of himself. Living in the moment, both of us knowing that it would soon be over.

“Seven.” I whispered against his mouth.

“Go to school,” he urged for a second time. “Make mistakes, Mo. Get in trouble, let Nixon find you sneaking wine into your backpack. Get sent to the Dean’s office, make mistakes,” he said again then licked his lips. “Let someone pick up the pieces of your broken heart, let someone fix what I destroyed.”

“What if I want to drop out and hermit myself in my room?” I refused to look at him.

“That’s not living, Mo.” Tex cupped my face. “I have five minutes left with you, do you want me to use it to kiss you or lecture you on why I’m right?”

I grinned as a tear slid down my cheek. “Both.”

His smile matched mine. “I forget how much you like being scolded.”

“Only if the one scolding has a firm hand.”

“Every last inch of me is firm and you know it.” Tex tugged me into his lap. “School will distract you, it will give you a better future then guns and war, it will take your focus from tragedy to the future. Please, for me, Mo, please try to do normal.”

“Normal.” I shook my head. “Not sure I know what that word is.”

“Normal,” Tex repeated. “Making love to someone under a tree not because you have to say goodbye, but because it’s the best way you can think to say hello.”

My lower lip quivered.

“Normal.” His voice was hoarse. “Marrying the love of your life not because her brother shoots you at point blank range–but because not marrying her would be a fate worse than death.”

He was silent then added, “Three minutes.”

I clenched his shirt with my hands and fought the urge to sob against his chest.

“Normal.” Tex’s voice was barely audible. “Going from country to country, traveling all over the world, not because you have a hit on you, but because you want to see the girl you love smile in every country God ever created.”

I knew the time was ticking by, it seemed the less time we had the faster it went, I guess that’s life.

I was looking at two more minutes, maybe less, with my lover, my friend, and all I could do was clench his shirt in my hands and twist, somehow willing him to stay on the ground rather than get up and walk towards certain death.

“Normal.” Tex moved to his feet, helping me up. “Giving the woman you love two hours of your time, because you can’t imagine spending your minutes, those precious seconds, any other way.”

Tex kissed my mouth hard, nearly bruising my lips before stepping back and kissing my nose.

“Time’s up,” he said gruffly.

“We’re no longer friends.” I said it as a statement, not even a question.

“For two hours I was your lover, your friend, your everything.” Tex looked away. “For the rest of eternity–I’m now your enemy.”


Jen: Favorite character from the Eagle Elite series?
Rachel: NO! WHY? WHY ASK THIS?! Tex. I think.

Jen: Favorite ethnic food?
Rachel: Thai Food

Jen: Favorite vacation spot?
Rachel: Mexico (Cabo San Lucas)

Jen: If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
Rachel: Mind reading

Jen: How did you meet your husband?
Rachel: At my sister and his brothers wedding, true story.

Jen: What invention you can’t live without?
Rachel: Coffee, thats an invention right?

Jen: What is the last movie you saw in the theater?
Rachel: Lucy, and it was great!

Jen: Which reality show would you want to be on?
Rachel: THE QUEST that new one where its like part fantasy part reality, oh my gosh Lord of the Rings style, WHO WOULDN’T want to be on that?

Jen: Do you have a mentor?
Rachel: My Grandma Nadine 😉

Jen: Rainbow or chocolate sprinkles?
Rachel: Rainbow and chocolate sprinkles, TOGETHER that was a trick question wasn’t it?

Jen: What’s next for you?
Rachel: I have a few more books releasing in that mafia series along with the final stand alone in the Ruin Series, Shame, releasing October 6.

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16 thoughts on “Anniversary Interview & Contest: Rachel Van Dyken

  1. Irma Jurejevčič says:

    It depends on the story. But I kind of prefer the one who knows what he want’s and he takes it without asking if he may or may he not 🙂 I like confident man (but not cocky).

  2. Heather says:

    I like the hero that knows what they want and goes for it. Anyone with confidence and determination, real or not, is very attractive to me.

  3. Stephanie F. says:

    I like both, they both bring their own to a story. Love the vulnerability and depth of a wounded hero but I also love the take charge Alpha man who knows what he wants and goes for it.

  4. Michelle L says:

    Either. Really haven’t thought about it, but probably the hero who knows and goes after what they are after.

  5. veRONIca says:

    I like both but the wounded hero is a little more interesting because you get to see him unknowingly drawn to something that will help him

  6. Artemis says:

    I like the hero that knows what they want and goes for it. I like men with confidence but not dominance. Just a man knows who he is, what he wants and is able to look after himself.

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