Jen: Today we welcome Torie James back to Romancing the Book. Torie, will you share a short bio with us?
Torie: I’ve loved reading since I was old enough to hold a book in my lap. While my friends were out playing, I was generally curled up nearby falling down rabbit holes, catching second stars to the right, and stepping through wardrobes into mysterious lands and countless adventures. When those stories ended, I made up my own and kept going.
This later on translated into a strong passion for writing that has helped me keep my feet on the ground and my head in the clouds.
Lover of Dr. Pepper, all things chocolate, and Duran Duran, my dreams finally became a reality with the publication of Timeless Night, with the amazing people at Breathless Press. Timeless Night begat Timeless Desire. I’m currently working on the third book in the series, Timeless Surrender. I’ve also written several short erotica tales called Fractured Fantasies on top of beginning the sequel to Ties That Bind: The Cloie Chronicles with my writing partner, Jammie Lynn.
Jen: Tell us a little about your newest release.
Torie: Ties That Bind is the beginning of a new series, called The Cloie Chronicles.
The main character of Cloie is very precious to me. As are ALL of my characters! However, Cloie is the sole reason I found courage and strength to once more pursue my dream of writing. As a huge fan of mythology, I eventually tumbled into The Dark Hunters Series, by Sherrilyn Kenyon (*swoons* total fangirl!!) in which mythology plays a huge part. One of the main protagonists is the younger half brother to the Greek Fates: Atropos, Lachesis and Clotho. They are referenced here and there, but not in a favorable light. No one really has anything good to say about those Goddesses now that I think about it!
I decided to change that after I joined a DH role play group and ended up with Clotho…Cloie…as my character. I began to ask myself what her real story was. I refused to believe, as all of mythology would indicate, that she was cold, unfair and vicious, playing with lives like a child with toys. There was more to Cloie…I just knew it.
One of the most amazing people I know, I met through roleplay in the DH world. The person behind this particular role play character went on to become a very intense and major part of Cloie herself and I am very proud to have her input and work as my writing partner on this series. Without Jammie Lynn, there would be far less to this story overall. She’s a true soul sister.
One of my greatest joys has been bringing Cloie to life and sharing her story with the world. She has taught me there are differences between who we are and what we do. She has changed my life in countless ways and helped me change my own stars.
And we’re still going strong…
“Smile, child. This is your wedding day.”
Cloie stared straight ahead, refusing to meet Zeus’s gaze, although she heard thick lust coloring each word. The leisurely stroke of his hand swept down her arm in proprietary fashion, lingering along the gentle swell of her right hip before he stopped.
“I’d smile were the groom of my choosing, Papa.”
Zeus’s fingers curled around the nape of her neck, holding her in place. The stinging, heat of his powers seared her flesh with lacerating pain, causing her to flinch once, then grow still. She refused to shed a tear or make a single sound. Despite the burning agony, she wouldn’t give her stepfather the satisfaction.
“I know well what your choice would be, Clotho. I’m about to make you Goddess Queen of the Norse Pantheon and you still defy me! For your idiot pet!” Zeus’s hot breath washed over her ear, his lips brushing the delicate shell. His grip on her neck tightened, the acrid stench of scorched flesh choking her.
“He’s not my pet.” She bit out, coughing.
“He is nothing! He lives because of Odin’s stupidity and your defiance! And you would be his whore!”
“Better his whore than your daughter.” Defiance flared in her voice.
Snarling, the Greek King of the Gods shook her like a rag doll, forcing her to meet his blazing cerulean eyes. “You will marry Dagr. You will act as befits the daughter of Zeus and a Queen of Asgard. If at any time, I sense Dagr’s unhappiness with this union or you, I myself will destroy Soren. If you disobey me, the same. I see defiance in your eyes, Clotho. And arrogance. I can’t kill him but I can make him wish for death. His quality of life depends on your performance and your obedience to your loving Papa.”
Always using her heart against her. His modus operandi never wavered. It worked every time. And well the Olympian knew it.
“Then best you get me to the altar, Papa.”
Each word was laced with careful respect, all rebellion gone from her in the face of his threat. She’d harmed Soren enough, she would not allow Zeus to lay one finger on the keeper of her heart. Cloie kept her face impassive when Zeus released her, swallowing hard past the knot of anguish his hands on her skin had caused. Clever God, none would see the wounds he’d inflicted with her hair down as it was. Unbound hair to attest to her innocence. Ha!
“I will marry Dagr. I will be a most worthy Queen and helpmate. I shall unite Norse and Greeks together as no other union has. I will do all of this and more.” She slid dainty fingers around his elbow while he used his powers to swing aside the silky curtains of the white tent Hera insisted she have to prepare in. “But by my own word, if you ever lay a harmful hand on Soren, it will be the last time you have such.”
“Empty threats, child. And well you know it. Just do as I tell you and there will be no need. You’ll thank me when you are ruling Asgard.”
“Don’t you mean when you are ruling?”
Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors? What are you reading now?
Torie: I’m always down for some Maggie Shayne, Johanna Lindsay, Anne Rice and of course Sherrilyn Kenyon. Love Dakota Cassidy, too! Currently on my Kindle, I’m reading Katorah Kenway’s Mine to Have, the fourth book of her Ackerman Security Novels. Great stuff!
Jen: Do you have a favorite character or one you most identify with?
Torie: I do! Hands down, it would be Cloie. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for those I love. Even if it meant playing the villain for them.
Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you’ve received about your books?
Torie: A male friend of mine finally sat down and read my debut novel, Timeless Night (Book One of my New Camelot Series). Mind you, I don’t push my family or friends to read or review my books because I don’t want anyone to feel obligated. So, he called me up after reading it. He did put the official review up on Amazon but left out the best part which was…”Holy crap, T. This so didn’t suck. Not even close.” I died laughing when he said that then hurried to explain what he meant to say was that for a debut novel, it had surpassed his expectations. I wanted to make a tag line for myself about “Read Torie James. She doesn’t suck.”
Jen: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?
Torie: There is! My sister, Perci Taylor Brooks, just signed a contract with Wayward Ink for her debut novel, Royal Seduction. I am so proud of her!
Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest? Most rewarding?
Torie: I’ve the most challenging time when it comes to getting into my ‘villain’s’ mind and presenting their methods and motivations for being who and what they are. This isn’t to say that I’m a saint who’s never done anything wrong or the like. Everyone has a dark side, tapping into mine for those sessions tends to drag me down at times and it takes a bit of recovery time afterwards. Easiest aspect, for me, is simply baring those naked emotions my protagonist’s tend to show. It’s always rewarding and worth the blood, sweat and tears when I hear any of my babies resonate with the reader.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Torie: Next up for me, I’ve signed with 13 Below Press and as of early January, I’ve signed my 4th book deal with them for a fantastically twisted and erotic series called Fractured Fantasies. Kind of like the Twilight Zone with dark sexy shenanigans.