#GTRCA13 Author Spotlight: Meet A.J. Larrieu, a new author you’ll follow anywhere
All week long, we’re spotlighting the nominees for two of our 2013 GraveTells Readers Choice Awards categories! Some of the nominees will be represented by bloggers and fellow authors, to help give you a closer look into what makes them stand out in their category.
Please help us welcome author Rachael Herron as she tells us more about A.J. Larrieu, nominee for Most Promising New Author!
For me, great paranormal romance has to do two things: It has to transport me right out of my seat (because otherwise why am I reading?) and it has to be even more real than the actual world around me. I have to be able to accept that the out-of-the-ordinary is necessary, and more than that, that it’s vital.
A.J. Larrieu’s writing blows me out of my chair, out of my living room, and right into the Deep South where I can almost smell the sweetness of magnolia blooms mixed with the scent of dark, damp earth. You know that excitement you get when you fall into the hands of a writer you’ll follow anywhere? This is the writer you’ll want to follow. Immediately.
Even more than being a master at creating heart-stopping plot and complex characters, Larrieu writes the most outrageously hot love scenes I’ve read in my life. My pulse has still barely slowed from one scene in Twisted Miracles (her well-deserved Golden-Heart-nominated novel, releasing in April 2014). I’m still reaping the cardio benefits from that racing heart.
A.J. Larrieu writes exactly what I want to read. And one of the most exciting things about her is that she’s just starting out! We have her whole career to continue to follow her. I can’t wait to do exactly that (and to tell everyone I knew about her first).
A note from A.J.
[quote]”I’m so thrilled and honored–and to be truthful, astonished–to be nominated for this award. When I published Anchored, it was really just an experiment. I wanted to know if there were readers out there for the kinds of stories I love to write. It’s been a dream come true to connect with people who like my stories, and I never stop being amazed and grateful for all the people who have read my book. Reading is such a necessary experience — to help create that experience for others is a privilege. Thank you DaVinciKittie, GraveTells, and all of my awesome readers.”
Read an excerpt from Anchored
Setup: Susannah, our heroine, has just lost a bet with Jason, our hero. His price is a walk on the beach:
He led me to where the sand was dry and pulled a holey blanket out of his red backpack, spreading it out and anchoring one end with his pack. He had a portable speaker the size of a hardback novel, and he set it on the blanket and turned on music I didn’t recognize. Bluesy. Percussion and saxophone. The beat matched the tempo of the waves on the sand. He produced a bottle of wine and uncorked it with the ease of someone who’d waited tables for a living.
“I hope this isn’t some attempt to seduce me,” I told him. “I’m not susceptible.”
If his pride was injured, he didn’t show it. He poured two glasses and handed me one. “No seduction. Just a night off, like I promised.” He clinked his glass against mine.
I glared at him, but sipped the wine anyway. It was refreshing and light, a little grassy. I hardly ever drank, but my heightened senses made good wine a real pleasure. I let it roll over my tongue for a brief, blissful moment before swallowing.
“I picked grapes on this vineyard one summer,” he said. “It’s in Calistoga. Beautiful little place.”
“What were you doing all the way out in California?”
“Following a girl, of course.” He didn’t even blush. “She wanted to work on an organic farm out there.” He produced a bag of goldfish crackers from his pack and offered them to me. I waved them away.
“It didn’t work out?”
He shrugged and swirled his glass. “Easy come, easy go. I missed home, anyway. What about you?” He threw a goldfish into the air and caught it in his mouth. “Ever followed the love of your life to the ends of the earth?”
Memories swarmed like locusts though my brain. Blood on the sand, Thomas’ hands cooling slowly in mine, Hank dragging me off, wings beating.
“No,” I said.
Jason sipped his wine. “I don’t believe that for a second.”
“I anchored when I was twenty-two. I hardly had time to fall in love.”
“Oh, right, I forgot that part—it destroys your ability to feel emotion.” He was smiling.
I rearranged my wings more tightly behind me. “I don’t expect you to understand. I have a mission. It comes first. I don’t have time for …” I waved my hand around. “… romance.”
“So you have a mission. I get it. But there was no one before that? Come on, twenty-two? That’s old enough, Susannah. You can’t expect me to believe a woman like you didn’t have … what word would you use? Admirers.”
“It’s not relevant.”
“Who said anything about relevant? I’m just curious. Have some more wine.” He topped off my glass before I could cover it.
“I’d rather not discuss it.”
He grinned. “I won the bet, gorgeous.”
More about A.J. Larrieu’s work…
Check out the GraveTells review for Anchored, Ms. Larrieu’s first published story. Here’s what DaVinciKittie had to say about it…
This wasn’t supposed to be a review book, just a quick “breather” read between other blog work. A.J. Larrieu, however, apparently had other plans for my past 12 hours when she penned her debut paranormal romance novella Anchored. Angels? Been there. Vamps? Both good and bad, done that! But the way Ms. Larrieu imagined her fictional universe breathes life and energy into a story even further supported by stellar characters with multi-faceted personalities.
Kudos to A.J. Larrieu on setting such a high bar for her work on her first published novella. This is a story that should appeal to anyone with an soft spot for angels-doing-good and charming romantic suspense. The love scenes are all about classy heat and simmering connections, and radiate a lovely glow without straying into erotica territory. The action is well-grounded and just descriptive enough to keep you interested without being confusing. I can’t wait to see what comes next in this series! Anchored is a GraveTells “must read”!
Find it online: Amazon Kindle
Meet Rachael Herron…
Representing A.J. Larrie today is author Rachael Herron! Check out her follow links below and give her a visit!