Title: Royal Partnerships
Author: Gracen Miller
Series: Road to Hell (Book 4)
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy/"Horromance" (because it’s a mix of horror and romance)
Release Date: June 11, 2015
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
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Book Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
It’s good to be the Queen…
Having ascended the throne of Hell, Madison Wescott is finally able to breathe a sigh of relief. Though she has embraced her demonic nature, she has ensured the safety of everyone she loves. With both Micah and Nix at her side, she wields more power than she could have ever imagined.
But not even the throne is safe when you rule in Hell.
In the wake of a failed assassination attempt, Madison learns about a realm of the damned older than Hell itself. A fierce and powerful incubus vows to escape his imprisonment there — and his efforts are weakening the bonds that hold him and countless other monsters at bay. With no plan and nowhere else to turn, Madison contacts an unlikely source for help. But whose side is he really on? Will he help preserve her reign, or bring about Hell’s downfall?
Choose your partnerships carefully…
Where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born in South Alabama, and I live in the middle-north part of Alabama now. For all the bad press us Southerners get, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else but in the South.
What or who inspired you to write? And how long have you been writing?
My 6th grade English teacher inspired me to write. She assigned a writing homework project. I grumbled the entire way to my mother’s job—that’s where I passed the hours after school until my mother got off work—about the homework assignment. What I discovered in the process was a love for writing. I wrote about Atlanteans rising from the sea to take over the world. Our class voted on their three favorite stories and mine was one of the top three. I was amazed, excited, and I’ve been bitten by the writing bug ever since.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
From the moment I discovered writing and continued to write for the love it. Even unpublished writers are writers. In my mind there’s a difference between writers and authors. A writer writes because they love it. An author publishes their stuff so a broader readership can enjoy (hopefully) their stories.
What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say?
Royal Partnerships (book 4 Road to Hell series) – There’s a new nightmare on the Road to Hell! Are you ready for the ride? Can you handle the ride? Open for a terrifying and sexy ride on the Road to Hell!
I love reading the warnings on the blurbs for many books. If you could write a warning label for yourself as a person or an author, what would it say?
The author your momma warned you about! LOL
If you gave some of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?
All my characters speak for themselves, as my books are character driven. I often see the storyline going one way until I dig deep into the story and discover the characters have a different plan.
What does your protagonist think about you? Would he or she want to hang out with you, the author?
That’s a unique question and one I’ve not given much thought to. Since I’m very human and the majority of my Road to Hell characters aren’t mortal, they’d probably prefer I not hang around all that often because I’d get in the way and they’d just end up being distracted by protecting me. Except for Micah and Elias…they’d throw me to their demons and call it a day.
Which character speaks the loudest, to you? Do any of them clamor to be heard over the others?
The Road to Hell characters are my loudest speakers, but none are louder than the others.
Do your characters try to make like bunnies and create ever more convoluted plots for you? Or do you have to coax them out of your characters?
My Road to Hell characters have created so many plot holes for me that I’ve had a heck of a time digging them out of their holes more than once. But it always made the story stronger in my opinion.
So agreed (they are evil like that, but it’s worth it in the end!) Have you based any of your characters on someone you know, or real events in your own life?
Yes. In the Road to Hell series, Madison’s father, Bruce, was loosely based off my own father, both are Baptist preachers, and both are/were mentally abusive. I also gave Madison her name in memory of someone that died from cancer at the age of 18. Mads is a nickname given to the character, but the real life Madison was nicknamed Madz…the spelling is the only deviation but said the same way.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Is chaos a writing style? LOL I classify my writing as creating from the “hot seat”. That means I don’t write from an outline, but write organically as it comes to me, and all of my books are character driven.
How did you come up with the title?
You’d have the read the book to understand, but all my titles in the Road to Hell series come from something in the book.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I’m not big on real life messages because I write for readers to escape real life. In the Road to Hell series if there had to be a message, it’d be something along the lines of, “No one can escape their fate, but it’s what you do with your providence that defines the character of a person.”
Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I’m working on a few stories at the moment. Bama Girl Blues, which is book 3 in the Hot Wired series, I’m also co-writing a book, Reaped, with T. Carreiro, and I’ve started the 5th book in the Road to Hell series, Immortal Deceiver.
How did you come up with the cover design?
Andrea Kozari is the genius behind the cover design. She crafted it and sent me her concept. I loved it because it fit the storyline perfectly.
Who designed the cover of your book?
Andrea Kozari, who I often refer to as a cover art goddess.
Where do you see yourself in five (5) years?
I’d love to be the new breakout author on everyone’s tongue, with a movie deal, but realistically, I’ll be happy being the author readers are telling their friends they “gotta read”.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
The beach or near water, because my muse becomes extremely chatty at the beach and when I’m showering.
Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?
I have authors I’d love to meet because they’re Facebook friends and I chat with them often, but none I want to meet just because I love their books. I don’t look at us as celebrities, but just average every day Janes/Joes with a creative streak.
What books have most influenced your writing most and why?
Stephen King and Kathleen E. Woodiwiss because I read King exclusively until my granny handed me the Flame and Flower by Woodiwiss when I was 13. From that moment forward, I’ve loved romances as much as I loved King’s twisted style of writing. Mixing horror and romance—what I’ve dubbed as “horromance”—in the Road to Hell series was my way of honoring the two genres I love to read.
Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?
I read only ebooks, but I collect signed paperbacks by my favorite authors.
Are you a self-published (Indie) Author or big traditional published?
I’m almost fully self-published now, but my Road to Hell series started with a publisher. I’ve received the rights back to them and I’ve added scenes, re-edited, and republished them with new covers.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
The book I’m currently working on, Bama Girl Blues, is the 3rd book in the Hot Wired series, which is a contemporary rock star romance. I’m also co-writing a book, Reaped, with T. Carriero, and it’s an erotic paranormal romance. And…I’ve started writing on the 5th book in the Road to Hell series, Immortal Deceiver.
How do you market/promote your books?
Facebook, Twitter, blog tours, release day blasts, and I have a one-of-a-kind street team—the Mafia Hellhounds. I hate to brag and say they’re the best, but I gotta give credit where credit is deserved and they merit a HUGE shout out for their awesomeness.
What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller?
That’s subjective. No two readers love the same book for the same reasons. Me personally, I prefer a well-written book, and characters I can relate to somehow, someway. I absolutely love characters with flaws that make the wrong choices, because aren’t we all like that in real life?
Have you ever suffered from a "writer’s block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
I’m guessing all writers suffer from writer’s block at some stage of their writing. To get past blocks I become a reading-aholic. I’ll read anything I can get my hands on. I’ll read all day, every day, until I’m inspired to write again. My blocks often come when I’m stressed from real life obligations or drama. Too bad I can’t kick stress to the curb and call it a day.
What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why?
In Royal Partnerhips it was a scene between Elias and Madison toward the end of the book. It’s also where the title of the book comes from. As much as these two characters hate one another, there’s something soothing and organic about writing them that infuses me with happiness.
What has been the toughest criticism you’ve been given as an author? What has been the best component?
I don’t know that I’d call it criticism, but I didn’t have the support of my family. That’s been the toughest challenge so far. It was so bad in the beginning my husband and I couldn’t even discuss my writing career. I never understood this because I’d supported him through law school, and through the creation of two businesses, one of which is still going strong 25 years later. It felt as if he thought only his dreams were important. Thankfully my husband’s tune changed the moment I received the first publishing contract. Now he’s my biggest supporter and travels with me for book signings and conventions. I still haven’t won the support of my mother who thinks I shouldn’t write sex, but doesn’t have a problem with the violence, and I don’t have the support of my mother-in-law who believes I’m going to hell for writing about paranormal creatures. I’ve learned to ignore the criticism and stand up for myself. Learning to say my dreams are important and not caring about family expectations has made me stronger and thicker skinned in this hostile writing environment.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Write, read books, hang out with my family, watch Supernatural with my eldest son, spend time with my dogs, and watch movies with my family.
Have you ever read a book more than once?
Yes. The Shining by Stephen King, The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Fires of Winter by Johanna Lindsey, and the Clan of the Cave Bear series by Jean M. Auel.
Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version?
I can’t think of that many books I’ve read that were turned into movies. The only one that I’ve read was The Shining, but the book was so much better than the movie.
What book are you currently reading and in what format (ebook/paperback/hardcover)?
I’m writing at the moment and I don’t read when I write. I read about one book a month; two books if I’m lucky.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write what you love, and brush off those that would discredit your dreams. Yours are as important as anyone else’s dreams. Write scared because that’s when the best stuff happens. And, if you’re going indie, please get an editor to spiff your book up before you publish it!
What is the best advice that you have ever been given when it comes to writing?
The best way to market your books is to write more books.
Do you write under a pen name?
Yes. I live in the south, the Bible belt as it’s called, and the uptight prudes—many of which are family members—would judge my children for what I write. Not wanting to cause them any hardships among the parents of their friends, I elected to use a pen name.
Sadly, I completely understand. What are your pet peeves?
Authors who publish inferior books because they don’t hire an editor to clean up their books.
Cats or dogs?
I’m a dog person, with 3 at home. Both cats I had were Satan’s spawns!
White wine or red?
Both as long as they’re sweet.
Coffee or tea?
Nectar of the Gods—aka coffee!
Now that’s a great way to describe them! Vanilla or chocolate ice cream?
What are 4 things you never leave home without?
If it’s an out of town event…laptop, cell phone, iPad, and I guess clothes, but really all I need is my laptop.
Laptop or desktop for writing?
Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
I write during the day because my sons are extremely busy in the evening. I have been known to write on my cell at ball games before they kick off, and email the information to myself.
If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you?
Dean Winchester, Thor, and Dom—that’s my muse and he’s infamous in my head. lol
List 3 of your all-time favourite movies?
Underworld, Dirty Dancing, and Equilibrium.
An actor you have a crush on –
Jensen Ackles, Chris Hemsworth, Hugh Jackman, and Keanu Reeves.
Such nummy choices! *swoon* Favorite TV show?
“Collecting and torturing a soul is dangerous business, my sister,” Zen said.
“So was becoming Queen of Hell. What’s problematic about going with the flow?”
More of the same unblinking stare from him. “If you go rogue, Madison…”
Madison slammed against the window-wall behind her. Despite the pane’s solidness, she felt it shimmy when it received the brunt of her weight. Recognizing Zen’s new demonstration of power, she elevated her eyebrows at him. With a smirk, she rubbed her back against the glass. She palmed her dragon blade as she flung a ninja star. He leaned to the side, dodging the star with ease. Of course she missed.
“You can’t kill me.”
Only his creator could take him down.
Madison palmed her other dagger and eased away from the window. “Is this you coming for me, Zen?”
His one-shoulder shrug sufficed as an answer. The pounding on the door, followed by Nix and Micah’s yelling further answered her question. Zen had magically locked them out. That’d been why she saw his power flare for a brief second during their conversation.
She went for him. He blocked each jab and slash. Every kick and punch. She eyed him as they circled one another.
He toys with us, her demon remarked.
Of course he does, that was Zen’s way when they sparred.
“Have I not taught you anything?” He smacked her across the cheek in a whip-like move she hadn’t seen coming. It wasn’t hard enough to hurt, but the blow stung all the same. “You tire yourself knowing I’m the superior fighter. It’s like you sacrifice yourself to me. Too easy.”
They went at it again. She tripped over a rug, stumbled backward, and came up dead-footed with her spine against the windowpanes. He moved into her space. Eye-to-eye they stared at one another, her panting the only racket in the room.
“So this is how it all ends?” she asked as he elevated a hand and braced it against the glass next to her head.
The door practically throbbed from all the kicking, pounding, and magic thrown at it. “You’re scaring my men.”
“They should be terrified.”
Madison settled her hand on his arm. “I trust you.”
She chugged his magic harder than she ever had anyone’s, and screamed as pain slashed through her head. Zen’s eyes widened, silver bright, and he jerked away as his magic held strong, barring her husbands from the room.
Zen stumbled, his footing off, and he swayed a moment before going to a knee. Wincing as the pain receded, Madison circled him and secured her blade in its leather holster.
She threaded her fingers in his hair and pulled his head back. His shallow breathing surprised her, “Concede defeat?”
"First 3 Books in the Road to Hell Series by Gracen Miller are On SALE for a $1 each Until June 22 to celebrate the Release of Royal Partnerships"
Pandora’s Box (1)
Hell’s Phoenix (2)
Genesis Queen (3)
(Can Be Read As Stand Alones and Out of Order)
Lost in the Beat (2)
Bama Girl Blues (3) Coming Soon
Elfin Blood Coming Soon
Gracen’s Book in the 1Night Stand Serial
Fairy Casanova Book 7
Gracen is a hopeless daydreamer masquerading as a “normal” person in southern society. When not writing, she’s a full-time basketball/lacrosse/guitar mom for her two sons and a devoted wife to her real-life hero-husband of over twenty years. She has an unusual relationship with her muse, Dom, but credits all her creative success to his brilliant mind. She’s addicted to writing, paranormal romance novels and movies, Alabama football, and coffee…addictions are not necessarily in order of priority. She’s convinced coffee is nectar from the gods and when blending coffee and writing together it generates the perfect creative merger. Many of her creative worlds are spawned from coffee highs and Dom’s aggressive demands. Gracen writes in multiple genres—paranormal romance, paranormal erotic romance, and contemporary romance. To learn more about Gracen or to leave her a comment, visit her website at www.gracen-miller.com.